Thursday, October 25, 2007

Special guest: Jodie Westfall, Photographer

Hey everyone. Because I believe in going after your dreams, and because when I met today's guest I sensed she was right in the midst of the roller coaster ride that is pursuing your dreams, I wanted to feature her here for inspiration. Jodie is a warm and cheerful person and I enjoyed meeting her. She is the official American Christian Fiction Writer's photographer and was on hand at the conference in 2007, taking individual author/editor/agent shots by appointment, as well as candid group shots at will. Welcome, Jodie.

(BTW, the photo of me which now graces my blog was taken by Jodie.) I've sprinkled her work throughout.

How long ago did you discover photography was fun?

I have had a camera in my hand as long as I can remember! I was always the one in school that had pictures to share with everyone. I loved taking pictures and watching the person smile when they flipped through them. And I guess you could say those were my first published photos – the yearbook!

Would you consider yourself an artistic person? And do you enjoy other creative pastimes?

I don’t think I have ever stopped to think about it from that perspective, however, I have began to really listen to what others are saying about my work – and that word “artist” keeps popping up in the conversation.

Unless you consider hanging out with your family as a creative pastime; those are the two loves of my life!

How long did you dream of becoming a professional photographer?

As long as I can remember! I have always wanted to be a photographer, but fear stood in my way! I was afraid it would take me away from my family, that I would work most weeknights and weekends. And then working on strictly commission scared me to death!

What made you decide to go for it?

I reached a point in life – maybe some would call it a mid-life crisis!! My kids were both attending college, my husband had left the corporate world and began pursuing his passion, teaching and coaching kids in school, and I began to really think of what was stopping me from at least trying to seek my passion! And I began to pray and I feel as though I was being obedient, that for some reason, this is where I am supposed to be. And I thought, ok –start with a small goal, buy the camera that would help you and just try to pay for it!

Where is God in your dreams? (in other words, how has He affected your choices and/or encouraged you?)

I felt God nudging me all the way –everything began to fall into place as if all the avenues found me and I wasn’t asking too many questions and the answers fell in my lap! For example, I stopped each and every morning to buy coffee on my way to my “other job.” I would talk about the possibility of starting my business; she would say you just light up when you talk about photography, would you be interested in taking my son’s wedding pictures? I was so surprised, I said SURE! She said the bride’s mom has a photographer, but would you do this for me? I couldn’t resist! Then my web designer was a true God send – she led me every step of the way – she saw my vision and just did a remarkable job to make it all come together.

I believe God has encouraged me in so many ways, by my daughter and husband actually assisting me with photo shoots and that has been one of the highlights – working with my family! My daughter has actually been the second shooter and it is so amazing to work with her at weddings, conferences etc.

And, by the way -- my camera…my small goal…. was paid for within the first year!

What advice do you have for other hopeful photographers? And for fellow dreamers?

I strongly believe that God places the dreams within us and if we would let go and really listen to Him, He will provide the way for us to follow our dreams. So don’t give up, keep pushing forward it is His timing and not ours!

How can people contact you for your work?

That is easy – email, telephone or visit my website and click on the Contact icon.


Thank you for visiting, Jodie. It was a pleasure meeting you at the American Christian Fiction Writer’s conference this year and thank you for the pictures! You are an artist! God bless you in the pursuit of your dreams!

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Hi, Annette and Jodie!

Fun interview. :)

I also enjoyed working with Jodie at the ACFW conference. She's an easy going person with a warm smile. The photos she took for me turned out great.

As someone who is also pursuing her passion and dreams, it's encouraging to me to meet someone else who has taken that step and succeeded.