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Brides and vendors often ask me how I became a wedding photographer and I thought today would be a good opportunity to tell my story. Wedding photography has truly become not only my career, but also my passion. I love waking up to work every single day and am so glad I chose to build a business in this industry.
In high school, I became increasingly interested in taking photos of anything and everything. When I was 15 or 16, I was gifted a Canon Rebel xti, a basic entry-level DSLR camera. Incredibly eager to learn to shoot better, I took classes and read books. Admittedly, I wasn’t very good at the time, though I really enjoyed shooting. After a few months of shooting and beginning to work on paid portrait sessions, I expressed my desire to have a career in photography.
Unfortunately, a couple of adults I knew told me that photography was a hobby, not a career. Their reasoning was that you couldn’t make 6 figures shooting (you absolutely can, by the way). Sadly, I let this “advice” deter me from pursuing photography further. I went on to college and left my camera at home.
After graduating college, I moved to DC to complete a Master’s degree in Political Science. Curious to pick up photography again, I took my camera with me and shoot portraits as a small side job. My interest in photography was renewed and my passion reignited. My business gained traction in the area and I slowly realized I might want to build some sort of career from shooting.
While I did love the educational field I had studied in and the world of academia, I loved photography more. Not yet ready to give up my political science studies, I continued pursuing my degree and completed many internships in the human rights field working on projects concerning refugees, slavery, and cultural awareness and sensitivity.
In my spare time, I read everything about photography I could, took every class available to me, and practiced like crazy.
Just a few months after graduating (early, I might add), I learned that a friend back in my hometown was in need of a wedding photographer. As I was planning to attend anyway and because she’s absolutely darling, I offered my photography services to her. Every minute of that day was utterly dreamy. Suddenly, weddings became the most enjoyable part of my job and I knew that I had to give wedding photography a go.
That year, I shot nearly 20 weddings with friends and on my own. Portraits took a backseat to the glamorous wedding world and I went full time with Cavin Elizabeth Photography. Shortly thereafter, I said goodbye to the East Coast and moved my business to San Diego. I’ve not looked back since and have been thankful that I’ve found my calling and my life’s dream.