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I sent one DM and now I'm a published photographer

The past few years have been an absolute whirlwind, and honestly that is an understatement. Since 2019, I mashed my head through numerous milestones that people usually do over the course of a few years. Here’s a quick rundown of what I've done since 2019:

  • Got pregnant

  • left my job due to first, the global pandemic that started halfway through my pregnancy, then because day care honestly pay enough (which is a whole other conversation that should be had)

  • Moved out of my teenage bedroom and into my first apartment with my boyfriend, who had also never lived with anyone but his parents.

  • had my daughter Sadie nine days after we moved into the apartment. Yup I helped move when I was almost nine months pregnant.

  • Had the best four months at home with Sadie before getting a new job

  • got a job at an oral surgeons office that after almost two years, I had to leave due to medical reasons.

  • Decided to grab my camera and become a full blown photographer.

May only be seven bullet points, but think about the weight of each one. I crushed every single one of them, and to be perfectly transparent as I always strive to be, I’m currently looking into therapy to help actually process all of that.

Before leaving my job for medical reasons, I was already kind of toying with the idea of doing photography more consistently because of how happy it made me and I knew I had a little bit of talent in it. I spent hours brainstorming about how to jump into it, and when I was finally out of work, I saw a post on Instagram from a girl I somewhat knew, Annie, who was hosting a watch party for The Bachelorette. She had also recently left her job that was negatively affecting her mental health and was trying out new things. I took a chance and messaged her on Instagram and asked if it was going to be possible to go and take photos of her on stage for her social media. I honestly figured she would say no, because that's worst case scenario right? She says no and I would throw something else at the wall to see what stuck. To my surprise, she checked with her people and they said yes! I was so happy, and so nervous.

Annie Dow hosting a "The Bachelorette" watch party at Laugh Boston, September 2022

When I got there, I dressed semi-professional, but also comfy and true to myself. I just kind of hid in the corner, minded my own business, and let my now friend do her thing. She ended up introducing me to the girl who was sponsoring the event, Julie, who runs Fangirl Fantasy. Thankfully, once she saw the photos I took, she liked them enough to continue hiring me. This lead to other events and other watch parties.

Then at the beginning of April, I was asked to photograph one of the watch parties that was going to have one of the Real Housewives co-host the night. I’m not a major Housewife/Bravo fan, but I rarely say no to a gig. I knew that this housewife, Danielle Cabral, was married to guy from my state, and I thought she was hilarious from the few episodes I had seen. I photographed the meet & greet, as well as the rest of the night, and felt good about the photos as I was taking them. Plus, it helped that Danielle & her husband Nate are hilarious, and its almost impossible to take a bad photo of either of them.

As I got home, I got a text asking me to send a few preview shots for Julie to send to her publicist. I was excited to get that text, but never thought anything of it. I wasn't sure what to expect from that. I woke up early the next morning and edited about seven photos so they would have a few to choose from. I sent them, and then went off to work. Later that afternoon, I got a text of one of my pictures on the Ok! Magazine and started freaking out.

Danielle Cabral facetiming her kids during a RHONJ Watch party at Laugh Boston, April 2023. This is the first photo I had published by web and print magazines.

By the end of this month, my photos will be in five web outlets and two printed magazines. This was an accomplishment and goal I never knew I had. I have wanted to succeed with my photography, but my goal was to have my photo be hanging in someones house or have it be their profile picture on Facebook. Maybe have a few photos go viral on instagram, but never imagined seeing my photo on five websites and two national magazines.

My older sister ran the marathon this year, and just like when my younger sister ran, I brought my camera to try and get some good photos of them running. This year, Zeno Chara, who played for the Boston Bruins and Doug Flutie, who went to high school and college in the Boston area and played for the New England Patriots as well, both ran the marathon. I made sure to snap some photos of them as well, and when I got home, I edited them and posted them on social media. I tagged both men in the photos, and in my stories.

Doug Flutie running the 127th Boston Marathon in Natick, MA, April 17, 2023

A few hours after I posted them, I got a notifciation that I was mentioned in someones story as well as was tagged in a post. I looked at the story notification and saw that Doug Flutie had reposted my story of his photo! I’m guessing that he shared it because he could tell it was in Natick, but im not sure. I then went to my tagged posts and saw that he also posted it on his profile! As the first photo in the series, no less! I jumped off the couch and started dancing around my apartment in celebration. Thank god Jeff didn't record me.

The main reason I am sharing this story, besides the fact that I want to be able to come back and read this some day, I can remember every aspect of this time in my life. I only started focusing on photography about seven months ago, and this success is honestly just falling into my lap.

If you’re looking for advice on how to have this happen to you, here's my advice. Take the chance. Reach out and ask people if you can take their photo. I promise you the worst thing that will happen is they say no. Stick to what your passion is, hone your craft and talent, and network, network, network! Networking is the best tool. If I never reached out to Annie, none of this would’ve happened. If I wasn't there, I wouldn’t have met the people I have met and wouldn’t have what little success I have had so far. I even got a few new friends out this whole experience as well.

Trust yourself, trust your gut, and always go for it.

You can find Liz's photo in the May 1st, 2023 issue of InTouch Weekly & Star Magazine, as well as on their websites. Her photo was published to Ok!, Us Weekly, Life & Style, InTouch and ET Online on their websites as well. Liz owns the photos.

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