Reno Newborn Photographer | Why Photography? { My Story }

Welcome to my feature column! I’m so glad you’re here today and I can’t wait to share this new feature with you. Come back and visit often as I’ll write about “my story” twice a month for you. Come along and see how it all came together and watch Design by Huong LLC unfold before you.

I’ve got entrepreneurial blood in me (among other things). Always have. My parents came to this great country two weeks before I was born and they started from nothing to owning their own businesses in a matter of several years. I got to see, work and experience entrepreneurship first hand. While owning their own business took tons of devotion and time, they were always great about capturing memories (preserving them is another thing alltogether). I’m one of five and we’ve had cameras and camcorders around us for as long as I can remember. Coincidentally, there aren’t many actual prints from when my sister and I were younger, but there are tons with my brothers. I’m going to say that was my doing (insert smiley face here). I’ve been running around with the camera and camcorder in my hands since I was a little girl and to this day, not much has changed.

When I was a young girl, I wanted to be a Lakers’ girl, or a fly girl on In Living Color. I had a tremendous passion for performing and dancing and for someone who has never had any technical training, this is huge. When I “grew up” and went off to college, I had grandiose ideas of becoming a doctor. Then an accountant (ha!). Then a computer science nerd (still kind of am). Then finally, a graphic designer. I wanted to work in a big time marketing firm with a fancy boardroom with these large story boards to present to clients my rock star ideas. I took loads of fine art classes, graphic design classes and film photography classes. Since my first passion was performing, I also took every opportunity I could to dance my heart out in college. As graduation came upon me, I found myself not willing/able to move to Chicago and take on what probably would have been an opportunity that could have bolstered my graphic design career. (That’s neither here nor there though and no regrets! We make the choices we make for a reason.) I moved to a small city outside of Kansas City, Missouri, with a decent sized University and worked in the IT field. Yep, nerd alert! I took on design projects on the side, but it was never something I focused heavily upon. I actually secretly loved being a nerd and being around other nerds. These guys and gals are some of my greatest friends to this day.

During this time, I also happily fulfilled my passion for performing as a professional cheerleader for the Kansas City Chiefs organization. AMAZING experience. I totally fell head over heels with the camera experience during this time. I loved how I felt when I was in front of the camera and never forgot the way I felt during photo shoots. A few months into this chapter of life, I found Mary Kay (cosmetics), or maybe she found me. Either way, I took away some of the greatest sales training of my life which would later come into play. People whose livelihood relies on their direct sales skills are forces of nature to be reckoned with and to say otherwise would be quite, well, otherwise.

I found myself in transition and moved again. This time to Reno, Nevada, and once again, had a day job. First in events, then catering, then sales, where you’ll still find me today. I continued to take on side projects, including a lot more custom announcements and invitations than I ever had. I was always frustrated with the quality of the images I had to work with my completed designs. It was during this time that I really started to look towards 5 years and 10 years down the road and what I wanted to do with life. I came to realize that I did not want to work in a corporate setting full time. I wanted to call the shots, set my own schedule and take on projects I wanted to take on. I wanted to be creative, but still make use of my degree I worked so hard to earn. The wheels began turning then, but I didn’t give in yet. Life continued and I got married and had my first child and then another. I took SO many photos during my two pregnancies and of my growing family. I wanted to remember all of it just as it was in that moment. Obsessed is probably an understatement.

A few months after my youngest was born, I started to research equipment and where I wanted to start, or more realistically, where I could start. I just wanted to take better photos of my family and have better photos to showcase my designs. I owe so much to my friend Jason Richert. He answered question after question after question regarding gear and was so patient, understanding and encouraging of what I wanted to do. I think after 6-months of research, he was really relieved to hear me say “okay, this is what I’m going to get”. All he left me with at this point was, “now get out there and shoot”.

And I did. I shot my family, landscapes, while out on walks…anything I wanted to shoot, I did. I finally felt as though I had images worthy of showcasing my designs and the more I absorbed about photography, the more I wanted to master the art of digital photography. So much so that I put that on my “30 Before 30” list. A goal is not a goal until you write it down. And this is where I grabbed the bull by the horn and sprinted. If you know me at all, you know that when I write it down, it might as well have a line through it. I may not always get it done immediately or by my deadline, but I will. Lucky for me and those of you who have come to trust me as your newborn, baby and family photographer, this was one item on that list that I worked tirelessly towards (ask my other half, he’ll tell you).

Photography has always been a way for me to document my life. It started solely as that and began to evolve as my life grew and changed. It evolved into something that could co-exist beautifully with my graphic design work (and make that degree worth that much more). It then became a goal, so I became obsessed with accomplishing that goal. It has now become an outlet for me to unleash my vision, drive and desire for others to capture their most precious memories before they’re gone. All of the major experiences I highlighted here have helped me mold my business and my desire for others to feel that sense of pride and passion, whether it be because they now have beautiful keepsakes of their newborns and families, or because they’ve taken the plunge for a Revealed experience.

These are the key factors that contributed to where I am today. These are the reasons why I started this passion and journey in photography and why I will continue to pursue my passion for as long as I’m able to do so.

I wasn’t able to dig up photos from the really early years, but here’s a visual look at what brought me to this point in life (please, no comments on the hair dos depicted below–hee hee). Welcome to my world and thank you for reading this far. Keep coming back as I look forward to sharing more about this business journey with you. If you’re ready to work with me now, however, feel free to give me a ring at 775.233.8382 or drop me a line or two at huong { at } designbyhuong { dot } com.

Who is Huong Forrest?

Reno Newborn Photographer

Huong Forrest Photography is the passion, vision and dream of one Reno newborn photographer, Huong Forrest. I specialize in newborn photography and have a great passion for capturing Reno's tiniest new residents. I also adore capturing the innocence of babies and children, the love and passion of a newlywed couple and their wedding and I greatly enjoy revealing the beauty, confidence and fierceness of your everyday woman.

When I'm not with my clients, you will find me running around with my two adorable sons, helping people improve their health and wellness with It Works! Global, giving back where I can in several photography forums and blogging about business, photography and motherhood.

Are we connected?
LIKE me on Facebook.
FOLLOW me on Twitter for a fun and quirky look into me and my business.
FOLLOW my idea boards on Pinterest.
FOLLOW my life in photos via Instagram
SHOP my health and wellness products at Try My Wraps
Please send me an email at any time or call me at 775.233.8382 if you would like to discuss an upcoming portrait opportunity.


Maggie - So great to hear your journey! (I lived in KCMO awhile too.) Keep dreaming and working hard!

Katherine Weeks - what a wonderful story, I love your images too

Liz - Wonderful intro page. It is a great idea to journal about why you chose this field. Congrats on your blog, I am looking forward to reading more.

Shannon B. - Thank you for sharing more personal and detailed story of how you the photographer came to be. I really enjoyed reading it.

Danielle Dutta - It’s wonderful to see how creative energy throughout life has led you into photography. Great story, thanks so much for sharing with us.

Sylvia - Great story, you’ve accomplished a lot and have much to be proud of!

Lori - Thank you for sharing! It’s nice to get to know people you may want to work with!

Steve Lewis - Sweet! Maybe when you’re done with your features on your life, you’ll have enough info to begin your best selling book on your path to photography!

Tara Colburn - I was really hoping for some photos from an awkward stage of your life, so I could feel better about mine (super skinny w/ glasses & braces, yay!)but no such luck! You look/looked great and thank you for sharing part of your journey with us!

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