The longer I photograph weddings and events, the more opportunities I have to work with people I know both personally and professionally. Oftentimes, those experiences are the most rewarding too.
Back in 2001, after returning from a backpacking trip in Europe, it was time to come back to Portland and re-focus my energies and efforts toward building my career. I was somewhat freshly out of college, had dabbled in commercial photography, and was looking toward the next chapter in my life. The trip to Europe was an opportunity to ponder my future and to take a momentary pause from the demands and responsibilities of life.
The task of what to do became quickly overwhelming and I began searching for opportunities outside of photography. Why not try something entirely different? I was young enough that I could potentially discover something entirely new and shift my career focus or remind myself yet again of where my passion truly lies. An opportunity presented itself to me to work in the corporate world of AT&T Wireless. It began with a 2 week training period, learning all sorts of new computer systems, and the various policies and procedures of the company. It was completely foreign to me, especially the medical, dental, 401k, and various other benefits that came along with the experience. Heck, even paid vacation time was a brand new experience for me.
Needless to say, over time I was reminded of how much I missed photography and whenever various photo assignments would present themselves, the direction I needed to move toward became abundantly clear. I loved nothing more than getting to go out and photograph an event, a wedding, or some other random commercial assignment.
In early 2005, I set my sights on making my departure from AT&T Wireless a reality. I was able to photograph 6 weddings that year and a few other assignments on the side. I put some additional effort into the business and in 2006, was able to photograph 12 weddings (exactly double the year before). I really started to push the business and in 2007, I photographed 24 weddings (ironically double yet again from the previous year). It was the summer of 2007 with a total of 24 weddings booked, that I made the giant leap of faith into becoming fully self-employed. This August, I get to officially celebrate 10 years in business!
During my time at AT&T Wireless, I had the opportunity to report to Lindsey. Yup – she was my boss. We had a hell of a lot of fun working together and fortunately enough we were able to keep in touch even after my departure from the company. When she contacted me asking if I was available to photograph her wedding, I was extremely excited for the opportunity and the unique experience of photographing a wedding of someone who used to be my boss! Doesn’t get much more fun than that. 🙂
A special thanks to both Lindsey and Michael for the opportunity to capture the excitement on your wedding day. I wish you both all the best!