Why I became a photographer

Me in one of my favorite places: Craggy Gardens, NC. Photo taken by my love, Jesse Strode. 

Me in one of my favorite places: Craggy Gardens, NC. Photo taken by my love, Jesse Strode. 

I often get asked "How did you become a photographer?" and when I answer that question, so many thoughts come into my mind. I remember holding a DSLR for the first time in high school and thinking "WOW, this is so cool!" I would have never in a million years thought that I would actually become a full time photographer.

I always knew that I was an artist. Even if I wasn't the best, I knew it was my passion. At a very young age, art meant drawing. When I was 7, I would draw Mario from the "Nintendo" magazines (now I'm wondering where those drawings are haha). When I turned 17 and it was time to go to college. The very obvious choice for me was to be an Art Major. I never really thought about how I would survive after college, I just knew that art was my passion. But I didn't know that I wanted to be a photographer, yet.

My friend Diana in our college bedroom. 

My friend Diana in our college bedroom. 

In college, I started saving up for a DSLR from my work-study job. When I finally got one, it was one of the happiest days of my life!! The first shoot that I did was for my friend Diana. I convinced her to be my model and let me do her hair and makeup. To this day, I still love those photos! (on the right)

From that point on, I started photographing the rest of my friends and family, and suddenly strangers were saying that they wanted to pay me to do their photos.

Wait...WHAT?!

Suddenly I became one of the go-to photographers for graduation and dancers at FSU. It was unreal, and I am so grateful for my journey. 

It has now been about a year and half since I graduated from FSU as a Photography Major. The last two years of college I really focused in learning all I could about photography, and it was the best decision I ever took. I recently did an interview with the FSU Art deparment, here's a link if you want to read it http://art.fsu.edu/melissa-artieda/

After college I took the leap to create my own business. It was definitely a big decision, and it's not easy, but I would not give up my passion for anything else!

So I just told you how I became a photographer, but my why is a little different. The reason I love taking photos so much is because I get to hold on to moments and save them forever. People are my favorite subject to photograph because everyone has a story to tell.

A photo of my mother with her postcard collection.

A photo of my mother with her postcard collection.

Everyone is unique, and that's why photography is never boring for me.

I have captured many different types of moments, but my favorite thing to photograph is love. Intimate moments are so precious.

One of my favorite in home sessions to date!  Maggie & Zach  expecting their baby.

One of my favorite in home sessions to date! Maggie & Zach expecting their baby.

 

So there you have it. Now you know the reasoning behind my love for photography. I hope I was able to inspire you to keep doing what you truly enjoy. What's your story?

Melissa Artieda