So…you recently moved to New York City a few months ago! That is so exciting. How are you feeling about it?
I feel all of the things! I am scared, excited, overwhelmed, sad, happy…you name it, I am feelin’ it! Mostly, I am feeling very optimistic and excited. I have had so much support and love from family, friends, and clients which has made me feel 100 percent confident in my decision to move.
The question that will be on everyone’s mind is “why”. Can you describe your why in a matter of words?
The big why…I needed a change. I went through some really tough life-altering events in 2018 and I need a fresh start somewhere. I first started considering Chicago, being that one of my best friends lives there. Then a wedding photographer in New York convinced me that Chicago is too much like Ohio and I needed to push myself. I am one of those people who is always looking to be challenged. I am very competitive with myself and am constantly pushing myself to go beyond the ordinary. Over the past 6 months, I have visited a variety of big cities that I thought would challenge me (including international ones) and settled on New York. Cheap international flights out of JFK are a game changer too ;)
When was the first time you got the feeling that you might want to move to New York City?
I hated New York at first. I thought it was dirty, crowded, and mean. It definitely isn’t. I find it to be one of the most poetic cities I have visited. Everyone has their individual stories, goals, and businesses but also seems to be interconnected in such a sublime way. I am fascinated by the subway, and witnessing the various stories and lives converging into one space, sharing a semi common destination. Weather it be the next train stop or just sitting on the subway from Manhattan to Brooklyn, it is a shared experience from so many different lifestyles and backgrounds. I often will sit on the subway and evaluate what everyone’s stories could be. Over time, I have fallen in love with this place…the diversity, the pace, the people (who are actually insanely wonderful and helpful to a relative newcomer).
Was there one specific experience that pointed you in the direction of NYC, or one trip to the city that solidified your decision to take the leap?
There were four experiences that solidified my move: The first, June of 2018 I read a blog from a photographer who went to grad school in New York and I began day dreaming about the experiences he talked about. Photo Journalism has always been a calling for me and while I pursue that style in my wedding work, covering news and media stories would be an absolute dream come true. Unfortunately, the Midwest does not provide many opportunities for this and I became obsessed with the images this photographer shared. Secondly, September of 2018 I was able to do an engagement shoot in Manhattan and experience shooting in the city. I loved it! I found it to be thrilling and inspiring — so thank you, Abigail and Eric!! The third, October of 2018 I started corresponding with a wedding photographer who had also made the move from Columbus. The way he talked about it was the most stirring motivation I had heard in a long time. Paul is now a great friend of mine (and he also took these incredible photos you seen in this blog)! Lastly, I made the firm decision of settling on NYC in January of 2019 when I went to Athens, Greece completely solo. It was life-altering. I photographed beautiful cities, people, and even covered a huge political riot! After that trip, I flew to NYC. While I had already decided to move there, being shown around by Paul and seeing its potential catapulted me full force into this new life. No joke — I found an apartment within a couple of weeks and began packing.
What are you most excited about in your new adventure?
Being a new person and photographer. I can make my life what I want it to be and have the fresh slate I so crave. Life has not been easy growing up…and while I love Columbus, it holds a lot of pain for me too. From watching my mom struggle with cancer and surgeries starting at age 10, going through a bad breakup, and losing a life role model; I am ready to not have these reminders constantly surrounding me. These experiences are a part of me and make me who I am, so I am grateful to be shaped by them. However I thirst to move forward, grow from the hardships, and use them to fuel my passion. Furthermore, I start graduate school this June (more on that in another blog)! MFA, here I come!!!
Are you worried or scared about any of the changes coming your way?
TERRIFIED. What if I can’t make it as a photographer in the city? What if I feel too alone and isolated away from the only place I have ever lived? It’s scary as hell, but I am letting the fear create a fire in me to barrel forward. I am not one to give up on something I want. Success in a new city is something I am thinking about all the time. Nothing stopping this gal!
When did you move?
I started March 3rd, and I am 100% officially settled in the city!
Where are you living? Do you have roommates?
East Williamsburg in Brooklyn! Yes, I have 3 roommates! I also brought my dog Chewbacca to the city and he is settling in quite nicely! New Yorkers are so excited to see an adorable, massive dog on the street so Chewie has been getting lots of love.
Will you still be working in Ohio after you move?
YES!!! I have a full year booked in Ohio and am coming back for every single wedding I am shooting this year and I am soooooo excited! My Ohio weddings are already well underway, and it has been an awesome way to transition away from Ohio to New York. I am also shooting 10 weddings in Ohio for 2020!
Are there any available bookings for 2019 or 2020?
I have 3 spots left for 2020 for Ohio and plenty more for the East Coast. 2019 is completely booked for Ohio but there are a few slots available for the East Coast!
Can we still expect to see wedding images from you after you’ve made the full transition to NYC?
DUH!!! Of course, I am a wedding photographer at heart. I have been for 6 years and I always will be in some capacity. NYC will make me a better one. If nothing else, that I am one hundred percent sure of that. I hope you guys look forward to seeing my work grow and expand because I am going to make it happen! Every passion has its destiny.
All Photography by Wandering Woo.