Wow.... We just found out that I have been voted "Best Photographer" in Southern Colorado by the readers of the Colorado Springs Independent. The Indy is Southern Colorado's largest publication with over 120,000 readers each week. This is probably THE most incredible honor I've been given in my career. I was thinking about it, in comparison to my photos being in Times Square on the Kodak Jumbotron and how each of the 7 times they've been up there, how emotional it is -- how surreal it has been to stand there looking at an image that I created on that big screen where millions of people will pass by to see my work... that feeling is like none other I've ever experienced. But, this... THIS recognition has got to be THE best thing ever because it has come as a result of my clients and their experience with me. I am truly humbled and so thankful.
THANK YOU to all of our clients who voted for us!! You guys are the best! I look back, in awe, of how much I have learned and grown through the years since I began this journey. Who would've thought when I started photographing a handful of friends and family just 8 short years ago that it would grow into a thriving business that has taken me all over the country to photograph thousands of people. This year has brought me to places in this beautiful country to work with some amazing people and I am blessed with a job that most people would only dream of having. From being asked to document a baby's first cry as he enters the world to working with dancers on a hit TV show (love you, SYTYCD guys!!!!), this has been the wildest and most fun ride that I could ever imagine.
I am so humbled and honored by the opportunities I've been given and where it all started. My thanks go out to my friends and mentors, who have come alongside me and been instrumental in my growth and success. I can remember as a little girl, being photographed by Robert Jenkins of Robert Jenkins Photography in Wynne, AR, who was our family photographer. This man has been my photographic idol since I can remember. I decided throughout the years that he had the coolest job in the world, and I think he is one of the greatest photographers I've ever known. He has been so generous in answering my questions about starting a business and helping with lighting and finding the perfect vendors and I wouldn't have such a great business if it weren't for what I've learned from him.
My good friend, Laura Stetser, of Laura Lynne Photography in Roseville, CA - a huge thanks to her for being such a sweet friend and supporter and incredibly talented photographer, who has walked this path with me and I'm enjoying seeing her success, as well. We found friendship with each other and began our journey toward our dream and have seen each other through the hard times that it takes to make the dream a reality -- the long nights, the 70 and 80 hour work weeks, the driving nonstop across the country to work more 70 and 80 hour work weeks, the hauling equipment, the equipment failure, the hours away from our families to live out the dream, the sweat and many tears that have been part of it... all the hard work that has paid off to have such a great job. I appreciate her friendship and growing with me.
And I would like to extend a huge thanks to Stephen Dantizig, of Dantzig Photography in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is THE most incredible author and fashion photographer. He has been such an inspiration to me from the time I bought his first book and contacted him saying that I was "his biggest fan and could he teach me everything he knows?" He has given such amazing advice and direction in developing my skill, and I couldn't imagine having a better mentor (or more famous one!) And I'm STILL his biggest fan! :) He took the time to take a rookie and explain to me things to do and not to do and I am forever grateful for a business relationship that I am privileged to have.
Thank you so much to our clients across the country. Those inside and outside of Colorado Springs who continue to trust me with preserving your family's memories and special days for you. To those who choose me to create art for them in capturing personalities of their loved ones... this is such a fun journey and I appreciate every person who has joined us for it. Thank you to all who have appreciated my work enough to vote for me. You guys are incredible and have help make my childhood dream better than anything I ever imagined!! Thank you...
Those of you in Colorado Springs, go out today and pick up a copy of the "Best Of" issue -- for those of you outside the Springs, see the winners here. Go to the Best Of Winners in the Making Noise section and you can scroll down to Photographer.