Ok, so I’m thinking for this post there needs to be a little more than a poem or lyrics to a song that came on suffle while listening to my iPod and editing. So, I decided to tell you my story about how I stumbled upon (actually tripped and fell face first into) photography. Unlike a lot of my photog friends, photography was never something I have “dreamed about since I was a little kid”. Actually in the beginning, it was something that was pretty much forced on me by one of my good friends in high school. One day in my senior english class (my favorite class and my favorite teacher. Shout out to Mrs. Ricketts! If she sees anything grammatically wrong in this she’s going to rip me a new one haha) my friend Ashley Haynes asked me to do a senior shoot with her because she needed them the next day for the yearbook. I reluctantly agreed and after school we headed down town with my girlfriend’s hot pink point & shoot camera and I started my first of many sessions to come. When I got home, with 3 mem cards full of the cheesiest pictures you have ever seen, I began to edit the them just to make them THAT much more cheesy. I mean I did the works: Selective coloring, contrast so high that her skin was orange, changed her dark brown eyes to a beautiful vampire green, made her teeth litterally glow, made all the edges jet black, and had about 7 or 8 photoshop lens flares coming from all different directions. And the sad part is, I thought they were so stinkin’ cool that I’d upload all 275 of them to facebook. By the time I woke up for school the next morning I have over 15 comments and a voice mail asking if I would take someone’s senior pictures. I freaked out and deleted all the pictures; I didn’t want to be a photographer… AT ALL. When I walked into the door of my first class, there was Ashley, iPhone in hand and 10 people gathered around her as she slid her finger through every picture that she had saved onto her phone. I was pretty mortified. I sat down as I heard her shriek “HUNTER I LOVE THEM!!”, I turned to her and said something sarcastic about how she’s lucky because she is going to be the only person that will ever get her picture taken by Hunter Leone. Which was the worst mistake of my life haha, because for the next 50 minutes all I heard was Ashley going on and on about how I have found what I’m called to do and how if I give it up she’ll be soooooo mad at me. I then agreed to maybe “trying” to get into photography just as a side job for a little extra cash. Then becoming hysterical, she began to tell me how she was going to go home and make me business cards and how she was going to help me make a business Facebook page and on and on. Then she told me to think of a really cool business name, “Hunter Leone Photography…” was the first thing that popped in my head. She hated it and made me think of something else, then I remembered when I was 12 and was in a “band” with my brother and friend called “Three Nails Band” so I turned to her and said ” what about Three Nails Photography?”. She smiled, “perfect.”
I still to this day owe a lot of my success to the push that I got from my friend. Since then I have met some awesome people and am so blessed to call this hobby my “job”. I get the opportunity to photograph people who are willing to climb onto a tree limb in their wedding dress, to climb through barb wire to get to a house that could fall down onto them at any second, to climb hills that look like mountains, and then to fall down those hills (sorry again Alexis), and even to run across four lane highways carrying 2 suitcases in each hand. Because they know that if they trust me to do these insane tasks that I ask them to do, they will get photographs that they will cherish for the rest of their lives. For instance, this couple, JoyBeth and Kaleb who had to trail through hanging vines and trees in heels (JoyBeth had heels, not Kaleb). OH! and just so it makes sense, they call each other “dork” instead of ”babe” or anything other pet names like that!
Here are a few of Ashley’s pitures:
Thanks again Ashley!