I was getting in my car headed to the dentist’s office, when Mitch called. He asked, “Have you checked our email lately?” Every once in a while you get that incredible email message that sends you to the moon! However, the Best of Med Hat contest had ended a few weeks before, and I had already accepted that we did not make it into the top three because there is an INSANE amount of talent in Medicine Hat. When he said we were voted #1, I just kept repeating, “What! Us? Nooo.”
Being voted as Medicine Hat’s Best Photographer is as humbling as it is empowering. It brought me to tears thinking about our journey with photography and could not believe where it has taken us.
Woods Photography was the byproduct created during one of the most difficult times in our lives. Mitch was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma in February 2012 while I was pregnant with our little man. His cancer treatment would last 10 hours each round during which he had to be bedridden. You can imagine how quickly we got sick of watching Family Feud during this time. He always loved photography and decided to pursue a new career as a professional photographer.
Time spent in and out of the hospital bed was used to study everything about photography. In August of 2012 part way through his treatment, he asked me to create him a logo for his new business, Woods Photography. After everything he had learned, we offered a free shoot to nearly 50 families and couples to build our portfolio using an old Canon Rebel and the “Plastic Fantastic” 50mm lens. We were busy and finally getting out of the house. Our sweet little baby boy joined us on many of these sessions. I really loved this bonding time we shared.
Everything just started to speed up from there! Soon we were booking paid work and upgrading our equipment. We even photographed a wedding in Mexico last year. We have spent countless hours talking about our plans. Photography brought my husband and I closer together than ever before and gave us hope.
Mitch had beat cancer and has been in remission for just over 3 years now! Photography has kept us insanely busy in this time. So much so, we have barely had a moment to reflect on what we even went through.
This past year has definitely been the busiest year yet. Like most entrepreneurs, we had to sacrifice a lot of time with family and friends just working our butts off to balance family, photography, and work. To be honest, it has been hard on us, but the one thing that keeps us motivated to do our best work is our clients and our fans.
I don’t think either of us knew how much support we had from not only our family and friends, but honest to goodness fans of our work! Fan’s we’ve never met or perhaps even engaged with online. We need to thank you all for voting for us and the Medicine Hat News for giving local businesses this opportunity. We are completely blown away with you Medicine Hat. Our love for you grows and grows. This is the best city!
Winning this award fills us with encouragement after these past few years since we first started the photography business. We are finally catching up with ourselves and plan to dedicate more time to our family and making our clients' experience the best it can be.
We would like to end this acceptance letter with a few special thank you’s:
Firstly, our business would not function without great childcare. Thank you to Kandice, Kaitlyn and grandparents for taking care of our little man, so we can follow our passion.
Lastly and most importantly, thank you to our parents. The list of ways that Mitch’s parents have supported us throughout all of his treatments to building the photography business is greater than we could ever repay. We could not have done any of it without your love and acceptance. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!