05 August, 2014 Stop Hiding: a blog about Coming Out.
Remember that one time in 2010 when I quit my job so that I could be a photographer, travel, meet people & somehow get involved in something bigger than myself? I had been contemplating this decision for a couple of years and wrote about it incessantly but definitely did not plan it out in the best way. All I had at the time was a Canon Rebel T1i (which got stolen the month after I quit), the lens that came with that camera and a whole lot of drive. I had no idea what I was going to photograph or how I was going to make money to support this “dream life” that I wanted but I was determined.
This was 4 years ago. I love looking back to see the progress I have made…not as a photographer but as a person. I had zero confidence when I first started. I never went to school for photography. I was terrified when I booked my first LGBT client. I was nervous about what others would say when I posted the images on my blog and worried that I would then have to explain the fact that I am gay. I knew they would judge me for supporting these wonderful couples and sure enough I got some pretty hateful messages which I took to heart. At that point it was bigger than my photography…these people didn’t know that when they were throwing out hurtful words they were also talking about ME. At the time I was ashamed because I didn’t know how to be true to myself. I constantly compared my work to other artists and would hear things that certain successful photographers would say about my work and beat myself up about it. But alas, I pressed on! I took those hateful messages and used them to fuel my energy into doing something positive. I’m sure glad I did. I learn something new every day. Most of all, through photography, I have learned how to be myself. I have figured out how to take what I am passionate about…what is close to my heart and run with it. That is truly when my career started taking off. I am an out and proud LGBT wedding photographer telling the stories of my clients but also telling my own story because all stories deserve to be told. I am now photographing full time the very thing that scared me & what I hid from when I first started. I started thinking of writing this post when I read a blog post called “Stop Hiding” from one of my favorite photographers Jeremy Cowart. Within the last year I have had LGBT wedding images go viral. My images have visited places I might never get to see. This would have never happened if I would’ve kept hiding. I am proud of my clients and very happy that I stuck with photography even when things got crappy. Thank you Jeremy for sharing your heart. Thanks to the Kents…I booked my first wedding the same month I quit my job. That family believed in me and to this day I know I still have their love and support. Here are a few images from their wedding at the Queen Mary in Long Beach in 2010.