The Early Years
I stuck with art for the rest of my childhood, and seemed to excel in it more than most. Although, I never could see myself enjoying life by making others money off of MY talents. It became something I was good at but not something I really enjoyed. I always had a passion for photos and photography but affording the equipment to enroll in photography courses in school was a commodity that was unattainable due to our financial limitations. Luckily I had some amazing teachers (Mrs Brantford, Mrs. Lea Dent, and Mrs. Kim Ross) who always did an amazing job at keeping me engaged with my artwork. They always pushed me to think outside of simply drawing with a pencil and forced me to venture into other mediums.
When I Grew Up
Before my senior year of high school, my father moved the family back to his hometown of Fayetteville, Arkansas. This was something that I was not willing to do as well. I did not want to up-root myself in my final year of high school and decided to stay behind in Houston. I moved around from friend to friend’s homes for the first few months until finally settling down with my grandfather in his one bedroom apartment to finish up the school year. Upon completing high school, I decided not to follow my artistic potential (against most of my family’s wishes) by going into an art school/profession. I just didn’t have the drive to sit around and draw all day. I have always been a people person and being cooped up in front of a pen and paper all day was not my idea of a enjoyable career.
After some long thought, I decided to join the United States Air Force to broaden my horizons and travel the world. I can honestly say that it was the best decision I could have ever made at that point in my life. I had always been a pretty well behaved kid but felt having someone provide the direction for me would allow me to focus on getting financially situated as well as allow me the chance to meet a lot of new people and serve my country. Not to mention, a college education was now finally something that was in reach.
I was lucky enough to get into a job in the Air Force that allowed me to travel as well as give me more responsibility than most other career fields. After basic training I was selected to become a computer technician on AWACS. This required me to go to initial training in Mississippi, water survival school in Florida and combat survival school in Washington. After all my training, I settled in Oklahoma City for the next 8 years and during that time I learned a lot, traveled a lot, and met a ton of outstanding individuals.
The Best Part of Me
I had dated a lot of girls but was immediately enamored with Allison from the first time I met her. Literally. I tried to get this girl to go out on a date with me on several occasions, to no avail. Getting her to give me her phone number was like an act of congress. She was a steel trap. After a few month I had actually given up on the prospect of her being interested in me. I put down my “playbook” and started up new types of conversations with her that didn’t involve me getting her phone number. She showed a lot of interest in my artwork and we began to really get to know each other a little more. Once she felt I was no longer in pursuit she gave me some hope, her phone number!
From then on, we talked on the phone a lot. Hours at a time, like most do when they are getting a feel for a potential new companion. I was still unsuccessful at getting her to go out on a date for quite some time though. Finally I talked her into what I, and any other normal person would consider a date (One person taking another person out for some fun on the town to include dinner and paid for by said host). Though, she insisted it would be a “pre-date, to see if she wanted to go on an ACTUAL date” (her words). We went on our “pre-date” to a comedy show and dinner with some friends. After a very fun evening we called it a night and the “pre-date” was a success!! From then on, it was full on dates for us!
Close to four years into our relationship, I set aside a day and surprised Allison with a hot air balloon ride. This was something she had always mentioned wanting to do because she LOVED hot air balloons. On a sunday evening while a few hundred feet above Oklahoma City, I added to the surprise. With our pilot hanging out of the basket to allow me room, I got down on one knee and asked the girl of my dreams to be with me forever. Luckily for me, the high altitude’s thin air made her light headed enough to actually say yes!
On Halloween of that year we gathered with 120 of our closest friends and our families and made it official. I even teared up a little. Yes, me. I guess you can say I was the happiest guy in the world that night. After the ceremony, we started the party off with the Thriller dance. How else do you kick off a Halloween wedding reception? You can see a little more of our wedding and the dance HERE.
Sweetening the Deal
I went into my marriage with Allison believing that life could not possibly get any better. After all, I had the perfect woman for me and a lifetime to spend with her. Though, shortly after returning from our honeymoon to Jamaica, the Air Force would move us out to fabulous Las Vegas to work with Predators! I had spent nearly two weeks of every year since I joined the military out in Vegas for work so I was pretty excited to start a job doing something new and to be there as a local.
Shortly after arriving in Vegas, Allison convinced me to spend some money on a new digital SLR camera. For years she had complained that I never drew or did anything artistic anymore and wanted me to get back into something. I had always been interested in photography and agreed that it would be a good idea. Once I had my first camera in my hand, I fell for photography HARD! I couldn’t put the camera down. I spent nearly all my free time researching books, websites, forums, and anywhere else that had information on photography. The rest is history. All of my passion was sparked because of my awesome wife!
About a year and a half after arriving in Vegas and a few months of trying for our first child, Allison and I found out that we were going to be parents! I cannot explain to you the amount of excitement that rippled through our family when they found out the news. Our daughter (Adelynn) would be the first grandchild on my wife’s side of the family, which translated to a lot of jubilation from her parents and the rest of the family.
9 months later, our little ANT (Our nickname for her. Her initials and the fact that she has always been so tiny) came into the world and made us two extremely happy parents. I had always heard that becoming a father is the greatest thing that can ever happen to a man, but never fully understood it until it happened to me. Words could NEVER fully explain the amount of happiness being a parent has brought into my life. Everything has changed for Allison and me and everything we do is to fill ANT’s life with as much happiness as humanly possible. Each day our little baby girl is becoming less of a little baby and more of a little girl. This past 2 years has been some of the most difficult and yet most rewarding years of my life and I look forward to all of the adventures parenthood bring. More about out little girl can be seen HERE.
Currently my beautiful family and I reside in Houston, Texas. After 12 years of active duty service in the Air Force I decided it was time to come back home. I am currently working with the Predators in the Texas Air National Guard and absolutely love my job and the people I get to work with everyday. We are a lot closer to our family, old friends, and making a lot of new friends everyday as well.
I am extremely excited to be back in the GREAT STATE of TEXAS to expand my photography business and look forward to where it will take me from here. Feel free to drop me a line to find out more about me and my photography services, ask me any questions you may have about cameras, or just to say hello and introduce yourself. Thanks for taking the time to read about me. I hope I have shown you a little more about my family and myself and I look forward to getting to know more about you.
- Jason Talley