Why I Became a Wedding Photographer : Part 2
When it Clicked for Me
In 2009 I took a vacation with my parents and sister to Florida. We spent a week at Disney World (best week ever). My dad had always been into photography. He had put the camera down while raising 4 kids, but now that his youngest (me) was in college, he had time to enjoy his hobby again. He brought his camera with him everywhere we went that trip. (PS he’s also an amazing landscape photographer, you can check out some of his work here.)
My dad and I in Florida.
We were spending the day at the Animal Kingdom when my life changed forever. It might sound overly dramatic, but this moment for me was monumental. We were watching some monkey’s swinging around in their exhibit, with my dad snapping away. I asked him if I could try taking a few photos on his camera. I’d always liked photography, I took a photography course in high school that I’d loved, and I always had my point and shoot on me, but I’d never used a “big camera” before. Pretty sure that’s the technical name for them.
I remember very clearly bringing my eye to the viewfinder, lining up my shot, waiting for just the right moment, and squeezing the shutter.
This is a different, unrelated monkey.
I pulled the camera down to check out my work. It was good! I took a good photo! I showed my dad, and saw the look of approval on his face. He thought it was a good photo too!
That’s when it all clicked for me.
Get it?! ahhh sorry, I just had to!
But seriously, that was the moment that I decided I would pursue photography. And while I had never considered being a photographer before, after that moment, it made perfect sense. I’d always enjoyed taking photos. I’d always believed in the importance of taking photos to preserve memories that would otherwise fade. I was almost surprised at myself that I hadn’t thought of it sooner. It was like it was right in front of my face the whole time, but I’d never seen it until now.
When I got home I called my school and switched my major to photography. I was excited to start learning more about taking photos riiiiiiiight up until the moment that I met with the counselor and she showed me the required classes for a photography major. In 4 years of schooling I would take six, just six, photography classes. I read though that list almost in disbelief. Sculpture, drawing, painting, graphic design, what?? There were more general art classes listed than photography classes. My heart sank, but I registered for classes anyway.
I made it through one semester of a drawing class (that I actually enjoyed) and a sculpture class (which I totally bombed, because guess what, I’m not a sculptor) and not one single photography class before I said screw this. I think those were my exact words. I didn’t so much care about having a degree in photography as I did just wanting to learn about photography. I figured there had to be a better way (and omg there are a million better ways).
So I dropped out of college for the second time. How’s that for life accomplishments?!