I like sci-fi movies and mystery novels, bright colors and neon lights. I yell "Kitty!" every time I see a cat and I've been known to hum or whistle jazz standards to myself while I work. I love to travel, play games and have entirely too many craft supplies for one person. I will be dancing while I take photos at your reception and I will be absolutely giddy when the light is amazing and I nail the perfect shot.
Long, long ago in “The Land of Pleasant Living,” I studied photography in the basement of the Main Building at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where I was immersed in an environment of awesomely quirky, creative people. I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and completed an internship at the Baltimore Jewish Times, followed by a staff position there. I got to photograph everything you can imagine. Portraits, food, interiors, events, products, sports, more portraits, lots and lots of portraits.
I did this for four years until I decided I was cool enough to start my own business from my tiny apartment in Hamilton. As it turns out, running a business is super hard. And, while I was initially successful, like all entrepreneurs I experienced a lot of ups and downs. After much prodding from family and friends, I transitioned from photographing anything and everything to photographing weddings, and immediately I fell in love.
Since then, I’ve photographed hundreds of weddings and worked at too many venues to count. I’ve collaborated and co-edited industry blogs (like WeddingIQ), spoken in front of hundreds at wedding industry events (like WeddingWire World), and racked up all the awards and accolades a wedding pro is “supposed to have”
Why I celebrate the real
My Mom hated having her photo taken. She had an awkward smile. She would look off in different directions. The more you tried to coax her to look natural the more she would do weird things with her face. I was completely perplexed as to why this was such an issue for her, but I accepted it. I occasionally got a candid here or there but mostly just honored the fact that she felt uncomfortable and didn't take photos at all.
When I got married in 2008 we had a small wedding in Tennessee with just a few family members and friends. We planned a more casual reception back home in Maryland for the rest of the family a few months later. This meant hiring two photographers in two different locations. You would think this would be easy as I'm a professional and have lots of contacts, plus I know what I'm looking for. It took forever to find someone (two someone's) who fit our budget and I liked their work.
I settled on Jason Putsché as our Baltimore photographer because when I looked at his work it looked exactly like mine. I love the images he took. It is an exact portrayal of what happened that day. He captured amazing candid images of everyone. I look back at these photos and I smile because I feel like I'm there experiencing it all over again. I was sure he would get great photos of everyone but what surprised me were the photos of my Mom. She was smiling and in the moment. Unaware that he was photographing her. She was just being herself and enjoying the day. She was wearing her favorite dress and she looked relaxed and happy. This is how I remember her.
My Mom passed away in 2015 after two years of treatment for cancer. I was with her at every doctors appointment. I somehow managed to run my business and take care of her at the same time. As soon as she got the terminal diagnosis I knew I would do whatever I could to help her in her final days, months, years. She was my best friend, my closest confidant, and I loved her more than words can express. She made all the decisions about her care with my support and died with dignity, living on her own until her final days. I can only hope we all have the same privilege.
When clients ask me why I photograph for a living, or I see them stressing over the details of planning, I want them to read this story and see why it's so important to have good photography at every stage of your life. I didn't know my Mom would be gone seven years after our wedding. I wasn't thinking of the family members that would pass, I was thinking of my wedding day and how much fun we would have. But the reality is that these images are so much more precious now and I'm so appreciative that I chose someone who would focus on the joy and the laughter, not just the cake and the flowers.
Why you should celebrate too
Because real is beautiful and I want to share it with you. I want you to see the amazing awesomeness that is your life. Everyone has something infinitely interesting about themselves. I believe that diversity is what makes the world amazing, and I’ve been privileged to photograph weddings of all types, from the ultra-orthodox to the completely unconventional. I’ve witnessed the blending of cultures and the creation of new customs. I support marriage equality as well as religious freedom.
In a nutshell, I want everyone’s wedding to be as one-of-a-kind as they are...and the people who want that too are exactly the kind of people I want to hire me. So it makes perfect sense to me: if I want to photograph weddings for real people, I need to be real too: I don’t take umpteen posed, boring portraits. I don’t shoot for Instagram. I don’t believe weddings are bound by tradition. I don’t believe how much money a couple spends dictates how awesome their wedding will be. I want to tell my dream clients’ stories through vivid, candid, magical images.
If you think we might be a match, I’d love to hear from you!