Get in the photos
Abby Watkins lives a very full life in which she prioritizes family. “Life’s too short to sweat the small stuff,” Watkins exclaimed. As a professional photographer, jazzercise instructor, wife, and mom to three kids, two dogs, and three cats, Watkins has perspective about how precious life is and how fast time flies. “Grab those special moments that fly by, take a deep breath, and look around; embrace the moment,” Watkins passionately said.
Watkins’ perspective on life was likely influenced by losing her dad when she was only 25 and when her husband Jim had a traumatic brain injury playing ice hockey. He fully recovered, but it changed the trajectory of their lives. Watkins spoke tearfully of her pride in him and said, “There are times in relationships when you’re tested, but we became closer.”
The teaching degree Watkins earned has come in handy in her photography career over the last 11 years, especially when she needs to bring people out of their shells with questions, songs and laughter. Watkins acknowledged that cameras make many people feel vulnerable and exposed. “Especially women,” Watkins said, “who often struggle with being comfortable.”
Watkins advised, “Just get in the photo. What if something happens tomorrow? You’ll never be more young and beautiful than you are now!” A client thanked Watkins for insisting she get in one photo with a loved one. The client had excuses about not being in the photo at the time but is now grateful to have the cherished photo.
Watkins and her husband, Jim, moved into their newly-built home in The Canyons neighborhood just a few months ago and are living their dream of returning to the area after spending years in another state. Watkins kept returning for recurring clients and asked her friend and realtor about moving back. The process went smoothly and quickly. “It’s everything we could ever want; it’s perfect.”
A dancer from a young age, Watkins found her way back to dance after having kids by becoming a Jazzercise instructor. With energetic enthusiasm, Watkins exclaimed, “Jazzercise is so much fun and truly is the fountain of youth!” The family loves to hike, camp, ski and mountain bike (most of them anyway). Jim coaches the boys’ ice hockey teams and continues to play himself. Their daughter has taken an interest as well which means they are at the ice rink nearly ten times a week. “My amazing husband bought me a heated seat!” Watkins said laughingly.
By Lisa Nicklanovich; photos courtesy of Abby Watkins