Nature Is Both My Playground And My Church.
My Dad passed away while I was in New Zealand, then in my early twenties fresh from graduating art school with a degree in photography. The trip was a dream of mine that I was fulfilling with his help. Early that year, I set off on a yearlong trip. My Dad and I made plans while I was gone for me to send home all of my slide film (yes, these were the film days) to him where he would then get them developed, scanned, and organized. I remember the day so vividly. I was traveling around New Zealand with my boyfriend at the time and a friend from home. We went surfing and I remember being so excited: I was finally able to stand up and felt so free and happy. It felt like this is where I was meant to be. Exploring, taking photos, and having fun. After surfing we went to town and my friend called home. He came back with a worried look and told me I needed to call home as soon as possible. In one moment, my whole world broke into pieces. My dad had a heart attack. I kept asking how he was doing not fully able to comprehend he didn't make it. How could this be? I just talked to him a couple days ago and he was fine. We drove all day to get to an airport; I was a mess. We flew into Los Angeles where I met up with my brother, then we made it to Colorado. I was broken.
I was lost after this. It was as if my creativity died as well. I put down the camera for over a decade. But that deep desire to take photos never went away. It just took me a long time to unearth it. Life led me to the Tetons in 2008 and I found my spark and desire to pick back up the camera, with inspiration from the beauty of the surroundings.
My artistic vision came out in an unexpected way: Wedding photography. Through meeting couples, witnessing their tender, warm, and compassionate relationships, and attending weddings, I found immense joy in the pure, authentic phase of life when two people find each other. It helped heal my heart and I knew I had to pick the camera up again and make it a career.
What’s more, I had met the love of my life, Gary, and just gotten married with the Teton Valley’s aspen groves in the backdrop in a ceremony that both celebrated our home and our relationship.
So I bought a new camera and a friend asked me to shoot their wedding in Mexico. I put an ad out in the local wedding magazine and made a website showcasing one wedding. Somehow, I booked a wedding, then another, and before I knew it, I was in LOVE with capturing weddings. To be a witness to the tender moments of a wedding and capture families together is the best job ever. I know how precious life is and how quickly it can change. I know the value of those memories and having them to honor your family and your story forever. I do get extra emotional when a father sees his daughter for the first time, when they walk down the aisle, or the father/daughter dance. How I wish I had those memories with my Dad. I do know that I share his love of photography and that he is with me at every wedding. I honor his support through every wedding I capture.
I am forever grateful that I found my calling in photography. With each couple I meet and get to know, I feel more deeply rooted in my work. To meet adventurous, fun-loving people and get to know them in this intimate time is such a gift. Thank you for reading my story and I hope to be a part of yours. I am here to help preserve this time in your lives, whether it’s surrounded by your friends and family or an intimate elopement.