January 24, 2024

How I Became a Wedding Photographer

FILED IN: Uncategorized

If you had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, wedding photographer would not have made the top of the list. In fact, my journey to become a wedding photographer was kind of an accident.

I didn’t know it at the time, but my journey to becoming a wedding photographer started with my own wedding back in 2004 – and I use the term “wedding” lightly.

halo engagement ring at an outer banks engagement

After being engaged for a matter of weeks, my husband and I got married in my Mother’s back yard with a grand total of 6 people in attendance.

There were no invitations, no wedding decor, and no wedding cake. No bridesmaids, no dad walking me down the aisle, and my bouquet was some roses that I probably got at Kroger. My weeding dress was a white prom dress that I found at the department store at the last minute. There was zero budget and the least amount of fanfare imaginable.

I didn’t even hire a wedding photographer.

You see, my husband was in the Army.

If you have had a spouse in the military that sentence pretty much says it all.

My husband was preparing to leave 1st Ranger Battalion in Savannah and go to Special Forces Selection at Fort Bragg (Fort Liberty now I suppose) and I had told him that we could keep dating, but I wasn’t moving to Fayetteville unless we were married. I hadn’t meant it as an ultimatum – just a friendly FYI – but he took it that way and proposed.

So there we were having a hastily planned backyard wedding before we moved all of our few earthly possessions to North Carolina. Gotta love Army life.

We always planned to have a “real wedding” later when life wasn’t so crazy.

Narrator: They did not have a real wedding later.

Life did not ever get less crazy.

In fact, it only got more busy with mortgages and jobs (as it does).

Fast forward to 2009.

I was working as an Interior Designer at an architect’s office in Southern Pines (Fun fact: my degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design is actually in Interior Design and architecture, not photography.) If you remember, the building industry crashed pretty hard back in 2008. I needed to start looking for another job, pronto.

One day my husband pushed me kindly suggested that maybe I should start a photography business.

At first the idea seemed ridiculous.

I hadn’t gone to school for photography. I knew NOTHING about running a business.

But I did love photography.

I loved blending the artistic with the technical and using highly sophisticated tools to create evocative images. I loved studying light and learning how to manipulate it. I loved working with people one-on-one and getting them to show their true selves to my lens.

So I took the leap and started my photography business.

After some time learning my craft and honing my skills I started to feel a calling towards wedding photography.

I loved photographing portraits and families, but something about weddings called to me. The way that you can weave the details of a day into a subtle, yet captivating story. How couples took so much care to create an experience for their guests that they could share. Weddings – to me – were all about creation and community.

I immediately fell in love.

I also remembered that day years before when I had talked myself out of a wedding because we “didn’t have the time” and “couldn’t afford it right now.”

I looked back on the sad box of 4×6 photos all taken with disposable cameras that was all I had to remember one of the most important days of my life and I knew that I didn’t want anyone else to feel that missed opportunity.

Now I specialize in editorial wedding photography and love that I get to create stunning stories for my clients!

I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend my weekends.


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