We all gravitate towards different things in life. Often times you can see a direct link between things that you may have had interest in when you were super little, and sometimes you do a complete 180 and become involved in something that never crossed your mind!
Funny, I didn't ever think of "being a photographer" when I grew up, any more than I thought of "being a trainer" just because I was athletic and interested in sports! That came later, in a round about sort of manner!
I am one of those who had an interest in pictures, indirectly, WAYYYYYY long ago...although I didn't know that it would lead to anything! I used to devour magazines in particular, and had fantastic images cut from them hanging on my walls. I would visualize myself being a part of something really interesting, entertaining or completely "cool", with every different image that I found intriguing! Photographs made me "feel"!
Before the days of cell phones and the internet, I used to photo swap with friends to keep up with them and their babies/lives. We would develop double prints....and mail off a batch to share our daily adventures and larger journeys! It was awesome!! I had FUN telling people my stories in images! It almost became a silent challenge for me to produce the most FUN pictures to send off, because of course MY life was fantastic!!! :-)
An older film SLR came into my hands when I had my first daughter! My babies were the all time BEST subjects to practice on, especially before they had an opinion about their mom taking pictures. Note the image posted above. Farron was 2, and we were just having a normal day, doing whatever it was we did. I saw beautiful light, she was available... ;-). That image became the image that set all the wheels in motion, because from there on out, my challenge became my passion!! It's technically not a perfect image, but it worked...it had that something, it made me "feel".
I am self taught, through lots of trial and LOTS of error and a lot of fun along the way! I love that I am STILL learning, always, and STILL challenge myself to make a photograph even better than the last!!
Icing on the cake to me, and the reason I decided to "be a photographer" when I grew up, is that I found being able to make images for OTHER people, of their own beautiful families, and have them walk away from a session with that same feeling of giddy excitement that I experienced as a kid, waiting to get my own pictures developed...is an experience that can't be replaced! Delivering a session and having a parent melt over a memory we captured, one that will now live on forever, melts me...and makes me adore what I do.
So why am I a photographer? I relish in giving families, individuals, something that is of infinite value....a memory that will never fade, and it was created through my lens. The satisfaction is beyond compare. Do what you love to love what you do.