Kelly Tarleton's portrait

Welcome to my blog! I am a Houston portrait and wedding photographer,
and I also custom design wedding and special event stationery.
This is where I share photos of my latest portrait sessions, design assignments,
and personal projects. Take a look around to see what I've been up to and
be sure to let me know what you think. I love comments!

Friday, August 28, 2009

What it's all about

I find meaning in everything. The way I see it, everything happens for a reason. I believe in karma, the power of positive energy, and that all of life's bumps in the road lead to greater things.

This past weekend, I attended an INTENSE 2-day workshop conducted by the Professional Photographers of America on starting a photography business. Over the course of 16 instructional hours, I learned just about everything you need to know about how long, and how much (in dollars, effort, and sweat) it will take to establish myself as a full-time photography studio. So much of it seemed like common sense or things I had heard before, but that never really sank in until this seminar. Our instructor told us of previous attendees who, at the end, gave her a big hug and thanked her for showing them that this path was not theirs to travel and it was best they found that out now. Not even halfway through the first day, I wondered if I would be that attendee in this seminar. But the best part was walking away from it with a new perspective and the knowledge I need to make this a reality for me, aside 20+ other photographers in the same boat as me. Prior to this experience, I really felt alone, and intimidated by all the others I read about on blogs and in magazines. Instead, I found people with the same fears, the same dreams, and the same desire to share our successes and failures with each other.

When I got home, I still toyed with the question of "is this really what I want to do?" and "how much am I willing to sacrifice for it?" I figured I'd let it stew a few days, but when I checked my e-mail upon my return, I saw an e-mail from my oldest friend (as in years of friendship, not age). The subject was simply: Picture. The body: I really should have sent you a copy of this a long time ago. Miss you! Hope you had a fun weekend. The image:

I felt the tears well up. Not just for what this image means in terms of our friendship, but for what it meant in relation to the two days I spent sitting in a windowless hotel meeting room. This picture is from the Cutten Green neighborhood 4th of July bike parade (circa 1990). It marks what Nichole and I remember as the beginning of our lifelong friendship and whenever we tell people how long we've been friends, we always mention this picture. I hope she doesn't kill me for posting it, after all, I'm the one who looks homeless.

In the instant I read this e-mail, I felt my two days in that Dallas hotel meeting room had been validated. Because this is what it's all about for me. This image, (like so many stuffed away in albums, photo boxes, and now my hard drive) represent more than just the fraction in time it captured. Looking at this picture, I remember the entire bike ride, the effort I put into decorating my bike, and how cool I thought I looked in my acid wash denim shorts. It even brings back all the memories of Nichole and my friendship through the years: the falling-out-fight in 8th grade, the Christmases spent together dating twins, even the "pedi-cab night" on 6th Street in college. Yes, this is what it's all about for me. And why I want to pursue this career. Because I want to give that feeling to other people. I want to provide the fraction-in-time image that says so much more.

I know business is more than passion and emotion, but for now it is my driving force. Thank you PPA, for scaring the crap out of me and for giving me a new perspective on it all. And thank you, Nichole, for showing me just how bad I do want this, even though you had no idea that's what you were doing. You could have sent me that picture a million times over the past 20 years, but it came at just the right moment.

Everything happens for a reason.


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About Kelly Tarleton

I've always been a creative person, and the one who always had a camera on-hand at a moment's notice for any occasion. Photography and graphic design dominated my life in school and I loved every minute of it. I miss that constant creative outlet and want to share more of it with my family and friends through this blog.See more of my work at my website:

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