Orange you glad I didn't give up

Y'all I think it's about time I share a story...

My mother was a model & small time actress before I was born. She even still modeled while she was pregnant! Although that was a big passion for my mother, life took a different direction for us & modeling/acting was no longer apart of her life after I was a toddler.

Yes that's her & she's just as stunning today & as was then <3

I have learned soo much from my mom, and modeling is one of them! I remember being 14 and wanting to become a model. We went to this cheesy agency who basically took our money and ran. Nothing ever came of it because my teenage brain didn't want to commit to something like that since it didn't happen quickly enough for me (lol). But nonetheless I still love to model for fun til this day, but I enjoy being behind the camera so much more.

Fast forward 4 years when my dad gifted me my very first DSLR camera, and that's when my passion grew into something more. I photographed every thing I could, and eventually began asking my friends and family to photograph them. I believe that's usually how it all starts out for new photographers. I didn't go to school for this. I only took a few photography classes in high school & college. I basically learned on my own & gained a few tricks along the way thanks to the classes I took. But the quality of work & business you see me hold so closely to my heart today is something I pretty much built all on my own. Of course, though, I couldn't be where I am today without the love & support of my family, closest friends & all of my clients I've worked with.

Of course there were failures and mistakes made along the way (still are). There actually have been many times recently, especially with the pandemic, where I've questioned what I'm doing, and wondered if I'll ever get to where I always pray to be. Building a successful business is far from easy, it's a daily process of learning & growing - sometimes it's a challenge that is hard to face. One thing I know for sure though is I wouldn't want it any other way, and I am truly blessed to be able to do what I love. I'll never give up on this dream of mine & honestly I'm extremely proud of where I am today and very excited to share more of my work with you.

Moral of this story time, lol, is even though I never ended up being a professional model like my mother, I most certainly love helping my clients feel & look like one in front of my camera! That's why today I chose to showcase Aniya's creative portrait session. Yes, she's a natural in front of the camera, but I definitely take some credit ;)

From theme, style, props & location(s) I brought this vision to life with the help of Aniya's stunning features & ease in front of the camera. I absolutely love love & photographing my families, couple's & weddings - but there's something about creative portrait sessions that always helps fuel my fire & allows me to be a little more "out there" which I truly enjoy.

Before I share her session I want to lead with this quote by Frank Ocean:

"Orange is a color of liberation, from the pains of hurtful love and inner insecurities. To ‘Channel Orange’ is to truly be free, to be you.”

It's taken me a long time to 'Channel Orange' - and I know many of you probably struggle with it, too. I certainly hope though that you look yourself in the mirror today and embrace all that you are & tell yourself all of the positive things about yourself - from your looks to your personality - each & every flaw, each & every mistake, all of it has helped you become the person you are today. Someone, I hope, that you are proud of. If you are still not there yet though, it's okay. Each day that you are blessed with is a new day to continue making efforts towards being the best version of yourself possible. Take advantage of it, and don't take it for granted.

And lastly - I hope each time you see an orange you smile & remember what it stands for <3

Here we go y'all - here's Aniya's two part creative session. Please feel free to share this blog as well, any & all support is truly appreciated!

We even had a visitor :)

Yes we went there haha - ya can't take photos with an orange & not enjoy them!

I hope you all enjoyed these & if you're curious what Aniya thought here is her extremely sweet review:

"Loved every second shooting with Courtney! By far the best photographer I've ever done a shoot with! Courtney has so much love and passion for what she does and it shows by how much she puts her heart and soul into her work! She's so funny and cheerful you don't feel camera shy at all! I had an absolutely blast the whole time! The pictures came out gorgeous!!! Courtney's photography is stunning and to a perfection unlike any other!"