I picked up my first camera over ten years ago in high school (whaaaaat?!) and that moment completely changed my life. I was a moody teenager who had trouble dealing with feelings and when I started taking a photography class, my outlook on life completely changed. I finally felt like I knew how to express myself – hooray! I loved learning the technical things about how a camera worked and how you can manipulate light. I guess I was drawn to the “control” aspect of photography because my life was out of control at that point. AH! When it came time to decide where I wanted to apply to college, I ONLY applied to art schools in New York City… SVA, Pratt, and Parsons. I wanted to get away from the craziness in Pennsylvania because I felt like I needed a fresh start. I completed one year at Parsons the New School for Design before I realized it wasn’t the school for me. I felt completely lost and panicked about how much money I wasted by going there, but looking back now I think it was a necessary period of growth. I loved living in Chlesea… my dorm was a few blocks from my older brother and there was a Pinkberry across the street. If you don’t know what that is, then you haven’t truly lived! Just kidding, but not really :)
I transferred to Temple University and switched majors about five times until I finally graduated with a degree in Psychology! I LOVED all my psych classes and I really thought I wanted to be a therapist because I was drawn to people’s life stories. It turned out that psychology wasn’t the path I wanted to pursue so I started freaking out YET AGAIN! (Are you seeing a pattern yet?!)
When I was senior at Temple, a friend of mine got engaged and asked me to shoot her engagement pictures and I said “yes!”. I put photography on the back burner while I was study psychology and it felt good to pick it up again! During this time I was waitressing at the Philadelphia Cricket Club and the staff was so supportive of my little photography “hobby”. I photographed some of their small events and I thought I was SO COOL! At this point a lightbulb went off in my brain. What if I worked my booty off and promoted my work on Facebook? What if I continued to get paid for my little “hobby?” What if I could actually turn this hobby into a career that I loved? I was so motivated to make this work — every time I went to my waitressing job I HATED saying “oh yeah I wait tables to pay my rent ….but I’m also a photographer.” UGH. It was so annoying!! Once I created a business Facebook page, a few gals I went to high school with reached out to me asking if I could shoot their wedding! WHAT?! I was ecstatic!!! I immediately learned that word of mouth was the best way to advertise — and it’s FREE!
I actually worked at a car dealership for a few years as I built my business at night and on the weekends. Guys, the hustle was and still is REAL! I remember driving an hour to my 9-5 job, then driving an hour back home, then editing wedding photos at night, going to clients meetings…. AND trying to see Josh whenever I could. It was the most tiring two years of my life. But ya know what? I was WORTH IT! Why? Because now I feel like I am living a life that I love. I listened to the universe telling me to “go for it”. I went completely outside of my comfort zone when I quit my 9-5 job and it was best and most scariest decision of my life. Photographing couples and families brings me so much joy that I could never describe! Serving people and making them feel beautiful and loved is my true purpose.
I still have highs and lows as a business owner, but even my lowest lows are worth it. It is important to me to share more of my heart on this blog because I think I am more that just a wedding vendor — I have story that needs to shared! I go through freak outs and excitement just like my clients. I am in the middle of planning my own wedding and I feel even more connected to my brides because I know EXACTLY what they are going through!
So, there ya have it folks! xoxo
Photo by: Knechel Photography
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