A Real Life Photographer

‘I, I, I,’ I stammered. ‘I just want to be a real life photographer’. It’s what I said at least twice a day throughout college, sitting on our living room floor amidst anatomy and chemistry and biomechanics textbooks.

‘You know,’ I continued, ‘the kind that gets paid and travels the world and takes pictures of gorgeous people in love? That kind of photographer’.

And as my hobby developed into a dream and my dream developed into a business there were stages I envisioned reaching. They were the hypothetical goals I had come to believe would be making it. But every time I reached these said goals I didn’t feel quite the sense of accomplishment or security in my job that I had imagined. Of course, I thought, when I book my first destination wedding I will absolutely have made it. Or better yet, when I’m published in my first magazine I’ll definitely be there. Or how about if I’m featured on a major wedding blog? Well, there’s no doubt that that’ll be the day.

But it never seemed to be the right day or time or instance to feel safe.

Last month, as I climbed the fifteen foot ladder to take a group photo at Jeremy + Lindsey’s wedding, I couldn’t help but crack a smile. I looked below to hundreds of guests staring right back at me. And frozen in the sky I prayed to God above that they didn’t notice my shaking hands or see up the skirt I made a last minute decision to wear. And as the DJ prompted me to speak, I whispered, ever so faintly, asking the crowd to smile. It was completely unexpected and caught me totally off guard, but in a voice even more faint than my whisper to the crowd I heard myself say ‘You've got this. You’re a real life photographer.’

The truth is, I hope I never feel as though I’ve made it. I don’t ever want to stop striving to be better, to reach my next goal, or to take a prettier picture. And while this realization wasn't exactly what I thought it would look like, I'll admit that life hasn’t really turned out the way I expected it to either.

It’s turned into something considerably more beautiful than that.

Happy Monday, Michelle