After having been a professional photographer for three years, I have come to realize two things that are not at all doubtful in my head. These are the two reasons how I have got to where I am today, why I am so passionate about it AND why I will see my dreams come true!
The first reason is that I have come to love photography because of sports. Growing up all I wanted to do is become a professional/Olympic athlete. My first taste of competition was circa 1978, my family had just moved to New Kirk, Oklahoma, I was in the 4th grade and were in P. E. We were doing some sort of team relays and I got shoved into the anchor position. When the previous leg of the race slapped my hand (P. E.’s version of handing off the baton), we were behind. As I ran to the far end of the course and returned, I not only made up ground for our team, but we won the race! I distinctly remember my mind flooding with thoughts of being able to accomplish things and achieve goals. I remember feeling indestructible, strong and empowered. I was out of breath, but I had just experienced competition. I ran fast. I liked it. I wanted to race again.
Fast forward to junior high and competitive sports and I participated in pretty much everything that the school offered. I played volleyball (or ballyball as most 7th graders say), basketball, and track. The one sport I didn’t play was tennis, but I don’t remember a particular reason why. I wasn’t very athletic at first. When my teammates had already achieved overhand serves, I was still trying to master the underhand. When they were making free throws, I couldn’t even reach the rim. I remember being incredibly nervous the first time the A team was announced. But, I kept trying. I practiced… a lot. I played volleyball against the barn’s roof. I had my very own long jump pit at the edge of the garden. When I was bored and had luckily not been given any chores to do, I went outside to play, run, shoot baskets, and jump. I loved breaking my personal bests. Could I jump further? Could I run faster? Could I make more short jumpers in two minutes the next time? Eventually, I secured a starting position in most everything I played.
I became obsessed with athletics and I started to notice still images of athletes. I saw the determination in their eyes. The sweat dripping from the tip of their nose or puddled above their brow. Their muscles were contracted and ripped and strong. The still photo made things visible you couldn’t see in real life or video. It froze time.
Then, one day I started losing things. Very important things. Irreplaceable things. The losses were so painful my words cannot describe it. In 5th grade, I lost a very close aunt. In 10th grade, I lost my 7-year-old sister. Twenty days after I turned 21, I lost my 39-year-old mom. I lost my dear, sweet grandparents within a year of each other. At 42, I lost another very close aunt—so close in fact, she was more like a sister/mom. All this loss put me in the mind-set of not wanting to lose things, and to be able to hang onto things as long as possible. It’s made me want to preserve, and document, and record EVERYTHING.
Pictures do this… easily.
So having my own two daughters play sports and me wanting to preserve their memories and freeze time for them has enabled me to develop this skill of photography. The two reasons why I’m passionate about photography are, no doubt: athletics and loss. And while there’s a very slim chance I will ever be a professional/Olympic athlete, I am fully capable of taking a good picture and I only stand to get better.
I started Ata-Girl Photography Co. in 2010 and I am one of the premier San Antonio wedding photographers who is available for local and destination weddings. In addition to wedding photography, I also specialize in high school seniors and family portraits in San Antonio and the surrounding areas. I am a professional photographer who enjoys documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. When I’m not photographing a wedding, family or high school senior, I enjoy watching my daughter play softball, hiking, cycling and listening to Elvis!