New Adventure: Laura Jean Photography

I have been a hobbyist photographer for many years. It all started with my first 35mm film camera when I was in the 3rd grade. I loved taking photos at school, behind the scenes at basketball and softball practice, road trips with my family, etc.

When I turned 27 years old, I decided to buy my first DSLR camera. I bought the Canon Rebel T2i starter kit with two lenses and the ugliest camera bag I have ever seen, so that I could take “good photos” of my son….especially when he was playing sports. I never would have dreamed that my love for photography would grow even more than what it already was at the time, but it most certainly has.

For about the first 4 years of owning my camera, it stayed on “Auto” mode. I had no clue what all of the other buttons were for, nor did I care. Yes, the camera came with a great User’s Manual, but I am a bit of a stubborn person who does not like to read a user’s manual for anything until it breaks down. Plus, auto mode was working quite well for me. Sometimes I got the shot that I wanted, and sometimes I didn’t. That’s just how photography works, right?!?

Then I read an article on Facebook about shooting in manual mode, and why it is a must to learn. I was skeptical at first. I thought that either A.) This person was just trying to sell something that my single mom self wouldn’t be able to afford anyways or B.) This person was just trying to show the world wide web just how well educated they were in the world of photography. But I went ahead and read the article, anyways. At the end of the article was a link for “free” photography lessons. Again, being the skeptical woman that I am, I thought to myself “Ok….what’s the scam? Where is the fine print that says the lessons are free, but you have to purchase their software in order to view the lessons….or something along those lines?” However, it ended up not being a scam. It ended up being one of the greatest things to actually happen to me as far as my journey in photography. I signed up for the class, completed the class, didn’t pay a dime to anybody and gained a huge amount of knowledge about my camera.

And my photography hasn’t been the same, since.

Which leads me to today. I just received my business cards in the mail, submitted a DBA application and am about to work on setting my blog up to support my new business….

Laura Jean Photography.

I am excited and nervous, all at the same time. On one hand, I am looking forward to working with different families in my community, meeting new people and growing my passion for photography. On the other hand, I am scared to turn a hobby that I love so much, into a business. I have heard countless stories of people who ended up despising their hobby after turning it into a business. But I honestly don’t see that happening here. I just want to help others outside of my family & friends, capture their special memories.

I have no clue what God has in store for this journey, but I am grateful to be able to experience it.

Rock Bottom

The last few years have been quite challenging for me both physically and emotionally. Without going into great detail, I have been battling depression, big time. My self esteem virtually doesn’t exist anymore. I stress eat like crazy. I don’t sleep well. I am not physically active. I don’t have much interest in the things I usually enjoy doing. The list goes on and on.

Today, however….I hit rock bottom.

I have known that I am overweight for quite some time now. I have made very slight efforts to do anything about it, though. I am a fast food junkie who loves ice cream and soda….especially mixed together. I could quite possibly eat my weight in tacos and lasagna. I should probably buy stock in Little Debbie’s snack cakes, considering how much I eat them. It’s truly pathetic.

So today, I started researching some articles on weight loss. I don’t want to diet. I want to make lifestyle changes. While reading one success story, I decided to take before photos. Whenever I downloaded the photos off of my camera, I almost threw up….literally.

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How in the heck did I let myself get this way?!?! I have known for a long time that I have put on way too much weight. The scale continues to tell me so. But I never realized I looked like this.

Now, I completely understand that my worth is not found in what I look like. It is not found in the number on the scale. Or what size pants I put on. But what does bother me is where the fat is at. I constantly gripe at my mother, who is severely diabetic, because she doesn’t eat right or exercise and try to take care of herself….and I am following right in her footsteps!!!!

Tomorrow is Day 1 of getting serious about making lifestyle changes. I have said it many, MANY times before. But the photos above are a MAJOR eye opener for me.

And the changes aren’t just for my benefit. I have a teenager who I should be a role model for. Right now, all he knows is junk, junk and more junk. We eat at McDonalds at least three times a week. We eat so many processed, frozen meals at home. I know how to cook….I’m just lazy. I use the excuse of being too busy and tired whenever I get home. Yet, I have a Crock-Pot that could do a lot of the work for me during the day. And there are plenty of recipes that don’t require that much time to prepare. I’m just simply lazy.

But starting tomorrow, things will change. They HAVE to change. Because this is not who I want to be.