HI, I'm Paige O (Gullickson)
The first time I ever held a camera I was 6 years old. My mom was a high school teacher at WF West High School in Chehalis, WA (GO BEARCATS!) and she shared an office with the photography teacher, Mr. Kit Porter. She told him that I was interested in photography so we went to a local park and took photos of flowers and then Mr. Porter taught me how to develop film and eventually print black and white photos in the darkroom. I fell in love with photography.
When I was 18 I started working for a local photographer while working another full time job and I dreamed of doing only photography but I was always so scared about the uncertainty. Then when I was 20 I started working for Alison Clinton, to tell you working for her changed my life would be an understatement! Alison is INCREDIBLE and the way she encouraged me and lifted me up (both as a person and a photographer) is something that I wish for everyone to experience, she is truly one of the best people I have ever met.
After working for Alison for a few years (and soaking up every ounce of knowledge I could from her) she encouraged me to move to Spokane, WA for a few years to go to photo school, so I did. Spokane has been home since 2010.
For years I did photography on the side, but never felt the confidence to take the leap. In 2018 I quit photography all together because I felt SO defeated. but missed it like a long lost love, it was truly my first love. In late 2020 I was talking to my friend Brandon and I told him that I wanted to get back into photography but wanted to switch from Nikon to Canon. Brandon was SO supportive and instantly told me that I should dive in and really bet on myself (something I have never done before), BUT that I should look at Sony gear. He was so right! I bought two Sony a7riv cameras in October 2020 and several lenses and I've never been so thankful to have people surrounding me that support my dream.
In Fall of 2022 I talked to my close family about quitting my job in the corporate world at the end of 2023 and they expressed their encouragement but also concern about insurance and a regular paycheck, etc. I started working towards the goal of eventually going full-time photography without a specific date in mind, but working towards re-building clientele and nailing down my editing style, building a website again, etc.
Then on Christmas Eve 2022 I found out my mom (at 57 years old) had cancer, and 3 weeks later she passed away on January 13, 2022. I'm not going to lie- my world was turned upside down. I took some time off work to process and dig into therapy (I'm a huge advocate of therapy and finding the right therapist and mine is PHENOMENAL). When I went back to work I quickly realized that I needed a change... Life is short and I didn't want to die a banker... I needed to take the risk and finally 100% bet on myself... I worked for an amazing company that really values their employees so it was no shock when I went to my supervisor and told her I needed to leave, she was very supportive. April 1, 2022 was my last day working there. I left my job with 2 weddings booked and hope, a LOT of hope.
Since April 2022 I have shot and second shot a LOT more than I thought was possible and I will be forever grateful! HUGE shoutout to Mack Lloyd Photography and Brooke Duclos Photography for letting me second shoot with them so many times in 2022, they are both INCREDIBLE and they have both turned into amazing friends! I feel so incredibly fortunate to have worked with so many amazing people in my photography journey and I can't wait to continue to work with more!!
MY FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY-
- GETTING TO KNOW NEW PEOPLE THAT BECOME MY CLOSEST FRIENDS
- CAPTURING GENUINE MOMENTS THAT YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES WILL CHERISH FOR GENERATIONS
(I know that's corny as heck, but it's true!)