About 4 years ago, a friend from church asked me to shoot her wedding. At that time, wedding photography wasn't even on my radar. I had been doing makeup at weddings for years, but never had any interest in wedding and portrait photography. At the time I was studying photojournalism at Western Washington University, mostly doing live music photography and working for music blogs and small publications. For some reason, I said yes. Now looking back that seems crazy - if I knew how hard wedding photography is and how in-over-my-head I was, I probably would have said no. I had never even second-shot or assisted anyone, I was going in totally blind and completely just following my intuition on how I should do things. Luckily, I had about 9 months to prepare, so I spent that time learning everything I could about portrait photography and working with couples. I shot their wedding, it went great, and people saw those original images from their wedding and I ended up booking more weddings. And all of a sudden I was a wedding photographer.
I feel extremely lucky for that opportunity and for their trust. I know photographers who try for years and years to book their first wedding. Trying to get a couple to trust them with that task. I always kind of joke that wedding photography happened to me rather than me pursuing it. I feel like I owe my whole career to Whitney and Dan. If it wasn't for them, would I have become a wedding photographer? I have no idea. Maybe wedding photography still would have found me one way or the other. But the way I see it, I owe it all to them.
I took them out to their wedding venue on their 3-year anniversary, set them up with a hair and makeup team, created a bouquet for her, and re-created some wedding portraits for them. To celebrate their love and give them the wedding portraits I wish I knew how to create back then. Also as a celebration for me - that day was also my anniversary! The anniversary of my first wedding. And that's a huge day for me. There's no other way I'd rather be celebrating that than shooting with these two: the two who started it all for me.
Thank you, Whitney and Dan, for seeing something in me that I didn't see in myself back then. For giving me my start and trusting me to capture your most intimate moments. I owe my career to you.
Huge thank you to Shannon Mercil Makeup + Jamae Wiederhold hair for coming along and being my dream-team glam squad. Thanks to Jeremy Millar for coming along and assisting! He also got some gorgeous images of the day, check out his work to see what he created.