It’s challenging to put into words the ‘why’ behind wanting to be a photographer. My initial response is ‘because’. And then the natural response to that is ‘because, why?’. A conversation that I will likely have with my son over and over again once he begins to question the world around him. While ‘because’ seems lackadaisical, it’s loaded with everything that I’m feeling.
Why did you want to be a photographer? Because I wanted to share a skill that I enjoyed performing. Because I believe people come into your life for a reason and now I have a new means to connect with more people. Because I’ve experienced how much value a single photo can carry.
Living My Why
In the very early stages of my photography business, I would think back to a specific photo of my mom and I. We were attending a family friend’s wedding in August of 2014 where a newer photographer, someone we knew, told us to lean in and smile. My initial reaction was internal negative self-talk but thankfully I had the urge to smile and enjoy the moment. Later, the wedding photos were posted on Facebook and I emailed the photographer for a copy of the picture of my mom and I.
That photo was so much more than a picture of guests at a wedding, to me at least. That photo was the last picture of my mom and I together. She lost her battle with cancer in October 2014 and all of the sudden all photos of her became invaluable to me. But that photo of us at the wedding was special because it was recent, we were having a good time, we both were looking and feeling good (or as good as can be expected).
The strongest indirect reason why I wanted to offer photography services is for instances like that. It’s hard to eloquently say that’s why and some may find that reason unsettling but it’s my truth. I am so thankful for the photographer who took our picture and if I can do the same for someone else, then all the better.
When Why Becomes Reality
This came full circle earlier this year when a client shared the news of losing a loved one. I had the privilege of photographing special moments for their family and they shared that those photos were the most recent formal photos they had. It’s heartbreaking and photos can never fill the void of losing someone but they’re wonderful to have as a keepsake.
I still love the above picture of my mom and I. It was the first photo I posted to Instagram. I knew not many would see it and that’s okay. It is there to serve as a reminder as to why I am doing this.
If you are considering hiring a photographer for an event or for portraits, I encourage you to do so. Let someone else take the photos while you enjoy the moments with those you love. You never know which photo will mean so much!