Trust Your Journey

In early 2008, I was working in the medical field when I sustained a serious injury. After 13 procedures on my spine, my physical therapist “Look at the bright side, you get to reinvent your life.” In 2012, I was in love, independently wealthy, with an addiction to pain pills following that injury four years earlier. When I told my surgeon that I didn’t want to be on the drug cocktail he had me on, he said “”just quit taking everything, you’ll have a bad weekend and you’ll be alright.” Well, that didn’t happen, and while I did survive that detox, my relationship did not. A friend said “this is a blessing in disguise, you get a do-over.” I picked up my first digital camera the summer of 2012 after spending some 30+ years behind different lenses. Through what I can only call serendipity, I became the still photographer for a highly popular fashion blog team covering Phoenix Fashion Week. I spent two years working with professional models on and off the catwalk. Through some social media networking, I somehow landed a role shooting celebrities on the red carpet in Hollywood California. In a relatively short time, I had gone from a broken hearted, physically broken woman to a well known celebrity photographer. I did a lot of studio shoots, location shoots, themed shoots, haute couture shoots. I worked with children, adults, couples, animals including exotic snakes and even had a kissing booth for dogs to raise awareness for shelter dogs. I had a high standard in photography and I believed that every shoot needed to tell a story somehow. I created a love story with peacocks, shot high fashion in a wildlife park, shot a Calvin Klein themed shoot, and even dipped my toe into shibari, the Japanese art of rope tying. As I grew personally and professionally, I evolved from Kate Doster Photography to Kate Doster Media and eventually became a magazine publisher. In 2018, I started the idea of sending the elevator back. I really wanted to take young, budding creatives and expose them to the kind of work I’ve been blessed to do for years. My assistant Kimmi went from “den mother” in Hollywood trying to wrangle up a house full of artistic folks to becoming my principle photographer. I have shot world famous designers, some of my favorite celebrity idols and some of the sweetest models ever to walk the catwalk. I had been stepping out on faith for years, just trusting the journey and trying to pay attention to the messages that were always presented to me.  The ultimate test was to come in 2018. I met someone and fell in love in a whirlwind romance. All I can say is I danced with the devil and he tried to destroy me along with himself.  It became necessary to leave Arizona for the peace of the south. I told myself as I packed my stuff, “you’ll be okay, you get to start over.” I thought that was the end of my journey with my creative endeavors. I didn’t have a studio, my mentor, my hair and make-up artists, my models, my graphic designer, my writers, anything in my new town, but I trusted the process. I’ve discovered through the years that fluid is okay and as much as change is scary, trust the journey and try to pay attention to the messages that life is trying to teach you along the way. Change is liberating if you will allow it to be. I truly believe the key to a happy life is to always be accepting of growth. You may have a cushy spot within your tight little circle, but the magic is just beyond. Now take a breath and get moving.