I've always loved photography. My mom's coat closet had a shelf in the back full of golden-binded National Geographics and I remember cataloging them one summer- a project for which I'm sure my mother was grateful. I was busy and occupied but also fascinated by all the pictures, pictures, and more pictures.
As a kid, I was always taking pictures with my point and shoot- sending film off and waiting for those who-knows-what-you're-going-to-get prints (doubles, not singles) back. But I never knew- never even considered- that photography was a calling or something God could use in my life. So after graduating high school, I went to college and grad school and ended up as a pediatric physical therapist- connecting with children and their mothers and encouraging them- work I truly enjoyed. During those years, Jack and I started a family and I chose to spend more time at home with them. I exchanged my full time position for a part time one and then when our third baby came along, I embraced full time motherhood. All the while, my love and aptitude for photography continued to grow. Sparks flew in my heart when I took pictures with my first DSLR camera. I took a class at our local college and took pictures of my family and blogged and then people wanted me to take their pictures and pay me for it (what?!) and then Candace Chaney Photography was born - something I never even dared to dream could happen.
So then I found myself still in the throws of motherhood, but with older children which affords a little more time to spend on this dream come true. I also found myself being encouraged by a couple of key people who shared a similar story and a similar passion and gifting. Enter Meg (right) and Jessica (left).
Meg has been supporting me and working with me for a few years now and I wouldn't be where I am today without her pushing me along, believing in me and my work. Hilarious, kind, generous, and very creative, she has big ideas and a keen eye for beauty and I have no doubt that Meg Bethard Photography will soar one day soon. I adore her, my right hand girl.
Jessica only moved to Shreveport last July and since then, we have become fast friends after her family joined our church. Before we knew each other, everyone had told us how much we would like each other, but did they know that she was a photographer, too? And did they know that she has her MBA and I had this dream for a new business and I really needed to partner with someone who knew about business plans and balance sheets? Well, Someone knew. Someone knew that not only would we love one another from the start, our giftings matched up perfectly. He's the one that made us who we are after all.
So because of these friends and their love and support and because I had this fire in my heart to start something that would empower my friends who take beautiful pictures too, and maybe because it's just a good idea that Someone gave me (my sister-in-law Kate had a part to play in this too- shouting out love, KCM), Mama's Love Photography was born.
This new venture is a way for us to live out our passion- to give families with new babies the gift of that singular moment held still. Candace Chaney Photography will remain the same for now, capturing children and families, but Mama's Love will endeavor to capture many amazing moments of Shreveport-Bossier's newest lives. It's a way for us to say "Look, here is what God did for you! What beauty! What love! This is from Him! And it's beautiful!" We love God, love people, and now I see that photography is indeed a calling and I am blessed beyond what I could have imagined- to be working in this capacity with these friends and to have the opportunity to jump off a cliff from my computer chair, announcing this new business that I hope will be so much more than just a business.
This journey that mixes love and work and faith and calling isn't over. I will be stretched and expanded and I'm sure that until my journey ends in this life, God will continue to surprise me. I'm thankful and completely overwhelmed, but also excited to announce....
Mama's Love Photography.
Here goes nothing!