As I pack the car today for what’s going to be any number of descriptive words that could be used to describe the next few days as we attend New Kensington Volunteer Fire Department’s Community Days festival….I’m feeling kinda reflective.

Perhaps it’s the lack of sleep from stress and late nights trying to get everything done for today.
Or maybe it’s just the overwhelming amount of love and support from my family and friends.
But either way I’m there.

As I tried to fall asleep last night while making my last mental check list of things to accomplish today, I kept thinking of this old photo of myself.

photocrati gallery
This is me in 2008 shortly after being hired at my first professional photography job literally days after graduating college.
I had no idea what I was doing. I had taken a few photography classes. I knew I had  gift for for taking great photos. I knew I was good at “finding the beauty” in things. But I had NO idea what I was doing. I didn’t know how to pose. I didn’t have any confidence in my photography. I barely could talk to customers about my photography without my face turning 9 shades of red. (I have a feeling it still does but at least now it’s with confidence)

But boy did I learn and quickly too!

And here I am. After a lot of hard work, late nights, long hours of  being bitten and pooped on by animals and children alike. I’m here.
And I’m about to let a small portion of the population that I’m here as well.

But before I do so I feel like I need to say a few thank yous…

Thank you to my Mom & Dad for giving me my first pink Mickey Mouse 35mm camera with the disposable flash on the top. Thank you for constantly buying film and flashes and always encouraging me that the 98,000 pictures of our cat Tigger and the other random stuff that I photographed was all part of me being creative and not just a phase.

Thank you to my teachers, co-workers, employees for teaching and having patience with me while I got my sea legs. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t use a pose that one of you taught me or sneeze a duck off my head to encourage children and adults to smile without thinking of all of you.

Thank you to my clients, future past and present for sharing your special moments with me. It’s an honor and a pleasure getting to work with and alongside of you. Without you I wouldn’t have the beautiful ever evolving portfolio that I cherish containing the kaleidoscope of life’s greatest moments that I hope you treasure as much as I do.

Thank you to my friends & family who pose, ‘like’ every photo I post, promote and enthusiastically encourage me through all the ups and downs. I love you all and I don’t know what I would do without you.

Thank you to my Father-in- law Kevin for “not breaking a sweat” while working super hard on the peep through board for our booth.

Thank you to my Sister Wife Rachel for keeping me company over the next few days and being willing to tackle a few of your students to show them how cool I am. Also thank you to my brother in-law Ben for giving me the idea and courage  to take this crazy chance, along with loaning me his and Rachel’s  beautiful children (who’s portraits are featured in my booth) whenever I need them.

Last but not least thank you to my husband who as always puts up with my crazy and sometimes unorganized dreams. You are always there for me and help make my “what ifs” and “how abouts” become realities because you love me and believe in me and that is the best feeling in the world. I know going to craft stores and being asked a million and one times ‘how does this look’ are two of your favorite activities in the entire world to do but I wouldn’t want to do them with anyone else. Your my best friend and I love you.

Alright enough sappiness! Let’s go have some fun!
See you at Community Days New Kensington!