Well my interest in photography started when I was in high school, 2011 (my junior year). I was blessed with a visionary eye for nature photography and I took photos of everything! At that time I wasn't so into capturing people but I knew that eventually it would happen. In 2011 I created a Face-Book page called Photography Fans which was designed to be my online portfolio. Back then, since I was a amateur, I was offering small services just to gain experience with people photography. So that year was mainly about finding out my own capabilities and strengths.
A piece of knowledge: Some people can be born with the 'eye' others can be taught, all depends on your willingness to learn.
Well in 2012 business started to pick up. Not only was I capturing landscapes but I started to edit photos with websites available to me. (Ribbet, Pic monkey, Pixlr, etc). Usually, photographers take the time to learn Photoshop, however, I didn't see the need to learn it. Facebook became useful to me by selecting my friend's photos to edit them. So then I though; if I could deliver satisfying results to clients--without Photoshop--I would be just fine. Also, in that year I got some experience capturing people like my first bridal shower tea party. One last thing that I picked up was city photography, travelling to urban or rural areas was exciting to me! The architecture art form is what many people like to observe, so what better way than to capture the corner of a building or the leading lines of a street.
A piece of knowledge: Never be afraid to try newer genres of photography because you should never underestimate yourself. You also don't have to be a professional in Photoshop to get the results you want.
As for 2013 things were looking up.. that was the year I started to get more bookings. I had created my second online portfolio through Facebook R.MontgomeryPhotography (Now RNativePhotos). At first my page wasn't viewed much or had very many likes. The bookings I did manage was a wedding for my neighbor and locale engagement photos for a friend/ past coworker of mine. Since I had captured people, I began to do the same with my cats. Posing them of course was impossible but it allowed me to work on 'moving art'. That year for me was awesome! It was quite an opportunity to explore what all I can do in photography.
A piece of knowledge: Once you unveil your passion in life, don't let nothing stop you from pushing yourself to uncover more.
In 2014, the journey continued... I had completed another wedding, Easter photos and had completed some small editing sessions that came my way. In 2014 it was the year I got better involved in the photography community especially through Instagram and Facebook. Also, I was becoming very proactive on finding a school / opportunity to getting certified and then I stumbled upon NYIP (New York Institute of Photography). Over the course of the year my mission became that "photographers should stick together, give tips, have group shoots, help promote each other and hold small competitions to improve as amateurs or professionals." I connected with others from my church and As that year concluded I ultimately realized that with obstacles, God will turn into good, just be PATIENT!
A piece of knowledge: Become proactive/ driven or even relentless when it comes to your dreams! Look for opportunities to improve your visual artwork and start NOW, plan a road-map for the next 3, 5, or 10 years.
As for 2015, it was a year that I noticed a lot was changing and towards the end I almost stopped photographing. However, majority of the year was about growth and building my portfolio with models and weddings. Balancing school and the time to complete these photo sessions was trying to slow me down. I had aspirations to design calendars and setting in place certain sale promotions. Although, most of that didn't get accomplished it is time to have 2016 be the year I grow my photography business. No games this year. Lord willing.
A piece of knowledge: No matter how side-tracked you become never forget to at least review your goals and re-route if needed. This year taught me so much and every year should teach you more about yourself and what your capable of.
2016 was a very busy year for me. I had almost fell away from my passion and eventually people doubted if I still photograph. One major lesson I learned is that no matter how busy your life gets you must divide time to your passion. Another, don't be discouraged if a new years resolution failed or that it is too late to pursue a passion. Life throws curve balls all the time but you have to maneuver around that and still make time to your passion. As for 2017 I have big plans but there's no telling the future so it's time to sit back and enjoy this new year!
Slice of Knowledge: "Don't be afraid to chase your dream/ passion... at times it's all you have"
Although I had much planned for 2017, life's circumstances got in the way. Before I realized it I was living with the fear of not being good enough to pursue my passion. Our own self doubt gets in the way of what we want to do and accomplish. Never give up! It's never too late to try it again, improve yourself and your craft. To all those aspiring photographers reading this... don't be afraid of yourself--your talent--if this is your purpose in life then let it manifest! On top of all that believe that God will support you and will give you peace when you feel fearful. Stay blessed!!