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An Open Letter…

This year has been a roller coaster. The most insane unreal crazy year I’ve had in my life so far both personally and professionally. With each of the couples I’ve worked with this year, I’ve noticed myself getting quite emotional at the end of wedding days knowing that it will probably be a long time until I see some of them again as they live in different parts of the world. These are people I’ve grown incredibly close to in the months leading up to their day and it just feels like it’s kind of over sometimes when we hug and part ways. I’ve been overwhelmed with joy, gratitude, thankfulness, appreciation and a multitude of other feelings for those of you who choose me to be a part of these seasons in your lives. Those words I feel are even overused in my posts but I don’t know how else to express what my heart is weighed down with in the best possible way for each of you who choose me. Yeah, we have to work a lot, like nearly non stop if we want to continue to make this insane travel way of business and life happen but we wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s a ton of sacrifice involved that very few see but every single one of you are more than worth it and we care about you all in ways we can’t put into words.

These last two years or so have brought me to the point where I feel more confident and more fulfilled than ever before in this thing I’ve worked relentlessly to create. We’re going through some growing pains right now. For the first time there’s more than just me. It’s not an easy thing to transition into a team but it’s necessary for our vision and the future is going to be ridiculously good with what we are planning. Thank you all for your patience in this time of transition.

For all of you photographers, I think a lot of us have felt at some point (if you’re not currently feeling it) like we’re not good enough or not “hip” enough to stand out in this industry but let me encourage you to not let the pettiness of this community or the expectations of what you should be, should say, should shoot, get you down. I feel I’m hyper aware of the state of the wedding world and personally I feel like our industry has been plagued in the recent years with a lack of integrity, an over stimulated cynical attitude and a fight till the death mentality fueled by brand focused personas and wannabe celebrities but I don’t believe it will always be like this. I will continuously fight tooth and nail against the grain to make things better as both a photographer and as an educator in this industry. For you bride and grooms, I believe you should expect more out of the photographers that you are considering to be a part of your wedding day. Photographers, I believe you should expect far far more out of the photographers that call themselves educators in this industry. Are you getting out what you are investing into your education? If not, start rethinking your approach. If you attend something you thought was bad, let the host know. Educators, have enough confidence in what you are doing to ask everyone who attends your conference, workshop, mentor session, etc. how well it was and urge them to be completely open and honest with you. This is how you grow and this is how we all grow. I hope each of you photographers, if you’re not already, learn to figure out how not to care about what others in this industry think about your work and focus solely on your clients. They are the reason for everything that we do and if you believe in something and truly care about it, what’s keeping you from seeing it come to fruition? Sure, care about your brand, but care more about what your brand stands for rather than how it looks to the rest of this community. Care about people more than profits and far more than the number of likes you get or followers you have and I promise you will be successful.

I’m running on 15 hours of sleep in the last 5 days (I don’t doubt it’s giving me the confidence to write this) as I’m sitting in Iceland’s Keflavik Airport about to head back to the states but I hope that you all realize that a bubble that has been inflating for a long time in the wedding world and it’s starting to pop around us. I hope as photographers, you’re focused on what truly matters in this career path. I care about each of you and the success of your businesses. I can only hope I cross paths with as many of you as possible in the days ahead. This is an incredible job and I believe we’re heading towards a golden horizon. Be awesome, give it everything you’ve got and continuously fight to create meaningful art and beautiful memories with everything in your soul for those who matter most to cherish.
Written August 11, 2016