For nearly the past 15 years, I've been in search of what I'm meant to do with my life. Throughout, I believed it was possible to find a career that you could love. A job that, on more mornings than not, you could wake up and be excited. Work, that on more days than not, you felt a true sense of fulfillment and purpose. I believed that there was something out there I was meant to do. During this pursuit I found photography and for a while I thought perhaps I had found "it." I love photography and I would feel a loss if I had to give it up, but at some point in the journey I realized photography wasn't what I was meant to do full-time. I just knew. And so the search continued. Then one morning in early 2011, just an average morning, I was putting on make-up, getting ready for the day (not thinking about career stuff), and I heard a voice. A clear voice. The voice said, "Maybe you want to be a teacher." I froze and remember saying (out loud) to myself, "Maybe you want to be a teacher? Maybe you want to be a teacher." I had never heard a voice before and I've never heard one since. Over a year later I was telling this story to a friend who made a great observation. He pointed out how the voice wasn't commanding, but it was so kind and gentle. It was true. And this kind and gentle voice changed my life.

I had never really thought about being a teacher. Looking back, I can now see signs I perhaps missed along the way. Signs pointing me towards being a teacher. The voice, wherever it came from, was what I needed to finally pay attention. Or maybe all the previous signs were leading me to the moment where I could hear and listen to the voice on that particular day. Within moments, I could feel a shift. Within days, I started to look into the possibility of teaching to see if it was a fit. I talked with teachers, observed elementary classrooms, and researched education programs. If teaching was what I was meant to do then I didn't want to waste any more time. Four months later I was applying to graduate school. In May, I will graduate from St. Kate's with a Master of Arts in Education and then apply for my K-6 teaching license. It is quite amazing how quickly three years have gone by. However, it wasn't easy. Going to school in your late 30s is different than when you're in your early 20s. But along the way there was never a doubt that I had found "it" and for that I'm beyond grateful.

I'm just starting the process of applying for 2014-15 teaching positions. Ideally, I'll teach in kindergarten or first grade. What does this mean for my photography? As I mentioned, it would be a sad loss for me to give it up. Going forward I won't be giving any less to my photography families, but my time will just be limited to the summer months. I understand this schedule won't work for everyone and I will miss those families (those I've met and those I will never meet). Who knows what the coming years will bring, but I'm so excited to find out. :)

Now you know why my blog has been so terribly neglected. I will work on catching up with posting sessions from last year. In the meantime, here is a peek at some of the wonderful moments I was part of in 2013.

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http://www.krystenhalek.com/2014/04/maybe_you_want_to_be_a_teacher.html
August 1, 2013
This is why I love photography.

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http://www.krystenhalek.com/2013/08/love_giggles.html
July 28, 2013
It's so fun meeting up with a family just a year later and seeing how these little ones change. :)

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http://www.krystenhalek.com/2013/07/change.html
Mini Sessions
Sunday, July 28th | 8:30am-10:30am
Minnehaha Park
$100

Mini sessions are for 1-3 children and last about 20 minutes. Each session will include 2-5x7 prints and an online gallery with approximately 10 images (with online ordering for two weeks). All studio items will be available to order a la carte, including prints, canvases, and cards.

Sessions times are early to beat the heat, minimize park crowds, and maximize the best light.

Please email soon if you're interested and indicate your preferred time (8:30, 9:00, 9:30, 10:00, or 10:30).

Some fun images from a Minnehaha Park session last summer. :)

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http://www.krystenhalek.com/2013/06/summer_mini_sessions_2013.html
It's finally time to catch up on sharing some of last year's summer sessions. It was a great year of return families. I really love seeing how families change each year. It might be my favorite part of being a photographer. How fantastic that I was there to see, experience, and document moments like this and this and this and this. I'm already looking forward to next summer. :)

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Jennifer says:

Oh Krysten!! These are just wonderful. I got choked up just looking through your progression of moments captured over the years. What a blessing to have your gifts touch our family!! I can't wait for next year, either!

(02.16.13 @ 10:35 AM)
http://www.krystenhalek.com/2013/01/going_back_to_2012.html