Why I Became a Photographer

Why I Became a Photographer

This is the first of many posts to come! I am working hard at branching out on my blog posts! Writing blogs is a real struggle for me and I have days where I get a little insecure about why anyone would want to read about little ol’ me! Ha!

I realized, however, that an essential part to being a successful photographer is opening up and just talking (or writing as the case may be!). So here we go! We are starting with the basics of why in the world I ever decided to become a photographer.

I get asked this question a lot. Clients and friends want to know what it was that made me want to be a photographer and there is not one really definitive answer that I can come up with.

Why did I become a photographer?

It was not planned. I didn’t have this desire from early in childhood that made me work towards a goal. I sort of stumbled into it.

I have always had a creative side and photography was an interest but not a goal. If you asked me when I was 20 about two things I would like to do I would have told you, “learn how to play the guitar and take photographs with a manual camera.” I was interested, but not driven. I still don’t know how to play the guitar!


I think I would have to say that photography really became interesting with my children. When my first child was born, Ryder, I got a point and shoot camera. It was the first time I had ever owned a digital camera and it was the beginning of the new wave of technology. I loved documenting my adorable little boy! My eye was still developing and my equipment was pretty basic. I didn’t even know about digital editing at this time!

Little Ryder
(forgive the quality.. it’s a scan of the original)

Then came my second child, Skyler. After Sky was born I splurged and bought my first DSLR camera. It was a Canon Digital Rebel (I don’t even remember the exact model). I had a lot to learn but I LOVED it! I quickly joined the Flickr community and started exploring. I found photographers on that site that were so amazing. I became brave and began posting and then even braver and reached out to photographers and started asking questions. I quickly made some photographer friends on that site from all of the world who taught me about digital editing tools, tips, and how to find myself in photography. The world just opened up. Taking photos was my new favorite thing to do!

Little Sky
(forgive the quality.. it’s a scan of the original)

I started to take photos of my friends’ children and eventually my name started to be recommended to friends of friends and I began being offered payment for my services. That was the point that “Skyryder Photography” came into being.


Little Kemper
One of my favorite parts of being in Virginia! Love this little guy!
Little Beila
She joined our family in April 2011!

This was the point when my business really took off and I became a real full fledged photographer. I moved to Blacksburg, Virginia in 2007 with Ryder and Sky. At that point Facebook was an awesome marketing tool and social media was a great way to share your work. I was hired by a few local families to do some family sessions, posted the work, and word spread. By 2009 I had become an LLC and was now doing the full range of photography services. This was the first time in my life I looked at the work that I was doing, the art that I was creating, and the business that I had started and said, “I am a photographer.” I love it. I work hard to continue to improve my art and am never done learning. I don’t really believe that as a human we should ever stop learning, after all.

So why did I become a photographer? I guess you could say being a photographer was on my path. It was not my plan but it became my passion. I absolutely love it!

The Rogers Wedding at Nesselrod on the New in September 2017