This is going to be an incredibly personal post for me.

When I first started doing photography (almost 5 years ago this month), I had no idea what I was doing.  I never researched or took a class on photography (still haven’t) but I just knew it made me happy.  For some reason, it was never something that stressed me out. I don’t know why, but photography always felt like the thing I was supposed to be doing and as lame as it sounds, it just felt right.
Of course when you start out you’re not automatically the best. When I started my photography journey it was with a $200 Fuji camera from Walmart with rubber bands wrapped around it to keep the batteries from falling out.  But I didn’t care about any of that and I definitely didn’t care if any other person besides myself thought the photos were bad. It made me so happy, so I was oblivious to everything else.
One day my uncle called and told me he would love to help me buy a new camera. This was, and still is, so random to me that this happened. I love my uncle and my family so much, but I was raised in a household where I didn’t expect my parents or my family to buy me the things I wanted. I was taught to find a way to get what I wanted myself and I am so grateful for that. I knew not to ask for too much, so I just picked a $400 Fuji Film S200 EXR digital camera (I had no idea what a Nikon was). And my first official year and a half of business was with that Fuji and I loved it so stinkin’ much (thank you Uncle Jr.).

Along with the wonderful times of photography there were also the bad times as well. When I started out, a lot of people were nice but others not so much. I had people calling me names and saying horrible things about my work.
I remember one person said, “No one will ever know who you are.”  <I think that is still my favorite insult.
You should always be nice to every single person. It doesn’t matter what your profession is, if everyone hates working with you then you’re not going to get very far.
I just want all the young or even older aspiring photographers out there to know that people are going to try and bring you down. But just ignore it. If it makes you happy, that is all that matters. Your hobby, whether it be photography, knitting, sports, etc, will always be there for you when others are not at the time and I think that’s why I have made photography my #1 priority aside from my family. It was there for me when I went through the hard times such as losing friends, having to let go of people I really cared about, and having to just deal with the up’s and down’s that come with life. I always and will always have photography to fall back on.

When you guys write to me on my Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I read ALL of it and it makes me so, so happy. The support you all show does not go unnoticed and it means the world to me.

I wanted to take the time to thank one person in particular though. I’m not going to mention his name and only he knows who he is. But he sent me this message a month or so ago and it almost made me cry.  Not only because of how kind and thought out this message was, but because I really needed to hear it.  I thanked him a million times in my reply back, but this was the only way I could REALLY do it justice.

To the person that wrote this: I cannot thank you enough for saying these things to me. It is the nicest message I have ever received and it has made the hours I have spent editing/staring at a computer screen, missing family events, working from sunrise to sundown, and the hard work that comes with photography feel so rewarding. Thank you.

 

Capture

Showing 6 comments
  • Mary Mathis
    Reply

    Stephanie,

    I completely agree with what was said tonight. I can only hope someday my photography is an ounce of how amazing yours is. I honestly look at your site every day. I want to be you – no lie! 🙂

    Mary

    • stephanieparsley24
      Reply

      Ah! I am just now seeing this!!! Thank you so much!
      And what the heck, I just checked out your website and it’s awesome! So right back at you!!!!

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