Monday, May 19, 2008

05/19/08 - Sarah Barlow (Part 1)

I am going to spend a couple of days sharing this interview with Sarah Barlow. Sarah is a 20 year old Christian single woman. This will be the first a couple interviews with single women in my life.

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Name: Sarah Barlow
Age: 20
Occupation: Photographer, entrepreneur, and dreamer.

Tell us how you became a photographer:
Well….it was completely God!! I was actually going to go into architecture and was TOTALLY headed that way and NOBODY was going to sway me! I was planning on going away to college right when I was 18…well God definitely intervened before that!

My dad sat me down one day and said, “Sarah, what do you really want to do with your life??” at that time I wanted to get married RIGHT THEN…although I don’t think it’s legal though to get married at 15…lol! I replied that I really wanted to be a wife and a mother! He then asked what I had to do to become an architect, so I walked him through the stages…go to college for 5 years, be an intern for a year, then start at the bottom of a firm and work my way up having to work 100 hours a week! By that time I realized I would be about 25 before my life even started and I couldn’t even fathom that! My dad then said that he really thought I had an eye in photography and that he thought I should pursue that! I can’t say that it was overnight that BAM I wanted to be a professional photographer but God really started working on my heart in that direction!
This was when everything started falling into place and God opened sooo many doors!

I got a REALLY sweet internship at a high-profile studio in Chicago just by offering to work for free and then ended up getting payed and hired after 2 weeks. I then met my mentor in wedding photography who is one of the top wedding photographers in the world and he trained me up from the start! After God provided all of these top notch training opportunities he then opened the door for me to do weddings!

I was homeschooled my whole life and my junior year we had a school teacher come in and train us because my mom was so busy. She actually ended up getting engaged and planned to have her wedding at our house! She asked me to shoot the wedding and all I had was my film SLR camera and 5 rolls of film! I studied so much, then shot her wedding, and it turned out that I LOVED it...and everyone actually loved the pictures too! Crazy!

Two months later I was helping one of my friends plan her wedding and it was a higher end wedding so I knew what she was looking for in a photographer and it wasn’t me!! Lol! I helped scout out several photographers for her and called 3 weeks before her wedding to make sure she had booked someone…she then told me that she hadn’t because she really felt like I was supposed to shoot her wedding! I was like you’re crazy!!!! Lol!

After praying about it though I felt like I was supposed to shoot it! So I crammed for 3 weeks on everything photography!

After shooting her wedding I knew that this was what I was supposed to do! I finished up my junior year…which ended up being my senior year also because I had plenty of credits! Photography then became my full time job and business and I’m now going into my 4th year and have shot close to 50 weddings; shot my cousins, BarlowGirl, album cover; just recently shot the Fox Emmy awards party in Beverly Hills; and have been featured in several magazines like CCM and Brides magazine! I've also trained up about 10 interns and am now traveling all over the country and world for weddings and photo shoots! God totally did it because I have no clue how all these opportunities came about especially when I don’t even advertise! All this came from from submitting and surrendering to what God’s plan was for me and not my own!! I couldn’t plan it more perfect!

Wow…and this was the extremely short version!!

Share with us about these years of being single, what are you doing to fully enjoy them, relish this season?

Wow! I can’t even tell you how fulfilling it’s been!! I always told everyone that I wanted to get married when I was 18…like I could actually choose;) I never wanted to consider myself single because I thought every person who was single was lonely and desperate! Well I found it can be completely the opposite! I’m now 20..two years past when I “thought” I would get married and it’s been two of the most incredible years of my life!

My best friend and I were sitting down the other day and she was telling me, “Sarah, I still think that there is more of your single years that you have to exhaust!” How true is that?? These years aren’t meant for us to sit around to wait for a husband! We seriously need to get every ounce of life out of them!! We are only single for a couple years of our lives! Think of that! I really don’t have time to date or even be looking for a guy…because of how much fun I’m having and how satisfying it is!

I’ve been traveling non-stop, starting up workshops, internships, businesses, a young women’s ministry, doing missions work, writing on 9 blogs, shooting weddings and bands, all while living at home and being the oldest of 7 and helping out around there too!

Also….the best is Rotic nights! It equals romantic without the “man” so it’s rotic!! Lol! My girl friends and I get together all the time for movie nights, shopping, a night out on the town in downtown Chicago, so many fun times!! I love it!!

I also have a lot of guy friends that I hang out with so I really don’t need a boyfriend to distract me right now…I know that when it’s God’s timing I will be having so much fun and all of a sudden God will just bring that man right up alongside of me and reveal him!! I won’t have to be on “the hunt!” So I can REALLY focus right now! It’s so exhilarating and freeing!! I highly recommend it!

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