A Creative Outlet + Why I Love Having One

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I’ve never had career goals or one specific interest that consumed me. I’ve had many interests and I love pursuing them all a little bit at a time. Photography, design, cooking, organizing, reading, writing, and mentoring are among my favorites. I have always considered myself a bit of a renaissance woman and I don’t consider myself an expert in any one area. I love engaging with a variety of subjects and experiences. Until recently, I had never been draw to more fully explore the possibilities of expanding one area.

I got married in the winter of 2010 and worked outside the home for four years before we had our first child in the spring of 2015. I was cut out for that office job with my organizational, writing, and people skills and because I had held several similar jobs previously. As much as I enjoyed using those gifts, there was still a side of me that still felt hidden. A creative side.

When I considered creative people, I thought of artists, graphic designers, crafters, DIYers, musicians, interior designers, and full-blown professional photographers. And while I fit into a few of those categories (musician, quazi-DIYer, with a little interior design education) I still wouldn’t have described myself as “creative.” I’ve played piano and violin since early elementary school but never rose to the top of my peers. During the first few years of marriage, I consistently worked on DIY projects but if I’m honest, most of those projects were inspired from Pinterest or blogs and left me realizing that my DIY skills were lackluster. I studied interior design in college (as my minor) but even as I was taking classes I quickly realized that while yes, I loved it and had a bit of a knack for it, I was not as passionate or skilled at it as my college counterparts (though my passion for it has grown since having my own homes).

Fast forward to the fall of 2013. I began to realize that my long-time interest in photography could be more than an interest if I would be brave enough to spend real money on a real camera. In high school and college, I had a few digital point and shoot cameras (all Canon). I was familiar with the brand so I made a quick decision on Black Friday 2013 to order a DSLR (Canon Rebel) from Amazon. It came a couple days later on very snowy day. I furiously tore into the box and couldn’t wait to get started.

I quickly realized that photography was an interest I wanted to more fully pursue. Over the last two years, I’ve slowly progressed through much research, a lot of trial and error, and a little formal education. People have been gracious to hire me, allowing me to get more experience and invest more into my little business. I created a Simple account for my business where I saved my photo session money and then invested back into my skill by enrolling in a class, purchasing software and equipment, and eventually upgrading to a Canon 6D.

The creative outlet of photography has been a lifeline to me during this last year and a half of motherhood. The way it has filled me is surprising. As my young self looked to the life ahead, I imagined that marriage and motherhood in and of themselves would be all I ever wanted to do. I absolutely LOVE being a wife, mom, and homemaker. Those roles bring me incredible joy. But one draw of photography is that it’s completely unrelated to errands and cooking and housework and diapers. Being a mom to a toddler keeps me quite busy, but it’s not full-blown crazy most of the time. Photography fills in those “fringe hours” of my long days at home and makes me a better time manager. It gives my husband more one-on-one time with our daughter on the weekend and provides me with little respites of time away from it all.

Photography fulfills my God-given drive to create, or in reality, to simply unveil the beauty of His created world. Because we are each made in the image of God and because He is good and gracious, we are each allowed to participate in life as mini “creators.” I’m grateful for the ability to capture life and love through the lens of my camera. I have no idea where or how far it will take me, but I’m content to faithfully use it, let it grow, and help me reflect my creative God.

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