Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Looking Back and Grad Photos

(Warning, lengthy blog post ahead!!)

A perk of being a photographer is you can take your own graduation pictures! With the help of a very patient husband or sister of course! I never got high school senior pictures so I totally wanted to take some COLLEGE senior photos. Well, graduation is over and done with and I'll make another post with all of the photos from the actual day. But for now I wanted to post these photos and look back on what I have learned the past four years, because let's be honest, it was an EXTREMELY rocky road for me. And anyone who had to deal with me the past 4 years and especially the last TWO years can more than understand what I mean. I went to school kicking and screaming and almost dropped out more times than I can count. But I didn't. And it may surprise a lot of people who are close to me, but in the end I am TRULY happy I chose to stick with it. So here are some things I have learned and advice I have for future students AND business owners/photographers.

1. Do research on different apartments before you chose one. As a freshman my good friend Emily and I chose to live in a place that only had people from the ages of 27-29 while we were 18 and 19 and even though we made the best of it and had amazing times, the social part was a letdown. Pick an apartment complex that is SOCIAL!!! 

2. You might not get along with all of your roommates and your personalities may clash, but they actually make for some of the most interesting and funny stories in the future. So in some weird, twisted way, I'm kind of grateful for those experiences. And the experiences you have with the roommates you love, will be unforgettable! You will cherish those memories forever! I know I do!

3. Sometimes you might have to change your major 5 times before you find something you love. Mine went from Photography, to graphic design, back to photography, to AVC, then back to photography and finally landed back to AVC focusing mostly on the beautiful world of art history. 

4. For me I hated most of my classes. I'm just keeping it real here! I didn't see the point in taking a drawing class, an animation class, a class where I had to make wire and paper sculptures, and photography classes that drove me bonkers. I can still remember the feeling of pure anxiety getting up and presenting new photographs of a project I despised and having them ripped apart and being told what I should and should not photograph. The same project led me to almost accidentally setting my garage on fire and crying myself to sleep on multiple nights. I hated almost all of my classes but the classes I DID Enjoy, I REALLY enjoyed. 

From the dramatic, moody works of Caravaggio, to the awe-inspiring sculptures of Michelangelo, to Contemporary art works that make you think, to beautiful pieces by Monet, Van Gogh, Turner, Degas, and much much more. I am grateful for the new respect I have found in my classes for these artists and the legacy they have left behind.

5. I learned that sometimes you follow your mind instead of your heart and it still turns out alright in the end. My heart told me to quit school and focus completely on my business. My mind told me to finish school and do photography at the same time. Let me tell you, the first would have been a LOT easier. But sometimes the harder route is the most rewarding.

6. Make friends. I am going to be completely honest again. I wanted to drop out of school so badly that I switched my mindset from "going to school", to "going to be with my friends" instead. I made some wonderful, talented friends who I could talk with, laugh with, and VENT with about our classwork. They were so encouraging and kept me going. Seriously. They all even came to my wedding which put me straight on cloud nine. I love those people so much. I will always be grateful for them in my life. 

7. Never get married, take 18 credits, and run a full blown photography business at the same time unless you want to go crazy. I missed more classes to photograph weddings or shoots than I can count, more nights editing instead of studying for a final, and more mornings answering emails than writing my papers. My business just mattered 10 billion times more to me than school. And you know what, that's ok. You go to school to set you in the direction for a career, but I already had mine in full swing before college even began which created a lot of internal battles within myself.

 Two years ago I sat in my advisor's office. I showed her my website, gave her a business card, told her about my business and dreams for the future and she sat back in her chair and shook her head. "What are you even doing here still?" she asked me. "I don't think you need to be doing school right now, you should be doing this." I answered her with "I have no clue why I'm doing this, just to say I did it I guess." 

I still don't fully understand how my degree will benefit me in the future. But I have learned that I CAN do HARD things. The hardest things I've ever had to do in my life thus far. I CAN ACCOMPLISH. Things will fall into place with the help of loved ones, heavenly father, and the power and determination of your heart and soul. If you work hard and follow your dreams you can achieve anything. You truly can. Don't put things on hold because someone tells you to, or put things on hold because you think you don't have enough time. MAKE TIME. Your dreams are the most important thing and you have all the power in the world to make them a reality. To me, my photography and business is my dream. And I'm not even close to being done chasing it and making it the best it can be. Now that I've accomplished college I have huge things planned for the future. And it has NEVER looked brighter. Stay tuned fellow wild hearts! 

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