Hello & Welcome
Please let me further introduce myself. My name is Kelly Aoki, and I am the “Mizue” in Mizue Photography. This is just the first post of many to come. This photography blog will not just be geared toward telling my amazing clients’ stories, but it will also be a platform for information, innovation and inspiration for anyone and everyone.
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22…
As you may or may not know I celebrated my 22nd birthday on Saturday and Mizue Photography celebrated its 2 year anniversary before that! Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined being where I am today. I’m pursuing my passion and chasing my dreams which has led to an overall happier life.
An Important Life Lesson
Thus far, the most important life lesson I have learned in college could not be taught, but it had to be learned. Ever since I was young, my parents and grandparents taught me to believe that I could do anything I put my mind to. That said, I would have been blind not to see their hopes that I would become a doctor, whether it be a dentist, optometrist or pharmacist, so I studied accordingly. I was motivated and determined to make my family proud.
Fast forward to my post-high-school-graduation days I had been attending Fresno City College where I switched my major literally every semester I was there. I attempted to study a variety of science majors including Psychology, Biology, Chemistry, and Kinesiology. It was during my fifth semester there that I realized I had no desire to become a doctor – or even to participate in the sciences at all.
I then switched my major to Liberal Arts. This was a major change in my life, but I thought maybe I would become a teacher, like my mom. I volunteered in her classroom plenty of times and I enjoyed it, but even then, there was a lack of motivation that I just could not explain.
Not until recently did I understand why.
You see, ever since I was a little girl I carried around a camera. It might’ve been a disposable one, a Hello Kitty one, or a little Canon point-and-shoot, but I never let a moment go unnoticed. Between cramming for chemistry finals and attempting to stay interested in calculus (no offense math majors) I lost sight of my passion. and what brought me happiness. I was going through the motions, but not enjoying my life to the fullest.
During that last semester at Fresno City I kept myself busy with school, multiple jobs, and in my free time I began sporadically picking up my dad’s Canon 40D in my free time. I learned to shoot in manual from the photographer who took my senior pictures and through the lens, I saw the world around me transform.
It was a fresh new perspective that I had been desperately needing.
I eventually added one more job to my already packed schedule. At one point I had four: two waitressing jobs, a file clerk job, and – finally, a photography job.
I began my own small photography business, this business, Mizue Photography.
That is when I realized life is too short to not do what you love. Yes I know, you’re thinking, “What does a girl in her twenties know about life?” Well to that I say that age is nothing but a number until you combine it with experience.
I’ve learned so many lessons throughout my life, but this leads me to what I consider the most important one:
Never lose sight of yourself.
Somewhere along my journey growing up, I learned that everything I was doing was wrong – and it wasn’t because I was a failure. Everything was wrong because I wasn’t doing it for me. My whole life I had been telling myself, “I have to make my family proud,” and in doing so, I lost sight of who I was – who I am. I was ignored what I love. I love the passion that I have for photography. I love expressing my ideas and collaborating with others. I love being creative.
Now I am doing what I love – and in doing so I, unknowingly, made my family proud too.
Never lose sight of what makes you, you. Especially if you are worried about what others will think. Whether it’s your family or friends, those you love will support you no matter what as long as you stay true to yourself.
That is the most important life lesson I have learned thus far.