If you know me personally, you can skip this part, because these are things that you likely already know about me. :)
My name is Jessica Hazzard and I'm an aspiring photographer. I emphasize the word "aspiring" because at this point, I don't think of myself as a professional. While I know a fair amount about photography in my own learning from friends and the internet, I know that there is still a lot to learn. I'm a Theatre teacher at Texas City High School in Texas City, TX. I've lived in Texas City for most of my life. My husband and I met as children and were high school sweethearts. We've been married for 4 years and we have one child, Nathan, a fun and sweet-hearted 1 year old.
But enough about the basics...I wanted to post about starting this whole photography thing as a business (this is the part where if you know me you should start reading again!).
My interest started in college and really grew when I was planning my wedding, looking at tons of photographers' online galleries. Like many Momotographers out there, my pre-existing interest in photography really flourished once I became a mother. One of the first things I did as a mother was book a photographer for our newborn photoshoot, KeAndra Beck with KeAndra Beck Photography. I was mesmerized by the way she worked and couldn't believe it was all happening in my home. I called KeAndra again for more photos of Nathan at 6 months and at a year, and again, I was mesmerized. I was starting to get an itch.
In December of 2013, my cousin Emily called me asking if I thought I could take some pictures of her daughter. I agreed immediately and decided to build a backdrop frame and everything. The pictures of her daughter didn't really turn out, mostly because the baby was tired and Emily and I both had busy schedules. A couple of weeks later, I decided to take pictures of my son for Christmas using the backdrop I had built and they turned out great! I learned a lot from the experience.
Feeling confident, in January when a friend of mine had a baby, I called her and asked if I could take some newborn photos of her daughter, to which she happily agreed. I learned a lot from that shoot (including to bring an extra change of clothes for myself the next time I work with a newborn!) and the pictures turned out well. In March, I was able to practice again when my sister and brother-in-law welcomed my first niece into the world. That particular shoot was extra-fun! :)
After that, between work and life, things got really hectic and I wasn't really practicing or pursuing anything. Thankfully, the end of the school year arrived and provided me with several opportunities. I took a picture of my niece and nephew with their cousins on their dad's side for a Mother's Day gift, I took photos for birthday invitations and as well as a cake smash session with a few other opportunities sprinkled in between. As the summer has progressed, my cousin, Emily has really encouraged me to pursue this as something bigger than a hobby. I didn't really have much faith in myself when she started talking about it, but finally, I listened! A few weeks ago, KeAndra, our family photographer was looking for an assistant and I signed-up. I told her I wanted to learn from her, and thankfully, she agreed. She has also been available to an endless amount of questions and she's been an incredible encouragement to me along the way, giving me advice and cheering me on.
I am so thankful to be at this point where I have confidence in my abilities and the courage to take a leap-of-faith and pursue a dream. I have a supporting family and currently, I have a few photo-shoots lined up. I'm really excited about what the future has in store for me in this journey, and I cannot express the gratitude I feel for everyone who believes in me! :)