The Start of a Photography Journey: Before Neyssa Lee Photography
My photography journey into the business world actually started with my husband. But let’s back up a moment.
Growing up, I always had a camera in my hand. I had no idea what I was doing, but I loved the click of the shutter. I loved that I could capture those things that were important to me. I could document my life the way I wanted to. However, photography was never going to be a career for me. That was not my journey.
I thought you had to be creative and an artist to be a photographer – and I did not see myself as either of those things. I had a dream of becoming a director of film or more likely, I wanted to work for Disney in their marketing department.
After I graduated from college, I found myself with a degree in business, working at Starbucks, with no desire to sit at a desk job. The irony is that I had never imagined owning my own business.
In fact, during my entrepreneurial course that was required to graduate, I often thought. “Who would ever want to run a business?” It was my husband who encouraged me to start Neyssa Lee Photography and even found my first client.
Altering the Photography Journey: Motherhood Changes You
In the beginning of my photography journey, I was preserving a piece of childhood I missed out on for the kids of the families that hired me. I was capturing them with their parents who loved them, and it brought me great joy.
Then, when I became a mother, my life was turned upside down. I experienced first-hand how fleeting each stage with my baby was. In the blink of an eye, he went from newborn to infant to toddler. The passing of time left me longing to hold onto my tiny baby, while celebrating each milestone he passed. This paradox of motherhood made me reach for my camera even more.
With my son’s growth, my photography changed, it was a new journey, a new purpose. I was no longer clicking the shutter for the children, but for the mother who just wanted to hold on a little longer. Suddenly, I understood the details, the moments, the looks that all mattered.
Life Happens and Makes You Stronger
Over the course of the next seven years, I had four babies and four miscarriages. I was fortunate to have had my first two children without any problems. But it took a year and a half and three consecutive losses to bring our first rainbow baby home.
When I thought I had endured enough as we tried for our fourth child, we lost a baby girl at 14 weeks gestation. We had already announced we were going to be a family of six, we had already told the kids, and we had already heard our baby’s heartbeat. Those years of struggle and grief made me a better, more compassionate photographer.
While not the photography journey I would wish for anyone, my losses made me the photographer I am today. That is something I would not change for anything.
I see each newborn as a true blessing, whether I know the entire story behind his/her arrival or not. I know the heartbreak of loss, how that baby always stays with a family. I know the sheer bittersweet joy of a rainbow baby. I see the gift each child is for a family, whether adopted or biological.
Photography is Healing
Photography helped me heal a broken childhood, and hold onto the people that gave me a family. It has helped me cope with how fast my children have grown and moved through the pain of grief. It is more than a creative outlet, it is a lifeline. I know how important photography is for myself, my journey, and my family. I bring all of that to each session, knowing it’s important to you, too.
Today I am a mother of 6, running a successful photography business. I also help photographers grow and streamline their businesses so they can spend more time with the people they love, doing the things they love.
My story is a part of me at every session I capture. I know that each family has special dynamics, connections, details that make them unique. It is those things I strive to capture during family photo sessions.
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