What a crazy ride this life seems to take us on. The different paths that wind, overlap, straighten out for a little while before taking a sharp right, uphill and eventually landing you where you were always meant to be.
For the past 10 years, Brieana and I would cross paths randomly, never knowing who the other was. We'd be at school functions together, where her little sister and my son were in the same class. We'd graduate from the same high school, years apart, and still, we'd know many of the same teachers, the same hallways. We would drive past one another countless times through town, never knowing that we would eventually own and operate a studio with a name, lit up on the front, that we picked, together. A name that would symbolize where we had been, and where we are going. Further more, There was no way we could have known at that point that the universe would eventually bring us together through a common love, and a common NEED to take things, people and places and blend them together into a piece of art. This common love? Photography.
I had started my photography adventure out when my Uncle George saw that I was interested in the art, and he purchased a camera, lens and flash for me. He took my interest and he invested in it. I was consumed with my new love. I photographed everything and remember using my babysitting money to buy as much film as I could, and then spending more money getting the film developed, and waiting 2-3 days in complete anticipation, for the film to come back in the form of prints, so I could sit and critique my own work.
This passion grew through high school, and I secretly kept it to myself. It was my very own little hobby. In my Junior year, I took a photography class, and I fell in love with the dark room. I wanted to spend the rest of my High School Career in that room, just developing and creating, sandwiching negatives together to create one perfect image. But all good things must come to an end, so I left the dark room and my High School career behind, to begin pursing my general education credits in College, in hopes of pursuing a Photography/ Journalism career.
Everything changed half way through my first year of college year, when the call to serve my country beckoned so loudly, I could no longer delay the inevitable pull that I would join the ranks of a long line of Military service in our family. As luck would have it, A photography position was available with the Air National Guard in Madison. I jumped at the chance to secure that six year enlistment in that career field.
The Military took me all over the US, and when given the chance to deploy to Iraq, I volunteered without question. I knew it was a once in a life time opportunity.
I would be deployed as a Weapon System Video Technician, offer technical support to my unit and fulfill my Photography duties.
This deployment brought so much more than a new knowledge of the technical side of all three. It brought an awareness of cultural knowledge, hardship and gratitude. I was able to help individuals that couldn't help themselves, and see the beauty amongst sadness.
After serving 6 years total, 4 on active duty orders, I received my honorable discharge from the Military. I took two years to be a stay at home mom, and enjoy our oldest become a little man.
Four months after having our second son, I started my photography business, in an effort to do something that was "just mine". Something that would make me see things the way I had seen them before, finding the beauty in sadness, delighting in other's joy, looking at the way the light would hit an object, and morph it in to a moment of delightful imagination.
Something I started as a part time "This is for my own soul" venture, quickly became a full time "Holy Smokes" venture!
I've been a photographer for sixteen years now, eight years and seven months owning my own photography business. In Recent Years, I've asked "What more can I do.. what else is there?" And my mind always went to the same place: Find someone with similar passions to create with. Take something simple, think out of the box and make it bigger and more beautiful.
One day, in 2017, I went to a routine doctors appointment, where I had a great conversation with a CNA who told me her daughter-in-law owned her own business, but was interested in the wedding photography side. I gave her my information and the very next day, I received an e-mail from Brieana…
We as humans develop these amazing passions. We fall in love with something and it leads us to wanting to learn more about it. Wanting to do it more, and then finally wanting to make it their life. That is what happened to me. Growing up I have always thought photography was incredible. I thought to myself: How can someone create such a pure image filled with so many emotions. I pondered this thought for many years. Finally, picking classes for my senior year of high school, I came across a photography film class and knew I had to take it.
I learned so much that I didn't think I was capable of learning. I spent the majority of my time in the dark room developing my images. I was so very proud of each creation! I had finally figured out how to create that image that was filled with so much love, joy, and happiness.
In high school I met my very-soon-to-be-husband(!!!). He pushed me to be the best I could be. He has stuck by my side throughout chasing my goals of eventually having a photography business. Once I had a business, he encouraged me to continue to grow as an artist.
Once I graduated high school, I enrolled in the photography program at Madison College. I bought my first Nikon camera and lens. It was my pride and joy! I studied so much and gained so much knowledge. I learned the digital world. I was in the studio most of my time trying to correct and improve what I was working on. My two years in college, I felt that I had learned everything I needed to know, but I was wrong.
Fast forward four years, I met Katie. It is funny how you can grow up in the same small town as someone and cross paths as acquaintances and think nothing of it besides just that, another person you walk past on the street. My mother-in-law came to me one day saying she had met this wonderful women at work and that I needed to meet her. She explained she was a wedding photographer and that she could teach me so much and lead me in the right direction.
That's exactly what Katie did! I ran my own business along with second shooting weddings with Katie every chance I could get. Our work relationship grew into a friendship that I wouldn't change for the world. We have had so many laughs and so many serious conversations that just developed our relationship even more. Katie taught me, and to this day, still is teaching me so many new and wonderful things. We've formed an amazing partnership where we can create and inspire one another. Together, we are so blessed to have families that support our passion. They inspire so much of what we do and who we are. We are very excited to bring this new studio, and new name to the Portage community and surrounding areas! We really look forward to being a part of each community, and also serving the communities we live in and around.
Special shout out on this blog to our husbands, who have been our rocks through this process. We are so incredibly thankful for them!
Hello! Welcome to your blog post. Blogging can be hugely important for your website’s SEO success and for keeping customers coming back for more! You can use your blog to share about business updates, recent shoots, cool new products, and all kinds of other things.
But it doesn’t have to be all business all the time! Readers will love to get to know the “real you!” The person, artist, and entrepreneur behind your great business. Don’t be afraid to show your personality while your write! Blogging is meant to be sort of informal, which helps connect with readers on a personal level.
So, what are you going to write about? A good way to start is by sharing your recent work.
Have you done any cool shoots lately? (I know you have, you all-star photographer!) I bet you have loads of images just waiting to be shared with your adoring fans.
Making this kind of post is really easy! There’s even a template you can follow to write a quick blog that follows all of the “Blogging Best Practices.” It goes like this:
Your title should be about 6-10 words and describe your post in an interesting way. Keywords are important, but they should be your secondary priority.
“Winter Wonderland Engagement Shoot In Downtown Raleigh”
Something like that so set the mood, hook readers, and give a little information about your shoot. This will also help people searching on Google find you if they’re looking for a specific venue, location, or photography style!
You don’t have to write a novel! Just 1-2 paragraphs of text should do. Focus on the “who, what, where, when, and why” of the post to keep it simple.
“Had a ball shooting this engagement photography session with Alex & Sam in Center City Park! The weather was just right, and the energy of this sweet couple just shines through!”
Nothing too fancy. You just need some words to ground readers, set the stage, and give your post some searchable text. That way Google match your post to people who are searching for a great photographer like you.
As for photos, limit yourself to 10-15 per post. If you want to share more, link readers to a gallery to see all the awesomeness.
Remember: No Dead Ends! At the end of your blog, give the reader something to do next. Whether that’s to see a gallery, book a session, or simply read another blog, give them a link — preferably a big old button…like this one!
Okay, your cool blog is done. Now all that’s left is to publish and get readers. Think of blogging as part of your marketing strategy – because it really is.
Blogs help people find you through search engines. But you can also share your blogs on social media platforms to get people ooh-ing and ahh-ing over your work on your website. The goal is to show them around the place, dazzle them with your work, and hopefully they’ll end up booking their own sessions – or signing up for updates! Sharing is easy. Just click “Share” and post to the social media of your choice. Done and done.
Our last notes are about design. Both for your overall blog layout and for each post.
People are visual creatures... but you know that already. A beautiful blog will encourage people to stay & read more! Your blog comes with a bunch of layout options so you can create a gorgeous experience for your readers.
If you write a longer article, try to break up the words with images peppered throughout. Photos make for a more enjoyable read!
If you have extra widgets, you can easily embed them in the footer or sidebar of your blog. Putting in a subscription form, for instance, is a great idea to keep people hooked on reading your blog!
That’s about it! You now know everything you need to make a great blog for your business! Good luck, champ. I know you’ve got this. But if you ever have any questions, drop us a line, and we’ll be glad to help!