Covering the K-Love Fan Awards Weekend, Part 1 - Background

There have been so many things that have happened in the past year that are so big I couldn't even dream that high. This one was especially amazing, mostly because of a part of my past I've almost forgotten about.

I grew up around music. My brothers, who are nine and ten years older than me, started a garage band in their early teens. I started piano lessons when I was around six or seven. My mom always sang in the church choir and I sang in both church and school choirs from a young age.

As a teenager, maybe 14 or 15 years old, I picked up a guitar. My brother gave me his old 12-string. (Fun fact... DON'T learn how to tune a guitar on a 12-string. It will scar you for life.) He showed me some simple chords, taught me a few ear-training basics, and let me go. 

I never heard of anyone taking guitar lessons back then. I know it was done, but since guitar was an "easy" instrument, I learned how to play on my own. I had a book of chord fingerings and that was it. Remember that this was before the age of computers so online classes weren't even something one imagined.

However, I practiced and practiced and practiced. Once I got some basic skills down, I started writing songs. (Note that I later showed some to a professional songwriter and he said they were pretty good. But for various reasons, I didn't pursue that idea.)

I was also super-religious during this time. Contemporary Christian music was in its early stages and I would set an alarm in order to listen to the few hours of this new style of gospel music that would only hit the airwaves on Saturday nights.

Needless to say, I was obsessed. I went to every Contemporary Christian concert I could afford and even met some of the band members in my favorite band. I dreamed of one day playing in a band or being a solo act. In fact, I had someone tell me once that I was going to be the new Amy Grant.

Not much later, I took my obsession on a different route - behind the scenes. I learned how to run sound, ran it for church and a few bands, and even took some classes in college, planning to go into sound engineering as a career.  

However, I got older and my dreams of going on the road with a band faded. I did spend a couple of years as a professional audio engineer at a TV station before leaving to go back to college full-time.

As the years passed, I would still play guitar or keyboard or run sound at churches I went to through the years, but I dropped the idea of doing it professionally.

I still loved the music, though.

Imagine my complete surprise when in late March 2023, one of my contacts who pitches me interview possibilities in the Christian music field emailed me something unusual. It was an invitation for Novel Photos to shoot the Red Carpet event for the K-Love Fan Awards.

I dared to hope... was this actually being sent to me? Was it a mistake? After a quick check online for a little research about the event and after checking my calendar, I replied that my husband/photography partner and I would love to. 

I had also boldly taken a chance and asked if we could shoot any of the concerts throughout the weekend prior to the awards. 

It only took about a week to hear back (though it felt like a year). The concerts were already covered but we got a green light to shoot the Red Carpet event before and media room appearances during the awards.

Even though we didn't get the full weekend, my husband and I were still hyped and started making arrangements.

Then, about a week ago, after we had already made lodging reservations and my husband had taken off work for the day after the awards, we got another surprise email. We had been approved to shoot the full weekend!

We had to scramble to make arrangements for the addition to our trip, but loved every minute of it.

(Part 2 coming soon.)


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