How did you get into photography?
I needed an art credit in high school so I took traditional film photography. From there I went on to get a commercial photography degree in Seattle.
Are you self-taught or formally trained?
Describe your style in one sentence.
Artful storyteller with a documentary twist.
What’s been your favorite experience as a wedding photographer?
Traveling abroad to different countries to shoot weddings and photographing my close friends’ weddings.
What do you love most about photographing weddings?
I love the access that we, as a photographer, have. We see more than anyone else does during the wedding day and for that, I am truly honored. We are invited into these spaces of which we would have no other access and are trusted to document what happens. It’s incredible to be able to photograph an intense day of emotion and excitement, then gift our clients with their memories in the form of those photographs.
Why do you photograph weddings in particular?
I love storytelling and there are so many stories that happen on a wedding day. I love that each wedding is different, it keeps my job interesting and challenging.
Where is the most interesting or unique place you’ve photographed a wedding? Was there anything especially challenging about it?
I’ve photographed a wedding on a private estate on Vashon, Island, here in Washington. The bride’s family had re-landscaped the ENTIRE property to host the wedding. It was truly a labor of love and probably one of the most well designed and most fun weddings I’ve ever been to. The fact that it was raining for the first part of the day (Seattle is known for its surprising rain). It was a fully outdoor wedding with no backup, so we crossed our fingers and got the best results!
Do you have a favorite, must-capture moment for every wedding?
Yes, the parents watching the ceremony. They are watching their babies get married and take on a whole new chapter of life. There is a lot of emotion there.
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.)
I would tell them to always hire someone they can fully trust. The best wedding photographers know that the wedding day is not about the photos but about the marriage of two people who love each other dearly. Our job is to step in only to document, not to distract. Having a wedding coordinator will help your day run smoothly so that your photographer can easily move around the event and capture the best moments. I would also add that on a wedding day, something is bound to go wrong and IT’S OKAY! It’ll make for a great story later, so just embrace what comes and enjoy the ride.
What are your favorite wedding trends to photograph right now?
Unplugged ceremonies. I cannot tell you how many family members I’ve watched miss moments because they were busy posting a wedding photo on their phone.
How do you think an app like Joy can help make weddings better?
By offering realistic expectations of what a wedding day will cost and how to manage that day effectively. I think brides also need those “real weddings” and not just the “inspiration” which will usually exceed their budget so drastically that they feel bummed about their own ability to obtain what they want. Inspiration is great, practical know-how is even better. We have to instill in our industry that what matters is the marriage, not just the details of a wedding.
If you weren’t a wedding photographer, what would you be doing?
I would probably work in some sort of “crime” unit. From either being a forensic scientist or being a crime podcaster, I’m fascinated with the topic and am usually binging crime shows while editing.
At Joy we believe that even though a wedding lasts a day, joy lasts forever. What does that mean to you?
It means prioritizing the true meaning of a wedding day; the relationship of the couple. Flowers will die, the party floor will be swept up, but your marriage to your spouse will last forever. Invest your time and efforts there and the wedding day will just be a beautiful bonus!