DEAR PHOTOGRAPHER | Feature by Leanna Azzolini

One of her first images 



Dear past self (7 years ago),

    You may not know it now, but you are finally following the path that was meant for you. After devoting so many years of your life to an art form that didn’t completely fulfill your heart, photography is actually where you will find yourself. After taking several years to heal from trauma and working to change the patterns of your thoughts and choices, you are finally building the life of your dreams (with the man of your dreams). You are now aware that you control your own destiny and are on the precipice of even more great change.
I know it Feels overwhelming and you’re not quite sure where you fit in just yet in this great big photography world, but You will. Don’t listen to voices of doubt that tell you that you need to follow the same path that everyone else seems to be taking. You will find your way eventually. As long as you shoot from your heart, you’ll find the answers that are waiting for you. Though you’ve been an Artist (in some way) for as long as you can remember, you’ve been confused as to how to express yourself. That confusion seems to be disappearing more and more each day. Let it flow. Don’t question it too much. See where it all takes you day by day. Keep going.
Dear current self,
    These last 7 years have been quite a ride. You’ve started a family with the love of your life, bought a home together, suffered one of the greatest losses imaginable and said goodbye to your Dad, recovered from and processed this loss, and have now entered a stage in life where the daily gratitude and appreciation just seems to be automatic. It’s no longer forced or pushed…it flows on its own. Somedays you’re just overcome with emotion at the pure beauty of it all.
    Motherhood is where you’ve belonged all along. Although you took on that role a bit later in life, you’re now able to give all of yourself to your daughter in a way that you probably wouldn’t have been ready to do in your twenties or early thirties. You’ve also finally found your greatest passion and artistic outlet (surprisingly) in the form of self-portraiture. Combining these two great loves has proven to be a guiding light for you in business as well as the life in general. You are working through all of your emotions, passions, and struggles in a way you weren’t able to do before. It’s a cathartic release and also opening doors for you on a constant basis. Keep opening them.


LeAnna Azzolini is a mom, wife, and professional photographer living in Dana Point, California. She specializes in capturing motherhood, and through that love, found her greatest creative passion by exploring the art of self-portraiture. Teaching and mentoring other photographers is her big goal for the coming year. She hopes to inspire others to dust off that tripod and give their children the gift of not only seeing that they were there too, but that they truly lived.


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