I received my first DSLR camera as a Christmas present in 2009. I immediately became obsessed with taking pictures of my twins, pretty much on a daily basis, and posting many of them to Facebook. I credit my children for being cute and allowing me to do this ;) I credit my college friend Gigi, for recommending me to photograph an event that the company she worked for was putting on in Cincinnati. For that reason, I had to become an official business (getting my tax ID number, registering with the state of Ohio, setting up a business checking account, etc, etc). I had to do all those things if I wanted to get paid! :) I credit my husband for allowing me the time to take many pictures for free for friends/family/neighbors, not knowing how serious I may actually be about making this a career. I credit my friends (and also neighbors) for gifting me with their Photoshop CS3 (and I still use this version) that they never used. And last, but not least, I credit my friend Shelly, for being my VERY FIRSTpaying customer. I will always refer to her as "Customer Zero".
"Would anyone like to take pictures of my 6 month old?" she posted one day on Facebook. "Hmmm, maybe this could be my first gig. Would anyone pay me? I don't really have any experience. I've never even taken a photography class," I thought. I only had the Nikon D5000 and my kit lens at the time. "How do you feel about a possible, aspiring photographer coming over to take them for $20?" I was worried my price was too high. "Sure!" she said, only going off of the pictures I had posted on FB of my kids, and taking a huge leap of faith on me. We made a date, and I headed over to her house (probably with an obscene amount of props) and hoping she wouldn't notice that I had no idea what I was doing. Here's one of the shots that was taken on that day of her then 6 month old little girl, Taylor.
Since that shot, I went on to photograph many milestones in this family's life. I had no idea at the time what being a Photographer really meant. I thought it was going to be playing with my camera and having fun editing in Photoshop. I had no idea it meant becoming a real intimate part of peoples' lives, which is the most amazing and rewarding part about my job!
Shelly then asked me to take family pics a few months after I did Taylor's 6 month pics. This was in the Fall of 2010...
So 2 and 1/2 years and 199 photo shoots later, here I am. I once had a friend tell me, "You know, Shauna, life just seems to happen to you." I don't know if she meant it as a compliment or not, but she was sort of right. A lot of the things in my life have just sort of happened. Maybe it's because I lack direction. Maybe it's because I'm open-minded. Maybe it's because I don't have a lot of motivation (probably this one). It seems like every time I specifically set a goal for myself, my life will turn in a different direction, but many times (and I'm thinking really every time) the path I did not choose for myself ends up being the better one. You know what they say, "Life happens while people are making plans." I've learned SO much over the last 2 and 1/2 short years, about life, about myself, about my family, about what's important, what really makes me happy, and on and on. I had no idea that on that day in the Fall of 2010 when I decided to accept my first, official photography job, that it would change my life SO much. Since that day, I've been celebrating birthdays, christenings, baptisms, families, weddings, engagements, new babies, watching children grow up, and making many lifelong friends. I am very blessed :)