Wednesday, June 04, 2008

June 1, 2003 - Day 0

Sunday was a BIG DAY for me. It's hard to believe but Sunday, June 1st marked my FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY. It's been 5 years since I took the plunge and started Sara Speert Photography back in 2003. My memories of that day are somewhat vague but I do remember exactly how I felt that morning I woke up without a job to go to. Let me rephrase that, without a job to go to with someone else as boss. It was a REALLY exciting and invigorating moment because I had been unhappy with my full-time job for sometime, but it was also really scary. The thought of not receiving a bi-weekly paycheck was terrifying. But I guess not terrifying enough not to take the risk. I was definitely naive to the reality of what I was about to take on, and it's probably a good thing that I didn't know all that I was about to face because I may not have done it. Since then, I've realized that I have to think a while before making big decisions. the pros and cons, whether I can actually picture myself succeeding, blah blah blah. So I have a feeling I would have been swayed by the fear of the unknown and of failure, and never begun.

Good thing I didn't! The last five years have been amazing. I have learned so much about stretching myself artistically, technically and about how to better run my business. I have also learned a tremendous amount about myself, about balancing personal time and work, and how I handle stress. (And after 5 years, I can safely say that I have perfected all these things...... yeah, right.)

I have also learned how amazing the photographic community is. When I first started pursuing my then hobby for photography, I found that there were a handful of pros in the Atlanta area who truly enjoyed sharing their experience and knowledge but overall, most kept things close to their chests. When I first moved to Atlanta and decided photography may be something I'd like to pursue, I opened the Yellow Pages to "photographers" and found an ad for a photographer in Roswell, GA. Little did I know that a simple cold-call to him would open up a world of opportunity and a chain of events and decisions that have led me here. John Haigwood was so generous to open up his studio to me. He offered advice, his experience and opened his darkroom to me so that I could work on my technique and art. At the time, he was still operating from the basement of his home and his wife and kids were so great to me.

I remember John's daughter was having a birthday party at their home and John asked if I'd like to come by to take some pictures and play with some of his amazing lenses. I took a photograph then with the first wide-angle lens I'd ever used of his daughter enjoying her cake with a flurry of kids and families around her all there to celebrate her birthday. It is still one of my favorite images for the moment it captured and how the angles of the ceiling "point" at my adorable subject.

Early images like this one convinced me that photography was not only something I enjoyed, but it was something I did well and really could be a career. Thanks to John for his vote of confidence in my talent and perseverance and to the countless other photographers and family and friends who have shared ideas with me and taught me so much.

Here's to 5 more!