Behind the Lens || My Photography Journey

January 19, 2018


Becoming a wedding photographer honestly wasn’t something that I had planned on doing growing up.  Honestly, I never thought as “photographer” as being a viable career choice that I could make, or that it would even be possible to become a photographer. I always saw it as one of those far-off dreams like becoming a full time musician, professional athlete, you get the drift. Not sure where my life would lead me, I took a cadet teaching course my senior year of high school and loved it. I pursued Elementary Education at Purdue University and felt like that was what I was supposed to do.

Photography has always been a hobby and something that I thoroughly enjoyed doing, but wedding photography was honestly something that I sort of stumbled into in a best way. In the Spring of 2013 I photographed my first wedding as a favor for my boyfriend’s grandfather, they had a small, beautiful ceremony at a place they both loved and it was wonderfully challenging for me. That summer a dear friend at Purdue asked me to photograph her intimate wedding at her family’s farm, and then a cousin of mine asked me to photograph hers. At the end of the year I wasn’t sure what hit me but there was one thing I knew, and that was that I had found my passion. My calling. I joyfully accepted weddings and portrait sessions in 2014 and spent all of my free time learning and practicing on my friends. Business boomed and I was overwhelmed with joy.

Two of my very first wedding portraits! Even though these photos aren’t technically correct, I treasure these photos and these people because they’re the very first ones to trust me to capture their wedding!

Vulnerability alert: I’ve always been very insecure of myself. Very shy and hesitant to let anyone in to really know me. My sweet (then) boyfriend supported and encouraged me to do what I love, no matter what that meant. Junior year, I knew that my passion had shifted. Elementary Education wasn’t something that I felt like I could do for the rest of my life and my love for photography was something that I could see a real future with. I decided confidently that I wouldn’t conform to the social norms and I would take a shot at pursuing what I am most passionate about, no matter what others thought of me. By taking that bold step I gained confidence in myself that I hadn’t ever felt before. After I finished my degree at Purdue and got my teaching license I took an aiding position at a local elementary school so I could try out the idea of being a full time photographer, and for the first time in my life I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be, doing exactly what I’m supposed to do. I left my job as an aide to go full time with wedding photography in May of 2017 and it’s been the most creatively liberating season of my life and I’ve loved every crazy, beautiful moment of it.

Being a wedding photographer means so much to me because it’s been a long journey of self discovery and acceptance to realize that this is who I was always meant to be, and I’ve worked very hard for that.

  1. Marti Shahan says:

    Love seeing your creativity. You definitely have a great gift. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Julie Hendricks says:

    I loved reading your blog, Victoria.. Our family has certainly been blessed by your talents as you have helped create a lot of beautiful memories of the kids.

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