I have always loved photography. Even when I was younger, that is all I really wanted to be; a photographer. I would always be the one to show up at family events with a camera in hand, ready to catch all of the special moments that may well have been forgotten, encapsulated only in our hearts and removed from our memories. Enter my wonderful partner (now husband) who saw the joy that photography brought to me, and purchased for my birthday my first SLR camera – a Pentax, back around the fall of the Roman empire when film was still around.
It was a few years after this, when my daughter was born and not quite 2 years old when I wanted to return part-time to work, but also have some flexibility in the hours I worked. I came across an ad in the Messenger Press for a Kindergarten Photographer, no experience necessary, will train. And so I began working for Kindygraphics. I worked for them for a few months, but then I started to think that if people liked my photos and were purchasing them, I must be doing something right, so being 10 foot tall and bullet proof, I decided to venture out a start my own photography business – hello MemoryMakers. The name came about when I was photographing a large group of Playgroup children, most of whom weren’t interested in making my life easier and refused to co-operate, to which at one point one of the Mums piped up, “it doesn’t matter, it’s more about the memories.” (if only she knew how instrumental her words would become in my quest for establishing a popular, successful business, thank you). And that has always been my motto, to create lasting memories for people that they may cherish for a lifetime.
Fortunately for my daughter, she was born in the era of Photographer Mum, and has many great photos of her childhood. Unfortunately for my son, 12 years her senior, I was Non-photographer Mum, so his childhood photographs were, should I say, not quite as visually appealing as my daughter’s (lots of cut off heads, bad posing, poor exposure – you get the idea)…sorry Benny, but I think I have redeemed myself with some more pleasing shots of him as a teenager/adult (although as with most men, not always a willing participant, but open to bribing).
So what an incredible past 16 years it has been! Working for yourself allows for so much freedom, but at the same time, it is hard work. You have to wear many hats, and remember that people are investing their time, money and trust into your product, so the last thing you want to do is let them down. I have met many wonderful people over the years (Ok just a handle of not so nice) and have been very fortunate to have very little failures, and many, many successes. I feel incredibly humbled when I am chosen as the photographer of choice by families, couples, kindergarten and preschools based on the product I deliver – I love being a photographer, and I’m so proud to see the delight in peoples eyes when I deliver their photos to them.
What’s even greater now, are websites such as Pinterest and You Tube that are full of ideas and can keep you up to date with whats new (yes even us professional use these sites). There is no time to become complacent in a fast changing world, and I am always on the hunt for new photographic ideas.
I think there needs to be a continuing story to this blog, otherwise I could rattle on all day and bore you with what excites me the most about photography, and how far I have grown as a photographer over the year, from hopeless amateur to a pretty good professional photographer I think. And if you are intending on making the transition from amateur to professional, I am more than happy to answer (hopefully I can) any question you may have. Good luck in your pursuit of the best profession in the world (bias), and remember to keep smiling along the way.
JC (yes I love these initials)