Updated: Feb 11, 2021
Being that it is my first time back on the blog train it felt only fitting that the topic and pictures are from my most favorite type of event. You can scroll down and ruin all the suspense but then I'd also assume that you were the kid that read through every option in those “choose your own adventure” books from the 90’s. Don't be that kid! (Full disclosure, I was that kid...)
I come from a pretty big family. I have 13 immediate cousins on my mom’s side. Compared to my mom who has over 100 first cousins (no exaggeration, we did the math) that is chump change, but it‘s big enough to have to rent those 10 room Airbnb’s when we get together. I’m 5th in the cousin line up and the first two are sisters who are 8 and 4 years older than me respectively. To me, my older cousins were the coolest and funnest girls there ever were. We spent lots of time together when I was very young with the younger of the two using me as her little doll. However, our families drifted apart for the majority of my adolescence.
Fast forward 10 or so years and I’m entering high school and they both now have moved to LA to pursue professional dance and are close enough for me to see and internally try to impress with my adult like wit. My oldest cousin, Penelope, became my mentor throughout my preteen/ teenage years. I'd spend many days with her getting life advice and she is who my parents would call when I started acting like a little hormonally imbalanced teenager. Samantha on the other hand, is the cousin that gave me my first glass of wine out of an Eeyore mug when I was 15 while we watched the show Weeds together.
Once I started getting into photography Samantha would call me out of my aimless community college life and have me come over to do photoshoots of her and her professional dancer friends. It was really through Sam and her friends that I gained any sort of confidence behind a camera. They would have the whole house full of clothes or a theme that we were going for. For me, at 18/19 having my cousin who I've always seen as cool and fun asking me to be behind the camera for her and her friends was everything. I was just learning how to edit in a pre-instagram world and they would still ask me to come back and do their headshots. They had worked with real professional photographers on set who know exactly what they were doing, and they were asking and paying ME, an aimless young adult.
I truly believe it was because of Samantha and her belief in me that I had the confidence to pursue photography.
That leads me to August 2019, my cousin Samantha's wedding! Before I flew out, she called and asked if I could bring my camera and take pictures at both her rehearsal dinner and wedding after party. Obviously, I said yes because “duh.” Up to that point I probably hadn't taken pictures for or around her since 2012, and so much had changed since then. Once I had finished and sent her the edited pictures, she came up to me and said "Wow! These are really good! Like you are a real professional photographer now." Honestly, like an 18-year-old whose cousin just asked them to do their first photoshoot, that comment will probably fuel my passion for the next 10 years.