I'm getting an opportunity to speak to a photography class at John Carroll University tomorrow. (insert sound effect: oooooOOOOoooo) The professor is a former teacher of mine, Lisa Burroughs. I met Lisa at my tenure at Kent State. I was two or three years into my degree (photojournalism) at that point. But, honestly, she was my first teacher who really made me think that I could take a good picture. She saw something special in me that I don't even know if I saw at the time. She is still on of my very favorite people and best friends to this day, but a huge inspiration as well. I would not be here today if it weren't for her support.
For the third time now, she's invited me to speak to her class about what I do as a photographer. How I got here. What I still do to move forward. She gives me a chance to show my work. My professional work, and my beloved and precious silly stuff too. (Let's just say, I am a well rounded photographer.) I put a piece of myself into each and every photo I take. And it's because she told me it was okay to do that.
I was in college, being pulled this way and that. I was taking really crappy pictures of sports (i don't know anything about sports) and feature shots and really bad black and white pictures of sidewalks (simply because I didn't have a car. I walked a lot). But she saw something in me, and she pushed it.
And here I am. I love what I do. I really, REALLY love what I do.
I love taking pictures. I love meeting new people, making them relax and feel beautiful. I get to go new places, and do different things everytday. I get to follow light, and try out new lenses, and just see where it all takes me. I mean, I never thought I would be a wedding photographer. But now, it's something totally different in my eyes. I get to share the most incredibly special day with people. I get to tell their story. I get to make them into pieces of art that will hang on their walls for years to come. They will look back at my pictures.. and smile.