Welcome to the blog of my new business; Direction Photography by Kelly. The anticipation and planning for this day have been a long time in the works. I’m excited to share my passion and art through photography. My goal with this business is to help capture whatever your life’s direction is in at this very moment. To be a part of your story so that you can leave a legacy that endures.
I’d like to take a moment and tell you my story. Why I’m choosing today to launch, and how the different directions my life has taken has brought me to this very moment.
Eleven years ago today, our life was forever changed when Livia Grace entered this world. Little did we know that her life would shape ours in the way it did. Eleven years ago today, my plans were on track. I had married my best friend, Jake, and the start to our dreams of a big family was underway. In 2009, we welcomed our second daughter, Finley Faith into our family. However, shortly after her birth, we received the news that Livia had a terminal, genetic condition called Sanfilippo Syndrome. This diagnosis changed the direction of our lives. The uncertainty and fear we were facing were overwhelming.
We were in love, and that love shattered the overwhelming fear. As a result of Liv’s diagnosis, I resolved to embrace each and every change in direction we would face. Livia taught me that. For the past ten and a half years, my life has been intertwined with hers. Taking care of my family will always be my priority, but caring for Livia was different. She depended fully on Jake and me for everything. Caring for Livia was liberating and beautiful. A LIVing lesson gifted to me and my family.
I’ve always had a strong desire to create, so when my girls were little I wanted a nicer camera than what I had at the time. I wanted to capture as many memories as I could, so Jake gifted me a Canon Rebel T2i for Christmas. I remember telling Jake that I wanted a camera I could change the lenses on. After I received my camera I embraced photography, fell in love with it, and educated myself on becoming the best photographer I could be. I taught myself as much about photography and my new camera as I could. I learned very quickly what all the different dials and buttons did. Jake supported me by gifting me several new lenses over the next few years. I took many photos of the girls and our family and posted most of them on Instagram.
Looking back at those photos, I can see how my eye as a photographer has changed. After Livia’s diagnosis, my photography became much more emotional. How I was feeling at the time is reflected in my photos. My happiness, my joy, my immense love for my girls, my sadness, my broken heart, was there in my photography for all to see. Looking back, a new direction was starting to emerge for me even though I didn’t realize it until much later. Livia and Finley were showing me how to write this story of mine, even though I didn’t fully comprehend it at the time.
When I reflect on my life since 2004, I can see that each change in direction was distinctly different. Some changes were planned however many were not. Regardless, each change in direction took me to a place of love, beauty, and growth. I’m proud of what I’ve been through, and what I’ve learned. It’s shaped me and made me the person I am today.
Livia passed away on September 23, 2017. Today would have been her 11th birthday. I ache for my arms to be filled with her body again. To feel the weight of her on me. To breathe in the smell of her hair. To feel the thickness of her hair run through my fingers. To be singing to her. To celebrate. Today another change in the direction of my story is unfolding, the first change in many years. All the changes in my life’s direction have brought me to this very moment, and it’s the reason I’m extremely proud to launch my new business: Direction Photography by Kelly.
My hope is that with this business I inspire people to embrace whatever direction their life is in right now. I want to help others to write their own story by capturing the special moments of their lives. Whether it’s a brand-new baby, an engagement, a marriage, a loved one in a nursing home, a funeral, a hospital or hospice stay, I hope that because of my unique experiences and story, you will trust my eye and passion to capture the moments of your life that are most important to you.
Launching my business on my daughter’s birthday is a gift that I’m giving to myself because of all the gifts she gave to me. I know she’s always with me and will continue to be the inspiration for making this life of mine one of love, beauty, purpose and hard work. I’m happy and excited about this new direction I’m taking for myself and my beautiful family.