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Oahu Studio Photographer | My reason why

Oahu Studio Photographer | My reason(s) why

How did you get into photography? I get asked this question by clients many times each year. Why did you choose photography? What is my reason why? My generic answer is as follows…

“I was teaching at a private school and we had parent liaisons who helped take care of activities for the class and the parents. I had photos of my own children up around my desk area that I had taken. My parent liaison was one of the sweetest women and one Christmas she asked me if I would take her families photo for their Christmas card. At first, I said no, I only took photos of my own family, but she was persistent and eventually wore me down. So I did. And then a few other parents asked me to do their family photos. Then it was friends of friends, and so it progressed.

Finally, one Spring break, I had made more money from clients during the break than I did for an entire month of teaching. With my children getting older, and on different school calendars, it seemed like a no brainer to put in my resignation as a teacher and pursue my photography career.”

Oahu Studio Photographer | My reason why
One of the photos I had up around my desk in class, my daughter Abigail.

It gets a lot deeper than that…

That is, as they say, the official party line. It’s true, every word of it. It is in fact the sequence of events that lead me to where I am today. But technically, it isn’t why I do what I do. That is a much deeper story.

Ever since high school, I have loved photography. I was one of our school’s photographers for the high school year book. Not to mention, I was that kid who spent their lunch hour in the dark room developing film from the previous days adventures. I loved being able to create something unique each time I clicked the camera and that intrigued me. Back then, I would never have imagined that girl spending her lunches alone in the dark room would be where she is today, owning her own photography studio in Hawaii!

Obviously, life is never just one thing. It is a series of events that merge together to create who you are. And the same is true for my reasons why I do what I do. Let me start with the first two reasons in this blog, and my other two reasons in my next one.

My Reason Why #1

I moved away from my family when I got married 22 years ago. I know, I know, that’s what you’re suppose to do. But when we got married, I didn’t just move, I moved to a whole other country. We married in Australia. 3 days later we were in immigration interviews to see if I could move with my new husband to America. Obviously, I was allowed in to the country, but I left everything I knew behind.

At first it was fun. It was new and exciting. But as the years went by, I started having children, and my siblings and cousins were having children. My grandparents and older family members were starting to pass away,  and all I had left was photographs. I watched my nieces and nephews grow up through monthly photos from my sister and mum. I watched cousins get married through photos a few weeks or months after the actual event. In fact, I remember the only reason I joined Facebook (eventually) was because a few of my cousins had babies and I had emailed them for photos. They said they had put them on this thing called Facebook. So, I joined! And don’t you know, those photos I had, became even more important as family members passed away. All I had was my memory of them and photographs of my loved ones.

Oahu Studio Photographer | My reason why
The last family photo taken before I moved to the United States in 1995. Not even half of my extended family, but I still remember the day this was taken.

My Reason Why #2

Our eldest daughter, Denae, was born in 1997. As I mentioned a few blogs back, Denae was born at 31 weeks. We spent 7 weeks in the NICU at Keesler AFB in Mississippi before taking her back home to Florida. Those first few weeks in the NICU seemed to drag on. Each night we would go to bed and not know if she was going to be alive the next day, or what little curve ball would be thrown at us. Each day we would go in and spend as long as we possibly could with her. We would take photos galore and when she was sleeping we would take the film to get developed.

I remember one day going to pick up the photos we were developing and the clerk couldn’t find them. I was so emotionally exhausted at the time and I may have flipped out on him a little bit. You see, we didn’t know if these photos were going to be the only thing we had of our little girl. If anything was to happen to her, those photos would be everything. At the time, every day was so fragile. Her health changed on a dime and we never knew from one moment to the next if we were going to be able to take her home. The fact that this clerk didn’t see just how important these photos were to us absolutely astounded me. Long story short, the clerk eventually found the photos, and my hysteria was calmed.

Oahu Studio Photographer | My reason why
The first time my husband got to hold our daughter. She was 4 days old.
Oahu Studio Photographer | My reason why
Our daughter at 2 weeks of age.

Stay tuned for “my reason why” #3 and 4 in my next blog.

 Oahu Family Photographer: Debbie Leanne Photography

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