I photographed my first wedding on a D80 with a kit lens with Brian, a friend of mine, almost 11.5 years ago. From what I remember it was a small wedding with a ceremony in Cedar Hill and their portraits taken down in Cordova Bay. From that point, seeing the bride’s smile, I thought this whole thing is straight magic. And it has been. I’m pretty certain that I could see one photo from all these weddings and portrait sessions and remember much of it. It is certainly a love and passion.
I’ve photographed a lot of couples since then and much like my life some people have separated but even when I was going through their photos I can’t help but reminisce about their days. Maybe things have changed and there are a whole gamut of feelings (some good and some bad) but I feel that this is part of why photographs are important. Feelings, much like memories, do fleet sometimes and that’s why your photographers try to capture them. It’s a snapshot of a time and weddings are meant to be joyous. Meant to stir up a brief brief time
Over the past 10+ years I figure I’ve shot somewhere around 90+ weddings and made some amazing friends that have included me not in just their wedding day but also their lives. There are those that I run into at music festivals and hug it out and dance all night, or out grocery shopping casually sending a wave, or have been invited over for appies and drinks on Christmas Eve. There have been some weddings where the couples were relatively quiet and then those that were outright rambunctious and everything in between. I’ve had couples that were shy and then couples that wanted some pictures of themselves just as they were born, in the buff. I’ve been to weddings that were subdued and others that I’ve literally been the last person on the dance floor with the bride during a crazy night.
I’m going to write this post honestly.
I’ve spent thousands of hours invested into this side career while I was also a husband, a father and full time marine electrician. In hindsight it definitely was something that took over much of my “free” time, often late at night or on Saturdays and caused a lot of disruption and conflict with my family during my busiest about 3-4 years ago. Photography itself becomes an obsession and when people come to me and ask “what can I do to be a better photographer” I always reply simply, “You need to shoot more, photograph all the time.” I’ve spent hundreds of hours reading and viewing blogs, researching camera gear, attending workshops and doing everything I could to hone this craft. Not that this is the answer but it’s addictive and consuming.
I’ve never considered myself to be an artsy person. I’ve always just loved love and wanted to photograph it. It’s been amazing and I’ve learned so many facets of who I am...I’ve learned to come out of my quiet shell and meet new people, learned to be assertive trying to direct large groups, learned to be comfortable dancing (I used to be terrified. Now I realize I’m bad but no one cares), I’ve learned that I’m moderately skilled at photography. It felt great to be recognized for something so much effort and time were invested into.
I am extremely thankful for those first few years and the people that believed in me. Tracey, my ex partner, bought me my first “real camera” and encouraged me although I’m sure it was tough watching the years unfold and me trying to juggle everything at once. I’m thankful for my children, my models, that are now among the most photographed children in the world. To my clients that decided I fit their plan and day and expressed an extreme level of comfort having me be there for absolutely everything, THANK YOU! I’m thankful for the Genesis workshops and the community of close friends that it has become even though hundreds of miles and in some cases oceans separate us. It was fun.
I’m just about to call this journey complete to move on and start to enjoying Saturdays with my children, with my partner Mandy, and hopefully time to see a lot of family in friends during these summer daze. Thank you.
I’ve got so much love for everyone and please don’t hesitate to send a message and drop by to chat.
Here is the evolution of my photography from my very first wedding to my last.
For those looking for a photographer - Pick your favorites. It’s expensive, I know. Meet your photographers and see if they fit you. It will be worth it.
For those that are new to photography - shoot incessantly. Realize that this is an art and sometimes it may just not pay the bills. You are about to start the equivalent of a rock band. Practice. Make sure you are getting paid. Have fun.