Revisiting the Past: Part One

How I Began Identifying as a Photographer

When I got my first DSLR I was NOT anticipating becoming a professional photographer by any means. Honestly, I just needed a hobby and I wanted to take photos that people on Instagram and Facebook would appreciate. What started as a hobby turned into SO much more.

Model: Emma

Model: Emma

Fast-forwarding through the infancy stages of my picture taking and landing in roughly 2015 when I was ready to take my photography up a notch...I began to really appreciate art with darker tones and I wondered how I could create something like these beautifully moody, sometimes eery, sometimes creepy, and always deeply expressive images I would happen across. I embarked on this series with a friend and model, Ariella Epstein.

I achieved exactly what I wanted, and it was from these sessions that I began to truly think of myself as a photographer, but not yet as one that would profit off of it. I was creating something that meant something to me. It conveyed emotions I felt and believed (and still do) that we all hold somewhere, whether closer to the surface for some or much deeper within, for others. And some of them simply told stories.

Model: @goose391

Model: @goose391

Eventually, I became noticed by a small time, local Chicago online magazine (that is no longer functioning) who reached out to me after seeing some of my work and said I would be a great addition to their team. I was ecstatic. Working with this magazine inspired a lot of the photos you see from this era. Later, I was offered to show my work in a Chicago art gallery which was an incredibly new and terrifying experience for me, but as a result, I learned a lot from it.

Model: Stephanie Maria @__stephanie_maria__ on Instagram

Model: Stephanie Maria @__stephanie_maria__ on Instagram

Despite simultaneously having doubts about my own work (a more in-depth blog coming out about this soon, with more photos from this period of time - so stay tuned!), I also felt really uplifted by these opportunities. My work was getting noticed and it gave me hope that one day I might actually get to do something with photography. Little did I know I would get hired to do my first wedding later that year which then led me directly to where I am today (which, as grateful as I am, I also find really funny because somehow my friend looked at these dark photos and thought I would be a great wedding photographer - turns out I am, in case you were wondering! But more on that later...).

It's been a wild ride, that's for sure.

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think! What is your own night and day version of "Then and Now"?

xx