So how did you get your start in photography?

The long, and the short, answer to this is – Heather Johnson.

As the story goes, I had an assignment in my graphic design class to design a magazine cover. The assignment was to use an internet image for the cover (the focus was more on the text, design and layout). Searching random google images turned up a whole lot of nothing, when I thought to myself, ‘Even I could shoot a better cover shot than this!’. So I grabbed my little film Canon Rebel, and my best friend (who was also my Kappa Delta pledge sister and an experienced pageant princess), Heather. We went out to the Hollis Gardens near campus and shot my very first “fashion” magazine cover.

Which, come to think of it…. was 8 years ago. I can’t believe how fast time has gone. (!!!!) And that reminds me… don’t be too critical of these blast from the past photos. We all had to start somewhere! :)

The year was 2001, and I was shooting film. Thanks to Walmart for processing this for me.

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Once everyone saw the pictures… my first stab at photography became a full blown business. I was booked 8 hours a day by sorority sisters, couples, parents, you name it. My fee? You buy the film, you pay for the printing, and I get the doubles! In case any of my previous “clients/sorority sisters” are reading this… yes, I still have the albums of ALL those pictures. :)

When it came to Heather, I had one rule when we shot together: I always get to wear the crown. Heather, being her humble, gracious self, always obliged :)

I went on to … well, to do what I do. Meanwhile, Heather went on to become Miss Tampa and Miss Central Florida…

2006, and I wish someone had taught me to edit back then…

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and after countless shoots together…

Her engagement in 2006 to Jason Brooks

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Feb. 2007 (when she introduced me to Model Mayhem… and a fashion photographer was born)

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Aug. 2007

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Nov. 2007 (I had just found the wonders that are Katie Russo, Nicole Beth and Jennifer Frances)

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…her wedding in March of 2008….

…and her mom’s wedding in December of 2008…..

… I’m finally shooting her beautiful maternity photos (soon to be followed by beautiful newborn photos, and beautiful children photos, and beautiful family photos…. you get the idea)! My little Heather J is all grown up and having babies!

Heather is about 6 months along and still looks as radiant as ever. One thing is certain, their little one (name TBD)  is coming in to a loving family, with amazing parents, who have prayed for her and will love her with every inch of their soul. She will be absolutely perfect, in every way, and I can’t wait to meet her!

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Favorite alert.

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Thank you, Heather (and Jason), for the amazing journey you’ve taken me on. I can’t wait to meet your precious little one!

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