“I have a passion for photography! I really love being creative and capturing peoples emotions and raw moments"
THATS WHY I DO IT!
Thank you for coming in to learn a little bit more of where my journey started, not only as a business but in my life.
Lets take it back, "What we gone do here is go back, way back, back into time" - Blackstreet lol
It all started when I was a little girl, and just seeing all the awesome pictures in our baby books. I was so fascinated by the fact that my mom captured so many awesome moments that I didn't even know happened or I would see a pictures and all the sudden remember that moment and how I felt. I was born in Mexico and we came to Dallas when I was 4 so I don't really remember a lot so seeing pictures of how life was over there when my sister and I were younger makes me really happy and lucky to know pictures exist. I haven't been back since I was 9 but I want to take the kids soon and revisit all the places in our pictures.
I was born in 1990, so digital cameras weren't in just yet. For many of us the only camera (most popular) we could get were the Kodak disposable cameras lol and getting a new one to me was like Christmas. I would beg my parents all the time to get me the pack that came with 2 or more of them because I was always taking pictures of EVERYTHING so I would go trough them like nothing. I took pictures of my family , my friends, things outside, my self (selfies were always a thing) our dogs, and just life. Then these really cool polaroid cameras called "I-zone" came out and I was now obsessed with that for a while but then you had to go buy more film and it just became a hassle for a young kid who didn't drive and had parents who worked a lot to just keep taking a "crazy little picture freak takin lover" to the store to buy film lol so I went back to my disposable camera.
In 3rd grade I joined the year book club and was in charge of my grade along with some other class mates. We got to take pictures during our field trips and festival and pretty much anything they asked us to. The pictures were added to the year book and they would be added to our weekly morning news for the whole school to see in the mornings announcements. So that's little o'l me on the bottom corner lookin all cute holding a camera pretending to show some pictures to a class mate for one of the PISD magazines. I remember during that year I got SO mad because the 3rd grade class went to a field trip to the Dallas Art Museum and we were told that we needed to take turns taking pictures of art pieces and our fellow student and staff having fun. Well this other girl that was apart of the club was being petty and didn't let me or another boy use the camera that day and she just kept saying "ok just 10 more minutes" well she never gave it to us so we never documented anything that day and it was the last field trip of the year, then all her pictures were on the morning announcement and I was so annoyed because she didn't allow us to get any and I know they would of been FIRE.
I had so many cameras you guys and so much film to get developed that all I wished for was to have my own red room so I could develop my own pictures. Did yall ever watch the movie "Stepmom'' Julia Roberts was a photographer and shot editorials and had both digital and film cameras and she was in her red room at one point in the movie... THAT WAS MY DREAM literally lol
ok back to me though! So back in the day there was no CVS it was called Eckerd's ( I feel so old) I really wanted to work there so I could develop my own pictures and just be cool and close to all the film and negatives lol
So with so many cameras and negatives obviously came a lot of pictures right? So I use to share a room with Karla ( my sister) but honestly it was my room lol because well duh I'm older. I remember having our door full of pictures, part of our closet was full of pictures, we had a wall full of drawings, letters, quotes, magazines and posters. The inside of our closet became a chill spot and we painted it black and had our friends write in neon glue paint and had black lights in there with pillows on the floor and ALOT of those glow in the dark stick on stars and planets lol it was amazing and I'm so glad our parents let us be so artistic and do crazy shit to our room lol
Here is a pictures where you could see part of our closet. Covered in pictures of our dogs, family, and friends. So many great memories. I wish I had more pictures of my room.
At the age of 15 I was already working at a cell phone stand inside the Plano bazar making $5.25 (HELL YA) I loved my job! It was so easy and I pretty much got paid to be on Myspace lol (the old Facebook). Digital cameras where now a big hit and I had my eye on this super cute one that would fit in my back pocket and I could take it anywhere. I saved up $80 to buy my very own first digital camera. look how cute and little it was! I did have a few more after this one but I honestly don't remember what they look like or what they were called lol and I had one that I left inside a McDonalds in downtown Dallas during one of the protest.
In 11th grade one of my friends sold me a super cute pink camera for $100 and it was my baby for such a long time until I lost it and I guess it was karma because I found out months after I bought it that it was stolen. I wanna say I lost It during the summer after graduation and I was devastated but who ever found it or stole it had a great time looking at all the pictures lol This baby captured a lot of good memories my senior year!
Some or most of yall know I had Aidan at 18 years old, right out of high school it was definitely hard but it was amazing, I like to say I had him sooner so I can enjoy and love him longer and he is seriously the one I owe all this to. He was my why and the reason I began this photography business, he is the Lee in NLee ( its his middle name). Being so over the moon in love with him I would always take pictures of him and everything he did, even if it was just sleeping lol because you know as a mom they are just so beautiful when they sleep and you have to take 20 pictures of them doing the same thing because every single one of those 20 pictures has a little cute difference that only you can see and your crazy to everyone else who doesn't see them lol.
I only had my phone back then when Aidan was a baby and my moms digital camera so I would use that when I could and my phone all the time. I remember when Aidan was about 1, ehhh about to turn 2 my mom got this really cool Fujifilm digital camera and I used that for a while and I was in love with the quality of the images, seriously there was noting I didn't capture. The pictures were so crisp, the colors were so vivid and I was left with wanting more, more quality, more megapixels and just a better overall camera.
In February of 2011 I made the best decision of my life. I had just gotten my tax return and it was almost my lunch break. I remember talking to Claudia ( my coworker at the time) about me wanting to go buy my first DSLR camera and really starting this thing. She was so supportive and on lunch break that day I went to best buy and I did it! I bought my first DSLR camera and it was so beautiful and I was so excited and I couldn't believe it. It was a Nikon d3100 and it came with 2 kit lenses. I was taking pictures of Aidan left and right, some of my friends and family. My very first session was a valentines day session with Aidan and his friends it was seriously the cutest thing and I got so much feed back. I remember charging $60 for bluebonnet minis and had 3 clients that spring and then came my best friends sons birthday party, then another party, then another party, then family sessions, then maternity and before I knew it I was actually up and running I had to come up with a name and start branding my self. So at first I was known as "live it. love it | life photography" it was a little to long but it kept its name for a while since I had just started out so it was cool. After a couple years I booked my first wedding in 2013 and it was such an amazing feeling and honor to be apart of something so beautiful, meaningful and intimate and it meant so much to be trusted to capture such a big day, I was so nervous but so over joyed to know someone was actually picking me and trusting me. I was also pregnant so I had a lot of emotions lol. With that wedding came another big buy and it was our second DSLR a Nikon D3200
I know have a D750 which is a full frame camera and I love it!
I've gotten to meet so many families, captured so many moments, memories, smiles, tears , and strengths. I've gotten to capture life being born and that is a feeling I wont ever be able to put into words. Ive had dreams of this, but never thought it was gonna be this beautiful. I knew it was going to be possible yes, because my parents have always taught us to work hard for what we want and that nothing will ever be handed to us. I have worked so hard guys and I am gonna brag because damn I deserve it. I'm proud of my self. I stay up late nights, spend more time with yall then I do my family some days, capture your life and create magic for yall. I have invested highly on my equipment and my products and especially my brand to be able to give you guys the best of me and I am not even done yet. I want to give you guys so much more and I want to keep learning and providing you guys with the best stuff out there.
There's been times that this job has broken me down, people don't understand that its just not a picture, that I don't just click a button and that's it. Ive been bullied, I ve been lied to, ive been taken for granted, people don't value me like other people may value me, some only want a discount. Theres so much hate and competition out there and its so damn sad to see. There so many ugly people that I know about and have witnessed it personally. About 2 summers ago I almost quit because I was bullied and no matter what I did I felt like the negativity was winning. There was so much competition, so much pettiness and just ugly people pretending to be your friends or in your cornor but were only wanting to step on you so you wouldn't succeed and you know what I said FUCK THAT I will not let them win. If they were gonna win it was because they ARE better not because they tried to eliminate me.
I LOVE all of you, all my followers, all my clients, all the ones that keep coming back to me and telling people about me. For allowing me to capture your most beautiful life moments, YOU are the reason why I do this. I'm blessed and humble enough to be allowed to be apart of so many families, to watch your kids grow, watch your family grow, watch you marry the love of your life.
I really truly want so many people to be successful in life, I want people to learn from me, I want people to say "because of you I did." Even after all the love and support from all my family and friends I still cant believe I am where I am right now so many families, so many babies, 9 weddings down and 12 more to go this year and one in 2019 already I STILL CANT BELIEVE IT!
The day I had my first class was such a magnificent moment it was at that very moment that I felt like I was doing something right, that I was meant for this. Its crazy to think girls wanted to learn from me and MY ways. I get emails from so many people asking how I do this and what do I do in certain situations if they can come along and shadow me. WHAT?! ME? its the best feeling ever. I do it for yall, not only as an income but as my career, as my passion and this is my dream. I Breath and live this job you guys. Its my jam to capture your way of life. We all see things so differently that there is no right way to do anything . Life is art, you are art. If your wanting to do something then do it! open up that store, buy that camera , follow your dreams life it so damn short to work a 9-5 job and go home to not work on your dream. Don't let any one tell you your doing it wrong when it comes to art/photography or chasing your dreams honestly. We all have different styles and as long as you do it for the love of it but really for the love of it then you wont be happy. Don't get caught up with the competition or what's trending or this person is coping me, let them copy! my mom always told me that coping is a form of admiration and you should only worry about when they stop. Do you and the people who love your work will come to you and will always be there.
There's so much more I can say but I'm just so happy for this wonderful life you all have helped me with. " We rise by lifting others" and you all have lifted me so high and will forever be thankful. I love yall and I'm ready to capture so many more memories with you all. I have so many plans for NLEE and I know its gonna be great.
I will continue to give yall some magic and teach yall all I can teach. For those who are interested in another class please be patient its coming very soon.
I also want to thank my babe for being my number one fan and pushing me to not quit that summer and to allow me to focus all my time on my photograph
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I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!