So in the initial episode I explained why I was starting the podcast, what to expect in episodes as well as why I was a credible source about weddings. Because I want to be your podcast friend I thought the next episode should give a little more information about myself. It will help you decide if we can be friends.
So starting with my background-
I am an only child, and I grew up in a tiny town outside of KC, it was the cutest and I love my childhood memories there. I adore the midwest and tall trees, but not humidity and bugs. Spend one summer in Colorado and you can never go back haha
My very first experience with wedding photography came from the midwest. My cousin was a high end wedding photographer in the Kansas City area and she hired me to come carry her camera equipment one Summer. I just loved spending time with her and the idea of dressing up and making some money was a nice bonus too. We were outside where she was taking portraits of a bride and groom under a tree. As we finished she showed me the back of her camera and I remember being completely blown away at how blurry the background was! It is the silliest thing but I had never been interested in photography and had definitely never experienced professional portraits and I had no idea a camera could make an image so magical. I guess that is why I still shoot wide open and love my blurry backgrounds to this day.
So fast foward, my family ended up moving to Colorado for my last two years of high school. I was a pretty focused student and ended up earning my associate’s degree during high school as well. My goal for college was to get in and out as quickly as possible to stay out of debt. I really only had a few interests at the time. I enjoyed math and photography. I didn’t enjoy math quite enough to imagine continuing it through college and the more I researched I could finish my bachelor degree in fine art in just a couple years which fit well with my no debt goals. It’s funny because I enjoy art and pursue fine art now much more than when I was an art student. Also, even though I studied art I still cannot draw, paint or sculpt to save my life. Photography is truly one of my only giftings in the art realm.
So I photographed some of my first weddings in college. Actually, my very first solo wedding I photographed was a complete accident. I was hired to second shoot a wedding with another photographer, but she ended up being stranded in an airport in another state and couldn’t make it back for the wedding so she sent just me to photograph it instead. I loved the process of photographing it, and it was an awesome learning experience before the other weddings I had booked later that year.
I photographed my first 10 or 15 weddings while I was in college, but wasn’t really considering doing only photography at that point. So after I graduated and then spent 6 months doing mission work abroad, came back and worked at a coffee shop, and then a college ministry where I ended up meeting my husband who was a graduate student on campus at the time.
I will save Austin and I’s story for another episode, and as I mentioned last time I went full time into photography after we got married in December of 2017. I am not sure what exactly changed in those in between years, but I started to like the idea of running my own business and felt God opening doors for that to become a reality. It was still a large step outside of my comfort zone and I set very small goals because I never dreamed it could become what it is today. I also had no idea how much I would enjoy running and growing a business. So much so that I usually end up dreaming up work tasks/strategies even in my time off.
Fun fact my very first wedding after going full time was the week after we got back from our honeymoon and it was at the very same venue where we were married too. Shout out to Mackenzie and Chad if you’re listening, you guys are the best!
So that is my background and a little more about how I got to where I am today.
Quick facts about me- I am probably the most literal person you will ever meet. My poor husband has so many funny jokes that go straight over my head because I am always interpreting things literally. I am an enneagram one, and I knew I was a one before even taking the test. Did anyone else feel that way about their personality? I have always been a pretty extreme type A personality, also introverted. Sometimes I’ve been embarrassed about it or jealous of all the other ‘cooler’ personality types. Like if you’re an entrepreneur your’re basically supposed to be an enneagram three haha it’s not true but I do feel like there is a bragging culture about that in entrepreneurship. The most recommended profession for my personality and strengths has always been an accountant. Which, in all honesty, if I needed a new career path one day I would probably consider haha. But I am continuing to accept and focus on the positive sides of my personality, growing in my strengths and pushing my weaknesses and learning how it all fuels my business and life goals.
Some of my strengths are – logistics and behind the scenes things, monotonous tasks aka editing, being organized, and making business decisions. I’m not a fast decision maker in all areas of life but I have a strong gut instinct and trust when it comes to business decisions which I’m thankful for.
Some of my weaknesses are- not having a sense of direction, work life boundaries, I enjoy work and I am working basically all the time, deciding where to go out to eat, texting (seriously if you want to hear from me you’d have better luck with snail mail. Once apple finally starts letting us mark texts as ‘unread’ then that might change, but until then I don’t recommend texting me haha)
Here are some fast favorites, inspired by Jenna Fisher’s fast facts on the office ladies podcast.
- I love and value my time with family above everything else.
- After that I enjoy exercising and staying healthy, my cat, who I am pretty obviously obsessed with.
- I love biking, especially on the Poudre river trail in Northern Colorado.
- I enjoy puzzles.
- As far as food goes I love all gluten free carbs indiscriminately, I’ve been gluten free for 12 years now and originally bread and cakes were few haha. And I enjoy a very occasional margarita or glass of wine, but mostly lemonade. Drinking in general makes me feel crummy so I skip it most of the time.
- I love my straight across bangs and plan to keep them forever. I do trim them myself probably to the horror of every hair stylist ever. Oops.
- I absolutely cherish my morning americanos with Austin at our home in Denver.
- Fall is my favorite season, my dream would be to see all the Colorado Fall colors in the mountains and then head over to the midwest and enjoy the true fall haha. Sorry but Colorado’s tree game is weak.
- I love and use all apple products (we are an apple only household)
- And board games are my favorite- this is where it gets nerdy- my favorites are castles of burgundy, catan, dutch blitz, rummy, cribbage, pitch.
- I don’t have great movie recall, in fact most of the time I can’t name a main character the morning after watching a movie, but my favorite movie is About Time. It’s the first movie I ever watched with Austin and it is the sweetest.
So now for dislikes-
- I don’t like driving, I’m not especially good at it and I will never ever drive my clients.
- I don’t like it when people are rude or make rude jokes
- Telemarketing calls, I’ve actually stopped answering my phone because of these haha I figure anything important can be emailed or at least left in a voicemail
- I dislike dirt, dust and bugs. All bugs but especially moths. The front range in Colorado has what I like to call moth season in late May or early June where moths appear out of no where and never leave you alone. I have been known to cry when one sneaks into my apartment, and I am a legitimate risk while driving if one gets into my car. I pull over no matter where I am because I can’t control the stupid fear those moths bring up inside of me.
- So far in my life I have disliked living in rural country type areas, I just want to be close to grocery stores and parks haha. Maybe that will change one day but for now I am the happiest downtown Denver resident!
- I don’t like a messy house or dishes left in the sink, that doesn’t stop it from happening though haha.
- I don’t like how late Spring is in Colorado. The fact that leaves on the taller trees in the front range don’t come back until late May/early June kills me every year.
- I also dislike spring allergies, did anyone else freak out when covid started in the spring because your baseline is a stuffy nose?! Talk about poor timing.
- I dislike wind.
- And I really hated my disaster haircut last year. I was going in for another short bob, which was my regular haircut at the time.. And somehow ended up basically getting to the grow out phase of a pixie cut, but without ever having the cute pixie. It took me all year to grow it back to where it started. It was bad friends, I had no idea how much a horrible haircut could damage your self esteem until this year. Shoutout to everyone who cuts and styles hair because your job is so important!
- Slow wifi haha
A few unexpected things about me you might not know about me- this is where I try to impress you with all two of my interesting life stories
- Okay this is probably the most crazy thing we’ve ever done. My husband and I converted a mercedes sprinter van into a camper van in 4 weeks this Spring, like jigsaws, painting, measuring and Austin did all of the electricity and water. Yes our van had a shower, toilet and power enough for me to edit on. So after we finished our van build we sold all of our belongings in North Carolina, an entire two bedroom apartment gull, and moved ourselves and only what we could fit in our van and car back to Colorado while Austin was in the process of changing jobs and my busy wedding season started. We lived in our van for about two weeks, with our cat by the way. No cats and vanlife during my busy wedding season just didn’t mix. Later we entertained the idea of selling the van and made our investment back when it sold just a few days after listing it on Craigslist. Also it is safe to say we will never be doing van life again. Investing in actual property seems much more up our alley these days.
- I was in a moped accident in Thailand and had intense road rash up my right leg. Of course this happened on the first day of the trip and I didn’t enjoy the rest at all as I couldn’t walk without breaking the scabs. I still have a pretty weird/big scar, but it has tanned out a bit more over the years.
A few of my goals for this coming year are-
- This podcast, an episode a week is a huge goal!
- Learning more about film photography, Austin is joining me on this one and we’re so excited to get our first rolls developed soon
- To have more game nights and fun times with our families, which means keeping my work to normal hours more often than not
I think I will end this episode sharing my favorite things about weddings-
So I have always enjoyed wedding days, even when they feel a little hectic or crazy. Some of my favorite moments are right after the bride gets into her dress, the anticipation and moments with her mom are usually incredibly sweet. I also love the family dances like father daughter and mother son. And as a photographer one of the moments I look forward to is when I’ve accomplished all of the portraits, bridal party, family and couple, because then I am truly documenting the rest of the day and can step out of the directing mode. It’s just a good feeling of relief knowing that you’ve done a good job for the day.
There was a specific moment in my life when I realized that wedding photography was something I felt directly called to. In 2018 Austin and I took a Winter trip over to the western slope in Colorado to visit his grandparents, and I had the privilege of meeting his great grandfather for the first time. I will never forget this day as long as I live. So we walked into his home, which he build himself of course because he is one of the coolest great grandpas that have ever existed. And on the wall right as you walk in was a framed portrait of his wife on their wedding day. He had lost his wife in a car accident many many years earlier. As he shared about his life I couldn’t help but think about how many guests have entered that home with that portrait of his wife greeting each one of them, and the emotions it must bring up to him everytime he returned home over the years too. It was then that I realized the deeper value of wedding portraits. That they are your very first heirlooms as a new family.
So I am pretty sure that no matter how artistic, or how beautiful the images I create for couples on their wedding days are, that the most important thing I will ever do is give people life long memories of their loved ones.
So on that sentimental note I hope you enjoyed this episode. I hope that in all the funny and serious details that I passed your virtual friend test. If you relate to anything I’d love to know, maybe message me on instagram! Thanks for listening to the second ever episode of my podcast. I’m excited to share more with you next week, we are diving straight into wedding topics!