My First Photos As A “Professional” !!!

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April 29, 2018

GUYS. I found my first macbook from 2009 and I’m a little on the fence about either burning to rid the world of the EMBARRASSING hundreds of selfies I took back almost ten years ago….but before I do, I rounded up some of my very first photos I ever took with my first “real” camera!

I sorted through literally THOUSANDS of images for the past hour and a half, and first and foremost, I want to THANK my sweet, sweet friends who let me spend HOURS photographing them!! NONE of this would have ever been possible without them.

I always say, the BEST teacher I ever had was practice. This sounds a little ridiculous, but truly, it was (A LOT) of trial and error, figuring out lighting, composition, aperture, all of that fun stuff. Along with practice, I have to give credit to Greg Kie for always being brutally honest with me. I didn’t always like his input, but it was that little bit of tough love that really pushed me to become a better photographer.

So, let’s get to it!!!

These were the VERY first photos I ever took with my first DSLR camera!! I remember I was AMAZED by them. I was ready to hand in my resume to National Geographic. Haha! My first camera was a SONY a230. If you want the full run-down on the equipment that I started with, click HERE!!!

I can’t say enough good things about this girl!! This is my friend Alika, and she was ALWAYS up for a “photoshoot” !! We would spend HOURS after school and on the weekend picking out outfits, hair, makeup and then riding around all over town scouting out new photo spots!! You’ll see a lot of photos of her throughout this post, and I can’t thank her ENOUGH for being my earliest “model!!!” She is still beautiful as ever, and I LOVE the fact that even to this day, I still get the chance to have “photoshoots” with her and her little family!! 🙂

As you can see, my LOVE for sun-flares and golden light started early on! This was one of our very first photoshoots together and as amateur as these photos are, compared to my work now, this was a crucial step in figuring out lighting!! These were taken in 2009!


This was a huge step for CFP – at $20,  this was my very first PAID “gig” (!!!) This is my friend, Emily and this was her senior photo session! The last photo is the photo she submitted for the yearbook, and I used my (very basic) photoshop skills at the time to brighten it up a little bit. I remember being SO proud of these, and I still am! Thank you SO much Emily!!


I love my Rachel!! We have been friends for well over ten years and she was one of my very first friends when I moved to Canton! She was always up for a photoshoot, and these shots are from her senior photo session!



At this point, I was taking most of my close friends’ senior photos. Definitely getting better, and still loving the golden light! These photos are of my good friend Meg, and I remember those horse photos were some of my FAVORITE photos I had ever taken, and I remember blasting them online everywhere!!


Thank God for my Jake!! Along with Rachel, he still remains one of my closest friends to date, and these were from his senior photo session as well! Not too shabby!!


By this point, you can see that my photos are definitely improving!! Big differences between these photos of Alika and the very first ones at the top of the page! These photoshoots were about a year later and my lighting and composition was getting much better! I was also getting a liiiiiitle bit more comfortable with adjusting my color in photoshop. Side note, this girl can seriously rock ANY hair color!! Am I right?!


My friend Kate was also another friend who I LOVED having photoshoots with!! Her wardrobe was AMAZING and her parents had so much land for us to explore and scout for great photoshoot spots!!


At one point, my dream job was to be one of the photographers on American’s Next Top Model, getting to shoot in the most creative and fun locations and settings! These photos of Alika and Hannah was my idea of trying to create a fun and interesting photoshoot! I remember struggling with my shutter speed to get the splashing water JUST right. Hannah was in front of my camera A LOT as well back in the day, and I am SO exited to shoot Hannah’s wedding next year!!

This was one of my very first family photo sessions! My friend Taylor and little Nolan! I remember I tried FOREVER to photoshop off Taylor’s bracelet in the first photo, couldn’t do it, gave up and swore off photoshop forever…. haha!! How CUTE is little Nolan?!

Just want to thank Alika again for letting me drag her out in all kinds of weather, all year long!! These photos were taken in 2011 and the biggest change I see in these are how evenly lit they were! I was finally getting a grasp on my lighting, so I could start focusing on composition, and incorporating fun aspects into our photoshoots!

So friends, there you have it! A little trip down memory lane, and a peek into my early years of “business.” Sure, there are PLENTY of critiques and “what was I thinking?” moments for each of these photos, but the important thing to remember is that EVERYONE starts SOMEWHERE, so embrace it, and learn from it. Truth be told, I never actually thought I’d end up taking photos for a living. I was taking photos because I LOVED doing so. It was my outlet to be creative and turn ideas in my head into something on a screen. My only hope is that in another 10 years, I can look back on the photos I’m taking now and have more critiques and “what what I thinking?” moments. The best piece of advice I can give to aspiring photogs, early in business, is to CONTINUE shooting, no matter what. You WILL improve, you WILL become more comfortable, and you WILL become a better photographer. Again I want to thank my sweet friends and their families for playing such a fundamental role in my business!