Friday, September 12, 2008
I was asked the other day by the ladies at My Wedding Film why I love what I do. I thought it was such a great question that I would post the answers on my blog. I don't normally post a lot of personal entries in my blog, solely because I want this blog to be focused on imagery rather than words and opinions, but I figure a few insights into why I love what I do would explain why I am SO passionate about what I do.
so here are my top five answers as to why I love Wedding Photography...
1. I love my clients!
I get the opportunity to work with INCREDIBLE people. I have managed to attract an amazing group of past and future clients. I'm not sure how some of these people find me, but they do and I'm so honored when a like-minded person books me for their wedding, family session, or modern dog session. Secondly, I get to work with wonderful people in the wedding industry who are as passionate about hard work as they are about creativity and customer services. There is a group of great people in this industry who I've managed to befriend and I am always so grateful for their referrals and their creations.
2. I love photography!
(this might get a little long) I started photographing when I was 12 at summer camp. I won't go into the story about how I love the darkroom and it was there that I discovered the magic of the camera, etc, since it seems to be a common theme for photographers to say, but I will say that ever since I was 12 I was obsessed. Ever since I remember, I would create books of images I ripped from magazines. I collected books on the greats, like Annie Lebovitz, Herb Rits, and David LaChapelle and spend hours on the bookstore floor flipping through pages of images. At 16, I assisted a fashion photographer, wrote a 10 page article on why I wanted to become a photographer for an English project, and interviewed fabulous photographer, Phyllis Lane for the article. I did my required senior speech on photography along with a slideshow of images from my portfolio at age 18. In college I took courses and lived in the darkroom. I studied photography on Semester at Sea where my friends jokingly called me "the hermit" since I spent so much time in the hull of the ship developing images from the 9 countries we had visited. At 22 I saved my money and flew to Australia for what was intended to be a 3 week-long trip. I ended up living in Sydney for almost 2 years. I assisted any photographer who would allow a skinny, 5'2" female to haul their heavy equipment around. Thankfully, I was given the opportunity to assist by a few great photographers, most notably, Martin Mischkulnig who is still one of my favorite photographers to date.
In 2001, I won the Australia Nikon Award. The award was a Nikon F100 camera, a camera body that I had wanted since I was 15. Winning this award solidified my dream to becoming a photographer and made me realize I needed to continue down that path.
Since returning to Arizona in 2002 I have been working my way up through the world of wedding photography. A genre of photography I never thought I would experience until Phyllis Lane recommended I give it a try after my return from Australia. As of now July 2008, I have been dedicating my life to wedding photography for almost 6 years. I accomplished the goal of having a national magazine publish my work and write an article on my studio before the age of 30. My next goal is to become one of the most respected photographers in the industry. (still working on that one)
3. I love the challenge!
Believe it or not, wedding photography is HUGELY challenging. It's one of the most difficult things I've had to do in my life, not only because I am given the task of shooting creative images, under stress, carrying heavy equipment in the heat with an array of lighting challenges and changing scenery, but because, I have high expectations of myself and my goal is always to create more inspiring and beautiful images than I shot at the last wedding. I am always pushing myself to make more exciting images and it's that pressure to perform that is the most challenging aspect of all.
4. I love to learn!
In order to create great images in the face of these challenges, I am on a constant journey to learn. I attend non wedding related workshops every year to continue to develop my eye. One of my favorite workshops is offered by Vision Quest, taught by the incredibly talented, Doug Beasley. As a matter of fact, I'm headed to his Ireland workshop in 4 days (woo hoo!) And of course, what better way to couple my love for travel with my love for photography.
I also attend wedding workshops, some of my favorites being the workshops by Lacour,
Bambi Cantrell, Joe Buissink, Yervant, and Jerry Ghionis.
5. I love the people who help me stay afloat!
Wedding photography is a multi-faceted industry that involves not only creativity, but business savy and customer service. I can't continue to photograph images if I can't sustain my business and vice versa. I have incredible support from my husband and second shooter, Eric, my studio manager, Stacey, and web designer Ryan Brannen, who collectively allow me to happily stay afloat and give my clients the added support that a one-man-band can't provide.
So there it is in a nutshell. If you have made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read! And if you are like minded person, please feel free to drop me a line, send me a comment, or hang out with me for tea or lunch!
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