Hey, So I thought that I would make a proper introduction on here as my first blog post. A persons story is very personal and beautiful. I would like to share mine with you, my ‘Photographer Journey’! So here we go…
PICKING UP THE CAMERA
My Photographer Journey first started when I first picked up a camera in 8th grade. I took a photography class and learned that I loved taking photos. I’ve always been the creative type and I decided to try a new creative skill. When I was in my photography class, I ended up loving it and found myself talking my camera EVERYWHERE I went. Back then I had a little Red Nikon CoolPix camera. It was not much but I loved that camera.
Also, at that time, did not like taking pictures of people. One reason for that could have been because I was an awkward and shy junior high student. I liked taking pictures of things because I could not talk to people and create something amazing.
Over the next several years I took every chance I could to take photos of anything and everything, everything except people that was. I eventually made it to high school and ended up joining the yearbook staff. When I was in yearbook I found that I loved designing and standing on the side lines at sport games to take photos. That is also when I was also introduced to a DSLR camera and started to love taking photos even more.
My mother was actually my yearbook advisor a placed a HUGE part in me finding my love for photography. She taught me just about everything I knew about photography in those early days.
FINDING MY LOVE OF PHOTOGRAPHING PEOPLE
Well, senior year of high school finally came and this is when my photographer journey really started. During my senior year, I had a family friend come to me and ask me if I would take their family photos. Being a person who is always up for a new adventure, I ended up taking on the challenge. After that photoshoot, I went away from it absolutely loving it and wanting to do more! I loved taking photos for that family and the joy they got from getting their photos back.
Over the next year I found many more friends and family members reaching out to me to photograph for them. I ended up photographing several family photos, senior photos, and even a couple of weddings; I also was able to shoot some styled portrait shoots. From doing all these different photos I really grew to absolutely love taking photos of people over that year. (Below are a few of my photos from my first few photo sessions.)
After I graduated high school I chose to work at a hotel for about a year because I did not feel ready to start collage. I then left on my LDS Mission. Then 2020 hit and I came home early due to the pandemic. I was pretty lost in what I wanted to do in my life. As if that was not bad enough after being home for two weeks my mom was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. Over the the next couple of months I watch cancer take the life of my mother.
Once she was gone I really felt lost in life. She was everything to me, the one person I could always go to. The person that had taught me how to be a good person, to love and serve those around me, and how to use a camera. The person that I could always go to no matter what! And now she was gone.
The next several months I felt more lost then I ever had in my life. How could I move forward in my life without the one person that was helping my life more forward.
FINDING MYSELF AGAIN
After about four months and a lot of therapy I was starting to feel like myself again. I finally got to a point that I could start looking to the future again. I remembered one of the last things my mother said to me. “McCaslin, please go do something with your life.” That helped drive me to want to pick myself up and move forward with my life.
Somewhere along that path, I ended up enrolling in collage to do graphic design. Although I have always been hesitant about going to collage, I was loving what I was learning and could not wait to graduate to start doing graphic design professionally.
Around the time I started collage I also entered the dating world. I found this one guy and really hit it off with him. He ended up purposing to me before my first semester was over, but that was okay because I really loved him. Fast forward a few more months and we were married in the Logan Temple.
After enjoying the honeymoon phase for a few months I then picked up school again and was still so ready to keep learning. When I was signing up for classes I ended up enrolling in a couple of photography classes. I enjoyed them but I was still very adamant to keep studying to be a graphic designer. At that time was attending Brigham Young University Idaho and living in Paris, Idaho. It was quite the distance to go for school. I ended up graduating BYU-I with my associates degree and then transferred to Utah State University.
Sometime between graduating BYU-I and starting at USU I had my daughter. She entered this world in August of 2022. She has been so fun the last few months and I can’t wait to see what this world has in store for her.
FINALLY REACHING MY DREAMS
After starting at Utah State I realized very quickly that I was ready to drop out of collage and pursue a photography business. I took a photography class and loved it and learned more then I ever had in a photography class. It helped me find my true passion was not graphic design, but was defiantly photography. School suddenly seemed like it was a waste of my time and money and pursuing a photography business was what I truly wanted to do.
I have found that I love capturing people’s life moments. I love knowing that people have great quality photos of their life events. Photos are such a valuable thing to have. They help tell stories of moments of the past. I’m hear to document your moments so you have the photographs for years to come!
If you would like me to take your photos for your special occasion…Click Here!! Thank you for reading all about my photographer journey.
–McCaslin C. Z.