My Leap of Faith

Whenever I feel overwhelmed, David will ask me, "Abby, how do you eat an elephant?" And side note, the thought of eating an elephant makes me sad so he changed the saying to, "how do you wash an elephant?" and I usually respond with a sigh, "little by little." The moral of this story and the reminder that he gives me is, if you have a dream, you must take small steps everyday to help you get there.

I have always known I wanted to be a photographer, but there are many different types of specialities.  When I was young, I spent some days dreaming that I would be a photojournalist traveling the world, a fashion photographer in New York, or a celebrity portrait photographer in Los Angeles. In college, I read about the pros and cons of being a National Geographic photographer. I was dreaming big! But, when it came to wedding and lifestyle photography I never thought logically about. It is something I feel naturally connected to. (Also, if you ever hear me talk I mostly say, "I feel" rather than "I think". I'm an emotional decision maker!) As I was preparing to graduate, I found myself drifting towards wedding photography. In college, I also spent a lot of time looking at young successful wedding photographers with impressive websites, stunning images and beautiful stories to tell. That became my new dream. I wanted to have all of that one day. 

Well, that one day is today! I'm closing the gap between reality and a dream by taking action. I quit my day job and it's scary, yet exciting! Friday was my last day and today was my first day in my home office as a full time photographer. 

For the past 3 and a half years, I have worked with a local newspaper company while slowly working on my photography business. (Yes, it has been a busy few years!) I started out at Appen Media Group as an intern working on photography and writing. Later, I became a full time employee as an account executive helping local businesses with their advertising. Being a part of an industry that documents important events every single week was perfect for me, because this is the exact same reason why I love photography so much. While working at Appen, I grew both personally and professionally and accomplished more than I knew possible. I'm so thankful for my day job as it prepared me to take this next step. The lessons I learned from client relationships, formal sales training, and being in an everyday office environment are the type of things I will take with me on this next journey as a full time photographer.  And because of everyone's support and encouragement (friends, family, coworkers, clients, bosses) I feel ready and confident that now is the time to make this leap. 

There's a saying, If you can't stop thinking about, don't stop working for it. I knew that if I did not take this leap, I would always regret it. The old and the wise always warn us, you will be more upset by the things you didn't do than the things you did do. Life is short....something we hear all the time, but something most of us need to live by more. This blog post is hard for me, because it feels all, me me me, but I want to share my story because I hope this reaches someone that needs to hear it. Whatever you are dreaming about, you can do it! Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. And whenever I have doubts such as, what if this doesn't work? I remind myself, but what if it does? I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but I'm on my way! 

As I said good-bye to coworkers, bosses and clients last week (although it's more of a, see you later!) I wanted to take the time to share some of my favorite moments at Appen with the strangers who became friends and the place that helped make this next journey possible. 

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 The time our faces made it on the front cover! 

The time our faces made it on the front cover! 

 Silly staff :)

Silly staff :)

 The time I directed 10 students for the front cover of Education Answer Book.  Photography played a big role at Appen! 

The time I directed 10 students for the front cover of Education Answer Book.  Photography played a big role at Appen! 

 The time I brought Milan Eye Center to a friend's house and shot the cover of Medical Answer Book. Thanks again Kelly Stoks! 

The time I brought Milan Eye Center to a friend's house and shot the cover of Medical Answer Book. Thanks again Kelly Stoks! 

 The time my sister made it on the front over of our magazine as a model! 

The time my sister made it on the front over of our magazine as a model! 

 The Best Of Awards Gala 2015

The Best Of Awards Gala 2015

 Lost count at how many times we have acted silly, but there is one of them! 

Lost count at how many times we have acted silly, but there is one of them! 

 The time Abby Breaux Photography won Best Photographer at the Awards Gala!

The time Abby Breaux Photography won Best Photographer at the Awards Gala!

 The time we all took a road trip to Savannah and won a bunch of awards :P

The time we all took a road trip to Savannah and won a bunch of awards :P

 The group selfie in Savannah. It's better than Ellen's selfie right?

The group selfie in Savannah. It's better than Ellen's selfie right?

 The time I was completely honored to have been selected as a rising star in the newspaper industry! Thanks to my bosses, Hans, Ray and Christina Appen.

The time I was completely honored to have been selected as a rising star in the newspaper industry! Thanks to my bosses, Hans, Ray and Christina Appen.

 The time my clients won awards and let me celebrate with them!

The time my clients won awards and let me celebrate with them!

 The time this ad won best ad design AND best photography thanks to David Brown's design work and my photography work. I will miss collaborating on ads with him!

The time this ad won best ad design AND best photography thanks to David Brown's design work and my photography work. I will miss collaborating on ads with him!

 The time my boss, Hans, and I decided to be the center of attention :D

The time my boss, Hans, and I decided to be the center of attention :D

 The time I found out big solo cups existed....and we jumped inside of them. 

The time I found out big solo cups existed....and we jumped inside of them. 

 The times we did lunch :) 

The times we did lunch :) 

 The time Appen got an office puppy :P

The time Appen got an office puppy :P

 And the time Appen introduced a new Appen to the family and she let me love on her :)

And the time Appen introduced a new Appen to the family and she let me love on her :)

 The time we had a farewell party for Ray Appen leaving to hike the Appalachain Trail

The time we had a farewell party for Ray Appen leaving to hike the Appalachain Trail

 The time I photographed all of these people and it was put on a big wall! 

The time I photographed all of these people and it was put on a big wall! 

 The time my sweet sales team leader and friend sent me off with flowers and the sweetest note ever.  Thank you to all for believing in me and my new business adventure! 

The time my sweet sales team leader and friend sent me off with flowers and the sweetest note ever.  Thank you to all for believing in me and my new business adventure!