Although blogging is always one of my constant goals, and this year is no different, it can sometimes be a little bit of a stretch to stay on top of finding time to write. But even in finding that time to write, I do find that it’s a little easier to love on my beautiful brides and clients than get too personal on my own life.
That said, you may recall I wrote a horrid little blog earlier this year sharing some of my personal goals for all to see. If you missed it, that’s wonderful ( 😉 just kidding) you can find it here if you’d like to catch up. 😉 One of the things that I didn’t mention specifically but have wanted to incorporate is wanting to be a bit more personal on occasion with my blogging. Both with us as a studio and myself as a business owner….So this blog begins yet more craziness in my life. Welcome.
A question I often get is ‘how did you know you wanted to be a wedding photographer?’ or ‘how did you get started as a wedding photographer?’. So that is what I am going to attempt to answer in this little blog today. Que epic music…
Not really, we don’t actually need the epic music. Currently I’m plugged into my Pandora classical radio station actually laughing thinking about my life and what it is that I get to do for a vocation. Most of you know that my grandmother was a professional wedding photographer for many, many years. You can read a little about that on the website and I’ve blogged about her before as well. My love of photography, without a doubt, came from her. She had a love of people that I’ve never seen matched in anyone I’ve ever known. She was such a beautiful person and I’m so grateful for all the years of love we shared together. She taught me about light set ups, and meter readings, and looking at images upside down because that’s how medium format film cameras worked. Far more than all that she taught me how to love brides, to be enthralled with their detail choices and love stories. She taught me to love the person before the photograph, and that is the greatest lesson she shared, I’m sure. She also taught me how to carry bags for the ‘real’ photographers…. 🙂
After many years of studying and learning and growing, I was very much caught by the love of photography.
Then came life. And digital cameras. Bleh. And film was expensive and digital was bad and the whole set up seemed a little out of reach for someone who wasn’t ever going to pursue a photography career anyway…
My cameras were getting old and in need of repair. My last time using my beautiful film 35 Canon was hiking the Nepali Coastline in Hawaii… I filled every frame with those amazing images filled with memories and when I went to pull the film, I realized that the camera had eaten every last bit of it. That’s it, I was so done. It’s humor filled now to think of a time without a camera but it was actually a long season.
I’m not really sure what called me back to wanting a camera but I started researching what existed in technology at the time and after a very long wait, (probably not that long in reality but once I wanted it I wanted it quickly) I got my first digital SLR. I’ll never forget sitting in my living room with a MUCH younger friend trying to figure out what was wrong with my new camera and why everything I shot turned out blue. She calmly said, “oh, your white balance is off….” I’m sorry, my what??
For those non-photography minded friends in my life, white balance doesn’t exist in film cameras only in digital and it was, how shall I put it? A whole new world. I quickly became obsessed with photography again remembering all of my old love and joy sitting in bushes and creating portraits of flowers.
I was still whole hardheartedly not going to be a professional photographer. Although, perhaps on the outside it has a little bit of a ‘glamour’ look and feel, the world of professional photography, having seen it first hand, I knew quite well how much work it takes and I had no desire.
Slowly we entered a season of life where I felt like everyone I knew was now asking me to do portraits for them and how much did I charge and blah blah…. It happened so quickly I’m not even sure what happened honestly. But I do know where everything changed and what genuinely hooked me. I photographed a wedding.
I was sitting with a group of West Palm Beach wedding vendors the other day and we were having a conversation about weddings, and photography in general. Someone said, “you either love weddings or you hate them, there is no in between”. This is absolutely accurate.
There is a pace to a wedding day that is insane, hard to explain actually. You hit a wedding day as a photographer and run sometimes for 16 hours straight. All the while carrying extremely heavy photography gear. During this time, your goal is to hopefully be creating images the bride and groom are going to treasure for the rest of their lives. All while in lighting you have little control over and in the midst of 200 family and friends who are coming at you and your team from every angle.
I dig it. Seriously, I’m laughing right now and strangers are staring at me. I just dig it.
I feel like when a bride trusts me to capture her love story in a moment like that, on days like those, that’s incredible trust. That’s like friends navigating an adventure together that is insane, all to create something that we have no second chance at. It’s epic. Weddings are epic.
I also cry during ballets and hold my breath when ice skaters do triple axles… I personally think life is epic.
So… this has been an extremely long and very personal sounding blog post that shares a little more of my heart which, of course, is always a little scary over this here computer screen. But part of moving from southern California to South Florida is about making friends and that involves sharing my heart. And as a wedding photographer, part of finding the perfect brides is about being who I am so we can either click over endless cups of coffee and have epic wedding adventures or well… let’s just go with yes. 😉
Thanks to the lovely Jenna Lynn for the images of myself. And yes, I know, it’s time for a current family photo….