The news is out….Leah Hargrove Photography has now officially launched! Was this in my “Five Year Plan” in 2015? Not at all! Let me take you along the journey of how we got here!
My husband, Joshua, bought my camera for me as a Christmas gift in 2019 because I wanted to take better photos of our daughter, Briella. I got my camera the day before Thanksgiving. I had no clue how to use it except for turning it on and pressing the shutter button.
Over the next few months and holidays, I took my camera a long but still was shooting in Auto mode and didn’t even have a clue about the basics of photography. I enjoyed taking pictures of my daughter and family but I knew I need to learn how photography and my camera really worked. I still used my iPhone to take photos most of the time.
In March of 2020, I was furloughed from my full time job as a dental hygienist due to COVID-19. I didn’t work for almost two months! During that time, I began thinking about what would I do if I couldn’t practice dental hygiene anymore. I didn’t want to go back to school due to the time commitment and cost. Not to mention, I had no clue what I would even Major in if I went back.
One day, I was scrolling through TikTok (I mean who didn’t during Quarantine) and found a photographer by the name of Natasha Coyle that came up on my For You page. Over the next week, she kept coming up on my page. I watched all of her videos she had posted and I was inspired. This amazing woman who I have never met before lives in South Carolina and is who I have to thank for giving me the courage to start this adventure. A little background on Natasha, she started her photography business at 35 being a stay at home mom and now has a very successful wedding photography business. You can check out Natasha and her work here.
One day, I finally sent Natasha a message asking where I should begin. I know we have all thought about messaging someone who has a large social media presence and had a fear of being ghosted. Natasha wrote me back the same day sharing her story and journey with me! She helped me take the leap and take my first photography course with Amy & Jordan Demos- well known photography educators. I started to pick up my camera anytime I could, even if it was with my daughter in the backyard.
I will always remember the feeling of excitement the day that I enrolled into A&J’s Shooting and Editing Course! It took me almost a month to make it through 112 lessons topics with 20+ hours of video content! Every night after I would put Briella to bed, I would work on my photography lessons. Since that course, I have gained so much confidence in how to use my camera and how to take beautiful photos using good lighting. I have also invested in several other courses like posing, consistency, and business.
Now, here we are six months after starting the “dream” of just learning photography to now starting my actual business! I have loved seeing the progression in my photos as well!
I can not wait to see where this adventure takes me and all of the memories that I get to capture! Thank you everyone for the out pouring support and encouragement.