Tell us about yourself and your company.
My interest in photography began when I was still in high school at around the age of 16 or 17. I spent countless hours losing myself working in wet labs, developing and rolling my own film, and dodging and burning the old fashioned way. Once I graduated, I was able to really start exploring that interest even more and by 2006 I had begun to establish myself as a wedding photographer. Throughout these years, I traveled and moved around quite a bit, and actually ended up meeting my husband on a connecting flight! When it came to planning my own wedding, I knew there would be a lot of energy, time, and money going into it. You don’t really understand how much until you experience it, so having my own wedding only increased the appreciation I have for a wedding day. The importance of a wedding day can never be duplicated and that experience is not something you get to do over, I mean – when else are all the people you and your spouse care the most about going to all be under the same roof at the same time again?! I pride myself on making sure that my photography tells the entire story of your wedding and ensuring that you have fantastic memories to hold onto and reflect upon with your spouse, family, and friends.
How did you find yourself in the wedding industry?
As I mentioned, my interest in photography really began at about 16 or 17, and I was one of those people who always knew that photography was something they wanted to do. Finally at around my senior year in high school (after trying to find a “real career major”) decided that I could make my passion my career! Which of course led to my exploration of photography after I graduated. My aunt is a nature photographer and seeing her success gave me that confidence to do what I needed to do to make it happen. I continued to go to school for photography full time, participated in internships, and then finally to trade school at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara CA. Initially, I thought that commercial advertising and magazine ads was the way I wanted to go… until I photographed my first wedding! Throughout my pursuit of photography, I always had a focus on photographing people. When I started I was working on a career as a commercial photographer with models and production crews, it really worked in my favor when I made the commitment to weddings in 2006. The first wedding I photographed was actually for one of the models I worked with and, after that day, I was hooked!
What inspires you or your work?
Like my taste in music and art, it’s really ALL over the place. I find that I can be inspired by many many things, however, I tend to gravitate towards certain things individually rather than just a general work by someone. Which probably gives me a very unique style. I think I am most inspired by people, friends, art, learning, and nature.
What do you love about working weddings?
I love working with people. I love the buzz of the day, the energy that is going around, and all the happiness and tears. I love when I can see what the bride and groom saw as the vision for their day, and really help make that happen. I love capturing unique moments as they unfold throughout the day. Genuine emotion just can not be faked or recreated… no matter how much you try, you must get it right the first time and be able to anticipate those moments before they happen. Being really fluid with your equipment and experienced with wedding days is where this really pays off.
What’s your favorite part about a wedding?
If they are doing a “first look,” then the “first look” is my favorite part – but it starts with the bride getting dressed. It’s just such a transformation and everyone in the room feels it! The looks on their faces, the brilliance of the wedding gown, her special jewelry/details, and every one of the meaningful aspects they’ve added to make their weeding day uniquely reflective of who they are as a couple. It’s always a buildup which is probably why I love it so much… and that glow lasts the entire day. When her future husband finally gets to see that in her during the “first look”, she gives him a part of that radiance and it changes the way he smiles, how he holds her, and how he carries himself throughout the day. Not to say that is doesn’t happen if they aren’t having a “first look”, it just comes once they do get to see each other. It’s pretty awesome!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your field?
That running a one woman show is HARD. Being a business owner… eating, living, thinking, sleeping, BREATHING this career isn’t something you can do as a hobby or just pick up. To be able to do what I do, and many other wonderful photographers out there, you need to be self motivating and really love what you’re doing.
A good piece of advice for brides and/or grooms to be.
I am sure you’ve heard it before, but get to know your photographer. Keep in touch through email, ask questions, and take them up on that in person meeting to make sure that this is really someone that cares about your wedding and enhancing it. Not giving you something to be upset about on your wedding day… or something to be upset after your wedding day either. Photography is very important. I did not personally get to see all the details or moments that happened on my wedding day, and I know other couples who feel the same way. So looking back on all the photos and seeing how my photographers really captured the best parts of the whole day, immortalizing it the way I wanted to remember it was really special to me. I finally got to see what my table center pieces looked like! :)