Three years ago, in the summer of 2010, I visited Salt Lake City for the first time. I was there with my family; my oldest had just turned two years of age and my youngest was still an infant. Emotions were crazy at that time. I was newly married, working full time, working over time, my kids were so young and I felt like my life was not balanced. I had a particularly rough trip up to Salt Lake and I had made a last minute decision to fly home with my kids. My husband decided to stay in Salt Lake to finish up the remainder of his family reunion activities, which I felt was best even though I really needed him… I didn’t want to pull him away from his family. I thought that I might regret trying to fly home with two young kids, by myself, and in such a state of mind, but I needed to be home and I needed my mom who was now living in Phoenix. So with all of my apprehensions, I boarded the plane and stifled all of my emotions. As I sat down in my seat and got the kids settled in, I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that just minutes prior I was pleading with my oldest (just turned 2 year old) to please just stay in the boarding line so we could get on the plane. Just before boarding, my daughter was rolling her little sister’s stroller all over the terminal, weaving in and out of crowds as I chased her down often losing my place in line to go fetch her. Once I sat down on the plane, I knew that the hardest part of getting home was behind me.
As I sat there reflecting on my life, another woman took her seat next to me. She was a young pretty girl and she smiled at me to say hi then she acknowledged my little ones. We made small talk and she was so kind in assisting me with the kids. I don’t even remember what we talked about and I don’t remember how she helped me, but I remember that she made me forget all of my worries. As the plane took off and we reached a safe altitude, my new friend pulled out her laptop and pulled up a beautiful picture. I couldn’t help myself, but to be nosy and watch as she started to edit the picture. I remember thinking “Now, how in the world could she make that picture look any better than it already does?” So, I had to ask… “Are you a photographer?” She replied with so much enthusiasm… “Yes, I am”. She proceeded to show me some of the edits that she would be making on the picture. I was in awe. She was doing something that I always wondered if I could do. She showed me some of her other images and I will never forget the amount of passion and excitement that exuded from her as she spoke of her work. She LOVED what she did and it showed. I remember thinking, “Wow, maybe some day I could do that”. It seemed like a far-fetched idea at the time. After all, I had a career that I had worked in for over ten years. I had worked hard to advance in my career… and it was a stable job… and I made a good income… and I liked working at the children’s hospital. I couldn’t just throw all of that away. So I said goodbye to this girl and promised myself that I would find her on her blog and follow her through my own personal blog. I did just that and every week I would hop onto her page and gush over her work.
It wasn’t too long after that trip that we purchased an entry level DSLR for our family, a Nikon D5000. It was an easy camera to learn and I soon started upping my photography skills. I really enjoyed capturing images of our daughters. From there I started doing free photo shoots for people and then I put together a portfolio of images for a possible photography gig. I remember thinking to myself, "Could it really be happening?" Then one day, I jumped on Facebook and thought “I am going to smother my friends in pictures if I don’t find an outlet” so I created a photography Facebook fan page with none-other-than my name as the title. The rest was history. I created a web page two weeks later and a month after that I had my first paying client, in the winter of 2012. Now, you can only imagine that if I felt over-whelmed juggling my life before indulging in this passion… How must I have felt after gaining photography clients?
I knew that it was time for a major life change and that it was time to finally create better balance in my life so I cut back to per diem at the hospital and became a SAHM/Photographer/Neuro Intra Operative Monitoring Technologist and I couldn’t be more proud to carry all three of those titles. Of course we took a pay cut at home and of course we had to cut back on things financially, but this is just the beginning of something big and wonderful. I can’t begin to explain the amount of joy that being a photographer has given to me. To be able to capture an image that moves someone or to create something that will be cherished for a lifetime is an amazing thing. I have so many people to thank for being my inspiration... My mom who is just as big of a picture person as I am, my Nana who also loves photography, my husband who helped me make this possible, my dad who is the voice of reason and, of course, that one girl who sat next to me on the airplane and helped me realize that dreams really can come true… Thank you Jessica from Rae Portraits.