portrait photography

That Time My Laptop Was Stolen

If there was ever an area about my business that I’m most insecure about it would be my portfolio. Not because of the quality of photos I take, my edits, or what I deliver to clients; I am so proud of the artistic photographs I am able to capture. That is years and countless of hours of practice and dedication. My style is a reflection of my soul and every picture I deliver is something I’m proud of. However, I am insecure because I lost 85% of my portfolio to a stupid mistake.

A few years ago, when I was just starting out on this photography journey, I was traveling out in Washington State when my computer and camera equipment were stolen. Being new to the game, I didn’t have a back up system in place. I had some photos in a large dropbox file, but, I never imaged that there would be a day that I didn’t have my laptop or my portfolio.

Weddings where I was a second shooter, gone.

Early family portraits, gone.

Personal work of landscapes and concerts, all gone.

I was twenty three and had just realized that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and I lost all of my work. It was a devastating blow. Fortunately, I had my camera body on me that night, so while I lost most of my work and equipment, I still at least had a camera. Perhaps a sign that this was still something I needed to pursue.

I stopped photographing “people” for three years after that. I still had the bug, but, I felt like I wasn’t responsible enough to hold their memories. I moved, would capture events here and there. Slowly, I gained my confidence back. And, about a year ago, I started photographing events, family portraits, engagements and even weddings. Within eight months, I photographed more portraits and weddings on my own than I ever imagined.

I now have a very thorough and sensible back up system in place. Photographs immediately go on onto a hard drive, and, as soon as they’re on that hard drive, I then make copies into a large cloud folder. Every photo meticulously labeled. I hold on to RAW photos for at least 8 months after any event; just in case a client thinks I missed something.

The moral of this? If you’re ever thinking “her portfolio seems limited” it’s because it is. It’s not reflective of the ten+ weddings I shot before my equipment was stolen. It’s not reflective of the early portrait sessions I would do. It’s only reflective of my work in the last year. The last year where I’ve fallen in love with the art of photography all over again. Every shoot, every frame, every image is another moment to fall in love with what I do.