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Finding my voice

 

 

 

 

 

College Graduation – December 2007

In 2007 while in college for my Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, I didn’t think of wedding photography as a fine art. While I considered it artistic, I dismissed it as a fine art and even got myself into debates over the semantics of what it meant to be a fine artist. I considered commissioned work to not be “fine”. (What about artists like Michelangelo and Da Vinci though?) In college I shot exclusively on film and even pursued alternative processes like tin types and van dykes. I told many people I would never switch over to digital. (a laughable thought now!) My senior year of college a friend convinced me to test out the Canon 5d Mark I, a full frame digital camera and total game changer for the industry as a whole. I was immediately smitten and purchased one with, luckily, the only semester of student loans I took out. As much as digital cameras changed my approach to photography at that time, they didn’t change my mentality towards what it meant to be a fine artist until much later.

I’ve been a full time wedding photographer for exactly 10 years now so it would be a lie if I said my mentality hasn’t changed. Maybe it’s finally leaning into being comfortable and confident in my own skin, maybe because I’m 30, or because I finally have enough experience to admit it; wedding photography is indeed an art and with my studies in the fine art world I had been placing the idea of ‘fine art’ too high on a pedestal.

Last week I had an opportunity to see a few friends judge a local photography competition. These friends also, admittedly, happen to be wildly amazing photographers and fantastic teachers who discussed the importance of finding a voice as a photographer. However, since I had often dismissed the idea of wedding photography being a fine art, finding my voice didn’t seem necessary. A voice was something for a true artist. After much discussion and thoughtful deliberation that day with many other talented photographers I felt that I should find my purpose again and discover my voice. Maybe I avoided it for so long because finding a voice seems vulnerable. I’m trying to tell a story through my photos and admitting that the story is personal through my eyes would mean that everyone would see a glimpse of who I am in the work I create. The thought of opening up who I am and truly always have been sounds terrifying. I live through the haze of a social media lens and on the other side a life like mine seems glamorous at times. However, I face the trials and tribulations that most people face throughout life and I feel it is important for other people to know that. Those can be faced in a separate post but I feel safe enough to admit now that I feel very deeply.

My voice & mission statement :

I am a passionate person that falls in love with everyone’s story to be told. When I learn someone’s story, through their struggles, adventures, and affections, it gives me a strong desire to tell their story in photos. I want the story to be accurate and meaningful. I focus my energy on real moments that can often be raw because it is with expressive photos that tells the story in the most engaging way. Every photo is an opportunity to evoke emotion in someone else, hopefully with wedding photography it is all positive emotion. I believe that is why many of us are drawn to photography, we want to tell stories. Which has, personally, lead me to tell my own story with writing. I’m here to tell your story in the best way I know how.

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