Hi there, my name’s Alexa (and my dog’s name is Angel).
I’m a lot of things. First and foremost most people would call me an elopement and wedding photographer, but honestly I’d prefer to call myself an artist. I came into who I am as a photographer sorta kinda by accident, and my evolution from painting to photography took years and years, but I’ll break it all down the more you keep reading.
My photographic journey is short lived since I’ve only been calling myself a photographer within the past year. My first camera was a Nikon D3000 and hot dang did I love that camera. I would take pictures of literally everything, but then again who doesn’t when they’re that age and they’re given an awesome camera!? ( thank you mom for the christmas present!)
When I first started taking photography seriously back then, my best friend at the time and I would get together and put together photo shoots. They were the best 12 year olds could put together with a limited wardrobe, no makeup (because we weren’t allowed to have it yet), and a select few location options. We would take photos of each other maybe once a week? Until one day my friend all but claimed photography as “her art” and that I had to choose something else. Granted, she didn’t say that word-for-word, but it was well implied. And I didn’t want to be a bad friend so I put my camera on a dusty shelf in the closet and didn’t give it a second thought.
From that point forward, I was a self-proclaimed fine artist, a painter. I went to art high school for painting, worked at 2 different art museums, managed an art gallery, and received multiple scholarships to attend art schools. I loved it painting, and I still do, but there was just something I was never happy with in all of my paintings. And I was completely content with just staying inside my studio day in and day out. It wasn’t until I moved to Boone, NC that I realized I actually wanted to be OUTSIDE instead of cooped up in my tiny little studio. So I took up plein air painting, and it turns out that I absolutely hate it. Paint dries too fast outside and I couldn’t make things look realistic, plus a lot of other excuses as to why I hated painting outdoors (and my paintings for that matter).
At that point, I was losing touch of my art. I was unhappy with the work I was producing and I didn’t feel like I was being genuine with myself. Needless to say I was stuck in a rut and I didn’t know what to do to get myself out of it. I felt pretty discouraged about picking photography back up again because my first camera was stolen and my second camera broke. It just seemed like the universe didn’t want me to create anymore (I know, dramatic, but it gets better).
So one day I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook and I found someone selling a Canon for sale at a price that I could actually afford- that is if I put all of my savings towards one camera. I kept thinking about how much I had missed creating work and on a whim I called up the girl selling the camera and an hour later I was the proud owner of my first DSLR in about 5 years.
When I first started taking pictures again, everything I did was so rigid and didn’t feel like it had any life or personality. It just didn’t feel like me. I think I was caught up in trying to make my work look like it came straight from Instagram because that was what the society told me was “trending.”
So after a couple of months of trying that, I finally said screw it and started just being completely open, honest, and most importantly MYSELF. Since then I’ve noticed a huge difference in my work because I decided to let loose and focus on what I’ve always loved. I’m not in this business for the Instagram followers, social media buzz, the travel, I mean the list could go on.
It took me a while to figure out that my dream is to become a wedding photographer. That may sound weird because how can you not know what your dream is? Well I have so many that it’s hard to weed out which ideas are dreams and which ones are thoughts about things that would be cool to do. Wedding photography, turns out, is a dream and after I set my heart on that goal I went full force into this business.
I quit my day job and used the last bit of my money to invest in camera gear and educational courses. It was the biggest risk I’ve ever taken because not knowing when you’re going to receive your next paycheck is a nightmare. I’m very much Type A when it comes to planning for the future, so not knowing when I’m going to be receiving an income to pay for my dog’s food was terrifying. But I knew that if I didn’t make the leap now, then when was I going to ever be ready?
I made the leap and I landed on my feet (lol get it cause of the picture?) I’m now into my first month of being a full time photographer and let me tell you I basically spent the first week binge watching Netflix (very unproductive). I gave myself a well needed rest and room to breathe.
Before I quit my day job I was working for myself, someone else, and going to college full time. Most days I didn’t even have a second to eat lunch, much less do 15 minutes of yoga. If you described my life during that time, overworked would be an understatement. So yeah I gave myself a much needed break and it just revived all of the creative energy that I needed to start creating again.
Fast forward to today, which is a sunny Monday morning, and I’m livin my best life. I went to Thunder Hill with my dog, set up my laptop, and got to editing photos. I can totally get down with these mountain views as my office every day.
I’m so thankful I get to call Boone, NC my home and that I get to meet amazing couples and people every day. This job, if I can even call it a job, is literally a dream come true and I can’t wait to see where it takes me from here 🙂