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My love of photography began at about 6th or 7th grade, with camera I "borrowed" from Dad. After many years of playing around with photography as a hobby, I began a decade of exploration into how I might make a living with it.
I originally tried making it as a landscape photographer because I really do love being outside and traveling around exploring wild places. After a few years of frustration with having magazine editors tell me things like, "Wow that photo is so beautiful, we really want to use it as a double page spread in our magazine. We'll even pay you $100 for it,"
Eventually I was invited to shoot pictures at my sister's wedding and I absolutely loved it.
That first encounter with wedding photography slowly led to more and more jobs until before long I realized that I could actually pay my bills doing this. At that time I was working part time as a Biology substitute teacher in the winter and as a rafting guide in the summer. In the fall of 2000 I became a father to a wonderful little guy named Jade. Being a dad suddenly encouraged me to quit playing around and get more serious about making a living at this wedding photography business. From there it quickly took over more and more of my life.
So now I work exclusively on wedding photography. As I've gotten better at doing it, and better at marketing myself on an international basis, I find that wedding photography provides the very same travel and adventure opportunities that I was originally looking for when I took up photography as a young man. Each year the travel weddings become a larger and larger component of my business and I absolutely love it. I love that I never know where in the world my next wedding will be. And while I do still enjoy weddings in my own neighborhood, having to dig out my passport always keeps things exciting.
As a child, traveling the world and living the life of a photographer seemed like such a far away dream. Now I look at all the spots on that map and each one is filled with memories of the people I've met and the things I've seen and done in each place. It's still a dream, and the places all blend together in my poor memory, but now the dream has faces and the taste of wonderful food and beautiful mountains and coral reefs with incredible fish and huge sea turtles and colored eels and birds and butterflies and rum and music and people dancing in the sand and lonely beaches and juicy mangoes and coco and wild taxi rides and Rastas and the smell of a muddy trail along the side of a river that winds deeper and deeper into a real jungle. That's all quite a lot of adventure for a Texan.
Who would have thought that a camera could take you to so many strange places.