next up are some BIG, fat, overdue thank you's:
first and foremost - Jason Groupp. i can't thank you enough for everything you taught me the last 4 years. i wouldn't be here in Austin today if i hadn't decided to work for a wedding photographer part time for some extra cash while i "work on my fashion portfolio..." in fact, i have no idea where i'd be.
second and with love - matt. you have been more than supportive and understanding of my "business start-up panic attacks" than i deserve. there have been way too many times where my head is so clogged from well, everything, that i literally forget things you've told me 5 seconds prior. you are patient, sincere and drama free and i can't express how often you remind me to stay grounded. i made the best decision of my life moving to Austin, TX and look forward to many more late night outburst dance parties and Andre balcony Bowie bonfires.
third - Dave and Quin Cheung. i had the honor of attending the Ying Yang Workshop 4 last year. i knew leaving NYC and the relationships i had would be difficult, that i would be on my own starting a business in a market where i don't know any other photographers or vendors. but after a 2 hour conversation over pizza, they helped me reach the clarity i needed to finally realize i was ready to make the leap. besides the amazing information included in the workshop itself, i was struck by their passion for what they do and who they are, and had my "ah-hah" moment. it wasn't about the day to day crap that makes running your own business seem crazy, it's the time they spend with their kids, and the way they actually impact other peoples lives. it hit home in a very real way because the reason i stayed in wedding photography in the first place was that i could help preserve people's memories forever. i'm not so sure if i will ever be able to pin point the pivotal moment, but i can without a doubt say that the timing of the workshop was precise. Dave and Quin, i will always be grateful to you for helping me feel comfortable when i was vulnerable, and for your completely unbiased advice.
lastly - my friends and family. i left several of my best friends when i moved, and the luxury of a 4 hour bus ride to my parents house in Virginia. i was sad to go, and i know they were sad to see me go, but throughout the last 6 months in nyc no one ever made me feel guilty. when i announced i was leaving i never once swayed from my decision, partly because i knew it was the right thing for me, but also because everyone i care about encouraged me. i will never forget that.
and here's an image of one HUGE reason i'm so excited to be here, my niece (and her parents of course). i didn't always look twice at babies, and sometimes i still don't, but now that there's a baby related to me - i get it.