I have not always been a photographer. In fact, my backgrounds are in ministry and psychology, and I have earned my bachelor's and master's degrees in those fields. So it catches people off guard when they discover that I'm a photographer and not a pastor or therapist.
The year was 2014. I was living in Knoxville and adequately applying my B.A. in Christian Ministry as a part-time sale rep at the Dillard's (lolz). My academic advisor reached out to me and convinced me to apply for a job at a Christian therapeutic boarding in Kansas City, MO and suddenly found myself working with at-risk teens! I loved that job more than anything, and I poured myself into my work. Sadly, it wasn't meant to last. In truth, I had been avoiding ministry jobs until this point because I had soul wounds from my upbringing. And even though I loved my students and my job, I had a lot that I had yet to deal with. After three years of highly intense soul work with others, my soul burned out. So, in 2017, I left the therapeutic vocation to rediscover my self and work towards some much-needed healing. I tried to tap back into my childhood love for drawing, but it only proved frustrating and unhelpful. It was during this time of searching that I stumbled into an interest in photography. At a very low point in my life, I acquired my first "real" camera and photography became a powerful tool in my healing journey! As I healed, I discovered that my love for photography also grew and continued to be a source of joy and artistic expression that inspired me to keep going. The truth is that everyone needs something that brings them joy and can be an outlet. Some find that joy in drawing, others in reading or learning, and others find it in just simply being outside in nature. Seek out what allows to you experience joy and receive rest, integrate that into your life. And if possible, make it your vocation!