The heart behind the work

A few months ago my boyfriend and I went to see The Post in theaters. I left the theater feeling so inspired and energized that I immediately went to my computer to type out the thoughts that were overflowing from by mind. It’s not simply that it was a great film. For me it struck a much more personal chord. It got me thinking about my “why” for the work I do. What it was originally and what it has now evolved into.

My career as a photographer began when I decided to be a newspaper photojournalist in high school. Thinking back now, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what drew me to that career choice. I was shy and didn’t like talking to people I wasn’t already familiar with. Yet I knew, beyond any doubt, that this was the career I wanted to be in.

Watching movies about great achievements by printed newspapers still makes me feel that same energy and ambition that I felt deciding on my future years ago. There is something about the idea of being part of something so much bigger than yourself. Something about being able to change the way history is written, by speaking the truth when others are afraid to, that is so powerful to me.

My career changed course after college. I applied to many newspapers for internships. However, being that it was 2009, all of the paid positions had been taken by photographers who had been laid off at other papers. Since I couldn’t move somewhere new for an unpaid internship, I started coming up with backup options. Though I never thought I would end up running my own business, it quickly became the most appealing option for me. Had I known I would have to figure out cost of goods sold, taxes, and marketing while also advancing my artistic skills, I probably would have minored in something more useful than Spanish Language. Yet now I feel more passionately about this than working to tell the news of the day.

After watching The Post, I started thinking about my why for what I do. The same elements that get me excited about the power of journalism also excite me about telling the stories of a wedding day or of a family’s life together. It is because people trust me to tell the story of their truth, to capture it in the way that will be a treasured memory but also a piece of their history. I am serving something greater than myself because I am serving the important moments in the lives of my clients. These events, though small on an international scale, are an important, life changing, moment for them.

I am able to see the intricacies that make up the personality of a child and the little glances and touches that are so meaningful in a romantic relationship. These are the things that stand out when future generations sit down to look through family albums. The fact that dad still makes the same thinking face he did when he was 5 or seeing how your grandma still kisses the same spot on your grandpa’s head 50 years later; these are the seemingly insignificant details that make up our history and makes us who we are.   

I feel so honored that I get the opportunity to make a career around documenting these important stories for my clients.