They say life takes you on unexpected journeys and I have to say I truly believe that. Starting out studying Advertising and Public Relations and doing a second degree in English Lit at no point in my life did I ever think I would be where I am today…a wedding photographer. Today I am going personal, something I have been scared to do. But I’m ready, and this will be the first of many personal posts. So saddle up.
I remember when I took my LSAT, taking the road my dad had always planned for me. I passed it and I got the score to get into the best Law School in Puerto Rico and then…. I left. I packed my bags and moved to New York. No plan, no idea of what I was doing and on a string shoe budget. Boy was I nuts, but hey I was young and I had nothing to loose. And so I got an internship at the New York Institute of Photography and got to organize the photo contest with an awesome crew at the time. And I fell in love.
With art, photography, colors, ideas and the crazy world of photos. And so it happened, a bought a 35mm film camera and shot everything in sight. My boyfriend at the time (now husband) was finishing his photography studies and we just did it, we decided to shoot. Without knowing basically nothing hahaha… But again, what did we have to loose? We learned from hardship, from falling down and getting back up, from shooting dark negatives and then finding out what shutter speed was (i sucked) but with the guidance of my boyfriend and my stubbornness I learned and I found out something new about myself, I could be fearless. I bought my first digital camera, a Fuji, and I shot a wedding (noted I was crazy) and although the pictures suck to me now at the moment I was so excited and the bride loved her pictures. And so I decided I was going to be better, shoot better and be the best I could be. And so I bought books, magazines, tutorials, read blogs and I taught myself. It was a long journey but with time I became a wedding photographer (a real one) 🙂 I discovered some amazing Photographers that to This day inspire me (Bobbi + Mike, Amelia Lyon, Jasmine Star, Jessica Claire, José Villa and Elizabeth Messina) and they became my north.
So when I decided, just having given birth, to go and Take my First workshop with Jasmine Star in California, I thought I would learn and be inspired, But it actually changed my Life. I discovered it was okay to be fearless, to want more, to want to change peoples lives and to simply be myself against all odds. Jasmine taught me it was okay to be simple, to make mistakes and try again and to this day I have learned that there are a lot of us out there, a lot of dreamers that are doer’s. And so I decided to leave my husbands photography company and go out on my own and create my own brand. And I was so scared!! But I pushed on and booked (I still have no idea how) 32 weddings my first year. And then it hit the fan! It was a Very intense period in my life, I wanted so much to be liked, understood, validated but what I learned was that a lot of people didn’t want me to be anything but nothing. When I received my first backlash, the first person who decided that I was not ready to be a part of this industry and then a few more… I wanted to quit, I cried at night, I was so hurt and frustrated, but then my husband said to me “you don’t owe any of them any explanations, they don’t know who you are or what you’ve been through, so just let it go. You are the hardest worker I know and you shouldn’t have to explain yourself, But if you want Ill go and punch them and be done with it” hahahaha… He was joking of course, but he was also right. I had worked hard to achieve what I had and crying about it wasn’t going to do much. So I went out and worked even harder, I studied more, I went on more workshops like the amazing HER conference, where I met the amazing couple behind Harrison Studios and now Jonas Paul Eyeware and met incredible women just like me, got to know an industry of peers who cared about their craft and people and I became the best version of myself, one that I am still building.
Yeah it’s been hard, yes I have shed tears, Yes I have failed, I still fail, but I am here. I am real and I can tell you it gets better and if you put the work you can build the world of your dreams. You might hurt, you might bleed, you might fall but you will also achieve, you will make someone cry because of the images you produce, you will laugh with new friends, you will meet people who will change your life and will make you better and you will SUCCEED.
Don’t give up, today is not the day to lay down and rest. Today is the day to stand up and follow your ideas through the open door and find your dreams laying in the stars.
Thank You to everyone who was ever believed in me, who was helped me, who has pushed me. I have been lucky to have a husband who has been there the whole time, who has pushed me, hugged me, comforted me and said yes to all my crazy ideas. Who gave me a new reason to live, our baby girl, she is my Bethlehem star. Without them I would be half the person I am. You are all a part of my armor, and you make me shine brighter.