(This is post #3 in a three-part series. Check out the first post HERE and the second one HERE!)
…So I sent out a slew of emails to local photographers, asking how they got started?, did they have a degree in photography?, did I need a degree in photography?, etc. I received a few vague responses about setting your mind to it, the sky is the limit and other cliche stuff, but it was the email from Mike Lesnick that really gave me hope. After 30+ emails back and forth, Mike offered to let me tag along to a wedding with him as a third shooter/observer. AH! I still get excited when I think about it!
I was struggling over my D40, though. It was a great little camera, but if I thought I was going to get serious about this I needed to upgrade my camera body. After a bit of research, I found the D300s for a good deal at Best Buy so I took an enormous risk and purchased it. At the time, I had no idea as to whether or not that purchase would end up being anything more than a $1600 paper weight. I have to give huge credit to Matt who was, at the time, still just my boyfriend. He encouraged me to do what I thought was best, even though I’m sure he thought I was crazy.
Wedding day came, and it was an eye-opening, incredible experience. That night was kind of a turning point- I’d just worked a 13 hour day, my feet hurt and I was tired, but I was over the moon. I was so in love with wedding photography, I wanted to crawl into the pages of one and live there. I remember thinking that if this was how happy I could be at the end of a wedding, I could do this sort of thing every day.
Here are a few shots from that day:
Everything sort of snowballed from there. Mike took me on as a second shooter and I spent a year shooting with him, learning the ins and outs of the business, my camera and wedding days. Mike was so generous with his knowledge and never shied away from answering my questions about how he runs his business. Terra was there at the first wedding (as Mike’s second shooter) and has never pushed me away when I asked questions, either. Without Mike and Terra, I can confidently say that I wouldn’t be a wedding photographer.
And then it came time to start booking my own weddings. My first dance as the solo shooter was at Beth and Andrew’s wedding in February (yep, this past February) and I haven’t looked back. I’m so incredibly grateful to Beth and Andrew for taking a chance on me when I really needed someone to give me an opportunity to shoot, because that was all I needed: one chance. An opportunity to try my skills, to test myself.
And test my skills it did! Shooting by myself forced me to be way more present and alert than I ever had to be as a second shooter. I was a nervous wreck the entire day but in the end, things came together and Beth & Andrew were happy with their images. And now instead of telling people “I shoot weddings on the weekends,” I could confidently say “I’m a wedding photographer.” I knew I’d found my calling.
My stories continues to grow and evolve with each couple I have the joy of meeting, and I can’t wait to see where God takes me in 2012. It’s been an adventure up til now, and I have a feeling things are only going to get better.
A few shots of me working, courtesy of my friend Cory! Clearly, being a wedding photographer is NOT a fun job. < Heavy sarcasm.
Did you laugh at this photo? I’ll bet you did!
Happy Wednesday afternoon!