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I think I’ve mentioned before that I got into photography partially because of my husband, Ben. When I moved to Florida, I had retired from dance, which was my full-time hobby since the age of five. The new surroundings and experiences were so fun and beautiful, I started snapping everything with my blackberry and sharing with family on social media. Because all of Ben’s activities are pretty intense for someone to easily pick up, the best way for me to participate was to take photos.
Eight Years Later
Throughout our eight years together, he’s introduced me to wakeboarding, motocross, surfing, mountain biking, and snowboarding. Thanks to my dad, I had been skiing since I was 13 or 15; we would travel to Colorado every few years to visit family and spend a few days in the mountains. Still, I had always envied the coolness of snowboarders and wished I could surf the snow the way they did.
Spontaneous Fall Snowboarding
Ben and I were nearly polar opposites when we met. He is extreme in every way and makes my life way more interesting, to say the least. This past Sunday we experienced a random, early-fall snow day, which I haven’t experienced in nearly a decade. As soon as the first snowflake fell, I told myself, “I give it five minutes before he mentions snowboarding.” Sure enough, within an hour of the snow sticking to the grass, Ben and a group of friends had built a snowboard setup at a nearby park. Seven dudes from ages 18 to 33 got together to take advantage of what little snow we had – and might get all year.
This day reminded me a lot of what life was like when I was younger; when playing meant going outside and building forts, climbing hills, getting dirty and using imagination. I had been at home working when Ben texted, “Come film.” It is tremendously special to me that (1) Ben wants me around no matter what he’s doing, and (2) he and his friends are excited about the pictures I take.
Scenarios like this are how I got the nickname, “Girl” or “the Girl.” I am 110% serious when I tell you that Ben hasn’t called me “Michelle” since year one, apart from introducing me to others. For whatever reason, I am almost always the only girl in the group, which I questioned until they reassured me I wasn’t intruding on bro-time. Assuming she isn’t salty about it, Ben says every guy prefers their girl to be around, even if they can’t quite keep up.
Ben started teaching me to snowboard two years ago but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to nose press a three-foot-tall rail. Whether it’s motocross, surfing or snowboarding, I use my camera fill in the gaps. Photography has been such a gift for me because it gave me a way to bond with my husband over the things he loved most – Making money was an unexpected bonus. I never imagined my blackberry photos would evolve into a business encompassing sports and travel photography, senior photos, weddings, family portraits and more.