REVEAL Q3 2017 - Page 10

mall. But in 2015, Lydia met her now-boyfriend, Tyler, at a worship conference, and he encouraged her to get back into her business full-time. “I quit my mall jobs and started advertising every day through social media and word of mouth,” Lydia says. “It was like night and day. I was receiving multiple inquiries everyday and making a name for myself in the photography industry. There’s always dry spells, but overall I remain busy and am always shooting.” “I never would have accomplished anything without the constant encouragement from my family and boyfriend.” but always felt her true calling was in music ministry. Her love for photography didn’t come out of nowhere, though: “Something always drew me to a camera. I was the one they would give the camera to on family vacations. I would steal my grandmother’s camera while visiting her in Tennessee and would take photos of practically anything I saw for hours. I even did an engagement session for a family member when I was 17.” So when Lydia’s mother saw her losing direction after that year at school, she began encouraging her to look at different trades at a local college. When Lydia mentioned that photography might be fun, the very next week a box of brand-new camera equipment showed up at the house. “My mom had taken a huge leap of faith on me and I’m so thankful she did,” Lydia says. Lydia began teaching herself how to shoot, taking photos of friends, family members, pets and anything available. She founded Lydia Sewell Photography in 2014, enrolled at Emory Continuing Education, got certified in sports photography, and learned the legal side of taking photos. At that point, she’d taught herself most of what she needed to know through trial and error, and her business had really taken off. She essentially took a leap with starting her own firm, and says she just “fell in head-first and ran with it.” The company has had its share of ups and downs, just like any firm. During Lydia’s time at Emory, business slowed and she became more involved with her home church as a worship leader. She also still worked her jobs at the REVEAL | Q3 2017 10 Lydia says the moment that truly launched her business was a senior photos shoot for a young woman from Heard County in 2015. “I loved working with her from the moment I met her, and knew that this would change my business for the better,” Lydia says. “She brought her granddad’s VW Beetle/ truck hybrid “What’s fun about portraits is that I get to help them pick out outfits that best display their personality; we often do hair and makeup, and I get to know this stranger on many different levels and hopefully make a friend.”