My path to becoming a photographer

Had you asked me or any of my friends and family what I would be when I grew up, never in a thousand years would the answer have been a wedding photographer. It simply wasn’t on my radar and I was never on a clear path to becoming a professional photographer.

I wish I could tell you that I studied under the top professional photographers for decades and got a photography degree from the best college… Or even that I had a camera in my hands ever since I could walk.

But I can’t claim any of that.

My story to becoming a professional photographer is, as far as I can tell, a little different than most.

Long story short…

I received my first camera on my 38th birthday, then two weeks later I quit my safe job of 17 years to pursue photography full time. Today I’m a professional wedding photographer.

Seems a little crazy when looking back and obviously there’s a ton of details left out of those two sentences, but in a nutshell, that’s how it went down. I made a decision, took a risk, and then did everything I could do to make it a reality. It didn’t happen over night, I put in the work and have worked hard on this craft and becoming the best photographer I can be every day since.

I second shot for 3 weddings under two different pro-photographers within the first 8 months. Then in less than a year of owning a camera I shot my fourth wedding which I shot as the lead and only photographer at the event. (I don’t mean to humble-brag, but I was amazing at that wedding and produced some award winning photos).

From that very first wedding I fell in love with wedding photography and knew without a doubt that this is the direction I wanted to take my photography.

During that first year I spent everyday learning more and more about photography, wedding photography, Flash and lighting, and shot everyday until I knew the setting forwards and backwards. I also setup a photography company called RAD Atom Design and Photography (I know, super dope name). Then built a website along with social media accounts and put my work online showcasing a small handful of my shoots.

I was making no real money and working my ass off, and I couldn’t be happier.

Before I could fully commit to shooting weddings I needed more gear and a couple upgrades but I was struggling to find ways to make enough money. Then during the summer of 2015 I got a call asking how much I would charge for shooting a company event with 700 employees for 4 days between 2 locations.

After receiving the call I went straight to Amazon and made a cart filled with camera gear and everything I needed for wedding photography. I threw in a new full frame camera, a couple fast lenses, flashes, triggers, batteries, cards and everything else I could think of that I would need at a wedding. Copied the total from the cart and sent it to the person in charge of the company event… “This is what I charge for your shoot!” 

She agreed to to the amount and I hit the ‘buy it now’ button. Boom, just like that I had all of the gear I needed to shoot weddings!  A year or so after shooting that event the coordinator contacted me again to shoot her wedding in California. Which I did and it was amazing! 

Now as dope of a name as RAD Atom Design and Photography was, it didn’t exactly scream wedding photographer. So in January 2016 I re-branded and changed the name to Epoch Moment Photography. I focused the entire website on engagements and weddings and started marketing and getting my name out there anywhere and everywhere.

My first year under the new name I shot 11 weddings. The next year I doubled that and have grown year after year ever since.

engaged couple almost kissing in the yellow aspens of colorado

"The single most importantcomponent of a camera isthe twelve inches behind it."

~ Ansel Adams