If you would have asked me growing up, or in high school, or in college, or after college if I would ever own my own photography company… I would have said nope. I had my Bachelor of Science in nursing, was working my dream job as a Labor and Delivery nurse at the same hospital I was born at and personally delivering about 100 babies a year…and I knew zero about photography…OR running a business!
Enter September 2010, and my 1st trip to Branson. Point and shoot camera in hand, I captured my mom being sung to on stage and thus began my passion for capturing memories and moments, especially in the magic of a theater. Dozens of trips to Branson and hundreds of images later, the passion only grew. Hours of reading photography blogs and photography articles, investing in my 1st entry level DSLR and learning about this thing called “manual mode”…simply by asking the question “I wonder what this button does?”
I followed other theater photographers in Branson, I reached out, I asked questions, I shot, and I shot, and I shot! Shutter speed, ISO, aperture, white balance! Why are theater lights such funny colors? Why do performers move so fast? Why are spotlights different than other theater lights? How does it look so bright on stage and not in my camera?!
And then one day…someone asked me to take pictures of their family. And it was totally different. I remember planning shoots at noon and moving clients to shoot in open sunlight…because more light is always better, right?! So the learning began alllllllll over again! Shadows? New white balance settings? Aperture really DOES make a difference?! I have to move instead of just sit in a seat and let performers move around me?!
Months, weeks, years later, I was shooting on all my off days, traveling to Branson almost every weekend, I even had my 1st billboard on Hwy 65 at the Branson exit! I left my hometown of Kansas City and moved to Branson: and it was the best decision of my life. I took a part time nursing job at the hospital and thus embarked the official beginning of TGC Photography.
Since moving to Branson, I’ve learned a WHOLE lot (more!) about photography, I’ve learned even MORE about running a business…and I’ve made more friends and had more adventures than I EVER thought possible! I’ve shot in Puerto Rico, New York City, Pigeon Forge, all over the midwest…all because of a camera and a dream. I’ve hung out of airplanes, climbed on ferris wheels, shot on speed boats, shot on rollercoasters, shot leaning out of helicopters and shot on stage during live performances. I’ve learned that if there’s a dream, a willingness to stretch your comfort zone and a determination to work hard for it…you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible!
Can’t wait to see where this journey leads next!
“The only photographer you should compare yourself to is the one that you used to be”