For the Dreamers...

Tonight I got an email saying I was a finalist for a photo contest I entered. My very first photo contest. My very first photo award. I’m blown away, over 1 million photographers entered from all around the world and one of my photos was a finalist. But that isn’t why I’m here, or even writing this at all.

I want to back track to a little over a year ago this time. I was five months pregnant with my second child and was feeling overwhelmed and underwhelmed. Can you even simultaneously feel both those things?

Looking back on that time in my life I was just finding my way, but in that moment I didn’t even know where I belonged. It was a trying time in my life. I had miscarried twice, two little angel babies I couldn’t carry. Such an unimaginable physical and emotional pain. I needed a way to find happiness an outlet for me to be happy instead of sad. And I found it in all the people around me, in all the people I was photographing. I found myself engulfed in sessions and I would cry after most of them. The love I saw leaving each session whether it was families, couples, or even births. I knew it was something I would forever love to capture for others. The memories they needed. The memories I could give them. I became so busy taking pictures I was truly overwhelmed. The love and support and bookings I was getting was amazing but I knew something needed to change. I needed to figure out what I wanted to do with Captured by Christina where this journey was taking me, but I was also underwhelmed.

I had quit my dream job a few years prior to have our first baby and let my husband continue to pursue his dream in the NFL. I have an undergraduate degree in Health Education with an emphasis on community health, a Masters degree in Physical Education with an emphasis on Athletic Administration, I am a certified personal trainer, swim instructor, aerobics instructor, spinning instructor, certified lifeguard instructor, etc. I often questioned why I had worked so hard for all of that to just be a mom. Were those dreams and goals long gone? I questioned myself, I questioned photography. I questioned if I could really pursue it as a living whilst running a household, while having a husband home two months of the year, while having two kids. Could I really have my own business? Was it even what I was supposed to do.

It wasn’t until someone who was supposed to be family questioned me. I knew then it was EXACTLY what I needed to do and where I needed to be. In short one of my brother in laws (although I wouldn’t call him that) said I had a “shit ass photography business” and that there was no way I was making money doing it. If you think that was the worst of the hate I received that day it wasn’t. But I won’t get into that. It was a step I used to move forward and better myself.

My lesson is this. There will always be haters. Some of them you may not know and some of them are supposed to be family but they don’t dictate your life. You do. What you think of yourself and what you do with your life is much more important than what others think of you and how they think you should live yours. It is never to late to follow your dreams, and sometimes your dream may be something you didn’t even know existed at all.

Below are some pictures from the photo shoot I did in California. The very first photo was the finalist photo for the Shoot and Share contest 2019.