Half Way There

Alexsys-Natalie4I’m half way there – half way done with my professional photography certification from the FotoFly Academy in Salt Lake City.

It’s been crazy. It’s been busy. It’s been amazing.

I am officially half way ready to launch my own photography business. Half way to fulfilling one of my lifelong dreams.

Things have settled down on the home front. We’ve managed to escape any more rat-chasing episodes and my kids have stopped complaining about me taking their pictures. (That could be because I’ve been studying bridal, maternity and newborn photography the past few weeks and they weren’t eligible models for my homework, but I’ll take it!)

Things have also settled down with my camera. I am confident with my settings and how to change them up to get the best photos. Things that were like a foreign language to me at the first of the year are now becoming second nature. Thank heavens.

Anna-Natalie-15But my brain is still constantly cycling through the concepts we are studying.

I can’t stop thinking about light. How is it flowing? Is it too harsh? Where is the sun? I keep asking my family to look toward me so I can see the shadows on their faces and catch lights in their eyes.

I can’t stop thinking about locations. Would that bridge be a good spot? How about that arbor? Would it frame my subject? Will the snow ever melt so I can take more pictures outside?

And then there is the topic of interaction. How can I get genuine reactions out of people? How can I make them feel at ease? How can I get them to be themselves?

Julie-Natalie-1Those things and more are circling through my mind ALL OF THE TIME.

And I’m testing and trying them out in real-life situations.

Not only has my school given me a solid photography base, FotoFly Academy has given me the hands-on practice I have been searching for. I’ve been able to take these concepts that I can’t stop thinking about and perfect them.

For the past couple of months we have taken field trips to test everything out.

Raquel-Natalie-13At first I was incredibly intimidated. The first time we took pictures of someone who wasn’t one of my classmates I nearly threw up. How was I going to pull all of this off? I was so anxious and nervous and excited. I nearly forgot my flash.

But it’s getting easier.

We’ve been through several field-trip photo shoots now and although I still feel anxious and excited every time, I think it’s mostly anticipation. I can’t wait for class to try things out. I have earned more confidence and ease with every photo shoot. Confidence and ease that will help me in my own business.

Confidence and ease that helps me with my homework assignments. Which right now include conducting two of my own photo shoots each week.

Bailie-Natalie-20Through it all, I feel like a part of me is coming alive. A part that I never new existed.

I feel like one of my favorite Disney princesses – Rapunzel.

She cooks, she cleans, she sews, paints and sings. She’s happy. But she can’t shake the feeling that she’s still waiting for a part of her life to begin.

A new part of my life has officially begun.

I have trudged through snowy hills to snap bridal pictures in the wintery mountains. I have sloshed through cold, gooey sand to capture gorgeous shots of expecting mothers near the Great Salt Lake. I have swaddled tiny babies and shushed them to sleep so I could document their newness.

Jenny - Maternity-1It has been invigorating. It has been intense.

I’ve been averaging four different photo shoots from Thursday through Saturday each week on top of my other Rapunzel-style responsibilities like grocery shopping, check-book balancing, PTA activities, church meetings, laundry, cooking, cleaning, Lego building and My Little Pony playing.

If you run into me on a Sunday afternoon I may resemble a zombie. But I couldn’t feel more alive.

The next few weeks will be a challenge. We dive into babies, toddlers and then kids next.

I can’t wait. Bring it on.

I’m ready to jump from half way to completely there.

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