We had the good fortune of connecting with Cassidy Wilson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cassidy, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
For as long as I can remember, my biggest goal in life has been to be full of joy. I went to college and gained a Bachelors Degree in something that has nothing to do with being a photographer. I worked for 2 years at a typical 9-5; and while it was fun being successful and having a “degree qualified career”, I was drained every single night coming home. My photo sessions or weddings on the weekends became my source of joy. And…during my breaks at work, I was editing and researching. I seriously began to notice that the typical career path that you’re “supposed” to do was not filling my bucket. After many mentors and some signs I couldn’t ignore, I left that career and took on photography full-time. The joy I have from making my own schedule, being my own boss, creating art, and capturing memories is incredible! I feel like I am able to serve people well and take care of my own well-being appropriately at the same time. There is so much freedom that comes from pursing a passion than following the crowd.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a natural light photographer and I thrive on sunsets and golden light! Photography for me is so much more than taking a pretty picture, but it is connecting with clients to capture a memory and moment in life that they will want to hold on to forever. I pride myself mostly on relationships and connections because I have always felt that you can’t be comfortable or confident unless someone is there to encourage you to be the best version of yourself you can be. Professionally, the hardest thing for me has been simply to change photography from a hobby to a career. Another hard thing as well has been realizing that art is subjective. I can be confident in a session where I stepped out of the box and have people say that this “wasn’t their style.” And that is okay! I want clients who are 100% on board with my art and my style. I have learned that when having your own business and being your own boss, you have to own who you are. Own your style, own your editing, own your creativity, own your passions, and own your heart behind the art. Who you are is enough, and what you create will follow.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oklahoma City! Oh man, so many things to do. Let’s start with downtown OKC. The best vibes for eating would have to be either The Collective or The Social Capital. The Collective is a food court – adult style. This is perfect for the picky person because there is such a variety. The Social Capital is a more limited menu but is in the new Scissortail district overlooking the OKC Skyline. I love to sit there, eat, and have drinks with my friends. I sometimes even bring my dog! For strictly drinks, I love Fasslers Hall or Flashbacks. Fasslers is great for chilling out with your friends or staying later and dancing once the DJ arrives. Flashbacks is unique because it is an Arcade Bar! You pay a small cover to get in then you can play any game you want for free. The drinks are all retro-themed so it makes for a fun environment. Now, I actually live in a suburb called Norman (where Oklahoma University is) and in Norman you HAVE to visit The Mont and get a Swirl. The Mont has classic American Food with some of the tastiest drinks. There is also an entire list of flavored shots! We like to play a game where you pick a shot for the person on your right, so you can either be sour or sweet to them! For coffee, I suggest Stella Nova, Coffee Slingers, or Beanstalk. And lastly, for outdoor adventures I think its best to get out of the Metro a little. The Wichita Mountains have so many hiking or driving trails. It doesn’t even look like Oklahoma! And north the other direction, you have to visit the Salt Plains. It looks like you’ve entered another galaxy! These two locations are also some of my favorite to shoot at, so if youre in town, you’ll have to hit a girl up 🙂
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
When I think about photography and where I can credit so much of my growth, I feel like I owe it all to the Oklahoma Photography community itself. There has never been any part of the community that has ever ever made me feel left out. The photographers in this state have encouraged me, championed me, guided me, given me advice, critiqued me with love, and challenged me. I also have amazing parents who have supported my decision to pursue full-time photography and never doubted my dreams.
Michelle Leigh Photography