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Meet Heather Voss

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Voss.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Heather. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started pursuing my career in photography at the University of North Georgia where I earned a BS in Art Marketing in 2016. During my time in school, I photographed for Southern Baked Pie Company and Bentley Media. Working for these two companies led me to have work published in StyleBlueprint, the Chestatee Review, UNG News, and Simply Buckhead Magazine. I was also given the opportunity to photograph for TedTalk, BIAS, and annually at the NISTS conference in Atlanta. I also created fine art photography which had led me to have work selected for display in the Bob Owens Gallery, the Bowen Center for the Arts, Lit Art Gallery, and the annual Captured Dahlonega Contest.

After I graduated, I really struggled mentally. I fought not only doubts in my art but also doubts in myself. I questioned every choice I made whether it be what I ate, wear, or what I did for work. This break down was the result of years of mental abuse at the hand of a narcissistic family member. As a result, I took a step away from photography because I just didn’t believe in myself. It got to a point that I knew I couldn’t do it anymore on my own and I needed help. Shortly following this realization, I discovered that I had the power to change my life after hearing a sermon from Gwinnett Church. The message was about Matthew 3:17 which shows what a true blessing from a parent is like. In this verse, God gives the ultimate blessing by saying “This is my son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased.” Hearing this verse made me realize that I never got that blessing from my loved one and that was what was causing me so much pain. At the end of the service, the pastor asked for anyone who’s never gotten the blessing from their Earthly parent to stand and receive the blessing. I was in tears at this point because I knew the brokenness I had been feeling could finally be healed. So, with shaking knees, my dad and husband encouraged me to stand. At that moment, everything changed. At that moment, I surrendered my brokenness, bitterness, low self-esteem, anxiety, and hopelessness. It wasn’t easy then and I still struggle now, but since then I have stopped striving for the blessing from my Earthly parent and started living from the blessing of my Heavenly Father who has already given me His blessing.

After this life-changing moment, I returned to photography stronger than ever. I now know the words that were swimming in my head in the past were lies and that God is ALWAYS proud of what I do. Recently, I have been booking weddings, engagements, couples, and family shoots on a regular basis. My fine art has also flourished with works being in Gallery Underground, Colors of Humanity, and the 7th Annual International Zebra Awards. I’ve also had work published in Paula Deen’s 2019 Magazine and BullDawg Illustrated. In addition to my own work, I also secured a full-time photography job at a studio in Chattanooga.

Has it been a smooth road?
For me, the road to photography has been bumpy. In addition to years of mental abuse weighing me down, the outside world have hindered my work as well. Don’t get me wrong, constructive criticism is vital to an artist growth however, it can be damaging at times. I once was told in an art critique that I was “too short to be a really good photographer because I couldn’t get my angles right.” That critique haunted me for years however, it also drove me to succeed even more. I also think there is a big mental struggle (thanks to social media) with comparing your abilities to others. But it is important to remember that in life you have a choice. You have free will to make a choice every day on what you see, do, believe, etc. So, you have the choice to look at someone’s work and say “Wow, that’s amazing, I could never do that.” or “Wow, that’s amazing, watch me do that.”

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Heather Voss Photography – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
My photography specializes in couples photography, however, I like to keep challenging myself, so I do a variety of subjects such as families, seniors, events, commercial marketing, and weddings. As an artist, I know I need to keep challenging myself and I think weddings are the perfect situation for that. If you think about it, weddings have the three important challenges photographers constantly worry about- planning, finding the light, and people skills. So, I really enjoy it when I book a wedding because I am able to give myself the ultimate photographer challenge.

Because of my struggle with my past mental abuse, my mindfulness of others is what really sets me apart from other photographers. I am a very observational person therefore, I able to read body language easier than others. Being more mindful of others is what really helps me to be able to connect with what my clients are feeling during a shoot. I can assess a shoot by looking at body language cues to know whether a client is unsure or nervous and if they are, I know that I can try to crack jokes to loosen them up.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Atlanta attracts so many people that traffic can be awful but it is a small price to pay for the amazing opportunity it creates in the art world. So, plain and simple, I like Atlanta because it is an amazingly diverse artist community. Atlanta has a growing appreciation for other people and that appreciation attracts all sorts of different ethnicities and cultures. So, if you go to an art show in Atlanta, you will see all of these people of all races, religions, ethnicities, etc. share their unique stories through their art. It is a great representation of even though it is a big world out there and we are all different, we can all unify for one purpose- the universal love of art. That is what makes me love Atlanta.

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