how i started with photography / inspiration for beginners

with most things, we can't pin point a specific date that we started a hobby - it just happened, you know? that's how it was for me as a photographer. growing up, i always had a disposable camera on me. i would get them developed and spread the photos all out on my floor (along with the hundreds of already developed photos). something intrigued me about collecting memories. 

i got my first digital camera sometime in middle school + then another, another - usually due to breaking it ;) - i was hooked. in early high school, i started doing fashion shoots with my friends on my olympus digital camera. i had absolute blast going through all of my old facebook albums - slightly embarrassing, but i remember SO much passion for seeking out the beauty in the littlest things. i took picture after picture, not because i had a dream of becoming a photographer, but because it was so exhilarating to me. 

here are a few: 

when i was 16, my aunt and uncle started a new journey of running an event center. they asked me to be their photographer. my mom, biggest supporter through my photo journey (still to this day she is my biggest encouragement/help/critic!) bought me a canon rebel, my first DSLR! the world was mine that day. i was ready to take. it. on. for about a year and a half, i photographed bands like bret michaels, the goo goo dolls, willie nelson, + so many class rock legends. it was a blast. the goo goo dolls (one of my favs growing up) even shared my photo one time ;)

my friends became seniors, and i took their senior photos. i kept taking photos throughout college, more for family photos + seniors. in 2012, i got asked to photograph my first wedding! i had absolutely no idea what to do, other than what i had been doing for the past 10 years - to capture things in the most creative way. 

i survived. the people i think enjoyed the photos because they referred me to their friend! and it went on from there. also in my start of weddings, i saw a post on my college's website for a wedding photographer assistant for d&orfs photography in ames, ia. i second shot for 15-20 weddings and got hired for my own weddings as well. i fell in love with the thrill of weddings.

i kept going, kept doing what i loved. and today, only two years later i have 20+ weddings lined up for 2015. somedays i get caught up in the hustle of editing, but i'll always look back on these early days as my inspiration. i stumbled upon this chance to do this as a living, and i'll forever be grateful for my passion to find beauty in the small things + moments. 

if you love what you're doing (even if you're not the best), keep on loving + pursuing it. 

xoxo, 

ali