Occasionally, there are distinct moments in life that change our course, alter the path we’re on and shift our direction. For good or for bad, these moments usually denote a great change.
I experienced one of these moments last summer; I’ll never forget it or the person that brought the moment to me. I chose to do a mentorship with Lora Grady Photography. Lora is a true artist, heart and soul. Her passion for her artistry and craft bubbles out of her in a way that is infectious. I had been a quiet admirer of her work for sometime, and when she offered the opportunity to mentor with her before she embarked on her permanent adventure to Seattle with her handsome fellow, I was one of many that snatched up the chance. The four hours that I spent with Lora that beautiful, sunny evening changed my photography and my life.
This May 11th marks the one year anniversary of my first professional shoot, something I’m usually sheepish about admitting. Photography had been a secret love and dream of mine for many years, but I didn’t feel I could ever be good enough, and there were so many talented, wonderful artists already. Jumping into that pool with the artists I admired from afar was really scary to me, but one day, something in me broke free, and I threw myself into it. The last year has been a whirlwind for me and my young, budding business. I have learned and grown more than I ever dreamed possible. I have met some of the most wonderful friends of my life, women and artists that inspire, uplift, support, teach and encourage me. For no reason, other than the fact that they are wonderful beyond belief, they have given me gifts that are priceless, and I could never repay them. Of course, I am still changing and forever learning new things, which I am supposing will always be; so, I can’t wait for what the future brings.
My heart is so full and overflowing with gratitude for these ladies that waltzed their way into my life and changed it for the better. Lora, thank you for sharing your art and passion with the world. You make it a more beautiful place 🙂 There is something Lora said while we were shooting our model couple that had a profound affect on me. It was the life changing moment I speak of; she didn’t even realize the amazing thing she had just done. She said, “Don’t be afraid of the light. Be brave and shoot straight for the sun.” When she said it, time stopped for me, and I realized that’s exactly what I want out of life. For several years, I had been afraid of the light and was timidly skirting the shadows, feeling unworthy of notice or success. Even though she was strictly speaking about the photograph we were taking right then, I decided in that moment that I would change and live my life in the light, no longer afraid of success or failure. I would be brave and really live, seizing life with blazing love and abandon. So, that when our short time here is over, I could look back on it with happiness. When I came out of these thoughts, I was blind sided by the the epiphany I just had and looked around at the others in amazement as they were happily snapping away at our couple in the gorgeous, dying sunlight, unaware of the change that just overtook my heart and the flash flood of emotion I had experienced. I laughed to myself, looked through my lens and shot straight for the sun. I’ve been living in the light ever since.
If you have the chance to mentor with Lora, snatch it. You will never regret it.
Other honorable mentions: Ciara of Ciara Richardson Photography, Amber of Amber Lynn Photography, Lauren of Perrywinkle Photography, Kelli of Kelli LeBaron Photography, Charis of Charis Johnson Photography, Christina Greve with Divas and Dreams, and Sue Bryce.