This post is bittersweet. I have lived in Northwest Arkansas since my freshman year at the U of A way back in 1997. As an army brat, I never got to live anywhere for more than a few years, so it’s the closest I’ve ever come to having a hometown. I have built my photography business up from scratch into something I am very proud of, and have made lots of connections, acquaintances, and friends in the process. I will miss Arkansas a lot!
Many of you know that I have the privilege of doing two things I really love for a living – photography and teaching geology. Steely Joe Studio was started as a way of “supporting the teaching habit” as a part-time community college gig certainly won’t pay the bills! But its grown far more than I ever expected, and I was facing the decision of which I would rather have as my primary focus, and which I would let take the backseat (the idea of quitting either all together was never a thought). So after a lot of soul-searching, I decided to get back on the path I had been so abruptly knocked off of in 2005 when a drunk driver nearly killed me (see the Story of Steely Joe). What is that path? I would love to be a faculty member at a university where I can teach something other than just the intro level geology class, and be able to do some research that makes a positive impact on the world.
This spring, an incredible opportunity presented itself. I have been offered a full tuition waiver and a teaching assistant position at the University of South Florida in Tampa starting in the fall of 2012. I will be working on a PhD in Geology, which is the next step towards my goal. I will certainly move the photography business with me, albeit a bit scaled back (or as my hubby likes to say, “more exclusive”). I am looking forward to photographing some beautiful beach weddings and finding some great portrait locales around Tampa. For all my awesome past photography clients in NWA, look me up if you are vacationing or planning a destination wedding in the Tampa Bay area, or even Orlando (which is only an hour away). I would love to do some portraits for you while you are here!
P.S. – I will still be posting great photography on this blog, but if you would like to follow along with my big new adventure, I have started a new blog called Baking Soda Volcano to write about it all, so go check it out!