About a year ago or so I was working with my business mentor on diving deeper into my “Why”. Your why is essentially “Why do you exist on this planet?”. Very laid back question right? So many photographers’ why is something like “capturing life’s moments” or “photographer for couples in love, have passport WILL TRAVEL!”. But for most photographers, those include all of us, so what will make me different? And not just different for different’s sake but something I could believe in wholeheartedly.
The process of finding out why you believe you were put on this earth, to do what you were made to do is extremely difficult. There were tears, brutal curation of my portfolio, and lots of questions.
One of the things I love about this job, is that it’s a passport into the places and lives I would never usually get to go or meet. I’ve become a friend, advocate and resource for so many couples without even thinking about it. For a guy from a small town, this was all I could ever want. So why was it so hard to come up with my “Why?”
It’s difficult because your “Why” is what you’d do in life if you had absolutely no fear, didn’t care about the resources needed, and would do with abandon. You use what fires you up, what brings you joy, and what pisses you off to help determine who you are. This is a lot more than just taking photos it seems.
It was a long process, but it felt like it clicked earlier this year. I’ve shared it before but it’s special for this reason.
Here’s my “Why”: I exist to eliminate fear, create connection between those who are divided, and help people become fulfilled in who they are and who they’re becoming.
I talked about fear earlier this week and it’s a core statement on my website. A lack of fear bridges the gap between division (whereas we fear what we do not know or understand), and life is full of fear. Weddings to me are also about who people are, but also who they’re becoming.
When I was coming up with this statement, I was thinking about an email I got from an interracial couple a few years back who said “Adam, someone turned us away because they don’t believe in us, our relationship. Do you shoot interracial weddings?” In my mind (due to privilege) I didn’t recognize there were people in this world who wouldn’t! Of course I shot that wedding, and many more couples of all colors, shapes, sizes, etc.
But then my first inquiry came in for a same sex couple. It was for Ben & Ryan, who are dudes I love and am so thankful for but at the time I was definitely nervous about my first same sex wedding. I wanted to shoot it, they seemed like they aligned with my vision and would be a perfect couple. Aside from asking myself a dumb question like “well how do I pose two guys that love each other?” my nerves came from how my “community” would think of it.
After their blog came out, I got emails and messages telling me to “check yourself” and saying “I’m disappointed in you. This is not what God would want” I was torn. I’ve always been a connector and wanted to bring people together.
The reality is that when a couple who may not look like Barbie & Ken gets engaged, they go online to start research but see photos of couples who don’t look like them. There’s nothing wrong with looking a certain way, but for a long time this industry was devoted to a “type”. A billion dollar industry with no seemingly no place for people of color, overweight couples, or same sex and queer couples.
I’ve since shot 3 same sex weddings, and over a hundred weddings of couples who don’t look like Barbie & Ken. and when I think about my “Why”, I think about those couples. I think about sharing their stories with people who may never get to experience the incredible people each and every one of these couples are, their love, and hope that I bridge that gap just a little bit between the unknown and the known.
This weekend I honor of shooting Jesse & Joe’s elegant & modern industrial wedding at one of my favorite venues aka District Winery and could not be more proud and honored to know these two men. That makes number four and there are already more on the books. I’d love for you to take a look at a few of my favorite images below and get to a place where you feel like you’ve connected with these two. It will make your life better.
Here’s the awesome team from this one!
Ceremony Venue: districtwinery.com
Hair & Makeup: carlapressley.com
Suits: Suit Supply
To view other District Winery Weddings go HERE
See other recent Weddings, click HERE
See their engagement photos HERE
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My goal is to create memories that don’t exist yet. I exist to eliminate fear, create connection between those who are divided, and to let people become fulfilled in who they are and who they’re becoming.
I’m based in Washington DC and love creating colorful photos for colorful people. If this sounds like you and your wedding, never hesitate to contact me for availability and pricing!
I frequently travel for wedding, event, and non-profit portrait sessions and have photographed weddings and stories in 15 countries and over 20 states from coastal Maui to Iceland! To find out details regarding upcoming travel dates to a city near you or to book a custom travel session, see my Travel Schedule!