How I Became a Photographer | Kristin Grover Images | Jacksonville, FL Wedding, Newborn, Senior, and Family Photographer

The story of how I became a photographer is very similar to many other’s stories. And that’s ok, it really doesn’t matter how I got to this point, what’s matter is that i’m here now.

Like a lot of other women, I wanted a “big” camera when I was pregnant with my son. I wanted to be able to take nice crisp photos of him, because I was, and still am, terrible at iPhone photos. So I reached out to my wedding photographer and asked her what camera I should get. She recommended the Nikon D5300, which was the newest of the series at that time. I went to Costco and got the package deal and my husband gave it to me for Christmas. I had about three months before my son was born to practice and learn the camera.

Since I didn’t really have an inspiring subject, the camera sat. I didn’t even take it to the hospital when he was born. I bought the hospital pictures of him and I thought they were great (I know have a different opinion)!

When he was one week old I broke the camera out and took his newborn photos. One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t hire a professional for this. I was not a professional at that point and I did not do those photos justice. When I took them, I was happy with them and did not feel like I needed to spend the money on a newborn photographer, but when I go back and look at the photos now, it makes me sad I didn’t invest in someone to document those first moments at home with him.

I continued to take a few photos of him here and there, but I knew I needed help. I had no intention of starting a business, I just wanted decent photos of my son! So, I invested in my craft, and I continue to do so to this day.

I found a mentor, I took a couple classes, I sent photos to photographer friends and asked for critiques, I took online workshops, in person workshops and one on ones. I got better. I learned my camera, by the time he was 9 months old I was considering taking clients. I started doing free sessions for neighbors to make sure I wanted to do it. I took an editing class. I took photos every day. I got better, I got a lot better. I kept practicing. Still to this day, I invest in education, I love learning new things, practicing them, and expanding my knowledge and skills.

I realized I had as much fun taking photos of other people as I did of my own kiddo so I went into business and started taking paid clients. All the while, still working full time for an energy marketing company. For the next year and a half this is what I continued to do. When I had my second son, I decided to go full time with photography. I worked hard at it for 7 months until we moved to Florida. I ddn’t think moving a business would be difficult, since I was from Florida, but it is. Florida is a different market, and i’m still trying to find my footing here. I’ve gone back to working full time and doing photography on the side but I love every single minute of it.

I wouldn’t change my story for the world. I had a muse, and he inspired me to be better. So I learned and practiced this craft, and I still do. I’m constantly investing in education to improve my skills. I thought it would be fun to share some of the first photos I ever took with my “big” camera. It really does show how I started out not knowing anything and how much I have grown in this art. Starting at the beginning with some more photos from recently.