It's been a cool journey for PhotoGazelle.
If you've known me for any amount of time, you know that I've always lived and breathed photography. I distinctly remember my first 110 Kodak camera and the tiny square bulb flashes I needed for it. (Dating myself much?) Then through High School I often stole my mom's SLR Minolta camera. I didn't attend an event, without a camera by my side! (Imagine how giddy I am now that I always have a camera at my disposal ... my PHONE!)
I often photographed my friends and family. I'm sure ANY of my brother's friends can remember their Senior Prom where I staged and photo shoot for nearly 40 people in Oak Grove Park. That was all play and foundation for the dream bubbling inside of me.
For my 21st Birthday, my parents got me my own SLR film camera. I WAS OVER THE MOON. I photographed my first wedding with that camera! With film. Without a screen to chimp (look at the back image) at every shot!
On April 17 2005 I purchased my first DSLR body + lens. WHY on earth do I remember the exact day? Well, for one it was important to me. And two, i was dying to get outside and shoot something - ANYTHING - and it was unseasonably beautiful here in MN so I took a walk. I remember the trees were already budding. In Minnesota, that is certainly something to take note of. ;)
Having moved to Minnesota from Missouri the prior year I had a "why not start a business" mentality. So I did it. Photography had ALWAYS been my passion and I wanted to shoot less for hobby and more for passion + connection building. Because for me, that is what is all about ... capturing YOUR connection & building a connection WITH YOU. It goes BOTH ways and that is my most favorite aspect of my job.
Ten years went by in the blink of an eye. Three children were added to our lives and through the flurry of activity and milestones, my camera was (and is) always present. These little subjects became my vessel for GROWING in my craft, honing my skill and my push for pursuing my passion. Building a growing business is HARD with little ones. Not impossible, but hard. When my youngest was born in 2010, I put a plan in place. "To steadily grow my business over the next 5-6 years to be a certifiable, sustainable, reputable, sought after photographer by the time he entered school." WHOA. Goals much? ;) A slow and steady build so to speak.
The time is here. Noah enters Kindergarten in the fall. And on May 1 I'm entering into a lease with my first official legit STUDIO. A giant leap for PhotoGazelle and one that I'm very proud to have happening. Aside from raising our family I've worked very very hard to make this happen. And I didn't do it alone. My husband has been a backbone to my success. Never doubting, always supportive and steadfast in his encouragement. He's watched our children while I've flown around the country attending photography workshops and tending to my business growth. He's handled many nights with our children while I chase sunsets. No. I haven't done this alone and for that, I am grateful.
I didn't necessarily envision that a studio was part of the goal but I truly felt LED to this decision and can only trust and listen to that voice. The studio will be an extension of my current offering, used to enhance the business I've already built as well as serve as an office for me part of the time. The Studio, in downtown Prior Lake affiliated with the Wild Ruffle boutique and steps away from my favorite shopping destination, The Vintage Gypsy, is a dream come true. I love our little downtown! Having MY BUSINESS along this little Main Street is quite literally a "pinch myself" moment.
We "Grand Open" on May 7. I will be there part of the day so stop by and say hello. Friends & Family have been invited to a special celebration on Friday Night. It will be a chance to toast to new adventures and bless this opportunity to continue to grow + flourish.
My theme for this year is "Let your LIGHT shine!" Indeed, It is time for my light to shine and more than anything, I want to capture YOUR shining light too. Come, adventure with me! Let's shine our light, together!