Y’all, this has been a HUGE year for SSP. Each year, I think to myself, what’s next, how will SSP grow this year?
Back in January, I began to dream of an even bigger future for SSP - a future that included not only a growing business, but a growing team. With lots of prayer, insight from others who have paved the way, and the reconnection to the perfect person, SSP was on its way to adding another member to the team. I couldn’t be more thrilled with who God put in our path. Many of you have met her, or have at least have seen her face. I’d love to formally introduce you to Emma Knowles, here is her story…
Howdy! My name is Emma, and, no, I’m not named after Rachel’s baby from Friends. I’m a lover of people, coffee, my family, and great photos. After receiving my degree in Recreation from Texas A&M in 2013 (I am about making life FUN, y’all!), I came back to Houston to marry my college sweetheart and started my teaching career. Every summer and Christmas break off, we would load up and travel to different parts of the country with friends, family, our dogs, and my trusty Nikon DSLR. Our pictures of our life together are some of our dearest treasures.
Over time, being “the girl with the camera” morphed into a more serious thing. Our friends and family would ask me to bring my camera and capture faces and places that meant a lot to them, and it meant a lot to me that they trusted me with those precious moments. Not only did I love the process of capturing these photos, seeing the way they treasure these images made my heart swell more than anything I’d done for work before. Through their encouragement, I decided to pursue photography at the next level. I upgraded my equipment, started taking a few classes, and that’s when I reached out to Sara to pick her brain about the business side of photography…and here we are today! I’ll fill in the dot dot dot below.
As an extrovert through and through, my energy comes from being around people - so far, that’s my favorite part of this work! It is also tough for this extrovert heart to sit down and write this all down when I’d so much rather be sitting with you at a coffee shop or out on a shoot talking. In fact, I think the first time Sara and I reconnected earlier this year, we planned on meeting for an hour, and it turned into somewhere closer to a 3-hour chat. Story of my life! Speaking of, I will do my best to keep the story of my life pretty quick - I am a 3-hour chatter, after all!
Personal Life: My husband, Logan, and I live on the west side of Houston with our two fur-babies, Bronco and Laney. Logan is an environmental scientist (which involves really cool things like being a certified endangered species toad handler for the state of Texas), and he’s currently half-way done with his master’s degree in water resource management. We met our sophomore year at Texas A&M, bonded over the fact that he had never seen an episode of The Office and I basically live my life in terms of The Office quotes. We’ve been inseparable since the day we met! I also have the best family in the entire world - we’re all 100% extroverts, so no conversation ever gets finished and nothing really ever gets done, but we have a great time doing it!
Past Life: My husband and I are both born and raised in Houston. Our parents live about 2 miles from each other in the homes we both grew up in, but we never met prior to college. After graduating from Texas A&M, I began teaching high school Psychology and coaching high school swim team in Spring Branch. In my time off between semesters, all I wanted to do was travel with my camera. My camera hasn’t made it over international waters yet, but that’s next on the bucket list!
Present Life: With my husband being in grad school in College Station while still working full-time in Houston and me working as a teacher and a coach, we realized something major needed to change about our schedules. We prayed and thought long and hard about our options and came to the conclusion that my schedule was going to have to be the one to give (didn’t have to say that twice!). We also knew this meant that God was going to have to provide in a major way. Looking at all the possible options available to us, I kept feeling very drawn toward starting my own photography business. Knowing what a huge and risky undertaking this would be, I started be reaching out to a few photographer friends who all had the same suggestion: don’t quit your day job. I had plenty of time to work on my skills and build a business before I would need to quit my day job, so I continued moving forward.
Sara was my next person to contact. Sara and I had met and worked together very briefly right as I was graduating college and she was headed to seminary, so it had been a while since we had last talked. I was pleasantly surprised when she graciously responded to my message with an invitation to come to her studio to meet in person. When we met, she talked to me about how she had been praying through hiring a photographer to help grow her business as her business had become bigger than she could manage alone. We went through my portfolio, we made a plan to help me grow my skills, and I started shadowing her. With every single step we took forward in this process, God made it abundantly clear that he was answering my prayer for a major career and schedule change and Sara’s prayer for growing her team right before our eyes.
It’s been an incredible process so far of watching God provide, growing my skills, learning how to be new at something again, and making some major life changes. I’m forever indebted to Sara for being an incredible teacher and my family and friends for being so supportive through this whole process. With every passing day, the joy from this work reminds me that I’m right where I’m supposed to be. I can’t wait to meet all of you, and if you’d rather have a 3-hour chat, just call!