I started taking photographs regularly when I purchased a camera with my first credit card in 2006. A year later, I began photographing weddings and I was instantly hooked.
It wasn't easy. I was still in college and the Great Recession was just beginning. But it forced me to expand my horizons and I began work at my university paper and then the Chicago Sun Times.
There, I had incredible opportunities. I got to cover Barack Obama's inauguration at Grant Park. I photographed galas hosted by the Joffrey Ballet, the Steppenwolf Theater, and McDonald's. I met Rahm Emanuel, Scottie Pippen, Sarah Jessica Parker, Gary Sinise (Lieutenant Dan), and others. I also covered high end restaurants which was an amazing experience, every time. For a kid still in college, photography opened doors for me I never would have had otherwise.
Then, in 2010, I had the opportunity to visit India and Hurricane Katrina torn Baton Rouge to cover philanthropic work by other organizations. I realized, then, that there's more to being a photographer than taking pictures of celebrities. (That, and the Sun Times stopped calling me for jobs, thanks a lot Twitter)
The ensuing years was a mess of working for huge studios and odd jobs. I believe this was a time that really shaped who I am as a wedding photographer today. Working for big wedding studios (wedding factories) was soul crushing for me. I would speak with the wedding couple for ten minutes, the week of their wedding, shoot their wedding, dump the cards, and never think about the couple ever again. It was easy for me to look at wedding photography as "just another job."
It was then that I realized the missing element- the personal connection. Photography is an intimate relationship between myself and the subject. Connecting with my clients on a personal level and capturing their unique relationship sparked the most joy in me (thank you Marie Kondo). I quit working for the big studios and focused on cultivating a client base with an emphasis on a personal relationship with them.
I haven't looked back since.
It’s been over 11 years since I started my wedding photography business. They say that it takes 10 years to become an expert at something and I realize that much of that time is learning more about yourself and refining the work. Having been through pretty much everything in wedding photography over the course of 400 plus weddings all over the world, I think what makes my work special is that I’m able to intuitively understand my clients and connect with them regardless of cultural barriers.
If you’re currently looking for a photographer and just haven’t found the right one yet, I’d love to chat with you. Contact me today for a consultation.