When I started dreaming up creating my own boutique natural inspired wedding photography business years ago, I did it for the pure joy of creating art that would mean something to the people I made it for.
I never imagined I'd become a top 20 Orlando Wedding photographer 2 whirlwind years later. But over the weekend, some pretty surprising news was shared with me by two sweet gals from our Orlando wedding community- Lindsey of Adore Amore, and Laura of Laura Reynolds Makeup Artistry. Expertise.com nominated me in their Top 20 Orlando Wedding Photographers list.
Considering this is something that happened out of the blue (I didn't even apply for it), I was rather amazed to get such wonderful accolades from a company that does their research and has put together this great resource for brides & grooms looking to book the top professionals in their city. In Orlando alone they looked through 295 wedding photographers, and I'm honored to be on a list composed of so many talented, hardworking Central Florida photographers. Many of the folks on the list have been creating amazing work for Orlando couples for 15+ years, and I'm grateful to be one of the fresh new faces they featured. Their top 20 list includes two folks whose wedding imagery I swoon over- organic styled photographer & planner Andi Mans, and Éctor Javier of Thirty Three and a Third. Check out their post for yourself:
And how did I get here?
I've spent most of my life pouring myself into art that I would either discard or squirrel away in my closet. I have a closet full of drawings, stacks of journals, and a small bookshelf filled with books I hand-bound in coptic & traditional style. I always wanted to create things of meaning I could share with others, and never felt like I could express myself.
I was an anxious artist.
It took a lot of bravery, encouragement, and teaching tools (more info coming soon!) for me to finally quit the full time high-volume photography job that wasn't fulfilling me as an artist, and invest 100% of my energy and focus, and a great deal of personal funds into starting this business. In fact, it still takes bravery pretty much every day. It's so easy to doubt myself as an artist, and to not get overwhelmed by all the ways I know I can improve and grow my craft, and to trust what I like to think of as the constant process of becoming.
Yet 2.5 years later, I can say that it has been such a beautiful process to be able to work hand in hand with my clients, and really focus on giving them a one of a kind wedding collection. Being able to blend my fine art studies in painting, design, art history and bookmaking with the technical skills & photography craftswomanship I've been honing since I was a teen. I've been pouring so many countless hours and 100+ hour workweeks into sprouting this business- and I'm glad to see it growing slowly, sustainably and into a beautiful direction that I hope brings joy and beauty into many lives.
Getting congratulation texts & messages from my friends, past wedding clients and extended family members I've seen this week has brought me a lot of joy. It's also given me some great perspective on honoring how far I've come on the path from being an anxious artist to becoming an empowered creative entrepreneur, and achieving the goals I've put down on paper in my business plan and personal journaling. I want to start sharing my process more through my blog posts, and helping other artists grow their craft + their confidence. I also want to share how very grateful I am for the amazing support network and incredibly cool couples, families and individuals that this work has brought into my life. There is nothing like the sweet bond of trust that forms when you're there capturing amazing, intimate moments with a bride and groom, and I want to put a huge thank you out into the universe for each one of you folks who has put this trust in me on your best day ever.
Thanks for reading, and I hope this can be an inspiration for those of you out there who have some secret dream buried in your heart. Let it out into the light, and write down some actionable steps to what needs to happen to make it into a reality. The first step is putting the intention of it out into the world.
In light + love,