There are some couples that you just know, from the minute you meet them, that they are going to be SO MUCH FUN. Abby & Paul are one of those couples. I met the two love birds at an abandoned factory beside Fort Massac State Park. Seconds later, another car pulled up beside us – it was Abby’s best friend Maddie. She came to assist Abby but ended up assisting me a lot too! Minutes into our session, here comes Abby’s mom! At our second location, Abby’s grandparents’ farm, a few more family members joined us. We had so many helpers! It really gives me a good look into how their wedding will be, and how their marriage will be. They are surrounded by so many people who love them and who want to see them happy. Having all that additional help meant that Abby & Paul could relax and really have fun with me. And in turn, I had (probably too much) fun with them as well! The whole day was a blast and I seriously cannot wait for their wedding in June!
I can’t be for sure when the moment was – when my photography business went from part time to full time. It might have been the very second that I decided I wanted to at least double the amount of weddings I shot from 2012 to 2013. Or maybe it was the actual moment in which I actually had 16 weddings booked for 2013 and then later, surpassed that number. I’m thinking, though, that today is when my business finally goes from part time to full time. Today, because I am no longer a full time nurse and because I am choosing to focus on photography and growing my business… instead of trying to juggle both.
Around October of 2012, while I was setting my 2013 goals for Rachael Houser Photography, I decided I could probably book 10-12 weddings for 2013. Then, by the end of the year, when I already have 8 weddings booked, I picked the number 16. Sixteen weddings was what I was going to try for because it was exactly double the amount of weddings I shot in 2012 and double the amount of what I was going into the new year with. I was hopeful but not overly confident. I hosted a booth at my first ever bridal expo at the end of January, and now, I’m staring at the end of April with 17 2013 weddings to my name. It quickly became obvious that, in order to provide my couples with the quality of service that I knew they deserved (and to remain a sane person who gets more than 5 hours of sleep each night), I needed to cut back at my nursing job. When I learned that cutting back wasn’t an option, I had a very hard, very real decision to make: stay at my beloved surgery circulating registered nursing job OR honor my commitment to photograph the weddings I had booked.
I had been praying and chatting up my parents and Neil for the past month or so, trying to come to a conclusion about whether I should even consider cutting back. Now, the options were different. The weight of the new decision was more than I could take. I turned to God, and prayed that he would make His will for me known because I had been having very conflicting thoughts. I loved my nursing job, the place at which I work, and the people with and for whom I work. Sure, I had bad days, just like everyone else, but the good days definitely outweighed the bad. Even if I weren’t a full time photographer, I would be a photographer all the same because I have a burning passion for it. But to be a wedding photographer, the wedding photographer that I wanted to be, there was only one way. I knew this, and still, I was conflicted. I put it off as long as I could and then, a couple weeks ago, I felt it on my heart – I can only describe it as what I imagine it would feel like when God makes His will known to you. I’d not felt anything like it before.
I won’t lie and say that I felt completely at ease with the situation – after all, I had to continue working at the hospital. I continued to have great days, days when I would leave feeling like I might have made a mistake. But then I shot my first wedding of 2013. I was reminded of why I wanted to be a photographer in the first place. I was reminded of why I felt like this was my calling from God. And while processing the images from that day, I was reminded of how much time it really takes to be a wedding and portrait photographer and how little time I had to spend on being one. That is when I felt the calm.
There will be days that I miss my old job. Wow, it’s so surreal to say “my old job”. But I can now put my energy toward serving my clients and couples…. But more importantly, in my heart, I know I’m doing what God has been calling me to do for some time now. And that feels really good.
Kaitlyn & Brandon met in an English class at Murray State University – a class neither one of them needed to take, but just wanted to. Another couple brought together by God! I love that I attract followers of Christ because I know that this is what I was called to do: Capturing the love that God has gifted us, the love that we share with that special someone that He has chosen for us. Kaitlyn & Brandon are getting married in October, and after their engagement session, I am chopping at the bit for October to get here already! Can’t wait to celebrate their awesome day with them!
What a special couple Ninoska & Nicholas are! They met at a church event in Alabama, where Ninoska prayed over Nicholas. A few months later he moved to Nashville and ended up at a prayer service that Ninoska attends. They started a friendship that later became a courtship. That was in December of last year. Nicholas proposed to Ninoska in February. God knew exactly what He was doing when brought both Ninoska & Nicholas to that event in Alabama last May. I cannot wait for their wedding this May!!
Travis and Meagan met while in high school in a youth group. They are both young but were lucky enough to have found each other as soon as they did. I really believe God puts people in your life for a reason… and I believe that God made Meagan for Travis and Travis for Meagan. Just for the short time I was with them during their engagement session, I saw an immense love for Christ and for each other in their heart. I know they will be so happy together because they have a Christ centered relationship.