Since I'm going to be writing about Mums-In-Business to celebrate their achievements throughout the month, I thought I'd better start with my own story.
I fell in love with photography when a family friend gave me his (very) old (very) manual SLR when I was twelve. It was obsession on first click. I spent all my school hours in the darkroom, and all my pocket money on buying film & printing photos.
My love for photography and Art clashed with my strictly-academic family, who wanted me to follow in my grandfather and father's footstep to go to uni, get my PHD, then become a professor in something scientific and 'useful to the advancement of society'.
After years of teenage angst and tears, with the intervention of my high school principle, we finally came to a compromise: a career in Architecture. A profession that is close enough to Engineering for my family to deem 'acceptable', while allowing me to be creative.
I studied Architecture at Melbourne University for five years, worked in Malaysia, London, and of course Melbourne for the next twelve years. I enjoyed Architecture, and I suppose was good at it. I was invited to teach design and graphics in Melbourne Uni since 2001 and ran a subject there until 2018. But I don't feel passionate about Architecture, the idea of starting my own Architectural firm fills me with dread, and I continue to feel unfulfilled.
While I worked as an Architect, I studied Certificate III in Applied Photography at NMIT, then Post Graduate Diploma in Art History, then launched Studio Z Photography in 2004 and photographed weddings on the weekends.
In 2011 my son was born. I started photographing babies and children during my maternity leave, and realised suddenly that I have found my true calling. Even though I loved the firm I was working at, it could not compare with the joy I felt when parents tell me how much they loved the photographs and that I have captured their children 'exactly how they see them'.
My business grew very quickly, soon I became the main working parent while my husband put his carpentry business on the back-burner to look after the kids. In January 2016 I passed my Accreditation Assessment and became a fully accredited member of AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography). Early this year (2017) I bit the bullet and entered three of my client work into the prestigious AIPP Epson State Awards and am honoured to receive Silver Awards for two of my entries.
I'm still at the start of my journey, and I couldn't be happier. Becoming a mother has given me the courage to follow my heart.