Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I am a Photographer.

I knew I wanted to spend my working life photographing weddings about midway through the very first wedding I was asked to help shoot back in 2002. It was one of those "aha" moments, as they say, and "the rest is history", as they also say.

I also knew immediately that I did not want to shoot for another studio or play second fiddle; I had my own ideas and vision, and wanted my own clients I could take care of and make things for. And I had my own thoughts on the style I wanted to shoot, or so I thought. There are lots of styles out there, to be sure, and, just starting out, it was difficult to find my own voice and easy to climb aboard the train of trends, so I tried that for a while. A long time ago. Ages, it feels like. But then I came to a crossroads a few years back where I felt I needed to make a bigger decision concerning the work I wanted to create and the question became: do I want to be a trend-follower or do I want to produce the kind of work that defies trends? I mean, which style is going to last longer? Which style is going to speak the loudest and for the longest period of time without obviously shouting "I was created in the year ____, back when (insert trend here) was all the rage"?

When you look at the types of images I study to inform my own photographic voice (and I hope you will), it's clear that those images stand the test of time and have nothing to do with trends (unless you consider impactful, meaningful, emotion-filled, gimmick-free images a trend). The images I choose to study come from "oldies but goodies", such as Elliott Erwitt (my personal all-time favorite for his delightful sense of humor), and from the amazing photojournalists who shoot for Magnum and the Wall Street Journal.

I look at that kind of work because it speaks to me - it speaks to anyone who looks at it - and that's exactly what I'm after with my own work. There's not a day - hell, not an hour or a minute - goes by that I'm not either thinking about or studying images in an effort to distill what about them works so I can incorporate those nuggets into my own work - the work I create for you. Because, you see, I do not define myself as just a wedding photographer, but as a Photographer. I am a Photographer. It's not a job for me, it's a calling. I do this because this is what I'm SUPPOSED to be doing. And I've chosen weddings as my platform because it's absolutely the perfect thing to shoot. Every week, I'm given a plethora of emotions and action, amazingly stunning beauty, and all without risking life and limb. When people say to me they think I have a really great gig going here, I have to totally agree. How could I not?

So, what I create for you, I hope, will be timeless and not merely reflective of the trend du jour. OK, that might be a little trite, but you know what I mean. It's my fervent desire and my ultimate goal to make images that will always have impact for you and your loved ones. And it's my promise to myself and to you that I will never stop looking and learning so that I can be the very best photographer I can possibly be. I have to. It's what I am.

I am a Photographer.

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