I know that I can do better. I know that I have a long way to grow both as a photographer and as a person. Throughout the years I have come so far. I have grown so much through reading (and more reading) on photography- photography books from the library and blog posts of my favorite photographers (J*, JP Elario, Simply Bloom Photography, and many others).
I’ve also learned so much through friends I have made. First and foremost, Julie Story is amazing. I don’t have any idea how I did, but somehow I stumbled across her Facebook page. I shot her a friend request and not only did she respond with a quick yes, she invited me to join a group called Pursuit 31, (created by the super talented Karen Scott), which I believe began as a Facebook group, “a place for ladies to talk about photography, life, and Jesus.” Since then, I believe there has been a conference, many get-togethers, and lots of encouragement. Truth is, I’m one of the younger ones in the group. And while I don’t necessarily take part in a lot of the conversations, I have learned so much through them.
Not only did Julie add me to this group, she began a Facebook message conversation that has continued to this day. She helped me decide a name for my business (which I will explain another time), has encouraged me and sent me an extremely generous gift that I hope to share soon.
Another great friend I have is Jaime Pollock of Rare Love Photography. Interestingly, I didn’t meet her through photography. She was my boss at Cold Stone Creamery all through high school and into college. A few summers ago when she was starting to think about going into business with photography, she invited me on a photoshoot with her- and I had such a great time. I learned so much from shadowing someone else. She has also encouraged me so much throughout the years to pursue photography.
I couldn’t end this post without mentioning Lizzy Gregg of Sewickley Photography. We met through her dad actually- I’m currently a student at Grove City College, where her dad is a part-time professor that I had for my Intro to Marketing course during my first semester at college. Throughout the past year and a half that I have had the pleasure of knowing her and following her blog, we have been able to get together for coffee and exchange many emails and phone calls. She has been such a fantastic encouragement to me as I grow as a photographer.
All that being said, I know I have so much more growing to do. I thank each and every one of these individuals for encouraging me, teaching me, and leading me– whether they knew they did or not! I am so grateful for the impact they have had on me.