Why I Became A Photographer

I didn’t always know that I wanted to be a photographer, even though looking back, I wonder how I missed it.

I had a camera in my hand from a very young age. I was always obsessed with capturing photos of my friends, family, and random things around the house. I would pour over all the old pictures of my mom and dad and hoard any photography I could get my hands on, collecting our memories.

But it wasn’t until taking a photography class in high school that I really felt the connection as something more significant. It’s funny looking back, though, because the truth is that I was awful. I got horrible grades in my class, and even though I knew that this was it for me, I still couldn’t see my future as a photographer.

Christy and Matt Clayton, 2013

 Over the years, I kept my cameras with me, collecting gear and playing with photography as a way to make a few bucks here and there, but it never seemed like a career path. At 20 years old, I had a newborn baby and no real professional experience as a photographer, so my options seemed really non-existent. The social media landscape wasn’t what it is today, so the idea of building a business just never occurred to me. For me, it was either art or journalism and nothing in between, and both goals felt wildly out of reach.

Photojournalism was already dying a slow death as the digital landscape began to emerge and art… well, it was art. I knew I didn’t have the skills or talent to be a thriving artist, and at the time, that notion didn’t even exist the way it does today.

So I put my cameras away.

It wasn’t until about 3 years later that I reconnected with a family member who was building a photography business. He was shooting weddings and fashion, and knowing that I had some skills, he invited me to second shoot for him. I was still so bad, though. I think he even had to refund an entire wedding because I shot everything in black and white, and the bride was furious.

I mean, I had learned how to take pictures on black and white 35mm film! I had no idea how to shoot color correctly, and in my mind, black and white just looked better. Poor lady. I feel terrible for her now.

Ezra and Rudy, 2013

Fast forward even further to 2013. By this time, I had been using what little photo skills I had to make money on the side. I learned that building a business would be my best bet at turning my hobby into a career. The problem was that I was still totally unsure of myself and STILL a crappy photographer. I had been taking pictures for over ten years by this time and still had no idea what the hell I was doing.

Then came a little online platform known as CreativeLive. This was the turning point for me. I devoured every course I could get my hands on. Business courses, photography courses, lighting, posing, editing… you name it, and I studied it. I may have learned the basics of photography in school, but I learned the business of photography online. I was finally ready to create a career out of my passion, and so I did.

Now it’s about 2020 and I have been in business as a professional photographer for 5 years. I’ve been full-time in business for 3, and though I still feel like a crappy photographer, I know that the girl who picked up her camera that one time all those years ago knew something was right.

I still feel that connection, and even more today than at any other time in my life, I know I am doing exactly what I was born to do.

I became a photographer in the same way some people find their faith, slowly, sometimes painfully, and with wild abandon. But here I am, and I don’t see any other future than this.

Krystal Soliz, 2019

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Grab the



Take the stress out of choosing what to wear for your next brand photoshoot with this fun wardrobe planner.

Grab the



Take the stress out of choosing what to wear for your next brand photoshoot with this fun wardrobe planner.