so when i started my journey of creativity and art, i was about 1o years old. i received my first polaroid camera and well, maybe it was my escape from all the rotten surrounding me, or maybe it was just my thing. i went on
owning about every kinda camera brand, mostly film.
i remember thinking i got my first “Big” girl digital camera when i spent more than $300 on it, boy was i wrong, i labeled myself a photographer and boom, i thought i was the best thing around. i remember asking others around me that had some years on me, “how they thought i was doing,” simple reply, “you are doing good, keep doing what you are doing!” Little did i know that i was not, it was not the same results as my film and i knew that, my instant polaroids were better than my shots, looking back i cringe at those shots, but i am also humbled because i had someone who did not just see me as competition, but a kid, trying to learn as much as i could about the industry that drives my escape, my fondness, and the founding in my art. since then, it has been lots and lots of money, think small used car, lots of tears, growing pains, intentionality, but more than all that..my relationship with my heavenly creator has deepened. I have always been a believer, i like to call myself a rebel believer, because i grew up, you could say conservative, but I am not so much, i do not conform, and i do not think a christian looks a certain type of way, or does a certain kind of thing. I believe Christ died for my sins, he rose again, I know i constantly battle with sin..last time i checked, i was very much human., but he calls us to love, to serve, and be light, let him be known, my actions i pray for those to always represent him and not my own desire of greed or selfish wants. so yes, i love Jesus!
sometimes, the photography industry within a city that is not so big can be quite evil, people feel the need to be competitive or just flat out greedy, when it comes to making money. i get it people have to eat, but also people have to find a place to just say “no!” i am thankful, i found that sooner than later, i used to tell every bride that came my way “yes,” i’ll shoot your wedding, then i learned some hard lessons, spent money on an amazing mentor who told me, you will get your butt handed to you, drained beyond compare if you approach it that way. so i started approaching it different, i trusted in God to just work, it is not always easy, especially when your family relies on you to bring in that extra income, but i started turning brides away, that were absolutely lovely, but just not for me. I referred them to another great photographer team in the area, that i felt could meet their needs far better than i. i learned about community above competition, it was humbling, it was pure, and it was what i needed. So now, sometimes photographer will find a weird little message in their inbox, saying..”hey, I’ve seen your work around, I want to get to know you!” This is also putting them on the list of photographers that can be referred. Like I said “community over competition!”
taking that next step, i found a peace within my art. i knew i wanted to start shooting more for me, because before this became a business this was my outlet in getting to know people/couples. i learned that kids were not for me, one time at band camp..jk..i was taking a family session, the little boy who was probably 4 years old, decided it would be cute to kick me in my shin, well his parents thought it was cute too, and well that was the end of kids, the exception, if you can tell your kid “no” and they listen, not just in that moment, but a “no” means “no” kinda deal, hey your kid, is my kinda kid. i get it though, everyone has different kids, different parenting skills…i’ll be happy to refer you to some awesome peeps that want to run and not gross out with drool and then run in the opposite direction, we have some amazing creatives in the area.
Piper & Eleanor
Grown humans, married humans, getting married humans, that is my specialty. i want to hear peoples journeys, their stories, no matter how weird, unique, different, awkward, it is..beautiful in my book, because it is what sets you apart, so although it is frowned upon in the industry of photography and people in the industry in this area cringe at the term free, that is exactly what I wanted to start doing, i was tired of waiting around, i wanted to know and get to know everyone, i wanted to tell their raw stories, some are scared to get in front of my camera, i do not blame you, Piper girl–my camera’s name can be quite intimidating, but I promise the person behind the camera, will be there every step of the way. side note i name everything, my cars name is –Eleanor Pearl–how else do i keep from having babies..don’t answer that.
here is what i tell them, “babe, i got this” i have found new meaning to what i do, found a new corner of empowerment, and no if anyone says, i do this for the money, you are dead wrong..yes, i have to feed my family, but you are buying more than my art skill, you are buying a relationship that says “i want you to have everything and so much more!” i want to tell your story in the most beautiful way i know how, no it may not be posed and no, you may not think that it is more than just a cute story, but i handle it as a precious gem, your story is great, it is you, it is a story to be told.
so yes, i may put out free sessions, i will continue to put out model calls, just say “yes”..i promise it will be fun! we will adventure, but more than anything i am looking for depth in who you are, what makes you, y’all..you.. i get it, it may not be for everyone and that is just great..if anyone knows anything about being private, not so open..it’s this girl. God is working on my heart and if we are telling the truth..my desire is to change, always. it is not to be forever living in fear of someone hurting or getting to close. i know i have a long way to go, i know God has already moved so many mountains in my life. i am a forgiven being. i am imperfect. i am saved by grace. grace upon grace.
side note..get to know your photographer..
Chelsie, you are lovely, you have a heart like no other, you are brave, you are beautiful, and you inspire beyond words. Thank you for wandering the streets and the rocky ocean edges with me, thank you for sharing your story and embracing all of who you are, you are legit girl..you shine bright!