It found me

HOW IS IT DECEMBER?! ONE year ago this weekend I launched this freelance design business & blog. These past few months have been nothing short of a whirlwind. If you follow me on social media you've probably seen me posting a lot about my new love, Photography. Today i'm finally going to explain where CG is headed in 2018 and where we've been in 2017.

Let's talk Photography.
I never saw myself being passionate about it. As an artist I'm constantly trying to refine my craft and grow in different skillsets. Overtime you realize what you like and what you LOVE. This time last year, I was covered in watercolor and calligraphy ink daily. Now, not a day goes by that I don't have my camera in my hands.

Growing up with my Mom as a photographer people often assume that I wanted to follow suit, but this was not the case. Although I have always admired my mom's craft I always thought it wasn't for me. In the past two years I was either styling or modeling in front of the camera for the brand I designed for. Throughout this time there was nothing in me that made my heart jump at the thought of photography. I was content with design and calligraphy and never foresaw it in my future.

Three years ago my mom generously handed down her Nikon equipment For Christmas. I picked up that camera less than 10 times if that depicts just how uninterested I was. Don't get me wrong I was snapping photos all the time but the iPhone seemed efficient to me. Fast forward to fall of 2016 in Alabama where I was branding my website and blog. I realized through this process just how crucial it was for me to have a camera, and not just any camera. In the past I've taught myself all of the mediums I work with today : Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Calligraphy, Watercolor etc. I figured why not photography? So I took the plunge. I bought a Canon 6D which was against everything I had ever known growing up with the Nikon queen. This little canon changed my life.

I'd like to say, I didn't find photography, photography found me. Just like design & calligraphy, photography came through the celebration of life's experiences. My niece was born in August and that is when I finally started to take this photography thing seriously. I wanted to capture moments that I could have forever. This quickly transitioned into capturing moments and telling stories for others.

Although I did take photography classes at KU during my undergrad it was mixed medium not digital. There has been a MASSIVE learning curve. In October I finally invested in the 5D mark IV and it has been life-changing! I have picked the brains of some dear photographer friends and have tried to establish an aesthetic along the way. Let me tell you a little something about the gift of other creatives that help you along the way - it's powerful! I have invested in quite a bit of education over the past few months and have learned by doing and listening. Many dear friends have been in front of my lens and have been patient with me as I learn this skillset and have cheered me on along the way! I will never forget my first families and couples.

What does this mean for CG? After a long hiatus from social media this past spring and summer and a year of gaining vision and clarity, I have a firm direction of where I am headed. For so long I have felt like what I was doing was confusing. Not only at times did I feel like I was blurring the message of the Gospel but also what services I offer. Am I a Fashion Blogger?, Calligrapher?, Designer?, Stylist?, WHAT DO I ACTUALLY DO?

I'm a Storyteller. I tell peoples stories through design and photography. I no longer will be accepting calligraphy commissions or custom invitations. I now primarily Design and Brand small businesses and photograph wedding, portrait & lifestyle sessions. I will also be keeping the blog. My blog has always been a place for me to vulnerably share my heart and creative endeavors. I am beyond humbled that I get to continue pursing my passions and make a living doing what I love! 

There is a whole lot of insecurity, risk, and prayer involved with these decisions. I have fought the feelings of "everyone is a photographer ( hello, iPhone, VSCO, Snap-Seed world ) and "the market is too saturated." I have definitely fought worth and identity and all the good stuff.  But here I am, diving head first into my two buckets of design & photography. I will continue to do what I love, while striving to bring Glory to the name of Jesus Christ.

xo- Chan



pc: tori vaughan

Chandler MannComment