Thursday, May 3, 2012

Guest Post -- Leanne Strilchuk

Today's guest blogger is someone many of us know well -- Leanne Strilchuk.  You have probably admired her beautiful photography in both the Prompt Addicts gallery as well as the FOL gallery and now you can read her story of turning a passion into a career. Thanks for being our guest, Leanne!

If you asked me a few years go  if I was a photographer, I would have quickly answered -- "Oh, no!" However, I would have said that I loved taking pictures -- I was a scrapbooker!

For as long as I can remember, I always took photos . . . of everything -- my cat, dog, even my clothes lying on the floor!  These pictures were placed in a  little magnetic album and a short note was written right beside them.

Many years later, a friend called me and asked me to come to her party and "just bring a few photos."  I was introduced to scrapbooking that night and I was hooked!  I quickly became a great customer for someone!  However, I wanted more.  I  had a wonderful marriage and a great job as a dental assistant, but had a void that needed filling.  Struggling to find the right "filler", I found that I loved scrapbooking so much that I joined Creative Memories and started my own business.  It was exactly what I needed!

Sixteen years later and still going strong, Creative Memories has been my savior.  When I had one of "those days", I could sit down, lose myself in my work, and walk away feeling like everything lifted from my shoulders.  Not only was it a stress release, but I was documenting my life on paper with photos.  Nothing brings me greater joy than seeing my family looking at the books of love created for them.

I have made fantastic friends through my passion.  We have been there to share our pictures of  happiness and sorrow and have seen our families grow and decrease.  We have been each others support group.   It gives me great pleasure to help someone who may have lost a partner and doesn't know where to begin.  Through scrapbooking, they learn to heal and I am honored to help them.

Through this experience. we have learned to look through the camera in a different light. We make that page layout in our mind as we are snapping the photos to fill it.  Through this, pictures get better and shots are taken that someone else may not have considered.  As our lives lead us in different directions, our pictures change in subject, and only get better!

As Leigh said  in one of her earlier posts, we are connected by photography.  Whether  you just love to snap photos or you snap to document your life, you are a  photographer.  Don't ever be afraid to show others what you do, as you are an artist -- no matter what the subject is.  Tying in with this month's theme -- go for what you think will fill that void in your life and share it!  You  might be pleasantly surprised!

The sky's the limit!


Dotti said...

Welcome, Leanne! And thank you for a lovely post! Although I don't create scrapbooks, I do create photo books of family memories. They bring such joy to me as I do them and then to my family when they receive them. It's always so rewarding to use creativity that you're passionate about in your work so you are a lucky woman! Thank you for sharing your joy with us!

Deanna said...

Loved your post, Leanne, thank you so much for being with us today. I felt the same way about rubber-stamping as you do about creating scrap-books, it carried me through some really down times in my life and my years spent working at a Rubber-Stamp store were some of the best times of my life. Releasing my creativity on a piece of paper was heaven. Now the focus (hee hee) has been moved to photography, again some of the best times of my life have been in capturing photos of life around me. Thanks again, Leanne!!

terriporter said...

Thanks so much for being our guest today, Leanne! My "story" is similar to yours -- always taking photos and putting them in albums along with typed captions (we were so ahead of our time!) It wasn't until my oldest son was about to graduate from high school in 1997 that I discovered Creative Memories and scrapbooking and my life changed forever. I dismantled all of my magnetic albums and created scrapbooks, going back all the way to 1983 and have kept them current ever since. And you are right, scrapbooking made me want to improve my photography and that led me to my current favorite hobby. It's wonderful that you have been able to make your passion into a career. So good to have you visit today and we hope to see you again soon!

Barbara said...

Thank you Leanne for your guest post, I enjoyed reading about your start. I also have a similar journey into photography. I started out with scrapbooking and it helped me through a tough part of my life. Then on to rubber stamps and I could open a rubber stamp store, then on to digital scrapbooking along with photography. Now I only indulge in scrapbooking, rubber stamps and digital now and then, everything is photography at this point.

Anonymous said...

Loved your post Leanne! And I need to thank you for the advice you gave me about picking up scrapbooking again by starting with a recent event instead of trying to backtrack. I've been working on a few recent layout thanks to you!

Carol said...

I love to see anyone living their passion - always true inspiration! Thanks for sharing with us today.

Leanne said...

thank you ladies....It has truly been an honor

Cathy H. said...

Wonderful post! So many of our stories are similar. I also started in scrapbooking, then started a blog to help with my journaling, and then discovered photography! I love how one passion leads to another and then another and yet they all fit together so nicely!!

Linda said...

You really make your hobby inviting! Your books are so pretty and I'm sure they are so special on the inside! I am not a scrapbooker (hangs head in shame) but have boxes of pictures! Maybe some of your energy will rub off on me! (or you could come live with me for about a year!lol)


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