Today I celebrated a belated 6th birthday for BTW Photography with the three people who have helped the company become what it is today – my parents and fellow photographer, associate, and friend Eric Liu. After graduating from Eastern Michigan University with a Master’s degree in Economics, I felt like if I saw one more Excel spreadsheet I was going to scream. I loved photography and missed the creative outlet it provided me when I used to shoot film and spend hours developing it in the darkroom of my high school. With those distant memories in mind, I decided to marry my love of Economics (I know, I am weird) and photography and start a photography business. How hard could it be, right? Without know much about anything, I invested $2,600 in a D200 and 18-200 f/5.6 VR lens. My first photo was of a flower in my parents’ backyard. I downloaded it onto my computer, enlarged it to fill the screen, and was filled with pride.
If you have known me over these years, you know how wild of a ride it has been. I took my parents and Eric out to one of my favorite places to eat – The Woodshop in Clarkston – where my mom asked me, “What are the things you would have never expected when you started?” The two that instantly came to mind was 1.) running the business takes way more time than I thought and 2.) I never thought about the people I would meet and relationships I would form through the business. People literally invite me to celebrate the happiest day of their lives with them on a weekly basis! They invite me to document the birth of their child and the ongoing growth of their families on a yearly basis. They invite me to capture the moment when to lives become one as she says, “I do.” More than anything, being a photographer has made me pause, reflect on what matters in life, and become a more grateful person. So as I enter into this next year, special thanks to you all as you support me on this journey. I don’t know if you will ever understand how fortunate I feel on a daily basis to be able to share the moments I do with you.
Matt and Annie’s wedding has been one of the most touching and sentimental weddings I have shot in recent memory. It is hard to even put into words what the day was like besides it being filled with fun and anticipation, with moments of quiet, calm, and sentimentality. (More on that here.) So for once, I am not going to try to describe the day, but rather let the photos tell the story. Enjoy.
Two weeks ago, I got to spend the weekend in Northern Michigan, celebrating the marriage of Chris and Kate. Friends and family traveled from all over to be share their love and support for this amazing couple. I started my day off with Chris, which was different as I normally begin my day with the bride. As I greeted Chris in the morning and asked how he was feeling, he replied, “Not nervous at all. Is that normal?” We joked that it was a good sign, to which he offered, “You know, all I really want to do is see Kate.” I don’t blame him; Kate looked absolutely beautiful in her wedding dress and was only enhanced by her smile, which lasted all day.
Venue: Castle Farms, Charlevoix
I am a huge supporter of the First Look, when the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony. Not only does it give me significantly more time to take artistic images with the bride and groom (that is why you hired me, right?) but it is also so much more authentic and emotional. Chris and Kate, opted not to do the First Look, but no one said I couldn’t have one between Kate and her dad, right? People think it is weird that I get choked up when editing my photos; I think it is weird if I don’t. To me, this is what it is all about – special moments and lasting memories between loved ones.