In 2016, I moved to Austin with the goal of becoming one of the best Austin wedding photographers. Actually, the goal was to be the best LGBT+-focused wedding photographer and I’m well on my way! Moving from Hawaii to Austin spontaneously meant I didn’t know anyone or anything about this great city, just that the universe was calling me to Austin, Texas to be a wedding photographer for weirdos, nerds, and authentic people who enjoy genuine connections. Did you know I chose Austin in a coin flip? Yep. It won best two out of three, in competition to Seattle!
I’ve worked hard to be the best Austin wedding photographer, already completed over 125 weddings in Austin, Texas. I started my business in Hawaii and did over 300 weddings there, including elopements with people all over the world. I’ve worked with numerous cultures and love learning about different human beans. I’m a really big traveler, with over 30 countries and counting. I try to do one big trip to a new country every year. In 2016, I went to Ecuador for two weeks. In 2017, I went to Colombia for the first time. In 2018, I visited Belize and fell in love with the people and culture.
Austin has also provided so many unique experiences, a welcoming hub for my quirkiness. I’ve never felt so…ME, before. I also discovered I’m polyamorous here in Austin. Did you know Austin, Texas has one of the largest polyamory communities in the world? It’s where I’ve been exposed to so many different kinds of people, my passion for an inclusive brand as an Austin wedding photographer just growing more and more.
Since my business is queer-owned, that makes it difficult sometimes in a very conservative state. I think, occasionally with a tinge of bitterness, how difficult it can be to be true and authentic to myself. Yet, I know there are people out there that belong in my tribe and don’t even know it yet. It’s why I work for hours on this website, coming up with new ways to reach those meant for me. I’m really passionate about creating a part of this industry that is focused on real people, genuine humans, and realistic expectations. I don’t want to deliver you a fairytale idea of a wedding day. I want to give my clients the space they deserve to be true to themselves and what they really want their big day to be like.
Being a wedding photographer in Austin, an oversaturated market, means I work day and night on my brand, refining it further and further. I feel like I’ve become so niche, it’s insane. I don’t apologize for it though. I know I’m meant to do good things in this community and industry. An example would be The Pride Shindig, an expo officially launched with a brand new website!
I’ve worked hard in my industry to not only care for my clients but vendors as well. I work with some of the best wedding vendors in Austin and always happy to give referrals. I work closely with inclusive brands, so my LGBT wedding clients know they can contact my referrals with confidence. I also work on getting myself published and as a result, I have been published over 300 times! You can check out some of my publications here!
One of the things that set me apart as the best wedding photographer in Austin would be how I like to be friends with my clients. I develop friendships with as many that will let me. I’ve traveled with clients, cooked them dinner, had slumber parties, and comforted them in heartbreak. I once went to a client’s home to photograph their dying golden retriever, who had come down with rapidly destructive cancer. I just…I seek quality experiences in life and it’s a real gift that my clients permit me into their lives and their big moments. I’m so honored. So so honored.
To me, to know when I am finally the best Austin wedding photographer, is when I get regular calls and hear, “you did my friend’s wedding and I loved the images.” I hear that sometimes, but I’ve definitely had to adjust since I moved to Austin. When I lived and worked in Hawaii, I wasn’t referral based. Most of my clients came from the mainland, so I focused on search engine optimization. I was on the front page of Google for three years! I was a top photographer there, so I was REALLY busy there. I don’t know if I want to glorify that though. I was so tired, all the time. I don’t want to be tired every day and hating my job. You know?
This is the longest thing I’ve ever committed to. Just ask my lonely bow or my dusty yoga mat. This photography company fuels me and it literally has nothing to do with money. I’m not rich, I’m not a “rockstar photographer” with a huge following. I’m just a humble human trying to connect with people and serve a part of the wedding industry that isn’t taken care of nearly as much as it should.
So I’ll keep working to be the best wedding photographer possible. That’s the best I can do, right?