This morning I woke up to LinkedIn messages congratulating me on my work anniversary. I was confused momentarily, because last month I had a work anniversary for my corporate job as a technical writer. Then it dawned on me.
It’s been four years since I started my photography business.
And another realization: tomorrow is Veteran’s Day.
As I drank my coffee and got ready for my day, I began pondering the past and the future. I started my photography business on the heels of my divorce. I was beginning an entirely new life, and the time seemed right to start this new adventure. I’d already been writing and shooting for three local publications: the Santan Sun newspaper out of Chandler; and Go Gilbert! and So Scottsdale magazines, both Richman Media Group publications. It felt like it was time to formally join the ranks of the pros and semi-pros.
Four years later, I look back and it’s been quite the adventure. I’ve had some amazing opportunities, I’ve grown in skills and creativity, learned much about the human spirit and condition, and I’ve made some mistakes that I learned from.
I’ve captured amazing talented celebrities and idols such as BB King and Willie Mays, and I’ve made people see themselves in a way they’d never seen themselves before. I’ve shown people they are truly beautiful in spite of the self-image they have. I’ve learned that even among the “elite” members of society, deep down people need to be seen for who they are as individuals, not objectified for what they have or who they might be married to. I’ve seen celebrities at their most vulnerable moments. I’ve captured passion in both the most acceptable and most taboo forms. I’ve photographed exuberance and love. I’ve photographed little known history in the LGBTQ community. I’ve photographed heartache. And I've had wonderful mentors and friends who helped me along the way (Mike Eller and Chris Barr--thank you ever so much).
I wouldn’t have missed these experiences for all the money in the world. What all this comes down to is I’ve been privileged to tell many people’s story, both in camera and in writing. Everyone has a story, and my dream and vision is to keep telling those stories, one person at a time.
Reflecting on how this connects to me being a veteran, especially this week when our country feels so torn from within, I’m proud that I served my country. As frustrated as many of you may be, we need to remember we still have a country full of opportunities, and the freedom to seek out those opportunities. We each own a sliver of the American pie, and what we do with that sliver is our own individual choice.
So for my sliver, I choose to use my “magic black box” and show you the world as I see it, and introduce you to people you don’t know, and show you a different perspective on life.
Anniversaries are not just about reflecting on the past. Anniversaries are also about looking at the future. So what do I see for the future of Miachelle D Photography?
1. I have a new logo being designed. Periodically, it’s good to look at a business brand and assess its effectiveness. I did this, and it’s time for a fresh logo that represents me now.
2. New creative projects are in development and storyboarding. I am looking forward to a new one with the ever lovely and insanely intelligent and creative Phoenix model Percolate.
3. I’m looking to expand into more editorial photography and writing. I know it’s a rare thing when a photographer can both shoot and write, and I am going to capitalize on that strength.
4. Keep on photographing people like YOU. YOU are what keeps me driven and passionate about photography.
Happy anniversary to me, and I hope to meet you and tell your story on my continued adventure.