i'm a wedding photographer // part one of my story

Thursday, September 27, 2012

i just booked a wedding in march.

and i am so so so excited.

not only because i'm going to be shooting another wedding (but that's part of it!!!)

but because the couple gets it

they get that the wedding is about the marriage. they get that it's about the people. the celebration and joy and beauty that two people are becoming one and are choosing to love each other every day for the rest of their lives. they get that at the end of the day, it's not the dinner, the cake, the venue, the flowers, the dress, the reception, or the details, but it's a story. about how a boy met a girl and they fell in love and decided to stay in love forever.

commitment. love. joy. celebration. honesty. beauty.

telling their story. the meaning behind it. the depth behind the details and the honesty in each and every smile, laugh, tear.

they resonate and clicked and connected with my work and are excited for me to be shooting their day. they said they feel blessed but really, i just feel crazy blessed.

weddings have been on my heart for so long and it's been my dream to be a wedding photographer pretty much since i picked up a camera. my dream at twelve was to shoot a wedding at fifteen or sixteen, something i scribbled in journals and wished and hoped for nearly every day. and God opened so many doors and i was able to shoot tom + camila's wedding five days after i turned sixteen.

last year at this time, i had no plans for wedding photography in the future. i had limited equipment and had done a few shoots, mostly for family or friends. i knew nothing about running a business or shooting a wedding and was hopelessly lost with some technical things about photography (okay, so i still obviously don't know everything and ALWAYS want to keep learning, but i laugh at all of my so-called knowledge last year :) ). i was inexperienced and naive and a dreamer. and i am SO glad i was a dreamer.

i've always always always been a dreamer and a planner, but i want to learn to be more of a do-er. i'm through-time and i'm always looking to the next thing, be that tomorrow, next week, or next year. i'm always planning and prepping and wondering and dreaming about what could happen. and so while wedding photography was on my heart, it was something i dismissed as a distant future.

it's so funny because (literally), a week before tom and camila face booked me about doing their engagement pictures, i was talking with my mom as we drove down to tria to check out my ankle (that's another story entirely) about a wedding question i had received. a friend face booked me and asked if i did weddings and i said no. and i told my mom, "i'd love to do weddings but i can't until i second-shoot for awhile, and i at least need this and this and this, and i just wouldn't feel confident until all that was accomplished."

(i just want to interject here and laugh about where i was at. God has a sense of humor, that's for sure. :) )

aaaaaand then...Tom and Camila face booked me. I had seen their engagement announcement on Facebook and thought, "oh my gosh. oh my gosh. oh my gosh." i was so excited and could barely contain my joy for THEM! and i dreamed about doing their engagement pictures. i tucked the dream away and tried to forget about it but couldn't stop thinking about how much i wanted to shoot them.

i went on Facebook and the little message box said one and i clicked it and my heart stopped beating for a second.  crazy chills. happy tears. laughter that bubbled in my heart and stopped in my throat and i could have danced around because i was so excited.

tom and camila gave me a chance. to shoot their engagement. and to shoot their wedding. they believed in me and wanted me to shoot their wedding. that they knew i would do a good job and wanted me their for their day. their belief was so good for my heart and it pushed me to do a better job, to work harder and learn more and do the absolute best i could do for them, because i loved them and wanted to give them images that would last. photos that would matter. pictures that would be a legacy, that they could pull out and show their children and grandchildren someday and tell the story about their wedding. "when your grandma walked down the aisle, i couldn't stop smiling." "as soon as i saw your daddy, i was instantly calm and joyful and all the weight was lifted from my shoulders."

that's what matters. and that's what i wanted to give and want to always give with my photos.

and in the past year, i've had couple shoots, senior shoots, engagement shoots, kiddo shoots, family shoots, and a wedding. i traveled to texas and interned with jessica shae and also shot jessica and josh's engagement photos. i saved and bought my mkii and a nifty fifty. i purchase lr4 + vsco (favorite ever) and upgraded to cs6. i was blessed to be able to get a macbook. i learned about pricing and set up contracts. i learned about the business and technical side, and learned the ins and outs of my camera and learned and googled and learned and learned and learned so much i felt like my brain would burst (i did have a few headaches last year... ;) ). and there are even more exciting plans (if that's even possible) in the works.


seriously. i have been so in awe of all that God has done in my life. i'm so humbled by how the Lord has worked in my heart and my life. not just healing past hurts and fears, but also blessing me beyond belief. and the craziest part is, the Lord blesses us because he loves us. BECAUSE HE LOVES US. how crazy amazing is that?

i am in no way bragging. i hesitate to talk about things like this because i don't want to come across conceited or self-important. i've been learning to trust God and to believe Him and to move with faith and CONFIDENCE. learning to dream big dreams and to pray big prayers and to live boldly. and it's been hard, because the end result wasn't always there, but He has always been there. He is my rock and Sovereign and King and Provider and I believe Him. i've been overwhelmed with all the doors and opportunities that i've  been given, but i've also worked hard. i've sacrificed things and prayed a ton and journaled and chose to step forward in faith even though it seemed impossible. and God has worked miracles (seriously miracles) in my heart and my life.

and so this is for me. because i am so THANKFUL with all the Lord has done in my heart and in my life. i am so thankful for the doors He's opened, the trust He's built in me, the dreams He's given me. I am so thankful for the opportunities He's blessed and the seemingly impossible dreams that have been made a reality. i am so thankful.


  1. Congratulations Hannah <3 I'm so excited for you, shooting weddings really is the best :)

  2. I'm happy for you Hannah. it's incredibly exciting. <3

  3. beautiful, girl. so so excited for you...for all of us, really, as we are starting our businesses. it's so cool to see how God is working in all of us!

  4. I am beyond happy for you. you're truly something else hannah. one of a kind. I love you so much.