I’m Libby. I consider myself to be first a mother, second a wife, and third a photographer. If you sit me down for an interview and ask me to tell you about myself I’ll tell you I grew up in Milwaukee, I have a degree in photography and graphic communications from Carroll University and I’ve spend most of my professional career in the print industry.
Pretty average right?
What I probably wouldn’t say in an interview is that I’m a romantic. I love spending my free time hanging out at weddings, listening to each couples stories, and capturing each to the best of my ability. Outside of both my jobs, I chase around a 2 year old (going on 20), always sporting a messy bun and leggings (the $5 kind). At night I cuddle my wonderful husband Richard, along with either of our other children, a golden doodle named Sully, or a Cat we call Kitty.
I love what I do, I love the people around me, and I wouldn’t change it.
But let’s flashback to Libby circa early 2012. I was a senior in high school, president of the drama club, about to head off to college to study photography.My photography experience was nonexsitant, I had taken one photography class in high school and I liked it. I didn’t even have a camera. I’ve always been a creative person though, so punching in numbers or learning about the human body didn’t really seem ideal to me. And, to be honest, photography was already my back up. What I thought I was going to do was music.
Let me take you into my dreams when I was 16 and 17 (is it still cool to make an Inception joke?). I would spend hours alone in my room, playing my guitar and writing songs. I was going to Nashville to study music with hopes that, somehow, I could become the next Taylor Swift.
Logistically it’s really hard to plan moving across the country, at least for me. I spent a lot of nights staying up late looking at colleges in the area. I even found one I loved. But for some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to submit an application. It was right around the time my dad was sick. He needed a liver transplant and his health had deteriorated fast in my last few years of high school. I remember holding back tears as I came home from college, seeing how much weight my dad had lost in a shot amount of time. Deep in my heart, I knew I couldn’t go too far from home. My dad ended up getting a transplant in the middle of my freshman year of college. I honestly don’t know if I would have been able to make it home, or return back if I had been in Nashville.
Given the above, I still could have studied music if I wanted to. I’m very self-aware of my singing abilities. I had been in choir all my life, picked up the guitar at 11, and did a few talent shows in my day. But I’m no Beyoncé. I can sing on pitch and my tone is decent, but there are a million better singers in the world. Also, judging my own work isn’t easy for me, so I couldn’t tell you if my songwriting was “next Taylor Swift” worthy.
I also moved on from the idea of going to school for music. I loved my time in choir, but I didn’t want to be a music teacher, and composing songs wasn’t really my passion. It didn’t make sense for me at the time, and I honestly wouldn’t change it. Instead of hustling and doing whatever it took in hope that I would be lucky and become a country singer.
I’ve moved on from music, and that’s ok. It will always be a part of my life, every once in a while I’ll pick up my guitar a strum an old Taylor song I learned when I was 12 (which was in 2007 btw). There’s still a notebook filled with songs, collecting dust on my shelf. I have no regrets, no moments of “what if”. Instead I found my new dream.
What I get to do is magical. I create photographs of love stories, I get to be creative, and I get to be my own boss (how cool is that!) I’m not sad or bitter, I didn’t give up. Yes, I let a dream die, but I found a new dream. Will I ever be a famous country singer? Nope. Don’t want that any more. Will I be a world-renounced photographer who gets to travel the world? It’s possible. Sometimes you have to let go of a dream so you can find your happiness.
Think of your future. 5, 10, 20 years from now. What does that look like? When I was 16 my now looked like traveling the world, preforming my music. But I couldn’t see a husband, a family, building a home. I didn’t know what 5 years in Nashville looked like.
There’s what my dream of the future looks like now. I have 2 more kids, I picture all boys but I’m praying one is a girl. I live in an old farmhouse with a lot of room for our dogs to run. There’s an old barn converted into a photo studio where I work with a team of photographers to capture the most beautiful clients. I’m traveling the world to document the best love stories. That, is my dream. Will it end up exactly like that? Probably not. But that’s ok. I’ve found what I love, and to me, that makes letting a dream die worth it.
June 24, 2018