Hitting The Ground Running

What a year of changes 2020 was, for everyone! The global pandemic upended our lives in ways we could never have imagined, and the effects are still with us as we slowly make our way back to some New Normal (whatever that might be…). And I’m glad. Here’s why.

Many people know that I have a day job, working in the automotive industry as a program manager (handy skills to have during the chaos of a wedding day, but that’s a post for another time!). I’d left my previous employer and had been searching for The Right Fit – a place where my skills and values aligned with the company and my peers. Who knew I’d find exactly what I was looking for in Silicon Valley, in the form of an electric vehicle startup that’s creating not only an amazing vehicle but an incredibly supportive culture in which to develop it? I hadn’t imagined leaving Michigan and the Midwest, but Memorial Day 2020 found me driving across the country to start a new role here on the West Coast. New faces, new places, new habits – and try furnishing an apartment when everything retail is closed! – but not so new really, because though California is new geography these are paths in life that I’ve walked before.

COVID hit the wedding and events industry hard as well, harder than most, since social gathering was shut down for so much of the year. Even when things opened back up again, they opened slowly – so intimate gatherings and “elopement” weddings gained in popularity as a result of limitations on guests and numbers, almost by necessity as couples navigated the rules while holding onto their dreams to begin their married lives together. And I, for one, think that’s been a great thing.

The best parts of weddings, for me, have always been the quiet, unguarded, private moments of my couples and those closest to them – the uniquely emotional moments that I’m privileged to witness and capture as their photographer. The fuss of large weddings obscured those moments in the crush of the day and its schedule, which is sad – because so often those tender moments are the truly memorable ones. The rise of intimate weddings allowed couples to slow down, to enjoy this most special day with the people that really matter most to them, and to get more of those moments to cherish.

There will always be couples who want and love the Big Party – and it took the pandemic to teach me that those aren’t the weddings for me. Plenty of talented photographers do amazing work with those celebrations; my focus now is on the simpler, more authentic gatherings that celebrate the love between two people, and the friends and family that support them. And while I’m just starting this journey here in California, I’m hitting the ground running and drawing on work I’ve already done with fantastic couples in the Midwest. I have the unimaginable benefit of knowing just what I want to do, and just who I want to do it with, and I can’t wait to get started!

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Hello, California!