"Mom, I'm dating someone. His name is...."
His. Name. Is. I can still feel the physical mix of emotions that left my body with those words. Fear, sadness, excitement, nervousness, joy, timidness, but mostly relief. You see, I had spent over twenty years of my life hiding who I was from the people around me, and I was ready to be me.
"You know that's a sin, right?" I immediately wanted to crawl back inside myself, but the lid had already been released and there was no turning back, nor was there any desire to. The relief I had originally felt was replaced with a resolve to always be true to myself and live my life to the fullest regardless of what others thought.
Through every difficult conversation that followed, I grew stronger. I grew more proud. I grew more fulfilled with who I was as a person. One conversation in particular, I remember ending with, "Mom, I know you love me. What hurts is knowing how much of my life you're going to willingly miss out on because of your choice, not mine."
In that moment, I began to not only understand, but feel the importance of chosen family and representation.
I also realized it was my responsibility as a photographer to make sure all representations of love are represented, celebrated, and given a voice.
I never thought I would would spend my time helping couples celebrate their marriages. You see, it hasn't always been considered legal for me to get married, so cheering on others felt insincere. I've always been a champion for others, but I wanted to be a champion for myself and others like me, too.
When I first started photographing weddings, I was living in semi-rural North Dakota. Every wedding I photographed was the same. Yes, Hunny. Think dirt road, farmhouse, and mason jars galore.
Now - I get to spend my time celebrating couples from all walks of life. Regardless your shape, size, skin tone, religion, or partner, I've got arms wide open and I'm ready to party with y'all because this thing called love that you're doing is beautiful and deserves to be celebrated.
So if you're an outcast, if you go against the grain, if you've ever been treated as less than, you're in good company here. Here, we celebrate our diversity, our uniqueness, and we have a glorious time doing so.
I make sure every one of my couples walk away from their weddings and into their married lives with stunning images that show the joy and life of their relationship. You deserve magazine-worthy images that continue to bring joy to your life years after the day they were taken.
Sometimes print and online curators feel the same way about your images and wish to highlight them in their publications. I have been honored to have my work displayed in Vogue, WeddingWire, The Knot, What if we Elope, Zola, and more.
My work has been seen in Vogue, WeddingWire, the Knot, What if we Elope, Zola, and more.
I'm dying to get to know you, so let's grab coffee or a cocktail (even if virtually!) and talk details. I want to hear all about you and your partner, how you met, what you love, and the day you're planning.
Let's have a kiki