Gateway PhotoArtistry™ (http:/​/​www.​gatewayphotoartistry.​com) officially opened it’s virtual doors on October 15, 2011, making a dream come true for me, Gena Buskirk-Ford, photographer and writer.

When I was 12, my mom gave me my first camera, and I started writing poetry at age 14, but for various reasons, I didn't pursue either solely as a career. Instead, I entered the publicity and marketing communications field using my photography and writing skills in the corporate world.

As a believer in Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, I try to follow His guidance and in 2006, He impressed on me to start using photography as a vocation. Four years later, at age 46, I finally took the plunge and started putting the pieces together to pursue a photography career, but I was to find out later that I needed to add another part of my creativity to set myself apart from the competition.

God used my photography to communicate a personal message to me. The "Gateway" photograph in my logo was something He prodded me to take one evening. A week later, God pointed me to Psalm 65:8, "And they who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Thy signs; Thou dost make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy." In the original photo, a padlock and a chain locked the gate. I had chosen to lock myself out from God fully blessing me.

A couple of weeks later, on June 1, 2011, I "unlocked" the gate in the depth of my soul, and walked confidently through the "gateway" to become the person God intended me to be receiving His joy and peace.

On that day, I also decided to follow my dream to become a professional photographer and poet. Without a doubt, the name of the business would be Gateway PhotoArtistry™. When I officially launched it with an art exhibit on October 15, 2011, I sold several art pieces -- primarily those with poetry. It's miraculous what God will do when we obey His leading and believe He truly wants the best for us.

I believe God communicates His character and His principles in the details of His creation. My ultimate goal is to draw attention to God's "details" using my photography and poetry. "Pho-etry," combining my talent to photograph with my ability to write poetry, started out as just a gift for my friend's 40th birthday. Taking one of my pictures, I wrote "Music This Side of Heaven." After creating other "pho-etry" artwork pieces like "Peace" and "Forest Veil," my friends started telling me that people would buy them. Here was my niche - my poetry combined with my photography would set me apart from the competition.

God has blessed me with the eye for photography and the perceptiveness for poetry. With a tremendous amount of help, support and sacrifice from my husband, my kids, my extended family, and some dedicated friends, Gateway PhotoArtistry™ has come to fruition. I pray the creative gifts He intended me to use to bring Him glory will bless you and "speak to your heart."

Thank you for reading "My Story" and enjoy visiting my Gateway PhotoArtistry™ website!