Wednesday, June 6, 2012
First-Rate Version of ME! | Angie Hollenbeck Photography | Lacey/Olympia Photographer |
As a child and even a teenager, I found myself SO sure about what it was I wanted out of life. I knew exactly who I was, what I wanted, and where I would be after graduation. Did I actually? HECK NO! Like they say, life is what happens when you are busy making other plans. In fact, it is my belief that finding yourself never really happens. It is a process...and with every year and each experience, you gain wisdom and a better understanding of what makes you tick. I realized a few days ago, that I graduated high school NINE years ago (and yes that will "age" me... feel free to do the math)!
Sitting on the stage nine years ago (listening to what had to be one of the most bizarre graduation speeches in history...long story), I knew that one day I would own my own business (because quite frankly I do not like being told what to do!). Had you told me it would be photography, I would have probably laughed. While I have always been artsy-fartsy, I never saw it actually leading to a career. Had you told me I would be living on the west coast, that would have been a bit more believable (though I was have assumed more southern). I went to cosmetology school, and realized I didn't prefer the drama that went along with that. I got a degree in Early Childhood Education, because I LOVE kids (this part remains the same). I nearly finished my Bachelors in Elementary Education. And then, I married my best friend. In the last 9 years, I have moved a total of 10 times (some of those moves during college were from apartment to apartment). From Minnesota, to North Dakota, to Virginia, and then Washington. Life has been change after change, new home after new home, and three children later- life still seems to change daily.
After having my kids, I realized how much I wanted to capture each and every single milestone, facial expression, mess, and phase they had...I desperately wanted to hold onto their memories forever. This is what initially sparked my love (and ultimately obsession) for photography.
I dove into the field blind as a bat and looking back, I didnt have a stinking clue what I was getting into! I knew that I had "an eye" for photography...but the business and technical mumbo jumbo never even dawned on me at the beginning. I wanted to spread my love for the art to anyone that would let me...and capture their memories forever! Taxes, licensing, paperwork, manual mode, and the rule of thirds were not in my oblivious excited little mind. I never even thought about the "competition". I was just so thrilled that people allowed me to build my portfolio and thought me talented enough to do so.
All of a sudden, I started thinking about turning my hobby into a career, and began doing research on the business of photography. Holy moly what an eye opener! I then started realizing how much more to this field there was than using auto and pressing a button. I panicked and jumped into classes, bought books, and various equipment. I researched the best photographers and desperately sought out anyone who was willing to answer my questions. I then sat down and thought about "my style". What in the world was MY style?
I tried (and am still trying) tons of styles...styles of shooting, styles of editing, lighting techniques, etc. I found myself wanting to be like the best. I wanted to have photos that look like the best did. Then, I realized that each photographer I loved had their own styles. THEIR OWN. So, that is what I started to seek...and am still seeking. I want to find my niche...not someone elses. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I do not have to do what everyone else is doing. Judy Garland wrapped it up wonderfully...and I am going to work on always being a first-rate version of me, not a second-rate version of someone else.