The truth is, I got my start in the art almost by accident. It started back in college. I majored in journalism and wrote for my college's student newspaper. I served many roles, including editor of the front and opinion pages, columnist, and co-editor-in-chief. At the time, photography was the farthest thing from my mind. I took my reporting and writing seriously, and was laser-focused on honing those skills.
During my freshman and sophomore years, our newspaper staff was lucky to have two amazing photographers. They were rockstars at what they did and made sure the paper had great visuals. As college kids so often do, one of them graduated, taking our photography staff from two down to one. The remaining photographer (who I'll call Kristen) was involved in all kinds of campus activities. In addition to serving on the student paper, she was in a sorority, numerous clubs, acted as a campus tour guide, and participated a plethora of other really cool things.
When you're in college, over-scheduling yourself is easy to do, and that's exactly what happened to Kristen. On the verge of an exhaustive breakdown, she realized something had to go, and that something was her involvement with the newspaper. Overnight, our paper went from having one incredibly talented photographer to having none. Frantic, our adviser ran into the news room, scanned the area, zoned in on me, and said, "You! Go take pictures!"
I had no idea what I was doing, but I accepted the challenge. My first assignment was to take photographs of a student play. Somehow, they turned out well, and I continued my role as the paper's make-shift photographer. I won a few awards for my work -- which I chalk up completely to beginner's luck -- and in 2009, purchased my first DSLR, a canon Rebel. I worked on my skills, got a few additional lenses, and upgraded my equipment. But it was all for fun. In my mind, photography was just a hobby -- or so I thought.
That changed in 2013 when friend of a friend contacted me. She needed a second shooter for fashion line she was launching, and asked if I'd be interested. I thought she was crazy! I didn't consider myself a professional by any stretch of the imagination, but took a chance. I figured I didn't have anything to lose. The shoot went incredibly well and the next thing I knew, I had a website, business cards, and clients. The rest, as they say, is history!