There's nothing quite like getting sick + being put flat on your back for a few days to make you really slow down, + decide to finally write some blog posts you've been meaning to. I have lots of blog posts I want to write, but let me tell you something...I hate typing. It has to be one of my least favorite things to do, which is why I favor YouTube so much! I can simply sit in front of a camera + talk...but I digress. (Follow me on YouTube here!). Today, I want to talk to you about how I became a wedding photographer, + how you can too!
Let me start by saying that I never saw myself as a wedding photographer. Photography in general had never seriously been on my radar, although looking back I can see lots of little tidbits where God was clearly preparing me for the journey ahead. It's these little pockets of time that I'd like to share with you. With these you'll not only see how my story has thus come together, but hopefully find some encouragement as well!
Every family has that one person who ends up taking all the photos. When I was young, that was typically my Dad. But as I got older, I slowly started taking the family camera more + more often until eventually the role fell almost entirely onto me. I loved it! Taking photos of my family + the places we visited was fun for me! But I never believed it to be more than simply something I enjoyed doing, least of all a future career.
When I was in high school several things happened. I was on the yearbook committee, + one of my main jobs was taking photos at school events + throughout the average school day. I also got my first iPad, which made taking selfies (a new concept at the time) + any other photos at the time much more accessible! Then, to top that all off, my senior year of high school Instagram really exploded. It was a creative outlet that I didn't fully understand, but loved nonetheless. (I posted WAY too many selfies...you can scroll ALLL the way back to see them, or click on any of the images below if you fancy taking a peak!) @katiegraham.photography
I went into college with the plan of becoming a high school art teacher. No other career felt even remotely right to me, + so I had settle on that creative direction. A little over a year in, I realized that this wasn't the career for me. I ended up getting a Bachelor's in Studio Art with a focus on abstract painting. While achieving this, I took a basics of photography elective and HATED every. moment. That one elective single-handedly turned me off completely to photography. Oh, the irony. I did, however, continue posting religiously to Instagram...
I graduated from college without any direction of what I wanted to do with my degree...and let me tell you what. That was terrifying. I felt immense guilt + shame, put far too much pressure on myself to "just figure it out", + ultimately spun myself into a slow cycle of self-doubt. If you would like, I'd be more than happy to write a blog post on how I finally worked past this, + choosing a career that has nothing to do with my degree!
Anyways, two weeks after graduating from college, Jackson + I got married. It was a total whirlwind of life changes, and once the dust finally settled, I realized something--I love weddings. Like, LOVE weddings. In that moment, I still didn't know what I wanted to do, but I knew that it had to be something with weddings. Cue nearly two years of trying different businesses + having one after another fail. Door after door closed. All the while, I was using my Mom + Dad's "fancy" camera (I didn't know to call it a DSLR) to take images of my work. I tried being an event planner, event designer, florist, calligrapher, special event hairstylist...but they all failed.
Finally, it all clicked...
Two years after getting married, I was backed into a corner. The only careers left for me to try within the wedding industry (that I could think of at the time) were caterer, dj, or photographer. I couldn't cook, knew nothing about music/sound...and photography had been a disaster in college. But I knew I had to keep trying, + figured since I'd been spending so much time learning photography in order to take pictures of my work, then that course of action made the most sense. I at least wouldn't be started from ground zero. I started taking pictures of my sisters + friends to see what would happen...
Ya'll. It friggen' TOOK. OFF.
It was as if overnight, I had a business up + running. I created a Facebook Page to help market myself, + shared every day about my new business. I didn't limit myself to just weddings getting started. I shot anything + everything just to get my name out there. I also created mock-shoots to generate more wedding-related content + applied the "fake it till you make it" method to the MAX. Within 3 months of starting my business I had my first wedding booked!
My First Wedding...
My first wedding was for my college roommate's older sister, + I will be forever grateful for her taking a chance on me! Her wedding was that year in December, my sister helped as my assistant, + despite being absolutely terrified, I loved every moment! It was that day I knew I'd made the right move + was where I needed to be. Wedding photography was what I was meant to do!
Building + Growing...
Since then it's been a constant pattern of building + growing this business to what it is today! I couldn't be more grateful for what I get to do, I truly feel as if I am living the dream! + FRIEND, trust me when I say this to you...if I could do this, then there is NO REASON why you couldn't as well! Use your gifts + pay attention to where you feel God moving you. My history isn't anything special, in fact it feels "extraordinarily ordinary". But yet, looking back you can see how each season of my life has prepped me for this current one. Do the same with your life! How has God been using + preparing you? If you're currently feeling insecure or lost concerning your future, this may give you an indication as to which direction you should go.
Keep scrolling to see the progression of my work from a little over two years ago to today!
Thanks so much for coming along! You can follow me on any socials via the links below. If there was anything I mentioned in today's blog post that you would like me to dive deeper into, shoot me a dm on Instagram (@katiegraham.photography)! I'll see you in the next one!