Then and Now: My Journey as a Photographer

I first started loving photography in high school more than 10 years ago. I remember the first camera I ever got was a little point and shoot. I would take it out and have “photo shoots” with my best friends all the time. I was also obsessed with America’s Next Top Model and thought I was amazing at modeling. Good grief. How little did I know.

When I finally had the funds to purchase my first DSLR, it was the best day ever. I again called up my best friend and asked her to come model for me. I knew nothing about lighting, posing, directing. I shot on auto mode for a good 2-3 years before I was ready to jump into learning manual mode and being able to control how my camera took in light. I didn’t ever really “edit” my images at all. I shot in JPEG for a long time, which meant that I wasn’t really able to edit my images at all. Shooting in JPEG greatly decreases the amount of control you have over your images in camera, let alone the amount of control you have in post processing.

One summer, after I had done so many free shoots for friends and family, I decided that I was finally going to learn manual mode. The exposure triangle (the three things you control in your camera shooting settings that allow you to control how the light enters your camera) was incredibly confusing to me. I watched so many Youtube videos and read a ton of articles on it. It wasn’t until I just went out and experimented time and time again that I finally started to understand how everything interacted with each other. My images started getting a little bit better after that. I also decided to start shooting in RAW mode instead of JPEG, which allowed me to finally start actually having control over my editing process, which was still pretty bad at this point in time.

Over the next several years, I started attending workshops, taking online classes, watching Youtube videos, and shooting with other photographers. I learned so much. I learned more about posing, directing, and giving prompts. I learned how to control what light entered my camera to get the look I had in my mind. I completely changed the way that I edited images in post processing. After starting in 2011, and it now being 2019, I am still learning. I love continuing to learn and better myself. I love challenging myself and getting out of my comfort zone to try new things. I don’t think you can truly become a master of your craft if you don’t continue your education. There is always something new to learn, and there will always be someone that I can learn from, no matter how good my images get. As I am ever evolving my images and processes, remember that about me, that I am always trying to learn and better myself.

Scroll through the images below to see my progression throughout the years!

One of my first shoots in like 2011 or something like that. Look at that awful sepia.

One of my first shoots in like 2011 or something like that. Look at that awful sepia.

Moving on to about 2014. I had just started to learn manual mode. They’re a little better than those first images above.

Moving on to about 2014. I had just started to learn manual mode. They’re a little better than those first images above.

One of the first weddings I ever shot in about 2014 or 2015.

One of the first weddings I ever shot in about 2014 or 2015.

Family pictures 2018. Looking so much better.

Family pictures 2018. Looking so much better.

Model shoot spring 2018. I’ve got so much more control over the light and am doing a ton better at directing and not such forced posing here.

Model shoot spring 2018. I’ve got so much more control over the light and am doing a ton better at directing and not such forced posing here.

Most recent bridal shoot January 2019. I’m starting to push myself more and am changing my editing style up to more match the visions I have in my head.

Most recent bridal shoot January 2019. I’m starting to push myself more and am changing my editing style up to more match the visions I have in my head.