It has taken me a long time to recognize myself as a photographer. For some reason, I initially thought that to be a “photographer” you had to take clients and the only pictures that mattered were the ones you took of strangers’ weddings. Now, I love taking others’ pictures and helping them celebrate their individual families!!! I have literally cried on my way home from sessions from the pure joy of it! But to start my personal photography journey there felt like putting the cart before the horse to me. Some people jump into business and are fine, but before I could be trusted (or trust myself) to tell anyone else’s story, I wanted and needed to tell my story and my family’s story; to find the beauty in my days. That story is at the very heart of me, and lifestyle family work of my own people allows me to marry my mother brain with my artist brain. In fact, the work that I do with my own kiddos is 100% what enables me to see and capture the beautiful moments in others’ lives! To feel like a mother and shoot like a photographer is my definition of the perfect artist.
But I always felt like going personal was faking it. Until, at least, I found a community of amazingly talented and gifted women who believed in photography and in telling their own stories, too.
My influences are too many to list in one place, but a few special ones stand out. Soon after I became really interested in photography, I found a photographer whose work and words immediately and powerfully captured my eye and my heart. It was as if watching her do her craft gave me permission to express everything that was important to me in mine; permission to focus on the things in life that I found truly inspiring and beautiful; permission to make it personal and to see life as art. An inspiring mother, Christian, and artist, Ginger Unzueta is a lifestyle photographer whose bright, joyful approach to capturing her children immediately stands out in the world of lifestyle photography. The emotion in her images is palpable, and her use of color and light is stunning. I’ve been following Ginger for several years, and when the opportunity came up for me to finally take her online workshop, Everyday Beauty through the Bloom Forum, I jumped at it.
My brain will likely be digging into the principles and techniques she shared for months to come as I incorporate them into my own work, but perhaps the greatest gift of the class was once again that permission to just be—affirmation that my story (and yours. and yours.) is wonderful and important and worth telling. That even the mundane can hold beautiful moments of joy and art. That “there is beauty to be found every day.”
Here are some of my favorite images that came out of different exercises in the class.
As a continuation of my EB workshop experience, I have joined some collaborative projects and arranged several new personal projects that I am excited to jump in to. I can honestly say that my personal work is the greatest strength to my client work, and look forward to sharing more of both here with you!