Ela Pop Photography came to life in 2011 but before that I always had a camera and I always took pictures. The idea that I can freeze a moment fascinated me since I was very young. There aren’t many pictures of me out there from when I was little but there is one that speaks to me. It seems that life, God, the Universe was telling me something when I didn’t even know what I wanted to do in life or that I will one day live in America.
With Fun and a Smile… I don’t think I knew english back then and if I did it was very little. What I do remember is that I loved photography, I loved film, I loved the dark room and the magic that happened there… and I loved that shirt cuz I wore it a lot :))
Fast forward to my teenager years – that was the time when I was too cool for photography :)). Fast forward to 2006, I was 19… I moved to Chicago and I picked up a camera again and in 2009 my late husband, Costi, saw how much I loved photography, he saw the passion I had for it even when I didn’t so he bought me my very first ‘professional’ camera.
Then came 2011,that was not a happy year for me. It was the year my husband left me and all his friends and family and joined God in Heaven. It was the year I felt completely lost but somehow I found the strength to open Ela Pop Photography. My way to honor his name, Costi Pop.
This was the last picture I took of him. This is the picture that gave me the strength to start Ela Pop Photography. I remember that day so well. He was sick, tired but so happy, so optimistic. I came home from work and he was outside on the patio chatting with my mom. Talking, laughing, just a normal day like nothing was wrong.
He asked me to join him and I said no, I am just gonna lay in bed. Thats when I took that picture. He came inside after and like always he was the one to encourage me. He was the one to tell me everything will be ok. He was the one who hugged me and asked me to be happy. He tought I was upset because we couldn’t have our wedding that month. We planned our wedding, I bought 2 wedding dresses, he bought tux but it did not happen . God had other plans for us. Bigger then a fancy party. Our wedding was supposed to be June 4th, 2011. I took this picture on June 10th and my husband went to God June 24th, 2011.
I wasn’t upset about the wedding, I was upset that I can’t be positive and strong enough for him. I was mentally and physically exhausted from sleepless nights, doctor appointments, hospital stays. It was a hard time.
I often tell myself that if I have half of his faith and love for God, half of his positive attitude, that if I love life and my family and friends half as much or if I hustle half as much as he did I will be in a great place. I often forget that life is a gift, I often complain about how busy I am, I often get upset when things don’t go as planned and thats when I remember him. Costi was always grateful for everything in his life, always positive, always laughed when things went wrong. So my goal is to be half of what he was. And I did change, I am more like him and I try every day to do better and be a better person then I was yesterday .
Newborn photography was a natural choice for me. I saw my good friend Kelly Fitzgerald Studio pose a newborn and I fell in love. So I took workshops, online classes and I practiced and perfected my posing and in reality I am still learning, always trying to improve and get better, always making sure the baby is safe and that mom and dad will have beautiful portraits.
Newborns are fascinating they know so much already but still they have a lot to learn. They are a book with blank pages and they get to write their story page by page and maybe change the world one day.
One of my first newborn pictures in 2012 I believe :))
And one of my daughter 2.5 years ago…
Some days it’s hard when I look back at what I used to think were good pictures, some nights like tonight I just laugh and I feel blessed I get to do this and work with wonderful families and that I got to learn how to take a good newborn picture 🙂
Weddings are a very different story.
Weddings didn’t fit my life until my daughter was born. Her toys slowly took over my home studio. I started going on location for newborn pictures and I still do but that takes more of my time, I am away form her longer and as a first time mom I miss her and I need her. I want to spend time with her and listen to her stories. I want to give her more ‘pony’ rides on my back and hear her say ‘she’d never hurt me’ because that is what Ana says when she goes out to look for Elsa in frozen… 🙂
So over the last 2 years I slowly transitioned towards weddings. I did a few weddings on my own and I got to be the second photographer at many weddings for Jen Sacia Photography, C-Tyson Photography and EllAdele Photography.
And now I am booking weddings for 2019 if anyone wants to spend their big day with this girl.
This is how Ela Pop Photography came to life, this is part of my life. I don’t want anyone to be sad… Costi will hate it and probably laugh at you … I read a blog recently and it reminded me that I need to tell his story more, I need to say his name so people know he was a great man and remember him. And honestly it makes me happy because the short time we were together we laughed a lot.