My journey with becoming a wedding photographer started when I was just a little girl. I had no idea then that I wanted to be a wedding photographer, I just knew that I loved weddings. But looking back now, that’s where it all started for me.
For as long as I can remember I’ve been obsessed with weddings. I spent hours on the internet looking at wedding dresses and daydreaming what mine would look like. I planned my wedding from start to finish, picking out everything from flowers to songs we would dance to and making all of my friends bridesmaids, setting every last detail. When I was done, I’d start all over again.
The funny thing was, I didn’t even go to that many weddings when I was young, just one or two here and there. I have a hard time pinning down where this obsession started for me, but it feels like it’s always been a part of who I am.
My first attempt at a wedding dress
I would go through my parents wedding album over and over again as a child. I loved looking through their wedding photos, but I remember feeling disappointed that there weren’t more photos in it. I wanted to see more of what my parents wedding day was. I wanted to know how they felt, I wanted to feel their joy and love. Their photos are beautiful, and I can tell they’re happy, but, simply because of what wedding photography was in the 70’s, the photos don’t capture the full emotions of the day. I didn’t know this at the time, but that feeling, that desire to experience the joy my parents felt at their wedding would become the foundation for why I became a wedding photographer years later.
At 18 I left for college, ready to be out on my own, and knowing exactly what I wanted from life. I was going to study interior design, find my one true love, get married and start a family.
Being a wedding photographer wasn’t even a blip on my radar.
Day one of my very first interior design class found me sitting in a crowded lecture hall thinking to myself, “Nope. This is not for me.”
I remember very clearly walking back to my dorm that afternoon, so confused. I wanted to be an interior designer since I was 10. If that wasn’t what I was going to do, what was I going to do? I sat on these thoughts for a couple days and then decided to drop that interior design class and just focus on getting general credits until I figured out what I wanted to change my major to. Which worked out just great util the time rolled around to start signing up for next year’s classes.
I had hoped that by this point I would know what I wanted to do, but that wasn’t the case. I was probably more lost now than I had been 8 months ago. Over the course of those 8 months I had thought about being a baker, an art historian, a writer, a museum curator, and a florist, and a million other things. I had no idea, I was so lost. I called my mom, sitting on my dorm room bed, crying, so confused, so scared, having no idea where my life was taking. How was I supposed to sign up for classes when I didn’t know where I was going? She told me, like she had many times before, that it was going to be ok, that I didn’t need to know that right now. She asked me, “Why don’t you take a year off to figure it out?” And the instant she asked me that question a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I have never even considered taking a year off and her asking me was almost like her giving me permission. It was ok if I didn’t know what to do. It was ok if I took some time to figure that out.
So that’s what I did. I dropped out of college, with every intention to go back the following year.
Myself and my college roommate and bestie, Brittany
I spent the next year trying to figure out my life. I felt a little overwhelmed that I was expected at just 19 years old to know what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing. How was I supposed to know that? I’d hardly done anything to begin with, how should I know what the rest of my life was going to look like? I got a job to fill the time, and, like I had the previous year, kept jumping back and forth between what I wanted to do. The time to enroll for classes approached much quicker than I thought it would. I panicked and declared English as my major and signed up for classes again.
Then, I took a vacation with my family to Florida, and this is where everything was set in motion for me.