The first half of this summer has given me time to really think about and make some decisions regarding what I want to do with my life, some easier than others. I’ve been in this repeating pattern of school and summer for 17 years. And after graduating college, as much as I was happy to be done with school, I found myself lost. I came to the realization that for my entire life, I have been placing my identity in being a student. Knowing there wasn’t another school year ahead of me, I felt so lost and abandoned. I didn’t know what to do with myself.
Shortly after graduation I started my internship with Jennifer Whalen Photography. After second shooting that first wedding with her (you can view some of the images here) I knew I had found something that I absolutely, undeniably, loved doing. I loved the excitement that you could feel at the wedding. I loved being able to capture the small details of the couple’s big day. I quicky came to realize that photographing weddings puts me out of my comfort zone, but in a good way. I like the challenges and responsibility that come with the job. I feel like it’s another step to helping myself grow. Like moving to Minneapolis for school 4 years ago – I didn’t know anyone and forced myself to learn a new city and meet new people. Wedding photography and photography in general helps me push myself, if that makes any sense.
Two Decisions came after the first two weddings I shot with Jennifer, after a lot of prayer, and after a lot of struggling and fighting with myself.
Decision 1 – I am going to start and build up Katie Lindgren Photography.
When I say that I am going to start and build up my own photography business, I am completely serious about it. I don’t want it to be a side job where I can feed my hobby as I work full-time at a job I don’t enjoy or something that I say I’m doing until I find “a real job”. Photography is going to be my full-time job. (and probably way more than full-time). I may need to work part-time somewhere else to help with start up costs, but if that’s what it takes to pursue my passion, then that’s what I’m going to do.
Decision 2 – I am going to move back to Des Moines to do this.
My choice to pursue photography was definitely the easier of the two. I struggled a lot with the question of “where?” I went back and forth between Des Moines and Minneapolis so many times.
I have so many great relationships here in Minneapolis, I have spent the past 4 years learning the city around me, and I love Hope Community Church. Minneapolis has been the place that I have learned to become more confident in myself and have been able to think and act and make decisions on my own. Pushing myself and living away from home has helped me to figure out who I am and who I want to be. I struggled a lot with seeing myself moving back home as failing. Like I couldn’t cut it in the big city. I’ve had to overcome those moments of self doubt and know that a lot of people move back home after college and right now, this makes the most sense for my business. I love the smaller/cleaner feel of Des Moines, my family is there, as well as other close friends. I tried to keep relationships from being the deciding factor, and as much as I have absolutely loved these 4 years in Minneapolis and I wouldn’t take them back for the world, I think I like Des Moines as a city more. And that is where I see myself and my business when I look ahead. I’m not saying that I won’t be back to Minneapolis. All I know, is that moving back to Des Moines is the right decision for now – but who knows what the future will bring.
I certainly do not have everything figured out, there is a lot of work ahead of me and I am going to make many mistakes no doubt. But I welcome it. It’s not worth anything if it’s not worth fighting for right? I want a job that I love, that will bring others as much joy as it will bring me. I know this is going to be hard, but I’m willing to work for it.
And because a photo always makes a post better, here is a super old self-portrait from my photography class back in 2010. Using film! I remember I was trying to capture motion in the image – working towards the concept of being really busy and being stuck in a state of confusion on whether to switch majors at the time.