“You can’t just put photographer at the end of your name and claim that you are a photographer.”
The infamous words that motivated me every day until they didn’t affect me anymore… but we will get to that a little bit further down. Since I am sharing my blog from my CWP website, I figured why not answer some of the questions I get asked most often with regard to my photography business. SO, I will start at the beginning.
My parents gave me my VERY FIRST camera for my 12th birthday. It was a small digital camera that I absolutely ADORED. My parents could probably see my love for photography was real, and after dragging that camera everywhere with me (be it school, the shops, friends’ houses’ and holidays) they bought me my first DSLR camera for my 14th birthday. I grew up watching my mom take photos everywhere and I pretty much owe it all to her. Forever grateful for the love I have for photography, which she gave me from a young age.
For my entire school career, I can remember having my camera there. I remember taking photos at as many school events that I could. I practically dedicated myself as our grades photopaper and took on that responsibility as if it was real. I loved it. When I turned 16, I created Courtney Warren Photography. I had just signed up with Facebook and decided to make a page to share the photos that I took. This started with just albums of school events (swimming galas/ athletics days) …I’m pretty sure those albums are still there. I would always add my name to the bottom of those photos. Slowly my name started to get out there and I would get enquiries.
During my last two years of school I took a few photos at grade 11 dance pre drinks, and children’s birthday parties. I would give my clients their photos on CD’s and I personalised their disk covers. In my matric year I had a friend who said that above comment to me… “You can’t just put photographer at the end of your name and claim that you are a photographer.” At the time, I was angry, hurt but DEEP down, I was motivated. I wasn’t taking photos for someone to tell me that I was a photographer, I was taking photos because I loved it, so why would I let her comment change that?! For a small moment there I even considered changing my name to something completely separate to MY NAME, but then I left it and well look at me now…
Fast forward a few years and I can’t believe where I am. It has become something that I could not live without. Photography is a part of me, it has given me the chance to be creative during my studies and to meet people from all over South Africa (and a hand full of people from overseas) while sharing my love for photos with them.
Recently I was given a present from someone extremely close to my heart. This present was a voucher to use with DOUBLE TAP STUDIOS. Looking at my logo now and seeing MY NAME, I get a bit emotional every time. I look back at 15 year old Courtney and I wish I could go and give her a hug. I wish I could tell her how proud her future self is of her and how happy I am that she didn’t give up.
I love my story and I would not change a thing about where I am and where I am going, Courtney Warren Photography is a part of me, and I am so grateful for all the support I have received since day one. Don’t give up on your dreams, work hard, learn new things and make yourself proud. A word of advice from a girl who could have given up years ago; make time for the ‘small things’ or the side hobbies. Make time for the things that you love and the things that make your heart feel happy. These things aren’t just meant for the side and they aren’t small. Dream big and do BIG.
Love, Courts xx
" Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. " 1 Corinthians 16:13