I grew up in Pittsburg, California, a small town about an hour east of San Francisco. When I was young, my family would take a road trip every summer, and we would visit national parks. Yosemite was our favorite as we visited often, but we visited national parks throughout the west, from Glacier to Arches and to the Grand Canyon. Both of my parents loved the outdoors, but most of all, my Dad loved landscape photography.
I remember a moment when I was young, and we were at Yosemite National Park. We drove to a certain location that my Dad picked out to photograph, and I remember watching him set up and compose his shot. He would be bent over with his eye looking through the viewfinder of the camera for a good amount of time, then once he was content with his shot, we would wait for the sun to go down. This felt like forever to a kid, but once it was time to take photos, I watched him work and I found it fascinating.
I spent a lot of time hiking and watching my Dad take pictures. I remember being in places surrounded by annoying insects, seeing my Dad get too close to a cliff while trying to find the perfect spot to compose an image, and remember being allowed take pictures of my own once. From these moments, I learned the value of technical accuracy and the understanding of light and timing.
In addition to learning from my Dad, I attended the Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Montana. Originally, I thought that I would follow in my Dad’s footsteps and become a serious landscape photographer. However, those plans took a turn when I photographed my first wedding.
In 2007, I remember being asked by good friends to be one of the photographers during their wedding. They planned to have two other photographers there, so I didn’t think much of it and thought it would be a nice experience. A few days before the wedding, I was informed that the other photographers had pulled out and now I was the primary photographer. Initially I freaked out and felt a lot of pressure. The only images they would have of their wedding would be from my camera and that thought scared me. This was my first wedding after all, and I wanted them to have the best photos. Once I calmed down, I went to work and quickly found I was in my element. I studied and researched everything about weddings, and I drew inspiration from some of the best photographers in all disciplines. I leaned on my skills as a photographer and experience capturing church services and conferences. After that wedding, I realized how much I enjoyed weddings and how I could incorporate so many disciplines of photography. Best of all, I found that I loved working with people, serving them, and producing memories that bring joy in their lives.
That wedding changed my life. After that wedding, I was graciously given more opportunities to photograph weddings, portraits, and conferences. I saw how happy people were when they saw the photos, and I realized how much joy capturing those images brought to me. So, in 2008, I decided to officially start my own business.