My Story. The Alleyway.

June 30, 2015


Hello again, friends!

Today I’m going to break down my walls and continue to be 100% real with you guys.  I’m going to tell you about my business, how it started, the hurdles and the successes!

It was 2009.  I graduated high school and literally had no idea what I was going to do with my life.  Can I get an amen?  Because I know I’m not alone!  All I know was that I didn’t want to work in a regular 9-5 job.  They’re just not for me and I knew that I wouldn’t be happy being confined and limited.  But I still had no idea what I wanted to do.

All throughout high school every single one of my friends was getting one of those fancy cameras.  The Canon Rebel.  Raise your hand if you had a pro flickr account.  Yeah, I DIDN’T because I was cameraless.  I was so impressed with my friends’ Flickr accounts.  I could scroll through their feeds for hours.  I envied the fact that they were creating beautiful art just by taking pictures of everyday things.  This art form was so new to me.  I have always been super creative ever since I was little.  Singing, drawing, lego building…I did it all, man.  But photography was something I had never even experimented with…this was before camera phones, people.  So in 2010 I finally got my first camera!  And you best believe that I got a Pro Flickr account THE second I opened that box.  I was taking pictures of everything and everyone, sharing my creations online and getting awesome feedback.  It was glorious.


Later that year, two of my best friends and I took our first “grown up” adult trip to San Fransisco.  And of course, I brought my camera with me.  I took so. many. photos. but one photo really stood out to me.  No it wasn’t The Golden Gate or Alcatraz.  It was my two friends standing in an alleyway.  The lighting was perfect.  I posed them to the best of my abilities.  In “auto” mode, I snapped the picture and was amazed with the result.  I had never taken a picture of people that I was actually proud of.  It didn’t feel like a snap shot.  It looked like something you’d see in a magazine.  Let’s be real, looking at it now, it’s not that great, but I’m still so proud of it.  Why?  Because that little alleyway is what sparked the idea of my business.


2010 went by and I found myself in the middle of 2011 with a job that I was very unhappy at.  The job I had was a photography job but I was so confined and limited.  BUT since I was technically a vendor at that job, I had to get a business license.  So I took small photography jobs on the side.  The pay was small but those little portrait sessions made me so much happier than my “real” job at the time.  I craved more.  I made a small website and started marketing my business as a portrait photographer.  I never EVER saw myself being a wedding photographer until one of my friends asked me to second shoot for her.  OH MY GOSH.  It was THE most stressful thing in the world.  I was tired and I felt like I had been hit by a train.  But I was so full.  So happy at the results and so happy to have met the lovely couple.  I knew that this is what I wanted to do.  I became obsessed with the art of wedding photography.  I would spend hours watching videos and looking through wedding blogs just dreaming of the day I’d be able to shoot my first wedding as the main photographer.

Fast forward to mid 2012.  I booked my first wedding.  Thank GOD for Facebook.  I had been posting my work on Facebook for about a year.  One of my Facebook friends took notice.  Her best friend was getting married in just a couple months and was in dire need of a wedding photographer because her photographer dropped out last minute.  SCORE for Justin.  I was thrilled to meet the couple, but extremely nervous.  We met at Starbucks and they absolutely loved my work and booked me!  Then it hit me.  I had never shot a wedding as the main photographer.  I. was. TERRIFIED.  But the day finally arrived, and while there were a couple bumps in the road, it was amazing!  I am forever thankful for Lisa and Jason.  They totally took a chance and kickstarted my career.


I must admit that there have been a lot of struggles along the way, but also so many successes.  Last year I began to really concentrate and build my business and am continuing to do that this year.  THANK YOU to all of my amazing clients, friends and family who have been there every step of the way.  I praise God for placing you in my life.  Here’s to many more trials, errors, and triumphs!

  1. Great post. I really appreciate your honesty. Sometimes photo blog posts can get a bit same-y, so I much appreciate that you are venturing into deeper waters!

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ABOUT Justin

I've always been drawn to all things creative, but didn't pick up a camera until my senior year in high school to document a trip my friends and I were taking to San Francisco.  I had no idea how to correctly work my camera, but instantly fell in love with the concept of capturing moments in an artistic way.  I became obsessed with photographing anything and anyone willing to get in front of my lens.  Still lifes, landscapes, pets, people.  People.  What started out as a passion for photography quickly turned into a passion for people and the love they share.  I can't put words to the feeling of capturing fleeting moments, celebratory tears, warm embraces,  or loving glances.  What I can say is how incredibly fulfilling photographing weddings all over the west coast for the past twelve  years has been.  I'm thrilled to have you here and can't wait to work with you!   








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