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leigh ann burdett

Leigh Ann Burdett Blog

Timeless photography to capture your love story. Celebrating couples & marriages throughout Washington, DC & beyond.
 Based in Arlington, Virginia. Available for travel.

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Monday Mood // How’d I Get Here?

There have been a lot of new faces on my Instagram and Facebook page recently and I thought it may be time to give you all a little introduction! The story below is about my journey into photography and how it all started.

Creativity has always been my passion. My creativity has led me to many things over the years. It started early in my childhood as my mom fostered my love for art and making things. She always had a project going. We melted crayon wax over fall leaves we found in our backyards, we smashed plates from the dollar store and made mosaics, we spray painted bed sheets in the backyard…our first lesson in graffiti…the list could go on for a while. As I grew up my favorite class in school was always art class. I had an incredible teacher in elementary school, Mr. Beckner. He shared the same love for making and creating as my mom so while I learned about Fine Art everything was always very hands on. Throughout high school I stayed in touch with art and creative classes through our graphic design course, art courses, and an AP Portfolio class my senior year.

When it came time to decide what I would study in college it was very obvious that if my career lacked creativity I would not be very happy. I wanted to find a balance between art and business. I found Interior Design. And oh man did it fulfill me. I poured everything into my major while I was in school. I loved everything about it. I took as many creative courses as possible. By the time I graduated I had tried out watercolor, marker rendering, pottery, model making, our program’s wood shop (not my fav), computer rendering, all types of mediums to express my love for design and art. I also found photography while I was in school. At first I equipped myself with a camera so I could document travel and the models I was building.

My junior year in school, my sister needed to have senior photos taken. We went on a hike and I followed her through the woods with my camera. It was not your average hike…if you know my sister, you know she’s a bit GLAM. She of course had her hair done, a full face of makeup, and don’t you even think she forgot her lipstick. She also brought an extra outfit and changed mid hike. Total caveat…but that part of the story is hilarious. After I photographed my sister, I enjoyed the editing process and began offering sessions to friends. The business grew slowly while I was in school, but by the end of my senior year I had booked two weddings! I didn’t know it at the time, but this is where my passion would take off even more. It was the week of graduation and I was actually turning people away from more senior sessions. I remember packing the car on Sunday right before I left town and I had to message another girl and tell her I was sorry, but it was time for me to leave. Of course I photographed as many people as I could make possible that final week and realized I may have something going here.

When I moved to DC I knew I would have a year of craziness. I was beginning to plan my own wedding, move into my own apartment, and start a brand new job as an interior designer. I also knew that I could not turn away from the opportunity that photography was throwing in my face. People, families, and couples were continuing to contact me about sessions and I was too excited to say no. I made a deal with myself that I would continue to educate myself over that year long period as best as I could while I managed everything else. I would focus on the shoots I had agreed to, begin to set up systems on the side, and start to grow my gear. However, I did not let myself feel the pressure to grow my business quickly. I would have to wait until my own wedding was over to hit the ground running officially.

Well, I got married, went on my honeymoon, and took off immediately after we got home! I filed for my LLC certificate on July 4th and began to formulate a much more serious plan. My gear bag grew quickly as well as my bookings. I was SO EXCITED. I could carry on about how things have been going ever since, but I plan to reflect back on these last several months right before the New Year. Needless to say, I am SO GRATEFUL for all of the couples that have trusted me to photograph their weddings this year. In many ways I have been surprised by the overwhelming emotions I’ve had about this new passion and business. I get so excited to work on growing every night after work (I know…it sounds crazy). I have met some pretty amazing people and hope to continue this for a long time to come!!

Stay tuned!

comments +

  1. James Carroll says:

    Great story Leigh Ann. I was privileged to watch you grow & develop your creative skills. Remember the card business you started in your room. You are a Very Special young lady. So proud of you. Keep up the good work.
    Much love from Grandpa Jim

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