October 7, 2013
When I made the decision to start a blog for my photography business, I knew I was going to be sharing personal and intimate stories about my life. Not because I think I’m that cool where everyone needs to know what I’m up to – but because I wanted past, present, and future clients to get to know me. I wanted to give my couples the chance to get to know the girl behind the camera. A chance to look a little deeper into the soul of the girl they trusted to capture every single memory on one of the most important days of their lives.
I’ve shared stories and pictures of my friends, my family, and even my own personal love story. I’ve talked about what goals I want to achieve every month, raved about my high points, and expressed stress during my low points. I’ve always worn my heart on my sleeve and to be honest… for this reason – I’ve been avoiding writing personal blog posts for the past few months.
For those of you that have been regularly following my blog the past few years, you’ll know that I’ve always talked about my relationship. I talked about how supportive my boyfriend was of my business, how incredible he was to me as a friend, described everything I loved about him in a birthday post, and he even wrote a guest blog post. I meant every word I said about him at the time, and I’m sure he meant every word he wrote about me. In all honesty it was a very happy 2+ years of my life and I will always be thankful for the memories we shared and created together. Over the past few months however, I’ve been saying goodbye to that relationship and that has made it very hard to write about anything personal on my blog. But avoiding the truth and leaving out such a big change in my life would not only be doing my blog readers a huge disservice, but it would be lying to myself. Change is never easy. Life is never easy. But no one ever said it was supposed to be, and I’m a true believer that each struggle makes us appreciate the good in our lives a little bit more. I said goodbye to a huge part of my life. And that was damn hard. But with every ending comes a new beginning, ultimately something better, and of course, a few life lessons…
I’m hopeful. Every single day, I meet new couples that are madly in love. I see it in their eyes when they tell me their love story, when they talk to me about how they met, how he proposed, and when they playfully banter about who has the final say in everything. And while I could choose to be envious or jealous of that love and let it make me sad – I choose the opposite. I choose hope. True love does exist, and I’m certain most of my brides and grooms have had their fair share of heartbreak they never thought they could recover from. But without that heartbreak, they wouldn’t have made their way into each other’s loving arms and found their way to me.
I’m strong. Never in a million years would I have predicted this is where I would be in the summer of 2013. If you know me, you know I always have a plan. But then life happens. And you realize you never know what is really going to happen. All you can do is survive. You fight through the pain in your heart, the tears streaming down your face… and then one day, it all goes away and you realize you made it through even stronger. I see that light at the end of the tunnel. I see myself pulling through this heartache and moving onto something bigger and better. I believe that God has something different in mind for me that I couldn’t see or do before. So I guess it’s true what they say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” (Kelly Clarkson will now be stuck in my head, and possibly yours, for the rest of the day. You’re welcome).
I live in one of the best cities in the world. I recently made the move to Chicago. I’ve been wanting to do it for years, but it never really made sense until now. And while I may have lost one love in my life, I’ve gained a new one. Because I am absolutely, head over heels, in love with Chicago. Going to the beach, boating in Lake Michigan, walking everywhere, constantly something new and exciting to do, trying new restaurants, going out to the newest bars, being closer to more of my friends, seeing shows, the energy… everything – and being able to do it all and take a cab or walk home at the end of the night to my own apartment and sleep in my own bed, I couldn’t be happier.
I have incredible friends and family. I could not have better friends or family in my life. Honestly. I am so incredibly lucky in this department. The support, the love, the conversations that turned my tears into laughter… they never stopped. My friends and family never left my side. The calls kept coming in, the plans to do fun things never stopped being made, and most importantly, their backs never turned when they were quite honestly sick of hearing about it. I have never been more thankful for my support system, and I truly am blessed to have every single friend and family member in my life.
I’m my own boss. Now this… this might possibly be the BIGGEST silver lining in the history of silver linings. I just may have to call it a platinum lining. Because without this big change in my life, I would not have made the leap into full time photography for at least another few years. Or so that was the plan. And I’ve never been happier when it comes to my career. Yes it is hard work. Yes there are lonely days. Yes there are Saturdays I wish I could be spending with my friends. But the independence of it all. The creativity I get to use every single day. The variety of my day to day, not to mention the flexibility. The fact that I started it from nothing and turned it into a thriving business makes me pretty darn proud of myself. And I think I deserve to be. But most importantly, the looks on my couple’s faces when they are just thrilled with their photos. Those looks, their words of gratitude, and their excitement when I post even just a teaser from their wedding or engagement session – they truly are so rewarding, fulfilling, and gratifying, and I am lucky I get to be on the receiving end of those looks almost every single day.
Admittedly, this was a tough post to not only write, but especially launch for everyone to read. It’s personal, it’s me, it’s honest. But I just didn’t feel right skipping over this huge part of my life and pretending like it didn’t happen, especially for those who regularly read my posts. My blog has always been, and will always be, an extension of myself… my words, my life, and my experiences – both good and bad. I will never just be the photographer you hired to shoot your wedding. What I will be is someone you know both on a photography level and on a personal level. That is who I am, that is what my blog is about, and that is the type of photographer I want to be for you.