This past weekend was my first double header wedding weekend. Ever. I was a little scared (okay, more like really nervous and I may have had a slight panic attack Friday night), but I survived with minimal injury and had an all-around really successful weekend capturing two absolutely beautiful weddings. Yesterday was a Father’s Day wedding and instead of doing a Father Daughter dance with just the bride and her dad, the couple chose to invite all dads and daughters out to the dance floor to share a dance together. As I was snapping away at all the cuteness, I couldn’t help but think… 10 years from today, that little girl might be sharing this photo and gushing about how much she loves her dad. I got a little teary eyed capturing those moments and for the first time, realized just how important my job is in the middle of me performing it. My heart swelled and tears welled in my eyes as I thought about this Father’s Day that was going to be encapsulated in these pictures for years and years and years to come. I thought about my own dad, and how he was so proud of me for standing here at this wedding working hard at the dream I’ve fought for for years instead of being upset that I missed both his birthday and Father’s Day this year. I would feel absolutely terrible about those two things if I didn’t know for sure that he was so proud of me. Hopefully I’ll never miss both of those things again, but I’m thankful for his grace and all of the support he’s given me over the years, especially in my business.

My dad was the first person who saw any sort of potential in me for being a photographer. He bought me my first DSLR in 2007 and then begged me to submit my underexposed sunset pictures and blurry aquarium shots to photography contests. He knew that there was something I could reap from this… he just didn’t know exactly how to get me there. So he just encouraged me and built me up. Kept telling me that I was going to be a big time photographer someday. And when my passion for photography first started to blossom into a business, the first thing he said was, “you’re sitting on a gold mine.” He knew I could and would do it… and this past Friday when I sat in the kitchen having an anxiety attack about how I was going to make it through my first double header weekend, he pulled me in for a hug and said, “I know you can do this.” And I did. It was totally fine, as it always is. I’m just so thankful for the first man in my life to ever see and acknowledge the gifts and talents God gave me.

There are a lot of reasons I started photography. That’s another post I’m saving for a different day, but one of the main reasons why I’m where I am today is because of my dad. He never let me give up… even when my business wasn’t making any money and I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere with all my hard work. Even when it felt like being a wedding photographer was the silliest thing to dream about… my dad didn’t think it was silly at all. He pushed me, challenged me, and encouraged me every single day since I got that first “big” camera and it totally and completely played a direct role in making me who I am today… a full-time photographer. And as my dreams shift and change over the years, I know he’ll be right by my side, even long after he’s gone, reminding me that I’m far more capable than I think of accomplishing great things. And for that, I’m forever grateful.

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