In just under two weeks, Abanathy Photography, LLC will host not only its ribbon cutting, but also its grand opening! There, guests will have the opportunity to get to know me a little better. But, then again, why wait?! As I have not delved too much into my personal life in the past blogs, I’ve decided, this week, to let you know a little bit more about the man behind the lens.
I have previously discussed why I do what I do. You can read about some of that here (Dealing with people at their best…That’s why!, Removing the limits: We allow the senior to make the most of the senior portrait sessions!, It’s March! Time to Heat Things Up…For Your Wedding Night!). However, that is the professional side. The side tied to this blog through the very essence of our business. What none of them have directly discussed is who I am. So, here is a little opportunity to let you get to know me better.
I am a Kentucky native, born in late 1978 and raised in Graves and McCracken Counties along with my sister, Jennifer. My parents owned and operated their own business in Paducah, which saw us at our grandma’s house each day following school. We also did most of our shopping in Paducah and Lone Oak, so, until my later 4-H teen years, I could easily claim I knew Paducah better than I did Mayfield even though Mayfield was the county seat of my native Graves County!
In fact, even my earlier school days were similarly divided. I began at what is now called Symsonia Elementary School and later attended the St. Mary School System following my sixth grade year.
When it comes to the arts, I have several mediums under my belt, but a few stand out more than others. For instance, I have always been a fan of music. Namely rock and pop music and can even remember hearing the song “Africa” by Toto on the radio back in 1982 when it was new (I was around 3 or 4 years old). I can even remember being rocked to sleep while Stevie Nick’s “Leather and Lace” played on the radio. That had to have been somewhere around 1981. From those roots, sprung an ever-growing knowledge of 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s rock, pop and alternative music. I never have strayed too far into country or rap territory (though I somehow always end up absorbing information related to them anyway), but I do enjoy quite a bit of easy listening and world music as well.
While later, the music world would find me playing trumpet, percussion, and cello throughout my middle and high school years, it was, of course another art form which ultimately captured my professional interests. While I do not currently actively play a music instrument, I do find the incorporation of music into my photo sessions quite pleasing as, I hope, so do the clients.
Following my graduation from St. Mary High School in 1997, I headed off to Murray State University. At first, I wanted to be a psychologist. It was when I later reached the so-called make-it or break-it classes that I decided to take a different path. It was not the workload that frightened me as much as it was the breaking down of human behavior on a scientific level. I do not deny that this is possible and I do not belittle anyone else’s interests in the field. I just knew, personally, it was not for me. Funny thing is: Later, my photography professor noted, to me, that he always seemed to receive the most interesting pictures from psychology students. I suppose some of that remains in me after all.
So, following some soul searching, I realized one of my strengths was in writing. So I began down the path of print journalism. At first, as I was still in need of a minor and have always been an artsy person, I took some drawing classes as well. While I enjoyed those immensely, I realized one of my biggest faults. As my drawing instructor might say, I could not “turn my brain off”. Anyone who has ever taken a drawing class will understand this and, for the rest of you, the easiest way to put it is: You have to be able to draw what you see as opposed to what you think you see. I needed a creative outlet, but I also needed something that would allow my brain go stay “on”.
So, ultimately, I looked into photography. This was a way to let my brain do its logic thing alongside its creativity. Turns out, I could not have made a better choice. So, with my major and minor set I was on my way.
In 2002, I graduated Cum Laude from MSU with my degree in print journalism and photography before heading to the Reno, Nevada area for a job at the Mason Valley News (a Reno Gazette Journal subsidiary paper). During the next nearly six years, I honed my skills as a writer and photographer. I also met my wife, and business partner, Liz, in Reno and we were married in 2006. It was in 2008 that we decided to head back to Kentucky, buy a house, and move in the direction of opening our own photography business.
Now, I am ready to put my skills to use fulfilling our dream here in Murray!
So, there you have it! A brief history of me, the man behind the lens. To learn more, or to meet Liz and I (if you haven’t already), be sure to attend our grand opening celebration on Saturday June 1, at the studio at 108 Rob Mason Road, in Murray, from 1-4 p.m.