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. My hope is that by sharing my story, I will inspire others to work toward achieving their dreams, too!
Where It All Began
In the fall of 2011, I was a nursing student at UNH. I’d chosen my major based on two factors. Firstly, I wanted to make a difference and do work that matters. Secondly, nursing seemed like a responsible and respectable career path to take. I had always excelled in school and loved to learn. So when I was accepted into the competitive nursing program at UNH I didn’t really consider any other options. But I soon realized that it was not the right fit for me. I loved sitting with patients and brightening their day, but that was about it.
On the first day of my first clinical rotation, I sat around a conference table with my peers. We were doing ice breakers and introductions, and our instructor posed a question. “On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you that you want to be a nurse?” she asked. Each of my peers said things like “10!” “9.5!” “I’ve always wanted to be a nurse!”. When it was my turn, my stomach flipped. The only thing I was sure of was that I was entirely unsure that I wanted to be a nurse. While I absolutely love to serve and encourage others, I was uncomfortable in the clinical setting. I performed well and received an A for my first (and only) clinical rotation, but I was not thriving or enjoying it. I was usually a high-performing, top-of-the-class student, but I felt completely out of my element.
I was filled to the brim with creativity, but I felt like I was squandering it. Instead of studying for exams and pouring myself into clinical studies, I spent my time on creative things. When I wasn’t poring over inspiration on the newly-launched Pinterest or taking trips to the craft store for supplies, I was Googling about creative careers I could pursue and how to start a blog. From the information available, I found two potential options: event planning or graphic design. I didn’t even know that wedding photography was a profession, but I knew that I loved beautiful, visual things and I loved celebrations. Looking back, I can see common threads that make so much sense now. Wedding photography involves the continual creation of beautiful things and is centered around joyful celebrations!
I felt strongly that life is too short to spend it doing something you don’t love. But I also still wanted to play it safe and be responsible, so I decided to pursue graphic design. It seemed versatile and safe, with a positive career outlook. UNH didn’t offer design programs, so I made plans to transfer to another school and enrolled in a graphic design program. But I ultimately decided against it. I was wary of building up more student loan debt while not being 100% certain that I wanted to be a graphic designer. So in late 2012 I got a full-time job and continued learning more about creative careers. I set a deadline to give myself a year to figure things out. Little did I know what was in store!
To be continued… Click HERE to read part 2!