Writer turned Photographer, Telling my Story through Photos (How Cashman Composition Came to Be)

Sometimes you want to curse out the blinking cursor for intimidating you when you have writers block right? But sometimes the hardest part is just to start…. That’s when the words and stories begin flowing from your fingertips.


Oftentimes people are afraid to begin their own blog, because they think— Is it good enough? Will people care? What business do I have telling my own story?


Trust me, you’re not alone. These thoughts swirled in my head even though I grew up writing fictional stories and have experience writing for the news. Not to mention, pictures are worth a thousand words— so I tell stories with photographs everyday.


Hence, the name of my business—Cashman COMPOSITION Photography. But, we'll get to more on that later on how I came up with this name to describe my passion.


Here’s a quick sidetrack for you…We all know that superhero movies are all the rage… I couldn’t be happier about it! I absolutely love the good vs. bad stories, kick ass fight scenes, love stories, and a great mix of comedy and darkness which roll into a great recipe for blockbuster movies.

I’m that girl who geeked out in the audience while jumping up and down in my seat with excitement...I couldn't believe it... I had the highest honor to be in the same vicinity as the man, the myth, the legend: Stan Lee. This hyperventilation unraveled at BookCon in New York City. Fun fact—I’m a huge nerd!




(PAUSE!) Why the heck is this girl rambling on about superheroes and Stan Lee? Aren’t we supposed to be talking photography here?!?! Stick with me…I promise this IS going somewhere.

One thing that shapes the development of a superhero character are their origin stories. Which got me thinking—hmmm entrepreneurs are similar to superheroes. You definitely must possess superpowers to run your own business. We all started somewhere… so what’s our own origin story? This is exactly what inspired me to begin my own blog and reach out to others who have gone down this path. You never know the interesting stories you'll find out behind a passion!


Entrepreneurs have often taken many twists and turns to get the point where they are today. If life had a GPS telling you where to go, it would often shout, “RECALCULATING!!!!”


We might want to bypass the detour and ignore "Life’s GPS", but that would just cause more obstacles for us… whether we’re looking back or trying to force ourselves into another direction we thought we were going in.

Trust me, you want to listen to the recalculations. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and a setback is pushing you in the right direction rather than pushing you behind. You might trip and fall, but at least that brings you forwards, not backwards. No matter how we might stumble…it’s better than turning around and returning to a place that’s comfortable.

If you need further inspiration, go check out the song by Darius Rucker—This. “Maybe it didn't turn out like I planned. Maybe that's why I'm such, such a lucky man.” The catchy tune is all about learning when one door closes, another one opens.

That phrase right there is exactly what brought me to photography. I had my own country song kind of year back in 2016. I was fresh out of college with my first job working in a news station and in one of my first serious relationships! Then suddenly everything started falling apart….

It was a year of serious change for me. Right on the brink of entering adulthood. I was lucky enough that nothing terrible happened in my relationship, but we ended up growing apart after 4 years of a long distance relationship in college. So we ended up breaking things off. We knew each other in high school and had the same friends groups. So it was hard figuring out where I was going to fit in.


Luckily, my friends were super supportive and always there when I needed to talk. Back then I tended to hide my feelings and only share with a few people.


It wasn’t that I was super sad about ending the relationship…it was just tough knowing where my place was and so much change while transitioning from something that was comfortable into a new direction with my GPS yelling recalculating every two seconds!

I was also laid off from my first dream job of being a journalist…. Then to top that off my German Shepherd—Kelly— started having hip problems at 14 years old.


She was one of my grandmother’s dogs puppies that was around for a big chunk of my childhood. We ended up having to put her to sleep which was extremely heart breaking, but comforting knowing she wasn’t in pain anymore.

Thankfully, we still had my rescue terrier mix, Beau. He got sad without his partner in crime and ended up going blind. We thought it was just old age…until we found out he had a tumor. He ended up joining his buddy over the rainbow bridge 6 months later.




During my country year of a song, I found that walks in nature boosted my mood. So I took these often. Occasionally I captured the magic of nature and shared on social media. I received some good feedback and continued to share my happiness with others.




I even entered a contest that an actor turned photographer hosted—Keegan Allen. He was giving away some camera gear and had people enter the contest with their photographs on Instagram.

He uses the hashtag—#thisforeverland to show the beauty of the world through his photographs. This in turn created a community for other photographers to show the beauty of the world around them through their own eyes. I didn’t win the contest. (But I felt I did… in a way… personally.) For the contest, I shared a picture of a silhouette of an osprey nest with a gorgeous colored sky backdrop in Cape Cod.




I received some compliments on the photo and even had a request for a print so they can hang it in their room. (Huge shoutout to my cousin Kelsey for boosting my confidence!) I thought— wow. People actually want to see these photos…I can do this!

My next step was to create my own Instagram page surrounding my passion for photography. I absolutely love my hometown and all of the charming places we have.


It’s a place filled with whimsical events like the rubber duck race, Christmas tree lighting, craft fairs, and of course who can forget Pirates Day! It’s always a great story to tell people that you have a supposedly haunted island with cursed treasure on it! (Argh Matey!)


So, this caused me to center my pictures around the small city with a big heart that I’ve grown up in all my life. I coined the term milfordography (Milford and photography together) and threw CT in front of it so people wouldn’t get confused as to which Milford.


At first I didn’t share any pictures of myself or put my name on it. But then slowly I started to put pictures of myself along with pictures of nature, Milford, and other towns in CT and some of my travels.




I wanted to share my childlike wonder that nature brought out in me . This is what I want to give to others who might have be feeling blue like I was during that country song of a year. Nature always felt like and still does feel like magic to me….It’s like I’ve stepped into my favorite fiction page turners I hungrily read when I was growing up.




My goal with my pictures is to portray the joy I feel in an enchanting place through a moment captured in time. When I snap my Nikon I want people to feel as if they've stepped into these storybook lands that I discover. I want to help others return to their own childlike wonder. So feel free to journey along with me in discovering magical places and experience it through my lens!


Stay tuned for some future blogs to learn how I came up with my photography name, some behind the scenes of my favorite photographs, and my travels around the world! I will also be featuring Milford Monday blogs to share local entrepreneurs’ origin stories and the passions behind their business.


A quote that keeps me persevering through change on this journey called life, “Life is like a camera. Just focus on what's important and capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don't work out, just take another shot.”




Thanks for reading! Feel free to email me or send me a message on questions you might have for me that you’d like to be answered! Thanks to all who support my passion!!!

0 views
  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Pinterest Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon

© 2018 by  Dina Cashman. Proudly created with Wix.com