That time I was named NAPCP’s 2019 Photographer of the Year and had my image displayed in Times Square
Oh my goodness. In terms of memorable, top moments in my life, this one is up there. I was completely floored to be named NAPCP (National Association of Professional Child Photographers) 2019 Photographer of the year! Does this mean I’m officially the best photographer in the universe, or heck, even the best photographer in Atlanta? No, but it does mean that some really incredible artists who have reached the top of our industry saw the heart and beauty behind the work I’ve created and they selected my images enough times for me to be given this amazing title!
As most photographers know, there is SO.MUCH.MORE. that goes into this business than just scheduling a session and snapping a picture and emailing over digitals. It starts with the itch to learn the technical side of photography – which is daunting and takes years, thousands of pictures, and a ton of courses to really get a deep understanding of. Then learning the ins and outs of editing is just as intense. Later there’s getting an understanding of prints and products and how to make sure you’re providing a premium end good to wrap it all up. This is all before I even mention the struggles of creating, building, and sustaining your own business.
Artistically there’s finding your voice and developing consistency in your work, which, to be honest, are always evolving in us all. I’ll skim over the hours of late nights, the missed family events, the tears shed when a shoot didn’t meet your expectations or you aren’t booking enough sessions to pay your monthly overhead bills. (Photography equipment is naturally a big investment, but professional photographers also pay for more subscriptions and services than you could imagine just to sustain day-to-day operations.) Competing in an over-saturated industry is a challenge and trying so hard to get people to see the value of your work instead of having the friend down the street who could just come over and take a picture for free.
All that being said, it is worth it. Every single day this job is worth it to me because it fulfills the deepest part of me – it gives me an indescribable feeling of joy that I didn’t know I was missing until I edited my first real photograph. And it gives me the ability to show others the way I see the world one picture at a time. It gives me a voice and allows me to be heard.
I’m honored to having the moments I capture hang on your walls. I’m honored to know that the images I’ve provided will be handed down to generations to come. I’m honored to be welcomed into your homes, and to be allowed to take part in your intimate family moments. The little whispers and giggles, the struggles and the hugs. To witness them, document them, and turn them into the art that they deserve is one of my greatest blessings.