Hey there! Welcome to my blog! I thought I would start by sharing things about my life that you may not know! So hangout, stay awhile and enjoy some of my embarrassing stories and hopes and dreams.
1. I didn't plan on being a photographer until AFTER I graduated college.
Yep, that's right. I went to school to be a graphic designer and actually changed my major to Marketing. Boy, do things look different now. I was very happy at my job after college, working for a real estate development company as their marketing coordinator. I still love that place and always go back and say hi every once in awhile. Even though that job was so much fun, I found myself thinking about how I could use my marketing skills for myself and actually make more and do something I actually really loved. Instead of posting on Facebook for a company, I could be posting about what my passion was and have even more fun with it. I've always been one for branding, so as PR chair for my sorority, I was constantly thinking of things that would help us stand out. I saw a boutique ad one day, and it made me stop scrolling and look. Now if you're a marketing person, you know that that's what you want people to do. STOP the scrolling, and look at what YOU have to say. So I figured I could do the same thing with my sorority! We set up a full photoshoot, I borrowed someones camera and we just really had a great time. When I looked back at the photos, I thought, "Wow, that was so much fun and I feel like I was meant to do this." Meant to put together shoots, really come up with details, and capture what was in my head.
**This was one of the photos from my very first shoot!
***peep the embarrassing photography business name/logo...
2. I started being interested in the creative industry, after I didn't make my high school's dance team.
You know the feeling when you see all your friends being gymnasts, or singers, or just really good at any sport ever and you're not? Yea, I had that feeling all throughout my high school years. I had always dreamed to walk in my big sister's footsteps and be on my high school's dance team. I felt like I had ROCKED the audition and just knew I was going to make it... to my surprise, I did not. I remember crying my eyes out on the phone with my best friend Emily as she told me, "Annie, you don't need them, you'd have to wear crazy clown makeup all the time. Who wants that?" Just saying things to make me feel better. Crazy how those moments stick with you. The failures. I picked a random elective after I found out I wouldn't be putting Dance on my schedule, and that elective was Yearbook 1. In hindsight, thank the good LORD that I was able to not make the dance team and pick up that elective because it was the start of me figuring out the one thing I found out I was good at. The one thing I could practice and fully put all of my effort into to become the best I possibly could be. Weird how one failure, could open you up to your whole future.
3. I'm a workaholic and still book passion projects on my off days.
My name is Annie Gray, and I am a workaholic. I've always known this about myself, always striving for perfection, always trying to move up, get better or just yearn for recognition if I'm being TOTALLY honest with y'all. (Type 3's in the house say HEY) Yes, do I have off days in the summer and winter months, absolutely. Do I fill them with things that give me even more work because I literally can't stop working to save my life? absolutely. I have such a passion for what I do, that I live and breath it every single day. When I'm in the shower, I'm thinking of my next shoot, when I'm driving, I'm thinking about my next shoot, right now, thinking about my next shoot. I think it is definitely a blessing and a curse. Yes, I love being a workaholic and I think it will help me become more successful, but y'all, sometimes I just want to watch Netflix without constantly thinking and dreaming up work related activities. Ya feel me? Anyone else incapable of turning your brain off?
4. I'm a sensitive Sally.
Yeah, I know. I talk tough and put on this brave confident face, but I am such a sensitive person. I constantly care about what people think of my work. Is it good enough? Do they like it? Do they like me? Is my whole business going to be over because of one bad review?! These are the questions that seriously keep me up at night! Why? Most people say it's because I am fully crazy, and most of the time I believe them. I feel that it's because I want to succeed SO badly, that anything that might partially get in the way of that dream, I obsess over. I don't mean an hour or two, I mean days and WEEKS! I think a lot of people still see small businesses as corporations and don't really see that there is a person behind the business, someone looking to make sure you like everything and is eager to help you! Trust me when I say I want to make your experience as amazing as possible, because I've already obsessed over the location, what lens would look the best, what time of day I think would work the most, and everything in between. Any tips on de-stressing and trying not to feel like a complete maniac? Asking for a friend.
5. My dreams have always been annoyingly big.
Ever since someone has asked me, "What do you want to do when you grow up?" it's never been simple. It was always a singer or actress (Hah, I know right?) until I started really thinking about it. I would say now, I just want to be successful. To know that people look up to me even if I don't know them. I think success is such a general word. How do you define that? I was watching an interview with Fred Armisen (my favorite person ever), and he was talking about how he wanted to be a famous musician, he wanted to be like the people who he idealized for so long. When I heard that, it all clicked. That's how I define success. Success to me is becoming someone that people look up to and respond to. This may be selfish, or too big of a dream, but I've tried to lower them, and it just doesn't stick, and I think that's okay.
Thank you SO much for reading a little more about me! It means so much that you would take a little time out of your day to read my blog! Let me know what you think!