Every once in a while in your life, you meet someone who has a PROFOUND influence on your life. Not in the sense of when someone takes that parking spot you have been waiting to get for 15 minutes, by following someone from the exit of the building to their automobile. I mean when someone changes your life in a way that would have otherwise not happened without them.
For me, I have had a few people like this. One in particular, and a dear friend of mine as well, Jamie Christoffersen. I have known Jamie for around 10 years. We were originally stationed in Oklahoma City together when we were much younger, and could party much harder than we can today.
We were in the same squadron together for 6-7 years or so, maybe longer. We really only ever hung out on the weekend when someone was throwing a party, or when we were out TDY (military business trips) around the world. Though having had seen each other from day to day at work, we became good friends. Hearing Jamie’s (VERY SOUTHERN BELLE) accent would always put quite the smile on my face every time.
Just before we moved to Vegas in 2008, Jamie attended our wedding with her boyfriend at the time, Kaleb (yes it is spelled with a “K”, who knows why). We met in passing, but with the chaos of the wedding festivities, we didn’t get a lot of time to socialize with one another. My wife and I moved to Vegas, I started a new job at a new squadron, and life went on.
Not long after I got settled in, I picked up my very first digital SLR camera to start taking photos as a hobby. I NEVER picked it up intending to EVER shoot photographs of people for money, let alone be a full blow professional wedding photographer in the busiest wedding capitol in the world (Las Vegas). Though, not many months after buying this camera, that is EXACTLY what I did.
Without going into all the details, lets just say Jamie was one of my biggest cheerleaders. She saw my work and INSISTED that I should start doing it “for real”. She was convinced that it was my calling. She actually said that. IN A HEAVY TENNESSEE ACCENT, “Talley, you work is the shit and you NEED to realize it. You should be doing this full time for a living. It is your CALLING!”
Three years later, here I am. After spending many days sending a barrage of questions her way on any and all questions pertaining to photography, I would say I have indeed found my calling. For that Jamie, thank you.
So why did I choose to title this blog what I did? Who is the man I never knew? Why do I find it important to thank him? And most importantly, why am I saying farewell to him?
Jamie has been having a very rough time, and for good reason. So much has happened in her life lately and I just want to be there for her as best as I can as one of her close friends. She has given me so much. Jamie and I spent nearly 2 hours talking today about things. Her brother, her sadness, and photography. I did my best to light a fire under her ass to write a memorial blog post about her brother, and she did. She refused to go eat lunch with me today after our talk. She insisted on going home right away, and putting it all out there.
We both felt it would be good for her. If you have time, her post about her brother can be found HERE and at the links on the bottom of the page. Chris was a VERY talented writer, and had a magazine in which he hosted many interviews with some of the world’s biggest musicians/singers. Country Universe even wrote an article on him, which can be found HERE.
Jamie, you are a dear friend. I consider you and Kaleb (with a K) as my own family. I am so sorry for your loss, but know that you will endure. You are an inspiration to all the lives you touch. Thank you for the influence you have made on my life. Thank you Chris for being an amazing influence on your sister.
Jamie’s Blog: WEBSITE
Country Universe: WEBSITE
Houston Professional Photographer: Jason Talley / 405-414-7563 / www.exposurebyjtalley.com