Although I have considered myself a professional photographer for almost three years now, it’s still a little awkward to say those words out loud to describe myself. But, I am a professional photographer. 🙂 During these three years, I have read more words about photography than any other subject matter in my life. I have read tutorials, commentaries, web blogs, magazine articles, twitter posts, and equipment reviews. I have even read graffiti on bathroom walls if it pertained to photography. I’ve watched webinars, podcasts, and videos from every corner of the Internet.
Among everything I have learned, there is one thing about the photography community that has stuck out to me. At first, I bought into this ideology… and made this way my way too… the ideology that photographers horde their knowledge, don’t reach out to fellow photographers, use cutthroat tactics to land gigs, and degrade and insult others’ work. Professional photography can be a very ugly world. However, I do think there are many photographers in the industry who are generous, kind, and giving, but I don’t think that they are “the norm.”
I have since stumbled upon many photographers’ blogs who do not buy into this way of thinking. Luckily, their blogs changed the way I think. At times, it has been a struggle, but I try to make conscious efforts to help out other photographers, to share my (limited) knowledge, and to network so we all get further down the road.
Recently, I had a photography-loving friend contact me and say that he had a Nikon D80 he’d like to give away to an “aspiring paparazzi.” (Although the term “paparazzi” is insulting to some people, I know Fred used it as a term of endearment.) Fred used this very camera to shoot the cover for Bill Chamber’s DVD “Live at the Pub.” Fred is one of the photographers who is generous, kind, and giving. He has taught me a thing or two and always answers any questions I might have. We’ve spent a lot of hours sitting on his couch and talking shop. We’ve attended work shops and entered into art shows together. Fred has loaned me thousands of dollars of equipment for jobs when I didn’t have my own.
Immediately, I thought of Victoria. Victoria JUST graduated from high school and I got to shoot her senior portraits. I already knew that Victoria loved photography, owned a Nikon J1, and was the editor of the high school year book. What I didn’t know is that Victoria wanted to either double-major or minor in photography while attending Texas State University and had recently started a photography business of her own shooting senior portraits for some of her classmates. Fred agreed that Victoria should get the D80.
I contacted Victoria to tell her about the “paying it forward” and we made arrangements to meet. Although I didn’t have any real part in this transaction, I’m fortunate to have witnessed the generosity and the ensuing gratitude in the photography community.
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!