Hi! I’m Missy, and I am a photographer in Vancouver, WA. I never really thought of being a photographer when I was growing up, photography just kind of found me.
I’ve shared a lot of the fantastic people that I get to work with, so I decided maybe I should share a little bit more about me and how I chose to do what I do. It’s a weird and windy path, so just stay with me a little bit.
My family spent our summer vacations in the woods hiking, camping, and backpacking in the Pacific Northwest. I trained in search and rescue as an Explorer scout as a teen as well as played on local and my school’s softball team.
On the complete opposite of that spectrum, I was president of my high schools’ tech club and competed at state and national levels for drafting and engineering. So I was a well-rounded nerd.
During college, I worked at the local video game store as the night manager and met my future husband. He was the night manager at the same company, but a different store. He would spend his slow evening prank calling me at my store asking for the same thing that was always out of stock (fast forward, for our 10th anniversary I tracked that item down, with the help of my old boss, and he got it as a gift). We didn’t start dating until after we both left the company, but video games have since been a big part of our relationship.
I had a short stint as a land surveyor before I got into construction estimating and project management. I’ve been doing that for 12 years now, and I still don’t hate it! It’s a new puzzle/problem every day, and I love solving puzzles.
With the background with the trades and outdoors, it seems like a weird loop over to photography, but here’s where the change happened.
When we had my daughter, I took her to that store in the mall to get her pictures taken and would spend so much on prints and framing. So for Christmas one year, my husband bought me my first DSLR, a Nikon D80.
I started playing around with it, and soon, I always had it with me. So this whole camera addiction is all my husband’s fault.
Two years later, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. My normal walking around mode with the camera became a push to capture every moment with my dad that I could.
He passed away when my daughter was 3, but I love the fact that we have so many images of them together to remember him by.
As my coping method, I took my camera into the woods and hiked all over our area on free days. I taught myself the workings of the shutter, how to create long exposures, the need for lens filters, tripods and all the other gear you see me hauling around.
Slowly I worked on capturing people in portraits, and then my brother in law asked me to capture his wedding. I was a little hesitant, but since it was a small family affair up on the Hood Canal, I figured why not?
So the fact that I am barely home on the weekends in the summer during wedding season? Yeah, that is my brother-in-law’s fault.
I fell in love with all of it. The whole wedding. Capturing people in love, their amazing families, and being able to give them something to remember for a lifetime.
Being able to look back at the memories with my family pushes me to create images that my clients can do the same with. A moment stopped in time that can bring you back to the love and emotions that you had on that day. That is my absolute favorite part of doing what I do.
So that’s it! Photography started as a hobby, a way to handle death, and a way to capture those moments that I would never have again.
I still bring my camera with me most of the time, but I’ve also learned when to keep it at home and use my phone…like Hogwarts. Because being in the moment with the ones you love is so important.
Want to know a little about me and my personality? I’ve included some fun top 5 lists to let you know what I enjoy…and may also explain my ability never to take things too seriously.
Army of Darkness
Sean of the Dead
Lord of the Rings (Trilogy counts as one!)
Wild – Cheryl Strayed
American Gods – Neil Gaiman
Harry Potter Series – J.K Rowling (again, I all counts as one!)
Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
Game of Thrones Series – George R.R. Martin
Chris Cornell (any of his projects)
As you can see, I have quite an eclectic taste, and I tend to lean towards the sci-fi fantasy side of things. This has influenced the way I photograph and edit. I love seeing everything as an epic saga or fairy tale.
When I’m not out photographing awesome people, you can find me at home playing video games with the family, having board game nights with my friends, or working around on our little piece of property out in the woods.