How did you get into photography? Are you self-taught or formally trained?
I was self-taught. I also interned for a full-time wedding photographer, Jackie Wonders, who taught me a lot of what I know!
Describe your style in one sentence.
My style is real, clean and vibrant, capturing the truth of the day and always being ready to capture joyful moments.
What’s been your favorite experience as a wedding photographer?
My favorite experience was traveling to an intimate wedding in Muir Woods and then heading to a small pub in the foggy weather afterward. I got to spend the evening with the couple and their family the night before and got a chance to get to know them in a deeper way than I do with most of my clients.
What do you love most about photographing weddings? Why do you photograph weddings in particular?
My favorite part of my job is the people I get to meet. I love being able to encourage my clients to value their marriage more than their wedding day. Marriage means a lot to me and I love talking about the deep stuff with my clients! We all have our struggles in life, and in marriage. If my photos can inspire them to fall in love in a deeper way or reflect back on a sweet time when they made promises to each other, that would mean the world to me. I want to show them that their love is beautiful and worth fighting for. I hope that my couples get to look back at their authentic photos and see how loved they are by each other and their friends and family.
Where is the most interesting or unique place you’ve photographed a wedding? Was there anything especially challenging about it?
The sand dunes out in Glamis is out of this world! It looks like another planet. I think the most challenging thing out there is the wind and sand, so you really have to time your shots well throughout the year so it’s not a time when it is too hot.
Do you have a favorite, must-capture moment for every wedding?
Not necessarily a moment, but more of a feeling. I want to capture those in-between moments when life is being lived and the way my couples look at each other when they are completely free to be themselves.
As a photographer, what has been your biggest wedding day challenge?
I think feeling the freedom to step out of the box as an artist and trust myself to create beautiful photos! I always want to deliver the best for my clients, so it’s always a balance between being perfectionistic and having artistic freedom as well.
What piece of advice would you give brides and grooms to ensure that they get wedding photos they love forever? (This can include tips about preparation, choosing a photographer, or anything else.)
Make sure to find a photographer that captures real moments. Ask to see a full wedding album, or multiple before booking a photographer. You want to make sure they know how to photograph a reception, toasts, a ceremony and all the good stuff. Not just the Instagram highlight photos. I would also suggest building your day around your vibe as a couple. If you are unhappy or stressed on your wedding day, it will be hard for your photographer to make beautiful images. Don’t be afraid to take some time to yourselves, invite fewer people, add in fun elements, or elope if that is where you will find the most joy!
What are your favorite wedding trends to photograph right now?
I love how couples are building wedding days with traditions that mean something to them. I’ve seen couples bring in cat straws, their favorite La Croix cocktails, taco bars, churro stands and all sorts of fun elements. I also see a lot of ceremonies with beautiful quotes and spiritual passages that mean something to the couple.
How do you think an app like Joy can help make weddings better?
It’s pretty cool that couples can build a beautiful website as well as photo sharing for their guests! I remember my own wedding, it was hard to gather photos that some of my friends took and I honestly don’t even know where they are, haha!
If you weren’t a wedding photographer, what would you be doing?
I would probably be a gardener or counselor. I love watching both people and plants grow and being a part of that process, watching something blossom!
At Joy we believe that even though a wedding lasts a day, joy lasts forever. What does that mean to you?
I totally agree! I think that authentic joy is one of the richest gifts we have as human beings. It is a process to practice throughout each one of our relationships through gratitude, prayer and for me staying connected to God and the love that He has for me.