My Photography Journey by Elicia Graves

My photography journey began in high school when I bought a little Canon Rebel film camera with my Christmas money one year.  I didn’t really know what I was doing at the time, but I enjoyed shooting rolls of black and white film and picking up the resulting images at my local drugstore.  Time moved on, I graduated college, got a job, married my high school sweetheart, and photography fell by the wayside.  Like so many others, the impending birth of my first daughter rekindled my interest in photography.  I bought a digital Canon Rebel and enrolled in a class at my local community college.  I learned the basics of the exposure triangle, figured out that I needed a prime lens and was totally hooked on my new hobby.

the photography journey of California photographer Elicia Graves

the photography journey of California photographer Elicia Graves

When my baby was 7 months old, I made a new friend who happened to be a wedding photographer.  We had little girls that were a month apart and we all became fast friends.  She taught me so much and I’m still grateful to her for sharing her knowledge.  We started a photography play group and I had a great time learning alongside those women.  Around that time I also joined Clickin Moms and I browsed the forum here and there, but I was intimidated by the talent and didn’t share often.  I began having friends ask me to take their photos which eventually led me to start a business.

the photography journey of California photographer Elicia Graves

the photography journey of California photographer Elicia Graves

Life changes and my husband and I decided to accept an offer to move to the San Francisco Bay Area for his work in early 2011.  We made our move and a few months later welcomed our second baby into our family.

the photography journey of California photographer Elicia Graves

I missed my Texas friends dearly and started participating more often on CM at that time.  I wanted something more out of my photography but I wasn’t sure how to achieve it. Luckily I snagged a spot in Sarah Wilkerson‘s Composition and Creativity workshop.  This class was pivotal in my journey and I saw the world through my camera with fresh eyes.

the photography journey of California photographer Elicia Graves

the photography journey of California photographer Elicia Graves

the photography journey of California photographer Elicia Graves

Around this time I decided that I did not want to go into business again in California.  I wanted the freedom to photograph my family at leisure and I wanted to hone my style more thoroughly.  I signed up for Megan Cieloha‘s Mastering Natural Light Indoors class.  It was just what I needed at the time and I really learned to see light and control it.

the photography journey of California photographer Elicia Graves

the photography journey of California photographer Elicia Graves

After MNLI, I took another eye opening course by Sarah, Elements of Design.  I still think about what I learned in this course on a daily basis.  During this class I applied for and made CMpro.

the photography journey of California photographer Elicia Graves

the photography journey of California photographer Elicia Graves

the photography journey of California photographer Elicia Graves

Following EOD I took a workshop break for a while and enjoyed photographing my growing girls.

the photography journey of California photographer Elicia Graves

the photography journey of California photographer Elicia Graves

the photography journey of California photographer Elicia Graves

When I saw the announcement for Elle Walker’s Fine Art and Visual Expression, I couldn’t resist signing up and it was an incredible experience where I learned to think more carefully about my vision as an artist.

the photography journey of California photographer Elicia Graves

the photography journey of California photographer Elicia Graves

That brings me to my current work where I have been trying my best to photograph my girls purely from a documentary stand point without any instruction on my part.  I have so enjoyed my journey leading up to this point and I’m incredibly grateful for the women that I have met and become friends with through CM.  This community is a wonderful place and I have learned so much here and I can only hope to continue learning and growing amidst the CM community.

the photography journey of California photographer Elicia Graves