The Story Behind The Camera | Meet Olivia

February 8, 2023

Hi, I’m Olivia! I know my name is plastered all over my website, but I wanted to share a deeper introduction about how I became a photographer over here. So Hi! Thank you for being here 🙂

I talk about this often with clients and friends, but I truly don’t ever think there was one starting point for me and photography. I spent a lot of time taking photos as a kid. If I wasn’t taking photos of our home and farm, I was taking photos of my friends and family. In addition to carrying a camera around, I frequently had a tape recorder with me and would interview the people in my life. I like to think I was one of the original podcasters, haha, but I guess that ship has long sailed! My need to document everything seemingly began at a young age and has transitioned into every aspect of my life and now business.

In high school I never took art class, but strangely enough I spent my first semester of college at an art school in Chicago. I had every intent to graduate with a fine art degree in photography, but ultimately I decided to transfer to the University of Minnesota instead. When I started as a student at the U, I was pre-law. I started as a nutrition major (did you know you don’t need a specific undergraduate degree to pursue a law degree? You can literally have a music degree and become a lawyer), then switched to Criminology & Spanish instead. I thought if I was going to spend the next 3 years in a class room, it might as well be learning something that I’m passionate about instead.

Some of my earliest memories were watching CSI with my parents and convincing them that I would be a CIA or FBI agent when I grew up. Miss Congeniality and Legally Blonde encapsulated all the things I ever wanted to be in my life. I am still convinced that if I was not in love with my business and photography that I would be in law school instead.

Regardless, I graduated college in 2017 and jumped into the corporate world. My senior year of college I was working within the Shakopee Correctional Facility supporting a transitional program for current inmates. I loved it and loved being involved in the prison setting. Funding fell short and so did my position, so I transition into a case manager role instead. I’ve been a case manager, career counselor, and program manager since I graduated college but none have them have given me more fulfillment than photography.

During my first few years of work after graduation I realized that the corporate workplace was NOT for me. I picked the camera back up again and started offering sessions as a heavily discounted rate. I worked for as many photographers as I could and tried to gain any experience that I thought would help me. I was so lucky to spend that year working for my dear friend as an assistant (Tricia if you’re reading this ILY), which I truly believe gave me the experience needed to serve my own clients. New photographers, the best thing you can do for yourself is work under an experienced photographer! But really, what filled my cup was seeing people see themselves through my lens. There is nothing like it and I’ve been chasing that feeling for years.

I live in Minnesota with my husband, Addison, and our two dogs, Luna and Yoko. We are avid travelers and hope this year takes us to some new (and tropical) places! This year we celebrate five years of marriage and have an epic trip planned to celebrate! When we aren’t traveling, we love to watch movies and shows, play with our dogs, or try a new restaurant. Addison has been my tester of new equipment and cameras over the years, so thanks honey!

Now it’s 2023. My official photography business page launched in 2013, so if we are counting that period of time, it’s my 10th year as a photographer. In 2018 I became a legal business so if we count that way instead, I’m on my 6th year of photography. But I’ve been a photographer for my whole life. I’ve served hundreds of clients, dozens of dogs, a handful of families, and a bunch of babies. I’ve expanded my business, gained a handful of industry friends, rebranded a few times, and continuously make new connections.

I say this daily on my instagram, but I would not be here without the first few people who took a chance on me and hired me. Every time I get to pick up my camera is a dream come true. Thank you for being here and tagging along.