New Orleans Wedding Photographer | Something I never expected myself to do |

This morning I did something I never thought I would.

I am an ambitious person, an advocate for women in leadership and someone very driven by success. I have read (and loved) all the books about how women need to lean-in and show up in their careers. I have coached friends through conversations about why they need to take that promotion EVEN if they didn’t think they were “ready.” I myself have moved in to roles and taken risks and pushed myself to heighten my professional career.

I want the universe to know that I will not be tempted away from my dream of being a full time photographer by a shiny new salary, title, or office.

That is why today is so different for me. Today I sent an email to my 9-5 boss and I turned down a promotion.

I often don’t talk here about my day job but I work in educational data. I spent six years as a classroom teacher and for the past two years I have worked with schools and data systems. In my 9-5 role, I run data management systems to ensure students are meeting graduation requirements, analyze testing data, and keep our schools funded through accurate reporting. I am one of few women in New Orleans with my role and I feel pretty badass about the technical and analytical skills I have. I like my day job.

And now this week, I was just offered to expand my reach, my role, my salary, my place in my network. And I said no.

@Chelsea Rousey Photography <3

@Chelsea Rousey Photography <3

I said no because the thing I really want is this. I want to be a photographer. I know my brain space and the extra energy needed to grow my business. And I want the universe to know that I will not be tempted away from my dream of being a full time photographer by a shiny new salary, title, or office.

Today I said yes to my business and made the first official decision to slow my career in education, thus placing any and all extra energy I have on myself, on Kallistia Photography.

So to you, my pack, my people: I hope you understand my choice despite it being counter to advice I may have given to you in the past. I ask, can you get behind my decision?


Kallistia Bilinsky (Tia), is a wedding and elopement photographer based out of New Orleans but travels world wide. She lives for capturing her clients in their most natural state of happy and her specialty is m.png