Cashman Composition Photography: Telling a Story through a Lens

What do you want to be when you grow up? “Huh, good question”, many people say…..Why is that? Why is that such a “good” question…why is it so hard to answer?

HELLO!!!!! Life isn’t one straight line. It takes you on many twists and turns and you never know which direction you’ll be pulled. It’s what keeps life interesting, right?

Believe me….5 years ago, no one would’ve guessed—hmm I think we’ll be in the middle of a pandemic right now— when asked where they saw themselves in 5 years.

When I was growing up, I had a dream of becoming an author. I absolutely loved the world of fantasy fiction in young adult novels. Back in 1998, my mother introduced me to my FAVORITE series involving a wizard, a school, and a cupboard under the stairs.

Can you guess which one yet?? Yep, Harry Potter! (Fun Fact: Did you know that today is his birthday?)

I’ve read and re-read those books, you can tell my collection is well loved by the multiple dog eared pages from cover to cover. The details of names, places, spells, classes, and more blew me away.

Seeing as I was only 6 years old when the books came out… my mom read the first two books to my older sister and I. Then we read the rest on our own and waited eagerly each summer for the release of each new epic tale.

My mom and I share a bond of loving stories filled with magic. Her favorite is Lord of the Rings! (Check below for our visit to the Hobbiton movie set in New Zealand….our favorite worlds colliding into one.)

We ended up each getting our first tattoo on my 25th birthday. I have three stars on my right wrist— a prominent symbol in the Harry Potter universe (if you’ve read the books).

They are stamped on the corner of each page of every single book. I adored having a literary meaning behind our tattoo because these adventures opened me up to the world of reading and writing.

When I entered first grade, my exact quote to my teacher was, “I don’t read and I don’t write…” Shoutout to Ms. Coyle if you are reading this. She helped change my mind and guided me to love the world of literature!

Reading made me think, hmmm if these authors can create their own magical places…why can’t I? I started keeping journals and jotting down characters and their stories whenever inspiration struck.

It was a favorite pastime of mine to churn out a piece of fiction when I would visit my grandparents, pre cell phone days! (Pssssttt….) did you know millennials didn’t always have technology 24/7?!? It’s often a common misconception. We had to get creative by writing plays, playing dress up, brainstorming up a game of house, and other fun imaginative games.

My grandfather would always say, “Can you write me a story?” And I would be happy to oblige. I’m a history buff too and loved learning about the revolutionary war. So I crafted a story that involved an elementary school student who had a neighbor who loved inventing things.

This character created a time machine that she could use for school projects and travel back in time for a first hand experience. She stumbled upon Paul Revere, George Washington, and many other notable names from that era. I titled it “Blast from the Past”. It was then turned into a small hardcover book that we had published in 4th grade as a school project.

An original plan I had was to study history at Endicott College. However, I decided that journalism was similar enough and switched majors….it was just history in the making! Plus, it tossed my love of writing into the mix. I had the opportunity to intern one semester as a feature writer for the Connecticut Post. My favorite article I worked on covered an event that the Essex Steam Train hosted—Passengers from the Past.

Guys…you won’t believe who I interviewed!!!!!!!!! Here’s a hint…he wrote a very important proclamation and was born in Kentucky. He was also known for being honest….that’s right, Honest Abe!!!!!! Or at least the actor who portrayed Abraham Lincoln, that’s the next best thing right? They’re basically like Disney princesses at Disney World and know everything about the role they’re playing.

Once the article was written, I boarded the locomotive and had the opportunity to hang out with Abe and Mary Todd Lincoln. That little girl who wrote Blast from the Past would’ve been so proud that I got to do this professionally.

Over the years, my forms of writing have shifted from scribbling pages on a diary to writing for the news, to marketing. I currently help local entrepreneurs grow their businesses online through creative copy, graphic design for marketing materials and advice on how to get your name out there on the web (aka brand awareness).

I love doing this because I’m almost like a fairy godmother to others whom are looking to grow their passions themselves.

I much prefer the creative flow of marketing and helping small businesses— the backbone of the community. There’s less tragedy to witness and more magic involving my skills to help reach the right audiences.

This brings me to my number one form of writing—photography! You might think, wait!!! That’s not writing…that’s pictures. Not the same thing…. Trust me, photography is writing. My favorite quote that I have on my website and my business cards is, “Photography is the story I fail to put into words”-Destin Sparks.

I thought, wow… this was so fitting considering how much I have shape-shifted as writer. Short stories, journalism, marketing and now photography. This quote even helped me reach the name for my passion—Cashman Composition Photography.

An extensive search through many different photography terms lead me to my name. My intention was to have something that was alliterative with my last name. I almost went with Cashman Captures, but then the word composition and its definition jumped out at me.

Composition is the use of angles, placement of objects, control of light and other elements that you purposefully arrange to tell a story of a photograph. It’s a way to put the viewer of a photograph into your shoes as if they’ve jumped into the scene themselves.

Of course as a writer I loved the tell a story aspect of the term and that’s how the name Cashman Composition came to be. My writing has weaved through a variety of forms and I can’t be happier that I’ve found my favorite!

I’m excited to share the composition of me—my background and details of my life that have brought me to where I am today. I hope it inspires you to find and compose your passion as well. Do you have one? I’d love it if you shared with me!

I thank each and every one of you who give feedback on my photography. It always means the world to me. Stay tuned for my first Milford Monday this week! I will be posting two interviews with local entrepreneurs about their origin stories in a few short days.

If you have any questions you would love to ask business owners about their journey or have a particular business owner you'd like featured, reach out to me!

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