I started my new website and blog this Summer and I wanted to re-share the reason behind the name after being asked so many times on Instagram this year.

ALYSSA HOLLIS PHOTOGRAPHY

BECOMES CHASING GALILEE PHOTO

June of 2017

gal·i·lee ˈɡaləˌlē/ noun: galilee; plural noun: galilees

1. a chapel or porch at the entrance to some English churches.

Also the place where Jesus began his ministry.

Chasing Galilee Photo is about my chase towards my savior and how he saved me from myself and how I want everyone who comes in contact with me or my business sees Jesus first.

why change my business name? why now? after all this time…

I have been in the photography business for many years. Going on 8 to be exact. When you start a business you really do not know what to expect. It all sounds like fun… lots of fun they said. Do I have fun? Sure all the time! Was it all fun and games to get to where I am now? Not even close. I have fought for this journey every single step of the way. I’ve cried, screamed and literally mentally broke down all for the sake of this dream. I have been through various seasons in my career as photographer. When I started photography I had a vision but I did not have a goal. I just went out and shot everything and everyone that would allow me to. I took photos of buildings, gates, antiques at my mother in laws house and yes, the dreaded railroad tracks. I got my fancy entry level DSLR and I was set. I got my Facebook page all set up- y’all I was legit, because don’t you know having a Facebook fan page makes you or breaks you. (enter big eye roll emoji here) or so I thought. Of course I used my own name, what better way to market yourself than your own name? Oh, and don’t forget that big huge number of followers you must obtain to be real someone in this industry. I spent years and years shooting for $50. I spent a good bit of time thinking I knew something. I knew I sucked. Yep. I knew how to hold a dang camera for goodness sake that’s about it. I knew I had deep rooted talent don’t get me wrong but I did not scratch the surface of that desired talent until I took a huge step back and was slapped in the face with reality a good 7 years after I picked up my nikon d3000. I did not know what I was doing. I did not know what shooting manual was or even what it meant. I did not know what ISO, aperture and f/stop were and how they all worked together in harmony to make beautiful images. I did not even know what photoshop was let alone lightroom. Have you ever heard of PicMonkey? Yeah that was my go to back then. I craved to know this wild secret to beautiful imagery that I adored. I wanted it so badly. For what though? For who? Photography has always been deep in my soul. As early as I can recall I loved cameras. I loved film. I loved the whole idea of freezing time. Time is so priceless and is so fleeting. This is not news to any human on the planet clearly, but when you have a passion for this work that is what we all go on. Time and light. Random fact: I refuse to have a ticking clock in my home. I have never owned one and I never will. I refuse to listen to my life tick away. The good thing about my iphone clock is it does not tick.

Fast forward to almost 7 years into this dream ups and downs, beginnings and ends. I could list many reasons why my direction changed but the only one that matters though is Jesus. Jesus takes broken people and makes them new. Jesus restores. Jesus changed my hard heart in ways I can’t even begin to tell you. 2016 changed me in more ways than I can count. I took a break from my work (as much as I could without completely falling off the photography map and losing my business) I still did some shoots but I was not actively seeking work. I completely severed shooting mini sessions, I was tired of being let down, tired of being stuck in a category that I did not belong in anymore and so sad I was not where others were yeah I am fully admitting that here for everyone.  Comparison is the thief of joy; remember that. I am talking about my journey not to whine about it, but to hopefully inspire someone out there who might be thinking of quitting their dream. If I could go back and talk to my 22 year old self and tell her what I know now the very first thing I would tell her is “You can’t compare yourself to others.” simple I know… but its a big freaking deal people, and also to 22 year old fragile Alyssa I would beat into her brain “You can not judge others stories by the chapter you walked in on.” I struggled with not being as good as others for a long time. By what standards though? In this industry it is tainted with rules, and invisible standards we make up in our heads. Social media can ruin your entire perspective in a matter of seconds. It can bring you to a level of pure destruction. The moment in my career when I said to myself that I was not going to compare myself to to others and I was going to love what I do because I am the only version me there is- is when everything began to change. When I broke down at the feet of Jesus for the way I was feeling he began a work, a good work that is never going to be finished to be exact. We all struggle, we are all broken and we are all just fighting this fight called life. I want to be real and raw with my clients, with my family and with God. I want to show people the way Jesus changed my heart. I want to scream and yell from the rooftops what I have been through to anyone who will listen because it ALL leads back to God. It leads back to how he chased me down in the midst of a quarter life crises 2 years ago and he started then. He asked me why… why was I where I was? Why was I doing what I was doing? Why did I become the very things I hated. (read Romans 7) God will use broken people. God will restore your soul. After so much soul searching over the past year-2 years I feel as though I need a new start. Make a new name for my art. I want all the glory for this talent that God gave me to go right back to him always. I am nothing without him. Jesus is my redemption song.

A wonderful friend said to me today “There are so many different ways to view success. Ultimately our success should be found in Jesus and building His kingdom. THAT is real success. His blessings along the way are just bonuses.”

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. Colossians 3:23