There are so many stories I could tell about my work with clients. What follows are not necessarily the best stories or even representations of ideal situations. My hope is to share with you a few simple vignettes that reveal how each event is a unique opportunity to connect with the people I photograph.
As a photographer, I’m always composing, watching the light, and looking at the intersection of shapes. I’m also working as your guide, inspiring you, inviting you to relax and just be yourself.
Audrey & Adam are a playful couple, but rain on your wedding day can feel like your worse nightmare. I can tell people, “Hey it dumped on my wedding too.” It did! And I know from experience it doesn’t really matter. It just took a little assurance that nobody really cared about the rain. It was so clear their friends and family were ready for anything. They set up some cheap Costco tents, and I had hired someone to hold an umbrella over me. Pretty quickly, smiles and laughter washed away any worry. We were fine! And it was stunning, the big red umbrella against the wet green. Everyone came together in a way that couldn’t have happened without a little inspiration. Sometimes it’s those surprises, like rain, that help everyone focus on what’s really important.
“Wow, they found it.” I remember one particular wedding. I was changing cameras, sneaking behind a tree, and then I heard the vows, and it struck me, “Wow they found it. They’re going to be okay.” I’m happily married, and damn it’s not always easy. Hearing those vows helped me focus even more on my job, making them look their best, capturing the emotional moments, telling the story of such an important day. Most people forget a lot of the details. My pictures are going to be what they remember. I take that responsibility very seriously.
Cherise and Chris
A destination wedding offers something incredibly valuable. For three days I immersed myself in their intimate gathering with an expansive creative freedom. The tome of pictures I delivered was an epic vision of love and laughter and precious union. And then I got the biggest compliment a photographer can receive from the mother of the bride:
“Thank you for being part of our family.”
Tiffany and Keith
The sight of a Tacoma extended cab, packed to the gills with mountain bikes and kayaks, lights a fire to my imagination. Their truck in my driveway, Tiffany and Keith brought me the promise of adventure, fresh scenery, and an attitude I love. Tiffany’s bridal shop had suggested she get rid of her sports bra tan lines, and when she assured me that would never happen, we both laughed.
It sure was an adventure, and clearly the beginning of many more for them.
Pregnancy comes with amped up hormones so every day is a crap shoot. This was a great day. I put a lot of pressure on myself. Being able to capture Tara’s sensuality let me give her back a gem, a reminder that yes, you were very sexy, even if you didn’t always feel it.
“You catch that ball before it hits me, okay?” That’s what I told my assistant who was standing over me. She had enough to do, holding the light, and having to catch the ball added a precariousness to the whole situation. Everyone was cracking up.
Giang and David invited me down for the rehearsal dinner and sat me at the head table with his family. That was kind, but it was also smart. I learned a lot about the family, how they interact, what was important to them. Getting to know the family ahead of time helped me be efficient the next day; I knew it was going to be busy. Giang wanted shots in her American dress and her Traditional gown, which meant two totally different setups. I’m pretty darned organized. I don’t want people to feel rushed so in my head I’m always (quietly) managing the time, when I need to bring it in and when I can take a little more. I don’t want anyone to worry for a second that we’ll miss the shots they want, and I also make sure the day is not all about photography.
I live for the small things. Weddings are big of course, as are births and graduations, but it’s the little moments that I remember, the dog shaking his fur and spraying water all over everyone, the handshake with the new father in law, and yes, that little girl on the luscious red couch.
There are so many more to come.