Polaroid. My first camera was given to me by my mother in fourth grade for an overnight school field trip to the aquarium in Nashville, Tennessee. It wasn’t just the documentation of the fish that interested me, but the experience of 30 fourth graders floundering through an aquarium with a teacher trying to keep up with them that captivated my camera. An assortment of film cameras, used to shoot camp, sporting events, and historical landmarks, followed my first Polaroid. Through trial and error, I learned how to manipulate light to create a mood appropriate for that space and time while keeping things as natural as possible.
One of my favorite things was documenting experiences, both in high school and during my years at Morehouse College. I photographed the summer Olympics, study abroad programs, international backpacking adventures, and road trips across the country with friends. What came out of the camera always seemed to center on the human experience. While landscapes and buildings are nice, with people you find passion and weddings show people when they’re passionate about others that they love. At a wedding, people come together to celebrate the happiness of the couple. Their happiness is special to you and the smile that they have you feel in your own heart.
My first job as a wedding photographer was an unintentional act of serendipity. After attending my friend Paul’s wedding, he contacted me to ask to see the pictures I had taken as a guest. Sitting in a Longhorn Steakhouse and seeing my friend’s new bride moved to tears as she looked at my photos, I realized how much I liked the feeling of being able to capture emotion so that people can come back to those moments for the rest of time. In order to build my business as a photographer, I worked at a local Irish pub in Atlanta to save enough money for my first professional camera and lenses. When I moved to Pittsburgh for graduate school, I wanted to continue to learn the art of wedding photography and set out to find a master of the craft. That med to meeting my photography mentor and friend, Randi Voss (A.K.A. Obi-Wan Kenobi) who allowed me to carry her bags while teaching me the best practices that come with wedding photography.
My style documents the days in their most natural form. I feel that people are at their best when they are being who they are. While I love having a good time with everyone, I don’t believe my lens should be the center of attention. It’s been 9 years since my first wedding in Pittsburgh and over 100 weddings later, I still have the same enthusiasm, attention to detail, and unbridled joy as when I shot Paul’s wedding. I’ve found that every wedding is different because no two families or love stories are exactly alike. Every tear, smile, speech, and hug is its own part of a singular story that is unique to those that bear witness. I feel privileged to be part of such a treasured occasion.
***Image to the left is from Paul and Lorrie's wedding, Lorrie was my first Bride :)****