~ St Louis Shot Party 2010 ~

When I started a photography business 6 years ago, I wasn't exactly met with open arms. I wanted so desperately to make friends with others who shared my passion, but I was never quite "cool enough" for the cool crowd.

For one, I am not artsy fartsy, not even for a second. I have never owned a pair of birkenstocks, I don't drink coffee, and I don't have fancy "Gallery Openings".

I'm also not educated in photography, never taken a class, simply "self-taught" so since I haven't been dragging around a toy camera since I was a toddler I was shunned from the "educated" crowd as well.

And the big one, I'm a mom (Gasp!) For some reason there is this horrible stigma against moms who also have photography careers, they even have a name for us, it's called an "MWAC" (Mom with a Camera) I even got called one once in a nasty e-mail once.

When I first announced I was hosting the "St Louis Photographers Shot Party" I even had one photographer make fun of me publicly on facebook, Classy, huh? Seriously, I had junior high flashbacks.

But the haters? They are my fuel.

And last night? Well, I FINALLY fit in somewhere.... and I have 130 new friends to prove it.
I'm just a goofy girl from the armpit of the mid-west. I don't know why so many people care what I have to say. I don't think I'm any better at this job than anyone else, frankly I can name 10 photographers here in St Louis off the top of my head that blow me out of the water. All I wanted to do was bring everyone together for a night of fun, friendship, and photography.

I poured my heart, my guts, and my family's personal savings account into this project. It was the biggest risk I have ever taken in my life and it was worth all the blood sweat and tears. To see the ear to ear smiles I saw all night, the hugs I got from friends, the REAL ones, the tight hugs that say I love you and I am proud of you.
To my wonderful, wonderful team. Michelle, Tonya, Kelly, Jasmine, Clary, and Steve. You were the backbone of this whole operation you were the heart and the guts and the knowledge and openness you brought was felt like shock waves.

Jasmine, girl you brought the house down! What What? Whateeeeva!
To every single one of you who came - THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! With out you there I would have just been a dork hanging out with her Mom and Dad.Speaking of Mom and Dad, they were there too, with all my kids, and my husband. They are my "team" I don't do anything without my family because at the end of the day if I had fallen on my face and this whole thing been a flop they would have been the ones to pick me up.

I think I will be on cloud 9 for a few weeks at least. I am so blessed to do this for a living and I don't deserve all the love and admiration I've gotten lately, but honey I will take it! I will take it and hold it close to my heart and not take it for granted.
I will see you PARTY PEOPLE in 2011! Woot! Woot!

and I will end with my favorite quote from Jasmine...

Beyonce didn't need Destiny's Child. You don't need approval from your peers to validate your worth.

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