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The Small-Town Beauty Photographer's Path to Big Dreams

In the world of beauty photography, opportunities can arise at the most unexpected moments. The question is, are you prepared to seize them? As a small-town beauty photographer, my journey has been marked by instances where I felt like a fish out of water, desperately hoping that no one would notice me drowning in the corner. Little did I know that one such moment would change the course of my career and bring me closer to my dreams.

picture of John Paul at the grand opening of Paul Mitchell School of Logan Utah

You see, I've always had big dreams in the beauty photography world. I've dreamt of capturing the essence of beauty in the bustling streets of Los Angeles, the vibrant energy of New York, and the cosmopolitan charm of far-off cities. However, life had other plans for me. I found myself comfortably settled in my cozy small town, practicing my craft and falling in love with the simplicity of my life.

The turning point came when I stumbled upon a local ad for an event photographer at the grand opening of the Paul Mitchell School. At that time, I was working for a local newspaper, and the thought crossed my mind: "Why not give it a shot?" The worst-case scenario was a rejection, but the best-case scenario? I might still get to cover the event for the paper.

color station inside the Logan Utah Paul Mitchell School of Cosmetology

Opportunity knocked, but I wasn't entirely prepared. The very next day, I received a call informing me of an interview. Panic set in when they requested a copy of my portfolio book. I had neither a book nor the budget to create one. With limited time on my side, I devised a makeshift plan. I transferred my images to my Kindle and crossed my fingers.

During the interview, as I nervously handed over my Kindle, I intended for the interviewer to view my event images. To my chagrin, she ended up browsing through my portfolio gallery. I was worried about coming off as pushy or ungrateful, but I decided to roll with it.

As we progressed through the interview, anxiety gnawed at me. I thought I had blown my chances. However, as the interviewer wrapped up and I rose to leave, she surprised me with an unexpected question: "Can you shoot some beauty work for Caper next month?" I had no clue what Caper was, but I didn't hesitate to say yes.

That moment was a turning point, a reminder that opportunities can be disguised as challenges. I felt entirely unprepared during that interview, but I was determined to make the most of it. When I walked out of that room, I had signed my first significant contract with Paul Mitchell, and it set my career on a new trajectory.

Today, I'm still based in my beloved small town, cherishing the simplicity of my life. My dreams of working in glamorous cities remain alive, but I've learned that you can find extraordinary opportunities in the most ordinary of places. Always being prepared, carrying your work with you, and never being ashamed to showcase your art can open doors you never thought possible.

In my journey as a small-town beauty photographer, I've come to understand that dreams can flourish anywhere, even in the cozy corners of our lives. The support of friends and the willingness to embrace opportunities can make all the difference. As I continue to evolve and grow in my craft, I hold on to the hope that one day, my small-town dreams will lead me to those dazzling cities I've always admired, while keeping the essence of my hometown close to my heart.


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