If I were to tell you the story. The story of how I ended up as a wedding photographer, it wouldn’t be glamorous. There would be no bright shiny fireworks pointing out my “destiny”. But there would be a lot of little candles. Little candles lighting the way. As to why I would rather do this before anything else.
Grab your scuba gear…I’m going deep.
Growing up, I was teased. I don’t really like to talk about it. Because it’s not really easy to talk about. It was always for the way I looked. A terribly short haircut in the 6th grade and I was told I looked like a boy. And middle school the word whale was used by multiple people to describe my appearance. When the boy I liked “asked me out”, I was later told by some “friends” that he was dared to. I remember when another friend told me that all the boys thought I had a beard…What? A beard? Just the accessory that a high school girl wants to wear to prom.
Those moments. They were the opposite of glamorous. They were full of pain, and wet pillows from tears. They were the birthplace of insecurity. Looking back, I want to find my 13 year old self, sit her down, and tell her she was made for great things. That one day, she would be confident, that she would be loved so completely, and that it was all going to be okay. Those people won’t matter. They are in this chapter of your story, but they won’t be in the rest of the book.
I found my journal last week. The one that I kept from my Junior Year in high school through my 22nd birthday. It’s crazy how reading the pages feels like I am RIGHT back in those moments. But at the same time, a whole universe away.
There are days. When I still feel like that awkward 7th grade girl. Who is still trying to figure out how to use a hair straightener, and hoping that her outfit gets a compliment or two. Trying to hide the parts of my body that feel too big, too weird, too ugly. Where insecurity
tells yells at me.
I’ve been there.
I never wanted anyone to feel the way that I felt. I never wanted to point out flaws. I wanted to cover them. With fleece blankets and band-aids. I never wanted to add to the voices, I wanted to silence them.
So, how does this relate to photography?
When someone stands in front of my camera, with all of their scars, their imperfections, their insecurities….It’s hard. I KNOW it’s hard. It’s vulnerable.
But it is my job to show people the beautiful areas.
And I think that there is something that a photograph does. It captures what everyone else sees, but what takes us years to see. The last thing that I saw when I looked at my wedding photos was me looking like a whale, with a bowl cut, and a beard. I felt beautiful. There is power in seeing yourself how the rest of the world sees you.
A new mother holding her baby, even with tired eyes…is BEAUTIUFL.
A bride, walking down the aisle to the man she has waited years to marry…is BEAUTIFUL.
A family, celebrating that life has given them beautiful children and joy in the midst of hardship…is BEAUTIFUL.
A father, hugging his son on his wedding day, proclaiming to the world that he is proud…is BEAUTIFUL.
Grandparents, seeing their legacy as they watch their grandchildren enter into marriage…is BEAUTIFUL.
And real beauty is my favorite thing to capture.
I want to capture these moments in people’s lives. The moments when the joy is tangible and insecurities are silent. Where a bride isn’t thinking about the size of her waist or the curve of her nose, but instead realizes that her husband loves her completely.
That. That is why I will spend the rest of my days with a camera in my hand.
Looking for beautiful moments. Capturing them.
To show you, that insecurity is a liar. And those things you are worried about, aren’t noticeable to the people who love you.