by west elm photography
Kansas City Premier Senior Photographer
Original post was drafted in 2013 and not really sure why I didn't post it then but I am now with several additions.
I have always been surrounded by artists, creative spirits, people with such brilliant minds that had the power to think outside of the box, never in the world did I think I had any inkling of a creative soul. My mom was a photographer in the 70's & 80's, all by hobby but she was serious about her photographs. We had transformed one of our bathrooms into her black room and I used to love being in there with her and watching her in her moment and I kinda liked the smell of the developer, it reminded me of happiness. My mom would take these awesome pictures, some of just random stuff but it was always developed with such emotion and realness. She used to amaze me with her photography and I used to sneak and look at her cool photography coffee table booklets, mainly because there were so many naked people in them and I was young and fascinated and I guess also a weirdo that sniffed developer...geez was I clueless.
Growing up I didn't have many hobbies, I know I loved to dance and did so for I believe 12 years, I was involved in jazz, tap, toe and ballet and I LOVED It! As I got older not so much, so from about 12 on I didn't have any hobbies, I never pushed myself to do anything really so I had no clue if I was good at something or not. I did know that I loved to work and work hard, I put in so much mental and physical effort into all my jobs, I guess my hobby was working. All I knew is that I loved working and having a job. I loved people and perfection and working was perfect for me. In my mid twenties I met Lisa, a very creative soul that just oozed artistry, uniqueness, and brilliance. She was a photographer, an artist, loved music I hated, created things out of Barbie doll heads and puff balls, this girl was in every since, an artist. I admired how her brain worked and wondered how I got to be so dull in all my 20-something years while others had awesome things to do and they did them without much effort. Never in my life did I ever think about lifting up a camera, I had tried painting, glueing things together but nothing really got my heart purring. Now fast forward to a 30-something girl and married to an avid outdoorsman who loves the outdoors, loves hunting, loves archery and traveling and then there's me, and all I love to do is work, be busy and the occasional happy hour...how boring. Needless to say, I was captivated by his drive, his love (obsession) for the outdoors and the true passion he had for traveling abroad. Still now here's little ol' me, approaching 40 and what is wrong with me? how come I have not found ME! Was I not pushed enough as a kid, was I lazy and ignored everything around me? who knows but now I'm married with newborn twin boys, so I guess I'll be a mom, yes, that will be my job, maybe this is my calling. Wrongo! While I love my children without a doubt and all that they possess and dream of them when they are not around and kiss them all the time, I was still lacking something that fulfilled me, Robin.
Then this happened, my friend Shannon just randomly called me one day and asked if I would take pictures of her family for their fall pictures. I said sure! not knowing anything about cameras, I grabbed my husbands old Canon and just put the baby in auto and took their pictures. When I was done, I thought cool, here ya go, enjoy your pictures. THEN about a month later, I had a new friend, a photographer look at those pictures and was blown away at my composition, what's that? my posing of the family and random shots of them having fun, she said Robin, you have a true eye for photography, you are really good! It was at that moment that I realized, maybe I am good at something creative, maybe I have a natural born talent? (ok, that might be pushing it but really, did I?)
So immediately after that, I planted my happy ars down and started reading and studying like a mad women, I was obsessed. I went out and bought a Nikon, why Nikon? that is what my photographer friend used and she said it was user friendly. I then called friends and asked them if I could practice my new found obsession on them and after they received their pics, they would have these huge grins on their faces, I was then hooked, I wanted more and more! Then it dawned on me, that's it! I have found my passion and at the mere age of late 30's (wink wink), I have found something that truly makes my heart purrr! I LOVE photographing people, I LOVE learning more and more about the trade, LOVE editing the pictures AND LOVE seeing how much people love my work. I get such joy when someone picks me to capture their moments. I truly get so giddy, even to this day!
It's funny how things happen the way they do, I truly thank you Shannon May for opening my eyes and asking me to do something that put me outside of my little mind bubble. I also thank you Nikki Griffith for looking at those photographs and giving me such positivity and encouragement, so glad the universe put you both in my path, I couldn't be more grateful!
Now here I am 9 years in the business and reaching new creative levels in myself every time I pick the camera up and still just as obsessed as I was 9 years ago.
Who knew that at my "advanced age" (lol) I would have finally found ME and what truly makes me feel complete.
Moral of this huge snooze-fest blog post is that it is never too late to find yourself, to try new things and to open your heart to change, find what makes your heart purr outside of kiddos, family and work, find what completes YOU! :)
Thank you for your time.
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