1,000

Last night was pretty unreal. I hit 1,000 likes on my Facebook page and reached a huge milestone for myself! Honestly, when I started my business a little over 3 1/2 years ago, at the age of 18, I never thought I would reach a milestone like that. I know it is just a number and I never want to base my success or self-worth off of how many "Facebook likes" I get. But to know that my work has touched over 1,000 people brings tears to my eyes. It was so affirming for myself to see the response I got after posting that I was only 40 likes away from reaching my goal last night. I saw an outpouring of love and compassion from so many people and it was so humbling to witness. I truly would not be here without the love and endless support I receive from all of you. "Thank you" simply is not enough. My heart is so full. 

That crazy 18 year old who decided to try something new and pursue her passion of photography is still very much present within myself. There are hard days and there are rewarding days, but at the end of the day I will always love what I do. I will always be a photographer; I truly couldn't picture doing anything else. What is the end goal? I'm not sure. I have little goals set for myself over the course of the next couple of years but the end goal is ultimately up to the Lord. I've learned that to be a photographer you must live in the now, especially on photo shoots. Being fully present in order to capture fleeting moments is a key component to what I do. So I'm going to leave the "big stuff" to the Lord and try my hardest to live passionately and be present. I'm soaking up every experience I have on this journey of mine.

I know I say thank you a lot but there are a few people whom I would like to specifically thank for being a constant, positive presence and force in my life..

The Lord, who has blessed me and continues to bless me daily. I hope and pray that every photo I take is a reflection of Christ in someway. Every human being is a reflection of God's love; what a joy it is to capture that in a photo.

My parents and little brother, who were the first people to believe and me and have never stopped encouraging me. They love me unconditionally and without them I would not have half the confidence that I do. They were the first people to say, "go for it!"  

My clients and people who like my page, you are so wonderful and are truly like a family to me. I have learned so much from you and you inspire me constantly. Every kind word, like, and share means the world to me. Without my clients and people like you who are reading this, I would not be where I am today. 

My incredible family, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I love all of you so much and can't thank you enough for the many ways you encourage and motivate me. A special thanks to my Uncle Paul who helped me brand my business and surprised me with amazing business cards. My Uncle is truly one of the most talented people I know and he is always asking about my business and cheering me on; it means so much to me. Also, my cousin Rylee who is seriously my hero and one of the biggest inspirations in my life. You are all a never faltering source of strength in my life. 

My boyfriend Alex who keeps me on track and affirms me and my talents. He is an incredibly talented and creative soul and I can't thank him enough for all that he has done for me. He is my rock and my best friend!

All of my friends (especially Lauren, Megan, Kelly, and Jenna) who would let me drag them outside and photograph them at the beginning of my journey. You ladies bring me constant joy and were my fans from the start. Your friendships mean so much to me and your beautiful faces will always be my favorite to photograph. My friend Schyler too, who accompanied me on my first wedding shoot and saved me from a few mental break-downs; he is fantastic!

My dear friends who I have made in the photography business. Especially, Cheryl McDonald and Taylor Elchert. When I first began my photography business, I sent e-mails to all of my favorite photographers asking if they had even a tiny piece of advice for someone who is first starting out. Cheryl was the ONLY photographer to respond and I'm forever grateful for that. She believed in me during times that I didn't even believe in myself and has taught me so much. Taylor is a positive force in my life. I would be lost without her friendship. She understands me and my strange quirks and I think is the only other person who truly knows what it is like to go to school full time and own a business full-time. It's hard sometimes, but we don't let the other give up! Thank you BOTH, for sharing your talent with the world and inspiring so many people. I love you both more than words can say.

These are just a FEW of all the people who have played and continue to play such important roles in my life. I would not be who I am today without them. I am SO blessed. Heres to a 1,000 FB fans and many many more years of life, love, and laughter in photos. 

Much love & God bless,

Ali 

 

"Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever…it remembers the little things, long after you have forgotten everything."