The reality of why I do what I do.
I see it all time, especially in my inbox or comments on posts in big groups. Greetings from strangers, and friends alike all expressing that they would “love to get into weddings to make a few extra bucks”. I remember thinking back to when I began this journey, and why I pursued it. A few years ago a friend of mine was going through a pretty rough break-up with a man she thought she would marry. This was a friend who never dwelled on sadness or heartbreak, but when I saw just how devastated she was, I proposed an idea to take a bunch of photos, eat pizza and just have fun. So that’s what we did. I sent her some beautiful photos of herself, and in a moment she had seemed to magically regain this confidence that she had lost somewhere within her. It was that moment that I absolutely fell in love with how images can make a person feel. In contrast to that, I don’t believe in “selling empowerment” or selling “confidence” or marketing tools that cater to how you are “supposed to feel”. I believe in experiences. A few months later I took a job shooting a catalogue, I had borrowed a camera, showed up for the gig, learned as much as I could, and within that process I truly felt connected to what I was doing. When I got the catalogue in print I had this wave of excitement, pride, and serious joy. I had never felt anything like it before, with any other job or hobby I pursued. I became addicted to recreating that feeling for others, and recreating that feeling for myself. I shot my first big wedding, and was so extremely nervous and excited at the same time. I wanted so badly to do an amazing job. I wanted to create an experience for them. I wanted to create an experience of what it was like to work with me. I wanted to be a source of calm & lightheartedness in the chaos. I think in this business, there are two kinds of people. The kind that got into it chasing money, and the kind that got into chasing a feeling, and it’s not too difficult to disguise either. I didn’t pick up a camera thinking I was going to get rich, or even pay my bills. I wanted to create an experience for the people who chose me. Over the past few years I have dedicated each little ounce of energy, and time to invest in myself, to invest in this art, and to invest in this business. I wanted to absorb as much knowledge as I could. The learning never stops, and neither does the investment. I got into this business because I had never felt more connected to a purpose in my life. In reality, it has had its downsides as much as its upsides. A social life becomes obsolete, “Full time” to me isn’t 40 hours a week. It’s just about every second of every week. Like writing this blog, or working on ways to give my clients a better product & experience. I don’t see my family. I know the toll booth operators by name. I literally want to cry writing out checks to the IRS. I get discouraged. I struggle with disappointing anyone. Especially when it comes to my business, or my schedule. I don’t always have the right answer. I don’t always “nail it”. I make mistakes. What I do know is that all the time spent, money invested, and the experience I am working to perfect, will all be absolutely worth it in the end. The photos will last, the memories will always be revisited, and the generations of families that I get to spend time with will grow. The albums will be dusted off, and the pictures will bring a sense of comfort to those who come across them.
It is moments like this, at Brittany & Steves elopement at Promise Ridge that reminds me why I do this. Its about the people who you get to experience these amazing and unforgettable moments with. The connection you get to document, and the families that get to enjoy watching the people they love be loved. It is such a rewarding, incredible, purpose to get to be a part of these moments and I wouldn’t trade it for all the money in the world, or as my mom would say “all the tea in china”.
Venue : Promise Ridge