On our third anniversary, my husband surprised me with a photo shoot. His teammate’s wife was just getting started in her photography business and offered to take pictures of us for free. I am not comfortable in front of a camera but Cat Watson, the photographer, made it really casual and fun. She picked out unique locations that fit our personalities and lifestyle right around our apartment complex.

When she finished taking the pictures that day, I told her that even if we got one good one (where I didn’t have a lazy eye), I’d be ecstatic.

Two weeks later, she dropped off our CD. I couldn’t believe the result of the photos. I loved them! From that moment on I wanted Cat to photograph every event in our lives. I imagined our amazing maternity, baby, family, and even retirement photos.

Photo by Cat Watson
Photo by Cat Watson
Photo by Cat Watson

But then the unthinkable happened.

She moved.

She didn’t just move to another part of town either.

She relocated to CANADA!

How dare she!? I was counting on her to document our lives! Apparently, she didn’t know that the aesthetic beauty of our future homes depended on her photos. How was I going to convince Mark that we needed to fly her back to Raleigh (or wherever we live) for each and every family milestone?

Eventually I got over it (barely). I’m just glad we are fortunate enough to have Alli and Nic in our lives. They don’t have a website for their photography (at least I don’t think they do), but they’re incredibly talented. Photography seems to be a hobby for them but they could easily do it as a profession. I’m excited for our next photo shoot coming soon. (Check out Nic’s twitter account @isnapfotos).

Photo by Nic and/or Alli
Photo by Nic and/or Alli

Honestly, I can’t believe I’m actually excited for someone to take my picture now. Yet, the anniversary photos that Cat took convinced me that images are important, especially ones that aren’t of us rigidly posing in a studio. When they capture real smiles, real hand holding, and real glances, they’re different.

After Cat left, I was constantly looking at my surroundings with photo shoots on the brain. Eventually I bought my own DSLR camera and I’ve fallen in love with this hobby. I know I’m an amateur and sometimes I look at a shot and wonder how Cat, Alli, or Nic would have framed it better.

But most of the time I’m simply enjoying this view of the world. Photography is a lot like writing for me.

Instead of a pen, I’m telling a story with a lens.

It’s become my second favorite pastime (or I should say “Evy’s naptime” activity). I love doing photo shoots of friends and family then working with the images in Photoshop and Lightroom. During high school and college, I did a lot of graphic design work while putting together projects and newspaper layouts. Photography has allowed me to resurrect these skills.

Since this blog is a creative outlet for me, I decided to add my photography to the line up. My photo blog is here or at the link on top of this page. If you’re bored one day, give it a scroll. Also, if you would allow me to practice on you and your family, I’d really appreciate the opportunity. You can think of it as giving a mom a much needed escape.

What I really want to say here is a big thank you to Cat for those anniversary photos that sparked this interest in me. Her writing and pictures are an inspiration, especially because she manages to capture beautiful images and write thoughtful prose while tending to three young children.

Check out Cat Watson’s blog and photo website. And if you’re in the Vancouver area, hire this woman. You won’t regret it!


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