You might be surprised to learn I didn’t become a wedding photographer because I loved weddings. I wasn’t the girl who grew up planning her own or fantasizing about being a bride.
That said: I do have a much greater appreciation for them now! After the bride (and possibly the groom), I might be the person who’s most excited about all the details of a wedding day – and of course most invested in documenting them.
But what brought me to this place professionally wasn’t wedding love; it was a desire for depth in storytelling. The first few years of my photography business consisted mainly of portrait sessions, and they were great training. But given where my heart and talents lie, I’m sure I’d have burned out by now if I’d continued to build a business based on small, surface-level jobs.
Wedding work, on the other hand, is rich with potential for going deeper with clients. Every wedding is a spectacle in and of itself, but also represents so much beyond itself. I found my niche here because of the stories here. And, yes, because of the money here – simply because the greater the investment per job, the more time and effort I can sink into making something of those stories.
But I had an opportunity last week to do something a little different: to fashion my kind of “dream job” from something other than a wedding. My cousin Katie and her husband recently welcomed their first child and invited me to come to California and document their new life as a family of three. Our visions were a perfect match, with Katie wanting something more than a typical two-hour newborn session and me inclined toward creating collections with more depth.
Following is a preview of their final product, complete with a little video “life story.” I use that term (as well as “lifestyle”) for work that’s separate from my wedding brand, and although I don’t do or feature much of that these days, I can’t help but carve out a spot for projects like this!
Katie, Michael and Clark: Thanks for having me (and for allowing me to check “beach session” off my bucket list, twice!). I’m so glad to have gotten to share and capture a little of this fleeting time.
And now a note from Katie and Michael to Clark:
Sometimes, the smallest things can take up the most room in your heart. You had a special place in our hearts long before we knew your name.
A long time ago, there was a boy from Texas and a girl from Kansas. We both loved to learn and to explore the world around us. One day, the paths of these two lives crossed. This girl from Kansas and this boy from Texas decided that life would be sweeter if we shared it together.
We shared many adventures and eagerly awaited your arrival. We dreamed big dreams for you, and we know that our greatest adventures are yet to come. Now, we’d love to share some of our hopes and dreams with you.