My Journey to Professional Photography | Katelyn James Contest Entry - Pittsburgh Wedding Photography - Alison Mish Photography

Welcome to my little corner of the internet! I am a wedding and creative branding photographer based out of Pittsburgh! Here you will find just about everything you need to know about me and my most recent work! Thanks for stopping by!

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February 8, 2012

My Journey to Professional Photography | Katelyn James Contest Entry

As I was going through my daily routine from blog-to-blog yesterday during my lunch break, I literally jumped out of my seat in excitement when I saw that Katelyn James is having a contest for the chance to go to her workshop.  Needless to say, I got a few weird looks from the women who sit near me at work.

My journey to professional photography started in March of 2010 when I went on a mission trip to Nairobi, Kenya. Some of you may be thinking, “What does that have to do with professional photography?” Let me tell you! On that trip (along with 14 other amazing individuals) was a professional, established and very successful wedding photographer (David Burke). On our last day there, he let me use his awesome Nikon D3 and that was a huge “Ah-ha” moment for me. The light bulb had gone off! I have always loved taking pictures and photography in general, but the extent of that was my Olympus Stylus 1010 point and shoot. Three weeks after we returned from Kenya, I went out and bought myself the Nikon D70, and boy, did I feel like I was on top of the world! I took that camera everywhere with me. Yes, it all started with taking random pictures of flowers, telephone poles and just about anything I could get close to. With some help from David Burke, I was shooting solely on manual after only a couple months of owning my first DSLR camera, and what a life-changer that was! Because hey….now I could have that “cool blurred background effect!” I shortly upgraded to the Nikon D90 and have since upgraded once again to the D7000. Now, I am currently, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the D800 (coming out in late March).

{Rocking my Olympus Stylus)

{The first time I had my  hands on a DSLR camera}

After starting a blog in September of 2010 and posting my random pictures of the Pittsburgh skyline and my friends, a long time friend of mine from church asked me to take her engagement pictures. I squealed! Engagement pictures? Seriously? Someone wanted me to photograph them? I didn’t have to ask them over and over again, like I did my family and boyfriend (now husband)? Wow, I was unbelievably excited! About a month after receiving their engagement pictures, she called me up and asked if I would photograph her wedding. What?! I have never photographed a wedding before. Are you sure you trust me to photograph the biggest day of your life? Wow, sure…I mean I guess I can do that….I mean ABSOLUTELY! Ahh….I’m photographing a wedding! What could get better than that?! Well that was this past June, and I ended up photographing a total of 9 weddings last year. God is unbelievable! Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine all this would happen so fast. I love weddings, and I remember posting in September of 2010  how it would be my dream to someday be a wedding photographer. My dreams are coming to life and unfolding right before my eyes, faster than I can believe. I am excited to continue to grow as a photographer, and I am super pumped for this coming wedding season and all the wedding seasons that are yet to come.

I have the opportunity to win a spot at a workshop by one of my favorite photographers who I blogged about a couple weeks ago. I believe this workshop would be a defining step in my journey as a photographer; another “Ah-ha” moment when things just seem to click all of the sudden. I want to attend this workshop for many reasons, but first and foremost I want to grow as a photographer and learn from a woman who, I believe, is one of the best in the wedding photography industry. I look forward to the opportunity to network with many other talented photographers who are at similar phases in their photography journeys. I find myself at the point, early in my photographer career, where I need to truly define myself as a photographer, and I think this workshop would spur some extra confidence to move forward in my business and grow my clientele. Wedding photography is all about people and interaction, and I believe this hands-on, interactive workshop is just what I need!

I mean, seriously…this workshop is all about learning from Katelyn James and how she photographs and brings style to a session…YES PLEASE!


{Speaking of Kenya, I am super excited that Mike and I will be heading back there this June, we will be holding a day of mini photo sessions this spring and all proceeds will go towards the cost of our trip…be sure to check back for more details to come in the next month!}

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