Jessie + Darren were both from England and due to their wedding budget being blown on international flights they asked me to shoot it. I had shot a few weddings before for people that were friends and who either didn’t care or couldn’t afford a pro. I never knew how the pictures came out because I would literally shoot the wedding with 4 rolls of film and hand them the canisters before they left for their honeymoon. I didn’t care as long as I got to take pictures!
So, I’m shooting Darren and Jessie’s Santa Ynez wedding. Before the ceremony I take a second to breathe it all in. The sun was shinning, the bride was nervous as hell, I had my fanny pack strapped to my waist with 15 rolls of film and I’m having the time of my life. Then I hear it. A small whisper in my heart that I can only believe was God’s voice, “I want you to do this.”
I would say that it was a divine moment but that would imply that most ordinary moments are not divine, when in fact every day is filled with hundreds of divine moments that to us appear as normal life. So, lets just say that this was a monumental (and divine) moment! I digress.
Darren and Jessie’s wedding turned out amazingly. We were blessed with such a perfect day finished off with a glorious sunset shoot of the bride and groom near a pond surrounding by green vineyards. I was hooked! I turned to the girl shooting next to me and asked her if she wanted to start a business with me and she agreed. Truth is, I didn’t have the confidence that I could do it myself. Shawna was so good at giving instructions to the couple and organizing group photos that I figured if I didn’t get her on board then my ship wouldn’t sail.
Our pictures came back from the lab and I really thought we had potential! All we needed was a business name, a logo, a website and weddings. We found an ad at the Cal Poly bulletin board for “Wedding Photographer Needed: $600”. Our first paid gig! After we shot this wedding Shawna decided it would be best if we went our separate ways because we were getting all of the same photos and cutting our profit in half.
I was devastated, depressed really. My camera might as well have been leaking light because I gave up the dream right there and then. I think a day or so passed and I heard The Whisper again, “I want you to do this.” I proceeded to have a classic Moses and The Burning Bush conversation with the Almighty. He gave me the calling, I complained about my shortcomings, he told me to get over myself and just have a little faith for crying out loud! I finally said yes and I’m so glad I did.