Last week, I was invited back to my high school, Addison Trail, to talk to the students about photography and how I built my business. I was super excited about this opportunity but secretly really nervous because I hate public speaking …. like really hate it. I’m the girl who says UM … a lot. But after many, many hours of talking to myself (which, I might add, I am pretty exceptional at doing), I put on my big girl pants and shared my experiences with the high yearbook class.

For those of you who have been following me on this journey, you know that I didn’t dream of becoming a photographer until I got a little lost finding my way after college. However, before that, photography was always a part of my life … just not in the way it is now.

The turning point of when I started to realize how amazing photography is happened when I was a sophomore in high school working on the yearbook. Sure, I joined yearbook to get pictures of me and my friends in the book (who didn’t?!), but I ended up falling in love with capturing the moments for everyone else that I soon forgot about my selfish reasons. I started to love documenting emotions, little moments and the behind-the-scenes.

Heading to my high school prom. I’m in pink on the right.

What I didn’t realize at the time, this crazy “class” that I took during my lunch period was preparing me for life after high school …. life even after college … it was preparing me for the day when I would go after my dream of photography and start this amazing little business. A business that I never intended to have while I was in college but something that found its way to me.

So last Thursday, I shared with the students everything that I took away from yearbook – meeting deadlines, interviewing people, writing stories, working with photoshop, collaborating with a team … and so, so, so much more. But the one thing I really stressed to them was that yearbook gave me the inspiration to create.

It is funny how when you look back on things … it all seems so crystal clear, but in the day-to-day … it is a bit confusing. I would have never know or realized how much yearbook would affect my life until I really looked back on it to tell these students. Little decisions like taking a class dedicated to making a yearbook, shaped me and led me to something so amazing. This business. This life. This passion.

Brittany XO Signature 2

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