Julie Thomas / by Melissa Fitzgerald

As I sit in the sundrenched Kraftsmen Baking, at 10:30 am, on a Monday, I can’t help but feel overcome with happiness and gratitude for this next phase in my life.  As my incredibly patient clients know, until 5 days ago, I was not a full-time photographer.  I went to a day job 40 hours a week and did my portrait work on the weekends. Fitting in editing every night and every free moment of my weekends.  I recently accepted another full time position, but this one is as a photographer.  So I am officially a full-time, career photographer, and that is one of the coolest feelings I’ve experienced in my life to date.  Photography began as a hobby for me, quite by accident.  And continued as such for several years until two pivotal people came into my life.  My fiancé Joseph, being the first and Julie Thomas, being the second.  Joseph had a profound affect and influence on who I was as a photographer and businesswoman, and Julie almost single-handedly changed the trajectory of my career.  And today, Julie is the subject of this post. 

If you’re my client, or you know my work, there’s a great chance you also know Julie.  Whether she’s your close personal friend, acquaintance, or just a friend of a friend, people just know her.  It’s remarkable.  I lovingly refer to her as the Kevin Bacon of my business, the 6 degrees of Julie Thomas. It’s a real thing.  She's like that girl in high school that you wanted to sit next to at the cafeteria, just hoping some of her effortlessness and cool will rub off on you too. That girl that always has the prettiest highlights, newest lip gloss, and knows where to get the best deal on designer shoes.  If Julie recommends something, you just trust that's it's great.  She's a connector with an infectious personality, along with also being so, so naturally beautiful.  I first worked with the Thomas Family a couple years ago, and I remember being nervous walking in to their lovely home. Julie and I had exchanged emails prior to the session, so I knew she had a distinct vision for our shoot, and I prayed so hard that I would be able to deliver.  There was something special about this family and I knew it the instant her smiling face appeared at the front door.  The nerves melted away and we proceeded to have one of the most fun shoots in my memory.  The Thomas’ are just awesome and if you know them, you know that.  After that day, things just... accelerated.  Julie became my biggest cheerleader and promoter, and before the end of the month, I had more inquiries than I had time to fill, music to the ears of any entrepreneur.  Over that next year, the little side hobby bloomed into something legitimate in my mind, something that actually seemed possible to make a career from, pay bills from, live from.  And that day is today. As I sit in this sunny cafe in the middle of the work day instead of a dark office doing work that didn't make me happy, I'm overwhelmed with this realization. So to Julie, I’m eternally grateful.  Thank you for being such a kind, positive and supportive presence in my business and life.  You are quite simply, the best.