Following My Heart: My Journey as a Photographer

The Early Years

My love of photography (and creating in general) started when I was a child. When I was going through a box of pictures recently, I came across some pictures I had taken as a child. I took so many pictures with one of those old blue Fisher Price Kodak 110 film cameras for kids, as well as other cameras I could get my hands on. After seeing these pictures, it brought back the memories of me taking them. I remembered setting up and posing my toys for their pictures. It was something I loved doing. (Unfortunately, at the time I decided to write this post, I now cannot find most of the toy pictures to scan for your enjoyment).

My First SLR Camera

In high school, I borrowed money from my parents to buy myself a nice film SLR camera and paid them back with the money I made working working at a local veterinarian clinic. This job also gave me the money to develop all of the rolls of film I was taking. With this camera, I didn't do many posed shots, but I photographed almost everything I saw. I bought so many creative filters for my lenses to play around and create fun shots. One of my favorite filters to use was a star filter.

Barn Photos

Then I moved out of my parents' house and no longer had the money to develop film as often, so I didn't get to shoot as much. I still photographed when I could. This is when I photographed a lot at my friend's barn.

Digital Point and Shoot

Eventually I bought myself a cheap digital point and shoot camera. It wasn't the best, but it worked for capturing memories. Unfortunately, a lot of those images are lost since I wasn't backing them up like I should have been and I wasn’t printing most of them. A lot also got saved on CDs, but most of those got lost or too scratched up to read.

My First DSLR

After going to college off and on for 14 years, I finally graduated with my degree in computer science. My graduation gift to myself was a nice DSLR camera. When I got it, my husband said, "I didn't know you were into photography. Why didn't you go to school for that?" I always felt I needed a “real” job, and I never considered any sort of career in art as viable. Everyone always talks about the “starving artist” and I had no desire to become one. I started playing around with my camera more. I started volunteering at Elmbrook Humane Society where I would walk dogs and take photos for their adoption profiles.

Decision to Go Pro

Eventually I decided I wanted to transition my career from being a software engineer to being a photographer. I started out doing location photography and moved over to doing studio work. After photographing in the studio for awhile, I decided that I missed photographing people on location. I am shifting my focus to location photography again, as well as more creative photography. My soul is so much happier now that I have finally listened to it and am creating art for a living. It brings me so much joy creating memories for people to treasure for so many years to come and to pass down to future generations.