All photos in this post were taken by the wonderful & talented Mae Burke Photography
I can't remember exactly when or how I stumbled across Mae Burke's work, but I remember that when I did, I immediately thought these are the types of images I want to create! Clearly, Mae is a pro at the technical aspects of photography but what moved me the most about her work was the connection I felt to the subjects in her photos.
Never did I think I would know first hand what it felt like to be a subject in Mae's work! She is a well-known photographer in Texas so I didn't think I'd have the opportunity to hire her for my own family's portraits.
When Clickin Moms announced last year that Mae would be teaching a breakout class called Moments in Motherhood: Telling Mothers' Stories Through Portraits, I could not have been more excited! Here was an opportunity to learned from the photographer I admired so much! I signed up for the live run and learned tons from the breakout. I remember being so giddy when she gave me positive feedback on my homework assignment. I still re-read the content of that e-book from time to time.
Flash forward a few months later to the winter of 2015 and I see Mae is running a promotion on her mentoring sessions for 2016. I knew my photographic voice had grown a lot in 2015 and among my goals for the next year, one was to apply for CM Pro. I needed a mentor to give me the guidance, feedback and confidence that I was ready. I emailed back and forth with Mae and booked an online mentoring session (via skype) for May 2016. I. was. pumped! (and terrified)
Much to my surprise, in April, Mae announced she would be here in Huntsville in June to visit Lauren Sanderson (also super sweet and an incredibly talented photographer! AND she also has an awesome breakout in the CM store) and would be booking family sessions during her trip! I knew I HAD to make this happen! Within a few weeks, I paid a session fee for MY VERY OWN FAMILY SESSION WITH THE MAE BURKE! I might have cried that day.
In May, I "met" Mae on skype for our first mentoring session. Mae is not only an incredible photographer, but a great and encouraging teacher, too. She didn't tell me how to be just like her, she focused on my story, my strengths and my goals to help me solidify my voice and vision. She gave me soul-searching homework that had me digging real deep for weeks! She gave me so much confidence in myself and my work as well as invaluable advice about attracting the clients I want and running a profitable photography business. It was just the push I needed to put myself out there and begin building a pro portfolio. (side note - I still haven't applied for CM Pro, but plan on it before the year's end!)
During Mae's visit to Huntsville, I was able to wrap up my mentoring session in person a couple days after our photo session. It was the best way to end a fun weekend and I feel so thankful to now call someone I admired so long a mentor & a friend.
I'm so grateful for sweet Mae! From what's she taught me about who I am as a photographer and artist to what she's given me as a mentor and friend....and for these priceless images of me and my family....as we were in that moment...that I will cherish always <3