My Story: Why I Chose To Become a Wedding Photographer | Chapter 1 : A Few Women In My Life | Raleigh, NC Wedding Photographer

I have been sitting on this idea for awhile now to write about why I chose to do what I do and I finally feel ready to share my story. 

There are some women in my life that pretty much molded me into the photographer that I am. They deserve to have the recognition for the part they played in my journey. 

Grandma 2007 Christmas





1. My Grandma
Shirley Whitman

She taught me how much photographs really mean. This woman loved her pictures so much she never took them off the wall. NEVER. She always displayed every picture given to her proudly. 

I think about her all the time, and I can just hear her in the back of my mind. I know she would love how much I have changed for the better and she would enjoy just sitting and looking at photos with me. 




My Mother-In-Law
Kathy Ancheta

Kathy pretty much bought the camera that started it all. She actually bought it for her husband, Jeff, for his birthday. 

I may or may not have stolen it :) ! Nah! I'm kidding. Sorta? 

Jeff hadn't used his camera for a while. I can't even remember how long he had it before I borrowed it and pretty much never gave it back. I'm such a bad daughter-in-law. ;)

I used that camera for 2 years and became the foundation of my passion and my business. Kathy tells me "Thank you!" all the time for using it and putting her money to good use . I am thankful for all her genuine generosity and love she has shown me over the years and her faith in me and my business! 

Kathy Ancheta and Colt Ancheta
Sharon Hopkins and Colt Ancheta

My Mom
Sharon Hopkins

She has always taken pictures or gotten our pictures taken.  She has always truly valued photographs. Probably got that from her Mama. She has always supported this dream from the beginning. I think that's from knowing this is my true passion and destiny. She instilled in me a hard working ethic and to never stop, no matter how hard it is or how stressed you may be, you can push through. 

Right now, there are days that I couldn't get through without her help. She keeps me sane just like she always has. Always praying for me and supporting me unconditionally. There's not enough words to explain how thankful I am. 


Helen Ancheta

Now this woman. This woman ignited the creativitity in me when I met her. She always had the right answer and knew exactly how to make anything beautiful out of hardly anything. I miss her. Since she's been gone,  I have had several times I have needed her and her expertise and I literally couldn't keep it together. There is so much creative knowledge she left me. 

Around the time, her health started declining and her mind  was slipping was when I started photography. She always loved my projects and all the ideas I had. She always had the best reaction and you knew exactly when she loved something.... and when she didn't. She would either say "Oohhhhh! I love it!" Or "Well, I don't know about that." But when she didn't like it , she normally had the solution already planned out in her head. 

I know that if she was here now, that she would have been right by my side designing my booth for the wedding show and every Christmas Mini session setup with pride. No doubt. 

I miss her so much everyday. I miss calling her and hearing her voice, but I know she is up in Heaven looking down on me and is proud of me and all that I am doing. I am so thankful for the time I got to spend with her and all the joy she brought into my life.