My name is Sarah Margaret // a twenty-something mother & photographer. Born & raised in the Atlanta area, now raising my family in North Georgia. Why am I a photographer? Why did I choose this as a career? Well, I hope you have some time because this may get lengthy. ;) 

F A C T // I didn't become a photographer because it is trendy. Photography is a booming service right now, thats no secret. The competition and pressure is intense but, I can handle it because it is truly my passion in life. I have been shooting professionally for about two years. I have learned so much about Photography, web design, people, love, and patience. 

Let's start from the very beginning. I was fifteen years old, a sophomore in high school. My artistic father gave me a digital camera as a gift. It was just one of those cheap, Fuji-film, shoot & snap cameras. Nothing fancy, no DSLR, no lenses, no manual setting or raw files. It was simple and easy to use. I was having the time of my life at Milton High School. Friday night football games, weekend adventures with my girlfriends, and my very first relationship. My camera lived in my purse at all times. I was the annoying girl taking selfies before it was cool. My friends were usually patient but were sometimes annoyed by my constant snapping. I wanted to capture those moments, I wanted to remember them, I wanted to savor those moments that might otherwise be forgotten. As I grew up, my teenage years were fleeting, faster than I realized. Those of you who don't know me personally, I will elaborate a bit more on my story. During my senior year at Milton High School, I was rebelling. I was rebelling against what was considered normal and ideal. I didn't want to be like everyone else. I didn't want to go to a 4 year college to be something that was "normal". I wanted to find Sarah. I had no idea who I was, where I was going, or what I wanted to do with my life. I was not a good student, I struggled in my academics. The only class I enjoyed and thrived in was my art classes. Mrs. Haslett was amazing..she taught me things that I didn't even know I was capable of. She saw my artwork with her eyes and her heart. She always interpreted my art projects the way I wanted her to see it. She wasn't like the other teachers in other classes. It wasn't math, there was no right or wrong, no A or C grade, it was just me. She was encouraging and made me feel like I was truly talented and on the right "path." This gave me a little clarity of what I was supposed to do with my life. I was made to be creative, authentic and hands-on. I knew I was talented in my drawing, photography, and great with people. Everyone else was going to UGA and Auburn to be lord knows what. I didn't know what I wanted to be but, I knew I didn't want to be like everyone else in Alpharetta! How does an 18 year old make a decision that no one else is making? I needed to break-free from this society that was my reality.  I refused to be apart of it all. I dropped out of high school. After this, my life made a turn for the worst, as you can imagine. My parents kicked me out of the house, I was using drugs and becoming someone I didn't want to be. I then got involved with someone who was always apart of my childhood. He was a great family friend throughout my childhood years. David and I became close friends, and then started dating. Two months into our new, immature, unhealthy relationship, I got pregnant. AH! I was surprised, I was panicked, I was lost. We made the decision to keep our baby boy, raise him, and give him a good home. You would be surprised how many people just expected me to have an abortion or put him up for adoption because I was young. I didn't even consider those as an option, I knew this was happening for a reason. Logan saved my life! I continue to believe that God gave me Logan for a reason that is much bigger than I can comprehend. It was hard, don't get me wrong. Two parents in their early twenties with no careers, no stability, no money! It was a huge struggle but, we did it. Our parents & family were so supportive, loving, and involved with Logan. So, when I had Logan, it encouraged me to start photographing life again! Yay, back on track! I had this beautiful, healthy and happy baby boy. I took thousands of photos throughout his first year. I was so grateful for my life, for his life, what an amazing gift. I wanted to document this huge milestone in my life with photographs. Life was good, and then...I got pregnant again with Noah! AH! Ok so the second kid was much more difficult! So, I stayed home with my two baby boys, BOTH in diapers. Taking lots of pictures, (thank goodness I did because I seriously don't remember these two years, I was SO sleep deprived) trying to make ends meet, wondering what the heck I'm supposed to do for a career and who or WHERE Sarah was. All you mamas out there know how hard it is to keep your individuality with babies. Sarah went out the window for about 2 years. I was just mommy. 

After me and David split up, (thats another long story, it was for the best.) I moved into my parents house with the boys. Working as a server at Chilis, I knew I was meant to do more. Not to sound conceited or cocky, I knew I was too talented to be sweeping french fries off a restaurant floor! I knew I needed to pursue something that I enjoyed & loved. I enrolled in The Art Institutes Photography Program. It was perfect, It was what I WANTED to learn about, I had a strong DESIRE to learn more about this crazy obsession I had with photographs. It was also all online classes so I was able to balance life with the boys. This was the beginning of my career as a photographer. I bought my very first DSLR. It was a Canon t3i Rebel, a great camera to start learning with! I had great instructors, fun classes, and the tools I needed to succeed. My friends and family were extremely supportive of this dream I had. I had some great friends who even started letting me shoot their families & kids for my portfolio. Before I knew it, I had people paying for me to photograph them! I was so happy and fulfilled. This was the beginning of Sarah Margaret Photography.

I was still living at my parents house, working as a server, and learning photography. In Spring 2013, I decided to take a new job. I was offered a position at The Golf Club of Georgia. I decided to take a leap of faith and see what it could bring to my life. Little did I know, it was exactly what I needed. After working at the golf club for a month, I started dating Gene. He also worked there and that's how we met. He was like no one else i've ever met. We dated for awhile, had a lot of fun, fell involve, and then decided to move in together. We rented a house in Cumming and it has been the best 18 months of my life. He allowed me to quit working at the golf club because of the long hours. It was hard to put the boys in daycare 5 days a week. This allowed me to do some soul searching. I started my photography business back up in Spring 2014. I re-branded myself, Phototique // Eclectic Styles. Unique Photos. It was a new chapter for my photography. My first season was awesome! People were booking, I was busy, and the boys were home with me! The summer slowed down a bit but then picked back up for the Fall & Holidays. I am so excited to see what 2015 holds for me and Phototique! I have so many goals but, I'm going to keep learning, practicing, and advance my techniques. I have expanded my equipment collection ; I started using lights instead of depending on natural lighting...good stuff. :)  I wouldn't have gotten this far without Gene. He is my biggest fan, my cheerleader, my hero. He encouraged me to keep trying when I just wanted to give up. It is a very difficult field of work to be in sometimes. It seems like everyone is a photographer now. It has made me feel very discouraged somedays; like i'm not talented, unique, or experienced enough to be a professional photographer. I have to put those feelings aside and remember why it is i'm doing this. I take pictures because it's what I love, its apart of who I am, its what I need to do in life because it brings me joy.  I didn't decide to go to just go buy a fancy DSLR and think I could make some extra cash. I have a deep passion and desire for photography that goes WAY beyond the cash flow. Uploading my camera to my computer makes my heart race, it puts butterflies in my tummy. I'm pretty sure every photographer out there doesn't feel the same way because they are doing it for the wrong reasons. I have a few photographer friends (one of them was in Mrs. Haslett's high school art class!) who I K N O W have the same desires and passions with photography, just like me. I can see it in their work, I can see it in their eyes when they look at any photograph, I can see it. It is SO refreshing and encouraging to have people like that to admire. Genuine, genuine people are kind of rare these days, right? 

I wanted to tell you all these stories so you know that I am a genuine person and an authentic photographer. I might not be as experienced as a lot of them but, I have the right intentions. I am always open and honest with every client I have. I want to establish relationships with everyone I photograph because I am capturing your story. It's a very intimate and personal request to photograph someones life. I love watching my families grow up, expand, and thrive! 

I just felt the need to explain to you why I am a photographer an how I got here. I want all of my clients to know me, and trust me. 

Can't wait to learn more about you. 

~Sarah Margaret

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