Haha, the title makes me laugh. Why? Well, I have been blogging here for over a year now! And, y'all probably think it's a little late to introduce myself. I mean I have, in previous posts, talked about where I am in this mommy gig, and the journey back to define me aside from being a mom. In fact, that's kind of how this style blog thing began. Take a look at my very first post for Fredericksburg Parent, here, and you will see what I mean. This week, I thought I would share a little bit more about myself.
For instance, did you know that I was a terrible student in high school? Yes, I was a trouble maker, shocking I know. It takes a bit of talent to get into the amount of trouble that I did, and I don't regret any of it.It's like I tell my kids...I learned in my own ways, however distant or troubled those ways might have seemed. The twisted road that I took taught me a lot about life...and it also brought me to the exact place that I was meant to be. Would a different path have led me to where I am now? I don't believe so and here's why...
(me in highschool...go ahead and laugh)
There were a few events that brought me out of my tornado of destruction. The first was photography. In my junior and senior year in high school, I found a voice through a camera lens. It helped focus my energy and I believe it saved my life. I had an amazing photo teacher that helped to fuel my interest in the art. He gave me the responsibility to tend to the school's darkroom, so long as my grades stayed up. And they did - this C & D student was doing a heck of a lot better. Even then, the hole that I had dug for myself was hard to escape. No one really thought that I would amount to much.
But y'all I did! In my own time. After high school graduation, I moved out of my parents' home and I lived on my own or with friends for many years. I supported myself...gained responsibility, but I still lacked direction. After a year of floundering, I enrolled in the local community college. It offered me the opportunity to earn academic achievements and to prove that I COULD do it. I enrolled in every single art, history, photography and writing courses that they offered. Taking only a few classes a semester was slow going, but after four-ish years of straight A's and a spot in the honor society... I decided to take my chances and apply to a four year college.
(some of my portfolio work from my RIT years)
To my surprise...possibly to a lot of peoples' surprise...I was accepted into Rochester Institute of Technology's photography program. Y'all that was big...it is the best photo school on the East coast, and they wanted me. And, while I could have done without the horrifyingly cold winters...the snow up there is no joke... I still worked hard, rarely missed a class. While there, I met some of the best people in my life, I had the honor of learning from some of the best minds in photography, I met my husband, and I found myself. I wasn't the girl who almost flunked out of high school, I wasn't the girl who was nearly expelled...
I was the girl who kept all of that with her, used it to fuel her, earning her degree in Advertising Photography...and graduating from RIT, Summa Cum Laude...highest honors. I still have the yellow ropes that I wore at graduation. With all of that, and a decent portfolio, everyone thought that I'd move to New York City and work in the advertising photography world. But, I knew that was not what I was intended to do. I chose Virginia instead...that's where my husband was. For 5 years, I worked and learned from an amazing photographer, Scott K. Brown, down in Richmond. After my son was born, my life changed again and I was a stay at home mom. And, yes, again I became lost in that definition of me.
(my second baby)
Slowly I came back to my love for photography. Currently, I am a family photographer and I adore it. In college, I swore I would never do portraiture, I only wanted to shoot products and still lifes for ads. Eventually I realized that love for product photography hadn't left me...and now look. LOL. Here I am shooting images of shoes and bags and jewelry for my blog and column, just like I did in college. Funny how that twisted road came about, funny and amazing.
I'd like to encourage all of you to hold on to your passions. Find a way to incorporate them into your current life. We have this one life...let's fill our time here with the best versions of ourselves. This life has changes, it has twisted paths and probably a bit of turbulence too. Don't get lost. There is a light in all of us that this world needs; mine dimmed for awhile, but the flame is rekindled and it's on the way to bonfire status. Be bright...you never know when your light might be the one to start an other's fire.