First Wedding

How We Became Wedding Photographers


Everyone has to get started somewhere, right?

We got our start in wedding photography almost by accident back in 2002, and let me tell you, it's been quite a ride since then! We thought it would be fun to tell you the story of how we fell into Wedding Photography all those years ago, and started our journey to being Real Life Wedding Photographers 14 years later! 

It all started with a phone call.

Rob and I were hanging out at a friend's house, and her daughter, Westen, was on the phone with an unnamed person, when we overheard the phrase

"Don't worry, Rob will take care of it." 

When we inquired what it was Rob might be taking care of, Westen informed us of three vital pieces of information, that ended up altering the course of our lives forever: 

  1. She was getting married (We didn't even know she was seeing anyone!) 
  2. The wedding was in 1 month (Whoa!) 
  3. Rob and I were going to photograph it (What?!) 

Now Rob and I love photography, and have for as long as we can remember. I took more Polaroids during that period of my life than I can count (probably the reason I didn't have a savings account at the time, remember how expensive those were?!) and Rob had permanently borrowed a Canon film camera (film, ya'll) from his parents and was having a great time learning the ins and outs of 35mm. But we weren't photographers! We were two poor, college-age kids who owned a couple cameras and kind of sort of knew what to do with them, when the subjects were neat leaves and spooky graveyards and cats, not when the subjects were people! And someone's wedding day? No way! Too much pressure! 

So, naturally, we said no. No thanks, you'll need to hire a professional. Too scary, pass.

Clearly, this is not where our story ends. 

Westen pointed out that with less than 2 months to go, they would never be able to find another photographer, that we'd do fine, and that she wouldn't take no for an answer. So, with a generous helping of trepidation, we started planning to photograph our first wedding. 

The wedding day quickly came, Westen and Mark and their family and friends showed up in their finest, and we showed up armed with our two canon film cameras, a boat load of Kodak T-max film canisters, and crossed fingers. 

And wouldn't you know it, we made it through. No one died. Nothing exploded. And it was fun! Now, let's be real here, the pictures weren't great. I mean, we had no idea what we were doing! But if there is one thing we came out of that wedding with (besides a TON of film to develop) it was the realization that this wedding photography thing was pretty cool! 

Before we knew it, Westen and Mark began recommending us to people (bless their hearts), and after that, the rest is history. We went from photographing one wedding under duress to actually wanting to book weddings and to celebrate with couples! We found so much joy in telling the love stories our clients were kind enough to share with us. Along the way, we got better at photography, learned new skills, gained more experience, and eventually stopped feeling like frauds most of the time (impostor syndrome, the struggle is real)! 

When I look back on those photos from our very first wedding, sure I cringe a little because wow, are we a lot better at this now, but I also look at the photos with so much gratefulness that Westen and Mark gave us a chance, believed in us, and in doing so, changed our lives for the better. They were the first couple to share their love story with us, and invite us to be a part of their day, and we will be forever grateful for that opportunity, and for every love story we've been lucky enough to tell since.  

-- Sam