Alrighty, here we go! Kinda scary to push the PUBLISH button on this one…
I have been wanting to start bringing more of myself to this blog, sharing more of my life and letting you guys get to know me (and me hopefully get to know you through some blog comments!) along the way. Thus far, this has been strictly a photography blog for my clients and friends (I feel like my clients are my friends, and most of my friends are my clients so it’s all the same, right?!). I want to bring more content to you and share life with you…funny moments, sad moments, all the crazy moments that come with being the momma of two hilarious boys.
So I figured to start things off, I would share a little of my story. As a side note, I would love any and all questions, comments, input, blog topic ideas that you have…so comment away! Clog up my inbox with your ridiculousness! 😉 Be sure to connect with me on facebook and instagram too, cause those are my jam.
I’m a born and raised Kansas gal. I’ve never lived anywhere else! My parents are awesome and are still living in the house I grew up in with their 3 dogs. I have an older brother who moved to Colorado after college, married my beautiful sister-in-law, and has two super cute kiddos. We try to visit when we can!
I met this cute boy named Adam Dreher when I was 14 years old. He was my brother’s friend from church and I instantly had a crush on him. It was a few years before he took much interest…but long story short, he finally got his act together, figured out we needed to be together, and we started dating when I was 16. Cheese alert: I immediately knew he would one day be my husband. #truth
After I graduated, I moved to Manhattan and attended Kansas State University for two years. We did the long distance thing during that time and it was terrible. My black ’97 Chrysler Sebring (NOT the convertible kind…in case you were wondering) got lots of miles and a little wear and tear because I drove back to Wichita almost every weekend. When I didn’t, Adam came up to see me. It was so hard being apart during those years. But during the second semester of my sophomore year, I got a job as a second photographer for a Wichita wedding photographer named Marcia Morrison. So now I was driving back every weekend both to see my boyfriend, and to photograph weddings.
Marcia saw my college film class portfolio and <so amazingly> took a chance on me! The first wedding I shot with her, I was actually the THIRD shooter…and it was a good thing, because most of my photos were out of focus and I didn’t know how to use a flash! (Much less, how to shoot in manual mode..holy moly.) She gave me lots of instruction after that first wedding, and I worked with her for a year and a half, shooting countless weddings alongside her. I am so grateful to her for all of that experience.
When I was 19 years old, and on the same day that Marcia hired me, Adam proposed. It was so special and beyond perfect…a memory I will love forever. Downside: we had to wait a year and a half to get married. Both of us were still in school and we thought it would be the responsible thing to do, to wait until one of us had graduated and gotten a real job. I’m so glad we did, but man, that year and a half was basically torture! Almost up there with waterboarding. I kid, but it sucked.
The summer after he proposed, I moved back to Wichita. I enrolled at WSU and planned to finish up my art degree there. I rented a tiny studio apartment for $360 per month, and got a job as a bank teller while continuing to shoot weddings with Marcia on the weekends. About a week before classes were to start that fall (my junior year), I had a life-changing freak-out moment: rent was due, I needed to save money for a wedding and a honeymoon, I had to pay for classes, hold down two jobs and go to school full time. I’d also started doing photography on my own and was trying to build up my portfolio. I get anxiety just thinking about it. Gimme a second…………………………………..k. I’m good.
I decided to take a break from school. After all, by this point I had realized that photography was my passion, and I knew I didn’t need a degree to pursue it. So I set out on a path that felt RIGHT: I was going to marry the love of my life (if you’re following…that would be Adam), I was going to pursue my dream of being a photographer by starting a little business, and I was going to hold down a “real” job to pay the bills. Done and done.
Just 5 days after I turned 21, Adam and I were married on June 3, 2006 and it was one of the best days of my life! No doubts in my mind, we belonged together and finally got to start the life we’d been dreaming of since we were teenagers. We had bought a house, we had two awesome dogs, and I was getting more photography clients each week. Adam (being the brains of the operation) always told me that once I could afford to pay for our health insurance, I could quit my “real” job and go full time with my photography. Just four months after we were married, that dream became a reality! In October of 2006, Gina Dreher Photography officially came to be, and what a ride it has been since then.
If you’ve made it this far, I applaud you! Good work (high five), and way to stick it out. I have so much more I want to share with you. The story of how we came to be parents is a tough one, but I definitely feel led to share that one. There will surely be tears…both sad and happy as I type that part of our story.
I also want to share with you my day to day. The mundane and boring, the exciting, the weird, the crazy, the ADVENTURE. One thing I can say about our life is that there is always adventure. Lots of yelling at the kids to stop fighting and enjoy the adventure…but still, adventure.