I am still pinching myself.
It was four years ago that I came upon Deb Schwedhelm on facebook. I had only started photography about six months prior. I instantly fell in love with her unique style of photographing people. But even more than that…..I fell for her as a person. Deb’s online presence was positive, genuine and uplifting. She supported. She inspired. She led.
I remember a handful of times when I would leave random messages on her fan page. One in particular after she had posted something that inspired me as a human being. I told her to keep being her. That she was a gift to our industry. I often think to scroll back through the comments left on her page to find the ones I left so long ago.
I remember the first time I saw a posting for one of her workshops. I knew that someday I wanted to meet and learn from her. So I made that happen. Last fall she had posted that she would be in Chicago. I reached out to her to see if she would spend a day with me. Long story short…we ended up meeting in Michigan. She invited me to see Sally Mann speak. A rare opportunity. We spent a day together talking and sharing. She was every bit the same person in front of me that she was online. I knew she would be.
We kept in touch. And when we booked our family vacation to Florida this April I messaged her right away for family photos. I made my Mother’s Day gift very easy for my husband and two children. We drove to Tampa to meet her at her home. We were able to meet Deb’s family (pretty cool after seeing her kids so often in photos) and had an unforgettable session on the beach. It is an experience that I will always remember. I won’t have to look far to recall these memories either as the photos on my wall will be a constant reminder of the beautiful photographer, mentor and now friend that stood behind the camera.
I have been very fortunate to have met and learned from the people I admire and respect most in this industry this past four years. People that I have followed and have inspired me for so many different reasons. You don’t get what you don’t ask for. I believe you get the life you want and I have loved the time I have spent taking courses, meeting new people and learning from such talented photographers. Outside of the time I spend with my clients, these experiences have made my career in photography incredibly exciting. If there is someone you admire or that inspires you – in any industry – I encourage you to reach out to them. You never know what might happen.
Having a photography session, for me, is so much more than the photos. It’s the whole experience that gets you to the finished photo that will hang on your wall and become a part of your life’s mark. Deb will always be a huge part of why our family photos make me so happy when I look at them. From the bottom of our hearts Deb…we thank you. xo See our family blogpost here!
It doesn’t end there. Deb is coming to Ontario in June! She will be leading a two day workshop that will inspire you beyond words. This in an opportunity you do not want to miss. You can find the details here. The workshop is almost full so don’t wait to sign up. You never know what good things might just happen:)
Dreams really do come true.
Deb and our girlies!