AKA How the universe conspired to make me a wedding photographer.
There is this photograph of my dad as a little boy. It sometimes sat on my dresser when I was growing up. I say sometimes, because my sister often stole it to put it in her room. And then I would take it back. This went on for YEARS before my mom realized and made a copy. We lost our dad at a very young age so I know from very personal experience that memories are a precious commodity.
Kodak nailed it all those years ago when they called them, “priceless”.
Ask anyone who’s ever lost someone: when a photo is all you have left of someone, it will become your MOST valuable possession. I learned from an early age that life is too short to do anything other than love fiercely and live fearlessly.
Some moments change the course of your live forever.
When I was 5 years old, my dad died in a car accident. I remember it vividly- the sirens, the knock on the door, my mother sitting on the edge of her bed, holding her head in her hands. I remember pleading with her not to tell my 3 year old sister because daddy works so much and maybe she won’t notice right away. Of course, when I returned home from school the next day, my mom had told her and our lives would never be the same.
But NONE of that is real. And yet, it is VERY real to me. When I was about 15 years old, my mom asked me what I remembered about my dad and I told her this story. But it didn’t happen that way. I didn’t wake up, this pitiful conversation of a 5 year old trying to protect her baby sister never happened. I certainly didn’t go to school the next day or for a while for that matter. And besides, the next day was a Sunday.
This is the only memory I have of the greatest tragedy of my life and it is not real. I didn’t tell my mom about any other memories of my dad after that. Real or not, I would rather keep them. The mind is a funny thing though, isn’t it? Somewhere along the line, my mind made up a memory to replace the one I had forgotten, because remembering was THAT important.
Memories are intangible; you blink and the moment is gone. But these memories define who you become. Together they make up a life. Memories are fleeting, until someone comes along and says, “Not this one. This one stays.” That is where I come in.
My degree is in creative writing and I was first a story teller, a lover of love stories, a believer in all things magical. I sort of fell into being a wedding photographer- even though it should have been an obvious choice, all things considered. But I honestly believe this is what I was meant to do with my life. I am a 31 year old single wedding photographer in Tampa, Florida (the irony is not lost on me). So, while I am starring in my own romantic comedy, I am so honored to tell the love stories of my clients-turned-friends.
“It’s amazing how manageable life can feel with only one blanket and the right two arms.” Tyler Knot Gregson
Losing my dad at such an early age was a defining moment in my life. It shaped who I became. This tragic occurrence taught me the value and importance of family. I used to think the Superwoman character was modeled after my mom, but later I realized how she struggled as a single parent, and how difficult it must have been to date again. Because of this life-altering cataclysm, all I have ever wanted from life is someone to love (a true partner), and a family. I want a love so strong it transcends time. A love so gentle and so fierce that it teaches my children how to love, how to be loved. I will happily spend my life chasing after that kind of love. I want to document that kind of love. To hold onto it a little longer. I believe that love is the most powerful thing in the world.
I don’t just take pretty pictures. I CAPTURE MEMORIES.
And I take that job VERY SERIOUSLY. So that one day, when you are old and gray, you will not only REMEMBER that day, you will FEEL it. One day, sitting in a big comfy chair flipping through an old, worn album, you will show your daughter or granddaughter your wedding photos. She will touch these memories and she will FEEL them too. And she will believe in magic, because love is the closet thing we have to magic.
With every ounce of my being, with my whole heart, I believe in the magic of love. Finding your soulmate amongst the billions of people on earth is nothing short of a miracle.
I really would love to document the magic of your love story from the very beginning, and preserve it so that you may never forget. “To love a person is to see all of their magic and to remind them of it when they have forgotten.” unknown
I truly believe that everyone has a little bit of magic in them. I owe all of mine to my parents.
So Mom and Dad: this is for you.
If you made it this far, you are a trooper. Thanks for sticking around. You must be a lover of love stories too. Check out the rest of my site, its basically a love story about a girl and her camera and some pretty amazing people with some pretty magical stories. I promise, you won’t want to miss it!