Shooting What I Love

I recently fielded an email from a colleague about getting burned out.  Burned out of photography, and the constant hustle of being a small business owner.  As I struggled to make sure that I was responding correctly to this fellow photographer, I started to think… and what I thought wasn’t all that pretty.

Sometimes, I get really sick of it all.  The constant onslaught of wedding blogs that feature the best of the best, pinterest, photography forums… all of it.  Sometimes I hit a wall where I feel like I’m creating the same thing over and over again.  My brain feels like it is constantly on hyperdrive.  No matter if it is Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or any other form of social media… I basically look at photographs all day.  And then add that on top of the magazines, books, and other forms of inspiration I devour… it gets to be a lot.  Have I ever been burned out?  No, not yet.  I don’t think.  But I can definitely see how it happens.

So my response to my friend, was to shoot more.  But to shoot for herself.  To shoot what she loves, with no pressure of ever doing anything with the images.  Even though she mentioned that she was sick of photography… I didn’t actually believe that to be true.  We photographers are kind of like addicts.  We’re never sick of the photography, but more so, the business behind the photography.

So, last week, on a whim… I threw my little brood into the car for a 12-hour drive to New Mexico to visit my family.  Somehow I convinced my sister and her family to meet me there, and it turned out to be a wonderful weekend.  I shot a lot of what I loved while I was there, and it ended up looking a whole lot like this…


Precariously Wrapped Polaroids

Throw back Thursday’s don’t get thrown back much better than this.  Technically speaking though, it isn’t my moment to throw back.  It is my parent’s moment.  The moment they became husband and wife.

I sat in my Grandmother’s front yard this last weekend that I was home in New Mexico.  She is 87 years old, and I wanted to capture some photographs of her and my Dad together while I was home.  They both obliged, as they always do.  So, we sat in her front yard, and I listened to them banter with one another.  They reminisced on my parent’s wedding day because earlier in the weekend I had almost begged Grunner, which is what we call her, to delve into her massive box of photographs in order to find the photos she took that day.  They are the only photos that exist from that day, and it has taken all of my 32 years to finally ask to see them.   And now, here they laid.  On the table in front of me, wrapped in nothing but a double twisted rubber band.  The stack is small, but yet so huge.  It represents the beginning of me.  My siblings.  My family.  That stack is the beginning of the legacy that I am trying to carry forward into my own children.  And I couldn’t help but stare at the precariously wrapped stack of photos, and the rubber band that held it all together.

My parents have been married for 38 years.  And that rubber band has more than likely been double wrapped around those photos for the same amount of time.  Had they been in anyone else’s care but Grunner’s, they would have been lost, damaged, and forever erased.  Why in the hell would she trust me to have them?  Because she knows.

She knows that this stack of thirty-eight year old polaroids mean the world to me, and there isn’t a better person she could have trusted in order to make sure that they are preserved for lifetimes to come.

Thank you for trusting me, Grunner.  I love you.  And to my parents… you guys were hot!



Las Vegas Wedding Photographer :: Amy & Micah

It’s not Thursday, but I’m throwing it back today anyway. Today’s post comes from last September.  September 21, 2013.  Which means, happy almost one-year anniversary to Amy & Micah!  Which also means… I reallllly need to slap my own wrist for not blogging this sooner.  I’m trying to be better about blogging though, seriously, I am.

When I go through Amy & Micah’s photographs from their wedding, I see a truly beautiful day.  I love their images so much, and when I took them I was ecstatic!  It was the best wedding that I had ever shot at that time!  Amy & Micah were stunningly gorgeous, and Amy designed a beautiful wedding along with help from Scheme Events.  But what I also see is… what a difference a year makes.

The images captured from Amy & Micah’s day are beautiful, but there’s something behind the photos that I can see.  I see myself struggling to find what I wanted to create.  I couldn’t have seen it then, because I never knew where I would be a year from this wedding, but I can feel myself developing as a photographer in these images.  I was starting to tap into who I wanted to be as a photographer right around this time, but I wasn’t there yet.  And I’m still not there, but I’m definitely on track.

This wedding was the beginning of where I wanted to go, and I am so so so proud of these images.  No, the exposure isn’t what I would do now… and the editing style is different from my recent weddings, subtle, but different.  But none of those small nuances change what these photos represent… they represent Amy & Micah’s wedding day, which, in my opinion… was captured beautifully.

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One of Amy’s biggest requests from the day was to make sure that I photographed the gifts she had made sure to have for her family and bridal party.  Amy is the type of person to make sure that you know that you are appreciated.  To go the extra mile to make sure that you know she cares about you, and this was truly represented throughout her wedding day.

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The photo below was captured by my second shooter, Jason Skinner.  It is quite possibly my favorite photograph from the entire day.  This was Amy’s mom’s reaction to a picture frame that Amy had made her with a quote inside.  It was such a beautiful moment to witness.

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Amy put together a stellar team of vendors for her wedding!   The event was hosted at Siena Golf Club with Naakiti Floral creating the floral arrangements and ShePaperie designing the most beautiful invitation suite!

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Amy and Micah decided that they wanted to have a small moment with their parents in order to sign their marriage certificate after the wedding ceremony.  The intimacy of this photograph is captivating.  Reverend Linda Venniro did a beautiful job with their wedding and the marriage certificate ceremonies.

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Thank you, Amy and Micah for giving me your friendship and trust!! Your wedding photos are absolutely beautiful, and they directly reflect the type of people you both are… and thank you also, for allowing this post to happen.  For allowing me to see potential in myself from a year ago, and to know that a year from now I hope to look back and see myself completely differently… because I can’t become what I want to be by remaining who I am.