On my first day of ‘real’ work – bussing tables during high school – my dad told me to not despise the day of small beginnings. At the time I found it an odd thing to say, but I’ve found it actually quite fitting as life has progressed. Bussing tables is not exactly an exciting place to start, but you have to start somewhere. If Chutes and Ladders taught me anything, it’s that you usually start at the bottom.
The first wedding I assisted at was in 2009. I managed the photographers’ gear, which involved very exciting things like carrying around heavy equipment, & sometimes being a human light stand. One lighting kit was nicknamed ‘the body bag’; it was literally bigger than me, and weighed at least 80 pounds.
By 2011 I was working for a photographer full-time. I occasionally was able to photograph during a shoot, but I had one huge setback: I virtually had no gear. While a photographer is more than the sum of their gear, a photographer without gear can’t do much. I had one small Canon Rebel, which had served me well during school, but it was seriously lacking. I shot my first weddings with this camera, and created some of my favorite images with it, but it definitely wasn’t ideal.* Weddings move fast, but my camera didn’t.
This past year, I was able to invest in professional gear through a generous loan. This was a huge gift, because for the first time since 2009, I was finally able to do what I’d been working towards all along: photographing weddings professionally. As of this month, I’ve paid back my loan! I’m so blessed to have had enough work to pay the amount back in such a short amount of time.
So today, I get to start from zero all over again! Luckily, this isn’t my first time.
*All the images in this post are from one of the first weddings I shot with my old camera. :)