I don’t know about you, but I LOVE to watch “behind the scenes” shows.  To see how a tootsie pop becomes a tootsie pop can fascinate me.  I know, kind shows of my nerdy side huh?  Regardless, I thought that it would be fun to write a behind the scenes blog series about how a photographer becomes a photographer.  Because honestly I get asked that question often, of how did you decide to get into photography?  So, I thought it would be fun to explore a little of my story.  Here goes nothing.

There I was a high schooler walking the halls going from class to class with the looming question of my future constantly hanging in the air.  Now to give you a real picture of what high school was like for me…I was the kid that LOADED up their schedule with all kinds of classes.  Like I didn’t even know what a study hall felt like until my senior year.  I also came from a hard working Midwest family where spare time wasn’t something we liked, so my time outside of extra curriculars and studying was spent working various part time jobs.  Because of my lack of time, I decided I could decide this future thing the way that most high schoolers do…I stared at my report card as though it was a crystal ball and therefore would tell me what I should do with the rest of my life.  The crystal ball revealed that I seemed to enjoy and be good at math and science.  There’s that nerdy side again.  Regardless, I decided to continue to load up that schedule with all kinds of math and science classes and continued to really enjoy them.  Now as for that career, even with all this math and science, I still couldn’t narrow anything down.  My mind would wander from being a chef to being a marine biologist, to being a medical doctor or even a surgeon.  Seriously, all over the map.  But never did an artist occur to me, I’m not even sure I knew where the art room was in my high school, you know what I mean?  Because I had done art in grade school, and when they told me to draw a flower, can I just say, it looked a lot more like a dinosaur than anything floral like?  So obviously art wasn’t my gig.

It wasn’t until the summer between my junior and senior year when I had to schedule those much anticipated senior pictures that things started to change.  Some friends and I got together and decided to do a session together.  Therefore, we got to hang out with our photographers all day long and travel from place to place picking out outfits and taking pictures.  We even got to have lunch together.  One of my photographers name was Jen.  I just loved this girl.  I loved the way she made me feel both behind and in front of that camera.  And as I watched her all day long, I thought, this job looks like a blast!  At the time, she was a college student studying fine art, using her summer to help out this local photographer.  The photographer’s studio was nestled into their home.  I thought how cool it must be to work from your very own home.  Later that summer, I remember sitting in their home for my ordering session and just loving every aspect of this.  Before I knew I was asking questions like, how do you become a photographer?  Do you have to go to school?  What kind of camera would you buy?

That fall, I walked into the halls of my high school with a catalog to photography school under my arm and my very first camera on the way.  My first stop, the guidance counselor’s office.  We had to talk and somehow transform this schedule loaded with math and science into prepping me for photography school.  And it was time I figured out where this art room was.  Having a serious case of senioritis, it was a tough year.  I made it through by taking a photography art class, participating on the yearbook staff, and of course experiencing my very first study hall.  When I walked that long walk across the stage to receive my diploma, I was so sure I had made the right decision.  Even though my crystal ball report card was confused, my heart was full of so much anticipation and excitement as to what the next few years of my life would hold.

(To be continued…)

Until then…I had so much fun reminiscing as I wrote this, that I just had to dig out those senior photos to see them once more.  And even though these babies are gonna seriously date me, I just thought I would share them with you!


Creatyd Blog - Northwest Iowa Photographer