When I sat down to write about my journey to this career, I was prepared to talk about how I wasn’t one of those kids who picked up a camera at age 8 and fell in love… which is true. In fact, I was gifted an amazing old film camera by my grandfather when I was a teenager and I didn’t touch it for years. So, as I began to write all about how I fell deeply in love with photography in college, I paused for a moment and started to think back on my life a bit harder. It suddenly became clear to me that although it wasn’t until college that I became interested in the technicalities of photography, my urge to tell stories had begun long before that.
Along with the obvious signs (my avid book-worm tendencies and English degree), I thought back to a specific home video I had discovered last Christmas. In it, my parents had (reluctantly, to be sure) given me full reign of the video camera one Thanksgiving when I was about 9 or 10. Through the shaky close ups of the mashed potatoes being stirred, the turkey roasting away in the oven, a tight zoom on my mom’s (patient) face as she poured glasses of sherry, a tour of our set dining table, and my less than stellar vlog-style review of the Waldorf salad, I could see in myself a determination to thoroughly capture that day. A drive inside me to document what I could, in earnest. To remember everything. To take Thanksgiving Day 2001 and distill it down to its essence and keep it forever.
It was around my freshman year of college that I first remember seeing a beautiful photo and having this gut-punch feeling: I want to make that. And so, I finally picked up a camera, and spent the next four years following my friends around and documenting EVERYTHING. Going out for barbecue? I’ll bring my camera. For a walk? Camera for sure.Roommate fell asleep doing her homework? I should snap a few photos. Flowers blooming on campus? CLICK CLICK CLICK. It was a relentless urge to capture whatever I could, and to this day, that feeling has not left me.
When I started shooting weddings in 2013, I was in awe of exactly how well these two impulses (storytelling and taking pretty pictures) converged. I quickly fell in love with the monumental task of documenting such an important event, and since then, I have made it my mission to show up to every wedding ready to distill the day down to its essence in the most beautiful and artful way that I can.
When it comes down to it, I am so thankful for this job. I get to go on a never ending journey to create moving work for a living. To show up in your lives, look at you and think “How can I capture this couple truthfully? How can I show the world what I see when I look at them? How can I bring out what’s genuine and special about them and catch it in a split second?” It is work that I’m honored to do each day, and as long as I’m lucky enough to be behind the camera, I will continue to do it with all the sincerity, depth, and creativity I can muster.