Ah, yes, the question frequently asked by many clients and friends alike. Sometimes they throw in their anxieties about the job being stressful (“it’s someone’s WEDDING!”), or that wedding photographers charge a lot (“It must be a great way to make money!” – Pro tip: If you want to make any portrait photographer laugh and cry at the same time, say this).
Sit, let me explain why I chose the path of a wedding photographer.
As a natural creative, my heart was always in art and design. Even as a kid in art classes, I gravitated toward drawing people, for some reason it’s always fascinated me. So I guess it was only natural that I was drawn to photographing people.
I picked up a camera and learned kinesthetically (ie: pushing buttons and studying my results). I took a formal photography class in high school, and found the technical approach to be limiting… So much to remember (f-stops, ISO, shutter speed, what?), granted we were using film cameras, and in order to get a good exposure you need to know your stuff.
But for me, weddings require so much more than technical knowledge. Yes! You absolutely must know your camera like the back of your hand. You need to know it in every situation possible and on the fly, because you never know what will happen next. You can’t be great at just one photography niche either (like, just great at documentary photography, or portrait photography, or details). You are the whole package, baby. You have to be a master generalist, sharp technicalist (I made that word up, just go with it), and truly mountains over all of that; emotionally intelligent. You have to read people, emotions, and anticipate. You are going to read people and know what they will do, say, or emote next.
So yeah, it’s scary being a wedding photographer. Do you know how many dreams I’ve had (literally) about my camera being lost or stolen, or my computer crashing with all of my life’s work on it (I back them up, but still…), or being sick, or my camera breaking/freezing/malfunctioning?! Why not throw myself in a profession that stresses normal people out, let alone a natural-born worrier!? I live on the edge, people! So why do I still do it? Because I love love. Paint me a Nicholas Sparks junkie, but I love watching people in genuine love. And I want them to see how beautiful they look living it.
When I stop and think about why I shoot love portraits – and weddings in particular –it’s not about the people at all. It’s about the moment. The emotion. The feelings. I look at my personal wedding photos, and remember the exact way I felt that day.
I always say, if I can make my bride (or groom) cry when they see their photos, I’ve done my job. Hell, if I’m not crying at my clients wedding, I’m not doing my job! I want my clients to feel emotion – the exact emotion of the “happiest day” of their life. I want to take photos that get couples through their inevitable rough times because they were able to remember how they once felt about the person laying next to them.
When two people fall in love, it’s beautiful. When a family falls in love, well, there are no words.
I can’t begin to describe in words how beautiful this day was, the photos below and this awesome video will speak to it’s awe. But the best part of the day, were the tears of joy by all of the families and friends (myself included!) as we watched the formation of a family.
The venue and grounds of Storybrook Farms were breathtaking. The bridal party got ready in the expansive house. There were so many great rooms and spaces within the mansion, and endless outdoor spaces. The ceremony took place just outside of the mansion on a cobblestone patio filled with rustic antique chairs overlooking the farm and vineyard. This perfect evening ended with the dream reception filled with delicious food, sweets, and great music. Kyla + Matt thought of every detail, and reflected their style and creativity.
Thank you again to Kyla + Matt, and your delightful girls, for letting me be a part of your day, and being fantastic clients and friends. Congratulations, and cheers to a happily ever after.
2nd Photographer: Ashley Doedens // Venue: Storybrook Farm // Wedding Planner: Lilac and Lace // Videography: Solefire Films // Catering: Skillet Street Food, Sub-Zero Ice Cream // Floral Design: Contemporary Floral // Decor: Vintage Ambiance, Seattle Farm Tables // Cake: Mike’s Amazing Cakes // Entertainment: Otto-Matic Mobile Music // Makeup/MUA: Off White Seattle
Tri-Cities has quite the views in summer evenings. The sunsets are always to die for, and makes “golden hour” (aka the hour or so before sunset) that much more amazing.
Last year my client’s session got rained out for the 2nd location, so we were able to reshoot and I think this location and lighting worked out even better than they would have if it hadn’t rained.
Sometimes, things just happen for a reason!
2014 is officially out, and it’s another year in the books for this crazy ride in life. I am SO pleased with 2014 and all of the wonderful things I was able to achieve professionally, and I thank all of those friends and family members who helped make it happen!
I’d like to take a look back at 2014 and how many of my goals were met.
These goals were great milestones I feel that helped me professionally grow myself and my business in this banner year. It’s a great foundation that’s allowed me to hone and define the projects I love, and the projects I enjoy, but maybe not as much as the others. It’s been a year of really finding my niche and style, and what I really want to photograph as an artist.
I’ve got some exciting news for 2015. I will be expanding in the Seattle market, and with it, opening up a studio space! This will allow for some great work space for the questionable Seattle and Pacific Northwest weather. My husband is not as excited, because that means I get to have more of an excuse to buy more props (that we have to store), but it will be great for my clients. I will have space for working, storing gear and props, MEETING WITH CLIENTS!, and have multiple and versatile spaces for shooting!
So what are my top 5 goals for 2015? Let’s take a look:
Thanks for your support! In reading this, I know you care about what I’ve been working so hard to create. Special thanks goes to: my hubby for putting up with my crazy work hours (like taking a session on Thanksgiving Day!) and making room for all of my gear in our ever-shrinking condo, my parents and family for their avid promotion and support, Christina, Marcus + Maxwell, Raquel + Lissette, Amanda + Jay, Lily + Mateo, Vanessa and SessaVee, Ashley Doedens, Nicholas Petrilli Studios, Adrian Rodriquez, Grecia Rodriquez, Donnie + Jasmine, The Sanchez Family, Kyla + Matt, Dick Danger Productions, Chrissie + The Yoga Tree of Tri-Cities, Lourdes + Nicole, Rosanna + Mimi, Brianne + Alani, Linda, the Tri Cities Cancer Center, and the Domingue Family. (Wow! That’s a lot of people :))
I hope you have a 2015 full of happiness, joy, and success. I personally can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store!
So who’s ready to book some 2015 weddings and photo shoots?! 🙂
A few of my favorite photos from 2014:
I had the joy of photographing a long time friend’s maternity photos, and now had the opportunity to photograph baby C’s debut in this world. He is absolutely beautiful, and I am so happy for this new little family.
Such a lovely family. Dont’cha think?