While I just recently started to pour my heart into building Kyla Shattuck Photography, I’ve been laying the foundation for it for the past decade! Little by little, the dream of becoming a wedding photographer began to take root in my heart. And little by little, I began to take steps to make it happen. If you enjoy reading stories as much as I do, you’re in for a treat!
In late 2014, I enrolled in classes at UNH again, but at the local campus in my hometown. I still didn’t know how college fit into my wedding industry plans, but I knew I wanted to earn a bachelors degree. That is something I had always wanted for myself. In the meantime, I wanted to at least try to apply my nursing studies and prerequisite credits to earning an Associate’s degree, too – as a milestone of sorts (which I completed later that Fall!)
Sending the Email
During that semester, I was reading blogs one night and discovered that one of my favorite wedding photographers (who I discovered through Southern Weddings) was going to be speaking at a local faith-driven retreat, Return to Rest, that winter. The retreat’s mission really resonated with me so I continued to read more. I soon saw that RTR was founded by Ruthie Allen, a New England wedding photographer. When I read further, I saw that Ruthie was based only 30 minutes from me. I decided to reach out and introduce myself to Ruthie via email. In my message, I shared some encouraging words about her work and the conference she had built.
Friendship and Opportunity
Ruthie was fairly new to the area and invited me to meet up for coffee. We made a date to meet up a couple of weeks later. Over coffee, I shared my love of weddings with her and my dream of working in the wedding industry someday. We hit it off, and I never expected what came next. She invited me to join her team as her studio assistant for the upcoming year. It was a part-time position that would give me invaluable experience and perspective. It was an incredible opportunity. I enthusiastically accepted and started working in her studio a couple of weeks later.
A Front-Row Seat to the Magic
During that season, I carried bags, changed lenses and film, and held bouquets. I learned how to structure and manage a wedding day timeline and to collaborate with other wedding professionals. Through it all, I got to experience the high-energy, fast-paced, high-pressure environment of weddings. I loved it. I also learned what it looks like to serve a couple with your whole heart. Ruthie did that every time. Most importantly, I gained a friend who not only builds me up as a photographer, but also as a believer who is genuinely invested in my faith. What a gift!
That experience gave me a front-row seat to the magic of wedding days through the eyes of a wedding professional. But all the while, I was still working toward finishing my degree, so I continued to press forward with school.
To be continued…Click HERE to read Part 4!