Hey friend! Did you notice I use "friend" a lot on my site & social media? It's because I truly consider you my friend. To be honest, most of you reading this probably know me personally & we already are friends. Some of you may remember, but I used to blog about 7 years ago. I have definitely missed it. Words, along with photography, have always been a release and art form for me. I've been interested in photography since I was a toddler. A polaroid was my first experience with a camera, we're talking old school here. You know, taking the picture and watching as nothing slowly turned into something. Ahhh yes.

If you don't know me, hi! I'm Mindy. I live in Indianapolis, near the Geist Reservoir. I've been married to my husband for 10 years this April. We were actually best friends in middle school (still are, obvs), so we've known each other for 21 years. However, we didn't get together until we were in college. It's an incredible love story of learning, grace, & patience. If we are doing a session together, please feel free to ask me about it because I'll definitely be asking about your love story :) I was born in Virginia, but raised in Indiana. Chocolate, wine, coffee, and pizza are acceptable food groups in my world. I'll listen to anything by Coldplay and 90s music is my fave, but my playlist goes from country to rap in a hot second. I won't drop money on clothes, shoes, makeup, hair, or nails, but I'll throw down money to travel in heartbeat. I love it! I'm a huge fan of minimalism and all things clean. The Office is life and so is anything true crime (I like to think I was a detective in my past life)! Anyway, I graduated from Purdue University in December of 2012 with a BS in Public Health, and then in May 2016 I graduated from Colorado State University with a Masters in Adult Education & Training. Health is my other passion, and one day I'll figure out a way to combine these two passions of mine into an ultimate dream job!

After graduating from Purdue, we moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. I hated it at first, but I fell in love eventually. Here is where I received my first "real" camera. I mostly took pictures of chile ristras (IFYKYK), old architecture, landscape, plants, and my cats ha! It really felt so natural to have a camera in my hands, but I never gave too much thought about making it into anything. In 2015, my husband took a job at Google so our next stop was San Jose, California. I had a lot of time on my hands here, so blogging & taking pictures became a way to pass the time. I decided I was ready to upgrade my camera and learn how to use it properly. I invested in a local photography class and bought courses from some of my favorite photographers, watched A LOT of Youtube, and practiced until I was confident in my skills. It felt so right! A photography business seemed like a possibility. However, we were in our late 20s and I had always thought I would have all of my kids by 30...and well we hadn't even started. Little did I know that we would struggle to get pregnant for 2 years. Most of our time in California was dedicated to me feeling alone, being sad, angry, frustrated, and at a fertility clinic. This is something I'm totally open about. It's very common and if you need someone to talk to, please reach out to me! Fast forward to 2018, we finally became pregnant and we decided that we should move back closer to home. My husband applied for two jobs, one in North Carolina (our dream state) and one in Indiana. Well you can guess which job he got :) I was 6 months pregnant driving across country, camera still in hand, and then we had our first baby in November 2018. She was the perfect model to take pictures of! Eventually, I had friends and family asking me to take pictures for them and they even paid me to. I thought to myself "I could really do this photography business thing." BUT there was taking care of a newborn/toddler (with a rare food allergy), then we bought a house, did some renovations, and life just kind of moved forward.

In the back of my mind, starting a photography business was still there. At one point, I went all in and prayed for God to bring me X amount of clients to help me determine if this was really my path. You guys, it happened and I mean in a matter of minutes. Ok great, there was my sign. Then I posted my first ad for paid sessions...and crickets. Nothing. I saw other photographers who were charging more than me and maybe not on the same skill level getting clients (good for them, seriously) and that's when doubt crept in, comparison took place, and imposter syndrome got real. I threw that dream out right then and there, and got off of all social media. I was crushed and angry. Any time photography peeked it's head up, I shoved it back down. Before I knew it 2020 was here. I was pregnant for the second time, unexpectedly, which was way different than our first go around with fertility. A couple of weeks later, I would suffer a miscarriage. A week after that miscarriage, we found out that my mother-in-law had a terminal brain tumor. Then a week or two later, the world would literally shut down from the pandemic. Now listen, I'm not here for sympathy because I seriously believe we ALL suffered, no matter how many things you went through during this time. I'm just giving some back story.

In April of 2020, we lost my mother-in-law, who was absolutely one of my biggest supporters. She was one of the few who really believed in me and encouraged me to go after my dream. She was a fellow creative (& marketer). We would ride around and take photos, she would tell strangers that I did photography and low-key try to recruit clients, and encourage me to reach out to other photographers. She and I had a very special bond, and I thank God every day that He gave me the in-laws that I have. Losing her, a baby, and still dealing with COVID (well into 2021) was just a recipe for no motivation and weight gain. Eventually, I came out of that bubble and I could see some light. I started focusing on my physical health and I was being asked again for photos, most of which I did for free, and I even shot my first wedding. Slowly, that old familiar feeling of excitement came back, but I was still too disappointed. I know I drove my husband crazy because I would literally say that I know this is God's plan for me so I know I need to do it, but I'm too scared, and what if? We probably had that conversation a hundred times. In November 2021, I was pregnant for the third time. This pregnancy was rough. I was so sick and being in my 30s and pregnant just felt harder than it did even a few years prior. Our second daughter decided to show up early in July 2022! And ever since, I've been trying to adjust to life with two kids (nervous laughter).

If you've made it this far, I know this is long. Bear with me, I'm wrapping up! 2023 is here and something feels different. I told my husband I feel a shift. I've always prided myself for my instincts and intuition. After so much loss and uncertainty over these last few years, I feel the need to move, to dream, to live, and to do. I'm very type A. I'm a perfectionist. I plan EVERYTHING. I will question everything to death. I have pro & con lists. I will almost always find reasons not to do something. Of course, I have done that with regard to starting this photography business. Do I still have doubts? Yep. Do I still compare myself to other photographers? Absolutely. Do I still have imposter syndrome? Uh, yeah. But I'm trying to let go of all that and trust that this is where God has put me. I'm all in.

As of February 27, 2023 Mindy Whetsel Photography is an LLC. It took me long enough and I have a lot of work to do, but I truly feel like this is God driven. My hope is to "stop" precious moments in time and serve you with beautiful photos. Here's to seeing how this all works out (raising up my air glass)!

See you behind the camera soon, friend!

*Dedicated to Hannah*