Since I get asked this question quite often by the couples with whom I meet about wedding photography, here is the (greatly abbreviated) story of how I got started as a wedding photographer - specifically a "Destination Wedding Photographer" in South Florida / Key West. Try not to fall asleep while reading!
For me, photography has always been much more than a hobby. For the first 15 years of my photographic career, I focused on "wildlife and nature photography". My love for the outdoors and travel allowed me to hone my photographic skills and truly enhance my photographic experiences. I don't just take snapshots. Instead, I strive to capture what I am experiencing with every carefully composed image. If you look at any of the images on this website and they touch you emotionally, then I've succeeded.
Anyway, back to my story. In 2005, I started shooting large non-profit events for Blacktie-Colorado. After covering very large formal events with over 1000 guests, I gained a tremendous amount of self confidence and grew very comfortable at large formal events.
Early in 2006 during one of these events, one of the more philanthropic guests approached me and complemented me on my published work. She asked if I would consider covering her daughter's wedding - a small intimate affair at their estate. I explained that I had never shot a wedding before and although I was thrilled, that I was a little nervous at the visibility of this particular wedding - especially as it would be my first one. She assured me that I would not be the only wedding photographer there and I didn't have to worry. She explained that she loved how I uniquely captured the emotions of the event and was willing to give me a try. As I was friends with the groom, and that I was not the only photographer, I agreed.
It was the best thing I ever did! Much to all of our delight, the experience turned out to be an incredibly positive one for all. The bride was very happy with the pictures, and I was referred to one of her friends for her wedding in California. More referrals followed.
It was at this point when I decided that I would continue to cover high end weddings as a supplement to my career. Since I was currently employed as an engineer, I made it a point to engage in only a few carefully selected weddings by referral per year.
The story continues. In 2008, I purchased a second home in South Florida and continued to cover a few destination weddings.
In 2010, I was approached by a distant cousin who told me a horror story. She shared that they just fired their daughter's wedding photographer because two-thirds of the engagement photos had the groom's head chopped off. She told me she had been following my work online and loved all my photos! She asked if I could step in and cover Calah's wedding as their photographer. I said absolutely. As you can imagine, working with family can be tricky at times. There can be a blurred boundary between family and professionalism. I remained professional and again, to everyone's delight, it was a positive experience for all involved.
It was that time when I decided to get serious about destination wedding photography. The rest is history, as they say. I built a relationship with MyWedding.COM, re-branded myself and built a new website. I am now listed as a destination wedding photographer for South Florida (Key West through West Palm Beach) and will happily travel to other destinations.
More about me:
My passion for photography was ignited in the early 80's when I was a student at RIT in Rochester, NY. Although I was a computer science major, I was fortunate to study with some of the most talented photographers in the world.
I strive for balance, harmony and inner peace. I learned very quickly that photography allowed me to exercise both sides of my brain - the analytical and the artistic.
Having homes in both Colorado and Florida is a blessing. It places me within an hour or two of some of the most spectacular scenery and wildlife in the country (the Colorado Rockies and the Florida Everglades). Day trips over the years have helped me maintain my balance and capture some of nature's glamor.
People find different ways to escape. Some like to exercise, others like to hunt or fish to relax, yet others find peace in music. I find the most pleasure sitting and waiting for the perfect light at the end of the day. The 'Golden Light' as some call it. There is something about the warmth of the sun at the end of the day. Sometimes this is in the Rocky Mountains. Other times it is on a beach or on a hike.
As photography is a business, I contribute to many publications and am for hire to capture the energy and emotions of your event. I have shot images at events both large and small. These include musical, sporting, celebrity, social and political events. I've documented presidential rallies, concerts, events for national non-profit organizations, birthday parties, mitzvas (Bar, Bat and Bris) and weddings.
Most recently, I would call myself a “lifestyle photographer”. What, that means that I mix photojournalism, candid portraits, and creative photography approaches to capture the most beautiful and hidden moments.
I love to take candids and freeze moments in time - especially facial expressions. Do you remember when you were very young and every new place you went to seemed huge and exciting? Perhaps larger than life itself? I try to remember this innocence and lack of bias when I photograph people at events. I watch and wait for those instances of excitement or sadness and place myself in just the right position to capture that moment. The most genuine emotion is that which is not rehearsed.
I am more than just a photographer. In 2007, while on assignment for Blacktie-Colorado.com, I was tasked to take and produce short videos for each event I worked. I now look at the world through the eyes of a videographer as well as a photographer. So, what do I take videos of? Well, everything. I now carry as part of my kit a Nikon D7000 - this gives me the ability to take full 1080p High Definition video.
My photos and videos express what I feel as well as see. The quiet vulnerability & raw emotion is what I aim to capture.
Enjoy my photos and videos. They are a reflection of my soul.