The Why Behind My Photography | Blossom and Bloom Photography
Hey babes. Today we have the absolute honor of sharing Heather J Keys from Blossom and Bloom Photography's story. As she says, the WHY behind my photography business. We are so thankful that she was open and honest with us. Her bravery and passion for her work are something to be admired. Heather, thank you.
How I Grew From The Ashes
I often find myself really thinking about my WHY and reminiscing about how Blossom and Bloom Photography started. It was literally out of the pits of an extremely abusive marriage that I quite literally crawled out of within inches of my life.
At the time, I was the owner of Heather J. Potter Photography. I was never able to put my entire heart into my business due to having to take on the major roles of being a mother and a step mother to two children and survive a marriage that I was emotionally and mentally abused in for a better part of 8 years, that soon turned into physical abuse. I often found myself wishing I could just gather up the kids and my camera equipment and escape; which I often did during out day trips to the beach, the park and the pool.
The Last Straw
On December 23, 2014 my former spouse physically assaulted me and threw me from a vehicle as we approached a stop sign. It was right then and there as I laid on the pavement screaming out of pain and fear that I thanked God I was still alive and decided I'd never go back to him, ever!
Picking Up The Pieces
As I proceeded to pick up the pieces of my life and my daughters life, I sold our home that my daughter grew up in and relocated us to Temecula Valley. We needed a fresh start, but I wasn't about to lose all of the hard work I had put into maintaining my photography business. I knew I had to keep photographing people, as that was my way of healing. It was painful during my first photoshoot after the physical attacks, but I did it. I photographed the most precious little baby girl and the most loving family. The way the husband was with his wife and children, was simply poetic and I was there to photograph the beautiful moments they shared together.
It's Time To Grow Again
Over the next couple of months, I felt myself blossom into a new type of artist. One with compassion, love, understand, and most of all strength. I attended workshops and went to WPPI for the first time. I learned everything I could about marketing, SEO, and Social Media. I knew I wanted to bloom into the type of artist and photographer that already had a background in business but also one that was capable of capturing everything I saw; the raw and organic feelings that were all around me with a journalistic approach. I wanted to tell their stories.
As I proceeded to think of my business as the heart beat that would carry me, I knew that it was time to rebrand. It was time to come out from under the last name that dripped with pain and heartache. It took my a few months, but out of the ashes I knew I was growing; I was taking chances and learning new things. I was perfecting my business skills and honing in on my craft. This is how I came up with my business name, Blossom and Bloom Photography.
I am a Photographer of Life, Social Marketing and Brand Communications Manager, and a Mentor to Creative Entrepreneurs.
I specialize in engagements, weddings and boudoir photography. I have a true love and passion for photojournalism and often find myself documenting woman and men at their strongest and weakest points. I have a soft spot for documenting births and the growth of families.
Why not give up?
My WHY is for me. I have been faced with so much pain, hurt, and turmoil in the 30+ years I've been on this plant. I knew it was finally time to see happiness again. I'm not one to give up on myself and I'm not one to blame others for my downfall. I take full responsibility for the decisions I've personally made in my life and I know I've done my best to handle the crap others have thrown at me.
I lost my mother at the tender age of 20, to a brain hemorrhage. I've been through several failed relationships and marriages. I lost my father when I was 36, to cancer. I've been molested, raped, and beaten. I've had everything that I've ever cared for and worked hard for, taken from me.
The one thing I know how to do is, rebuild. From the ashes, I have rebuilt my life several times.
My WHY is my daughter. Who has always loved me and knows without a shadow of a doubt that I will always be here for her. I am her mainstay. The one who provides her with the unconditional love and support. She knows I work my tail end off to provide her with everything she needs to be a successful person in this world. Her emotional, physical and mental needs come before mine without hesitation.
I want to leave her with a legacy she can be proud of and with an understanding that photography is not only a business, but a true passion and tool that has carried me through everything. I've had a camera in my hands since I was about 8 years old, I don't see myself ever putting it down. When she started taking an interest in photography, it absolutely touched my heart in ways she may never know until she has her own babies. Together the legacy just may live on forever.
Grow From The Ashes
I want to teach other women that no matter what is thrown at you, use it. To strengthen yourself, to better understand, to feel pain and happiness. Use every piece to create who you will become and who you are. Don't allow anyone to tell you what your worth is. That's your job. Stand up and be proud, for today is your day. For today and every day, you call the shots and control your destiny. Live your life to the fullest and know your story matters, don't be afraid or ashamed tell it.
Besides being one heck of a wedding photographer and photojournalist, I am also a Social Media Marketing consultant for small business entrepreneurs and large corporations and a teacher/speaker in the photography industry.