How did you get into photography?
I started with film cameras when I was younger, around the age of seven, and there was something so addicting to dropping my film off at the store and waiting for the tangible results in print.
Are you self taught or formally trained?
Self-taught, but always learning! I think you should be constantly learning and pushing yourself to create something better, and that’s what I find so irresistible about photography.
Describe your style in one sentence.
Adventurous and timeless.
What’s been your favorite experience as a wedding photographer? What do you love most about photographing weddings?
My favorite experience was an eight-day road trip through Iceland with a couple eloping. They trusted me to plan the entire road trip, locations to photograph along the way, camp-sites, etc. For their ceremony, we hiked about three hours to be at one of their favorite Iceland locations. In order for us to be alone as they read their vows to one another (tourist-free), we had to photograph around 2:00am – right as the sun was crossing the horizon in Iceland. That’s what I love most about photographing intimate weddings and elopements, they are an experience you share together that is 100 percent focused on a day that truly reflects the couple and their love.
Where is a unique place you’ve photographed a wedding and was there anything especially challenging about it?
Ruby Beach in the PNW was so beautiful and super private. It poured rain the entire time, which makes photographing a bit more challenging. Luckily my couple was incredible and chose to shoot in and through the rain anyway. They embraced the weather and it made for incredible images!
Do you have a favorite, must-capture moment for every wedding?
Every wedding and elopement is so different (as well as personalities). I try not to limit myself to making specific memories or moments, which is particularly challenging when you could easily photograph similar moments at every wedding. I really try to get to know my couples and what is important to them specifically, and then I really keep my eyes open throughout the day to capture things that would be particularly memorable for them. Sometimes that can be small touches throughout the day, glances at one another, or even being completely goofy with their husband or family members.
As a photographer, what has been your biggest wedding day challenge?
I think the toughest challenge being a photographer is having expectations to create specific images (and sometimes within specific time frames!). A lot goes into making website-quality-images such as lighting, location, style, trust, decor, timeline, venue(s), vendor(s), etc. I think people browse your website and social media sites and can picture themselves in your images, which is ultimately why they hire you. However, every couple has a very unique relationship and I think when the client trusts the photographer enough to give them the creative freedom to capture them as they truly are, that is when you get exceptional and meaningful images.
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.)
– Be you during your session.
– Get to know your photographer. When they know who you are and how you interact together, you definitely get images that will be more meaningful to you.
– Become educated on what makes beautiful photographs (ask your photographer for insight on lighting, locations, styling, vendors they enjoy working with, etc.)
– Plan a wedding that is what you want – don’t plan for what everyone else’s expectations are or what traditions you feel forced to do. A lot of couples look back on their wedding and say, “I wish I would have eloped” or “I wish I would have known…” and “If I did it again, I’d do this differently”
– Specifically, before choosing a photographer, ask to see multiple full-wedding galleries so you have an idea of how they can photograph an entire day and not just highlighted moments. It’s easy for new, beginning photographers (or even experienced photographers) to build a website from styled-sessions or even selected good photos from a wedding day. As a client, I think the most important thing is to connect to an entire gallery your photographer has done. Make sure the photographs in the gallery are cohesive throughout the entire day and that your photographer has the skills to make images in areas that may not be favorable (dark reception, dark getting ready locations, etc.). There are a lot of variables being a wedding photographer, so it’s important that your photographer will know how to handle the unexpected situation(s).
– Lastly, if you’re planning an elopement, follow LNT (leave no trace). It’s so fun to create a wedding in location that is only yours.
What are your favorite wedding trends to photograph right now?
Junebug Weddings always seems to be up on the coolest trends for weddings. I am super loving the bell sleeved gowns, all the hanging florals, and the geometric ceremony backdrops!! My overall favorite wedding trend is that couples are choosing adventurous engagement sessions, intimate weddings, and elopements. I love that couples want to nix tradition and do something that is focused more on their love for one another than anything else.
How do you think an app like Joy can help make weddings better?
I think providing advice from vendors is always one of the most helpful ways to plan your wedding. I also love that there is an advice section to help you maintain a healthy relationship, after your wedding (there are great topics covered)!
If you weren’t a wedding photographer, what would you be doing?
Outside of weddings, I have the world’s greatest love for shooting landscapes on film. If I wasn’t living on the road photographing landscapes, I really love woodworking and would probably invest all of my money into it (I love it that much…haha)!
At Joy we believe that even though a wedding lasts a day, joy lasts forever. What does that mean to you?
Your wedding day is definitely full of a lot of happiness, but happiness and joy are different. Happiness is fleeting, joy is a posture of the heart. In Greek, joy is closely related to the word grace, and I believe that God’s gift of His underserved love to the world is what brings us a Joy that will last forever.