Wednesday, February 8, 2012

MY STORY: Photography

*The purpose of this post is to win a FREE spot in professional photographer, Katelyn James' workshop in March. She is a Virginia-based wedding photographer that I truly admire. 
I would be honored!*


My blog title kind of says is all....Finding Taryn! 
And that's just what I've done!

That's me!

Whether you are retired at 70, working your butt off at 30, or just graduating high school at 18-we all have/had one goal in life...and that's to find out "who we are". What purpose we serve, for who, for what? What makes our heart beat? I've found it, and I'm about to tell you all about it...

I graduated high school in 2003, I didn't have the slightest idea as to what I wanted to be when I "grow up". As I'm sure many others were the same way. But I had a good job right out of school, yet still decided to further my education, but in what...I wasn't sure. So I was taking a few general classes and working full time at a bank. It was alright, but nothing I wanted to do forever.

The guy I was dating at the time, was a "fly by the seat of your pants" kind of guy. Fun, always wanting to try new things. We had nothing to lose and nothing to hold us down. So, we up and moved to the state of Missouri. We were young, dumb, crazy and stupid. But man did we have a good time. We had no place to stay, no jobs, no friends, no family...just each other! But you know what? It was amazing, it all worked out! We both got really good jobs, a nice place to stay. A boat...hello, we were living on the LAKE! It was an awesome experience.

(I know I'm rambling, but please stick with me)

I'll keep out the details (that's for a different blog post) so long story, REALLY short...I ended up pregnant at age 21! Not long afterwards, my relationship was failing, I missed my friends and family back home in Wisconsin and things started falling apart. Luckily I still had a really good job, but was it worth being lonely? I toughed it out and lived alone my first 7 months of pregnancy in Missouri, when one day I remember calling my mom saying: "I'm ready. I'm ready to come home". She was FLOORED and overjoyed. My mom, dad, two sisters and my brother jumped in a truck, got a trailer, and hauled me home within the next two weeks. Let me remind you, I was 8 months pregnant. I was good for nothing-they did all my packing, unpacking, was great! I suggest if you want to move, you should wait until you get pregnant! ;-) 
Only kidding...
It is true though, you can't replace family! They will be there no matter what. Through the mistakes I've made, the hurtful things I've said...hell, I even moved 500 miles away and they still loved me just the same!

Back to Wisconsin I went...crying the whole way, because it was hard to admit that my "move to Missouri" that lasted almost 3 years-was a bust! I felt like I had failed. Feeling alone, moving back in with my parents, and pregnant-planning to raise my child ON MY OWN. was I scared! I remember looking back at old high school pictures and thinking "What did I do? Who am I? This isn't what I wanted..."

But this is when everything takes a turn...for the better!

My daughter, Tenlee was born! 8 lbs. 13oz. on January 2nd (27 hours too late to claim on my 2007 taxes-darnit) Oh well! She was worth the wait!

The moment she came into my life, my world changed. Not only did I find the true meaning of "love", but I found ME! I found my passion. I found the one thing that made my heart beat.

Yeah-maybe my situation wasn't ideal, it wasn't practical, and it sure wasn't easy but I made damn sure every moment I had with my daughter was special. Until she was born, a camera was just a camera to me. It was just pushing a button. Hoping that it wouldn't turn out blurry...again! I remember not wanting to put my daughter to bed at night in fear that she'd be ANOTHER day older. I truly cherished every moment, and over time I realized that my camera was the key. I wanted to capture her every move, every smirk and just the way she looked up at her mama. I never wanted to forget. Which now, I have about 3,000 pictures of Tenlee laying on her back staring at the ceiling. Thought they were cute at the time, and they are...but one or two was probably enough. 

Or not!

Even still, I wanted to remember all those small little moments that we so easily forget. The expressions, the milestones and the love she had around her.
HELLO! We need a picture of that! =)

I eventually had to go to work, that placed Miss Tenlee in daycare for the majority of the day-it made me sick. Why was I spending 9 hours away from my baby girl doing something I didn't enjoy? Why? That doesn't make sense. I didn't have a baby to not get to see her. I knew something needed to change. In the meantime, I received my Canon Rebel as a gift because "if I was going to take pictures, I wanted them to be good". 
I set that thing on AUTO and went to town. Hahaha!

It wasn't cutting it.

THEN, I got smart....real smart! 

Tenlee and I moved into a house with my sister, I got a different job (part time) that I tolerated, and I enrolled in school. An Associates degree in Applied Arts and Business (aka PHOTOGRAPHY) is what I'm after. I'm currently in my last semester of the 2-year program. I graduate in May! 
I cannot tell you how happy I am.
I'm busy, I'm stressed, but it is all going to be worth it.
Every moment I have sacrificed with my daughter is only to better our futures. I'm ok with the idea of not spending all my time with her right now, because I'm working so hard to get to where I want to be.
I have goals, I have dreams! And to think they wouldn't have even been a thought if it weren't for Tenlee.

So, that's where I'm at. I'm 26. A single-mom to a gorgeous and smart little 4-year old girl. I'm working part time, going to school full time. I have learned so much in the past 5 years. Whether it's new mommy experiences, learning who my true friends are-but most of all my education in Photography. I don't want to be one of those Mama-razzi's. Thinking just because I have a DSLR I can take a photo. I want to MAKE a photo. Pushing a button is no longer pushing a button. It's working in MANUAL mode, setting shutter speed, aperture and ISO. Where is the light coming from? Where is my reflector....Lightroom 4! YAHOO! I know so much! But the best part is-there is even more to still learn. I'm working to better my portfolio everyday. To shadow my inspirations and to get out in the field and just shoot! I love every aspect that Photography brings to my life...and it's only getting better! 
Life is full of struggles, the fear of failing and a bunch of "what ifs". I'm ready to conquer my fears, fight the battles and turn the "what ifs" into reality!
Nothing can stop me, I'm stronger now than I've ever been.

I found photography...or did photography find me?

I would absolutely love the opportunity to attend Katelyn James' workshop, just meeting her would be exciting-but to get some tips, advice and guidance from her...what could be better? I cannot thank you enough for giving me, as a young photographer this opportunity. I strive to have my own business and studio; shooting infants, children, seniors, family and weddings! I cannot wait to see what the future holds! This is just a stepping stone!

A few more tidbits that make me the PERFECT candidate for your workshop experience!
For school, I have a portfolio show coming up in May 2012! (Different state, awesome photo ops)
I have a cousin that lives just an hour from you....Hey Dennis-free room and board, right?
It's the week of my SPRING BREAK!

For more about me and in case you want to check out some of my work-go to my website, or find me on facebook!

1 comment:

  1. Taryn, Very nice. Loved it! Iknow your work ethic and your morals and they are beyond reproach. I hope and wish for all your dreams to come true. Your hard work will take you far. You've reached for the stars. Take chances. Chots