my photography journey- from farm animals to full time weddings

Education, Personal

August 13, 2020

How The Heart University propelled my dream business.

If you’re wondering if success comes overnight, or what the journey into becoming a photographer looks like, I’m sure it’s a little different for everyone… in a recent podcast interview with Lindsey + Evie from the Heart University, we took a stroll down memory lane to what photography looked like for me at the very beginning (spoiler alert- there were a lot of farm animals involved).

Thinking back and searching back to old instagram feeds + first engagement sessions, I became so encouraged to share with you the journey I’ve been on so far! Curious how I went from taking pics of the animals in my backyard to destination weddings?! READ ON, FRIEND!

How it all began…

MARCH 2017

I was nearly done with grad school + decided it was finally time to put my dreams into action. For years I had dreams of pursuing film but it had always been placed on the back burner as I pursued a degree in medicine. Nearing graduation, with a little breathing room from the books I had been buried under, I decided to buy my first DSLR. After endless research + realization of my budget as a college student, I took to eBay. I chose a used Canon 60D and got after it.

Next best investment was the $20 Intro to DSLR class listed that I found listed in the community education calendar. Wednesday evenings I would rush eagerly into the local elementary school where I was the youngest student amongst others mostly in their late 60’s-70’s learning the manual settings of their DSLR. I made friends with the second to youngest student (heyyyyy Jess!!) and practiced my heart out!

APRIL-MAY 2017

Still figuring it out, I made myself a photography IG page and filled it with the photos that I was taking of the farm animals on my family’s property. Believe it or not, I dreamed of being a storyteller through my images… I wasn’t quite there yet. I am so thankful to friends who believed in my vision and allowed me to practice my skills on them + their new babies.

my feed circa- May 2017

JUNE 2017

The friend who told me a year prior that I would make a great photographer encouraged me to take her engagement photos and… just like that …I was HOOKED!!!

I finally found what I loved and proceeded to seek out every single engaged friend I had to practice on! But as much as I tried I was missing some emotion, I was missing the FEELING that I had wanted to freeze in time. The one person I looked up to most on IG was Lindsey Roman. I used to look at her sessions + blogs and dream of capturing those emotions one day. So, I did what any fan girl would do, I DM’d her “TEACH ME YOUR WAYSSSS” essentially- asked about a mentor session, and she said no. In the nicest way possible, I just re-read it! (I know it’s hard to imagine the legend of photog education herself saying no, but mentor sessions weren’t something she offered yet). Don’t worry, I was persistent, kept fan-girling until I noticed she was coming just close enough on her travel schedule, then tried again! And this time folks, SHE SAID YES!

OCTOBER 2017

NYC HERE WE COME!!! This day will be forever one of my favorites. At this point I was working full time in medicine, with big dreams of taking my photography to the next level. On a friday afternoon, we loaded up the car and made the treck almost 8 hours to NYC! I had looked up to this little lady for too long before this day! I came to her eager and ready to move the needle in the images I was creating and it was the best decision I ever made that would lead me to the Heart University.

Lindsey + I at the very beginning

Up until this point, I wasn’t confident at all in my abilities. I didn’t even call myself a photographer because I didn’t feel “good enough” to even give myself that title. Boy did that change fast. All it took was a little 5′ spitfire to drop the truth + encourage the heck out of me and give me permission to stop shooting farm animals- oh and get rid of my crop sensor camera! On my way home in the car, I upgraded to a full frame camera, the canon 6D, and WHAT A DIFFERENCE! Keep scrolling to watch the fire difference this girl made in my work + my heart!

Check out some of the shots I got during my mentor session…

MY FIRST WEDDING

NOVEMBER 2017

WHAT A DAY. Terrified was putting it mildly walking into the day preparing to shoot my first solo wedding. Just this past week I reunited with this sweet family + reminisced on this day and how much I appreciated their confidence in me to capture the memories of their day – full well knowing I was a newb with big dreams. I will never, ever, ever, forget this day or this couple. I went on to photograph two of their family’s engagement sessions + weddings. This was the day that lit a new fire in me to capture love stories and taught me that I really can do anything that I set my dreams on. Forever thankful to this family for inviting me into this day.

WORKIN’ ON MY CRAFT…LEADING UP TO THE HEART.

December 2017
February 2018

APRIL 2018, THE HEART WORKSHOP

Lindsey, Leanna, Evie @ The Heart Workshop in Malibu

The week that changed it all, learning at the Heart propelled my passion and confidence to continue to reach after my dreams at WARP SPEED. You’ve seen my images up to this point, let’s watch the progress unfold shall we?

Captures immediately after lectures with The Heart, learning from Evie + Lindsey
First session after the Heart on my own, later that week
Second shot a wedding with Evie – (P.S. Jess + Brayden forever moved by your day!)
Kept adventuring around home with these cuties!
June 2018
Remember that couple from my first ever engagement session? Here they are during their engagement session 2.0- new and improved!

Let’s check in on the gram feed…

Finding my style and running with it!

FEBRUARY 2019

In October 2018 I second shot the most epic wedding of my career alongside Lindsey Roman. We went to Vermont for a 400+ guest event on the couple’s family property. Lindsey kept telling me how much it meant that I had invested in her and how she wanted to invest back in me. Together we created the most beautiful gallery of images and by February 2019 were featured in MARTHA STEWART WEDDINGS. Can ya stand it?!

At this point in time, I had photographed nearly a dozen weddings and announced that I was fully booked for 2019. I would close my twenty twenty bookings shortly after that. Here I am writing this, completely booked for 2021. Looking back is bitter sweet as I enjoyed every step of the journey sooo dang much! HUGE cred to the confidence and skills that I gained from my incredible mentors and for all of the couples along the way who have trusted their memories with me! I can’t wait for all the magic + memories to come!

Ready for more? Click here to listen to my featured episode of the Heart + Hustle Podcast with my favorite mentors of all time. What’d you think of this walk down memory lane?

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