One of the dreams nearly every wedding photographer I know is to be published in print. Print publication is a sort of validation that you are “good enough”. Its certainly been a wish of mine for a very long time. But one I didn’t think would happen for me for quite a while down the road.
Rewind back to last year, it was October and a inspiration shoot that I had worked SO hard to pull together was literally falling apart in front of my eyes. 24 hours before this epic shoot, that had over 10 vendors and was taking place at an AMAZING venue, and I was receiving phone calls that both hair and makeup vendors “weren’t gonna make it”. So say that I was panicking to find replacements was an understatement. Luckily I was able to call in some favors and get some very generous pros to fill in last minute. But my anxiety was at level 10. On the day of, nothing went right. from dress issues to problems getting huge antique furniture up flights of steps that were barely wide enough for two people. The list of problems went on and on. By the end of the day, I was in tears and much need of an adult beverage. I felt defeated, and in fact, didn’t even bother to upload the images from my camera’s cards for over a week. How could they be any good at all with literally every chip stacked against me?
Fast forward past my pity party to November 2016. Good news! The bridal blog that I designed my shoot around loved it and published it on their feed!!! (Feel free to check out the feature HERE) I felt redeemed in this shoot and most of all could say that I hadn’t let my vendor team down.
Ok, back to present day… It was about a month ago that editor of Belong Magazine contacted me about permission to use one of the images from that shoot in her upcoming Celebrations edition. WHAT?? One of MY images (insert awkward silence followed by lots of inaudible, nonsensical babbling, concluded by a “YES!!”)!! My work was going to be featured in a real life, sold in stores, magazine!! Instantly I felt a wave of validation, and at a time that I needed a “you’re enough” feeling in my life SO badly. This weekend, I was able to pick up a copy in a local Barnes & Nobles store while shooting a wedding in Atlanta. My work, in a Barnes & Nobles? It was almost surreal. And although the image on page 25 is a small, header sized part of what I do, its there! And down at the bottom of the page, my name printed along with my social media tag. To some, most probably, its probably so insignificant, that they might not even notice it. But to me, its an accomplishment, an item I can check off of my real life list titled #GOALS, and a quiet reminder that sometimes those difficult, make you cry moments are just a test of perseverance and grace. A test to see how well respond when our backs are against the wall and we are out of options. You see, I believe that its in these moments, the ones where you want to throw your hands up and quit the most, that you are rewarded most handsomely for keeping cool, staying kind, and above all showing grace.
Next time you’re at a local Barnes + Nobles, check out the magazine section under Women’s Interests (with the wedding magazines) and strum through a copy of this quarterly magazine. The Celebrate issue is on stands through September.