I have had the wonderful opportunity to second shoot for two AMAZING photographers!  As I sit on the cusp of my first solo wedding weekend, my mind goes back to my first few second shooting experiences. Kristin Hurley and I went to high school together and reconnected in the fall of 2013 when she did our family photos.  It was that same fall  that my husband gifted to me a Canon Rebel.  I began shooting and a year later Kristin invited me to second shoot a wedding with her of a mutual friend.  I graciously accepted, knowing that my experience level was not even in the same galaxy as hers, but I was eager to learn and I loved Kristin's style.  That September day turned out to be the PERFECT West Virginia fall Saturday.  Gorgeous blue skies, trees starting to burst with autumn color, and absolutely ideal temperatures.  Knowing the bride that day helped to calm my raging, stomach churning nerves.  Add to that, the fact that the bride's soon to be husband was the dog daddy to a spunky Boxer and my day had been made.  When I wasn't sure what to do, I photographed the dog!

I had successfully dipped my toes into the wedding photography water, and I was hooked.  Here's why, I.  LOVE.  WEDDINGS.  I love the planning and preparing.   I love the dresses, flowers, decorations, and cakes.  I had  always wanted to be involved with weddings and finally had found a way to be right in the middle of them.  I couldn't have asked for a better first time as a second shooter!  Before Kristin and I had parted that day, she again invited me to second shoot with her in January, and again, I accepted without hesitation.    

The January wedding was drastically different from my first second shooting experience, but I loved every detail  and soaked up as much of Kristin's wisdom as I possibly could.  

I was lucky again that chilly January day, and had a dog to calm my nerves.  Sweet George flat out made me giggle.  

A little over year passed and again, Kristin invited me to second shoot a large wedding with her in Wheeling, West Virginia.  Since shooting with her the last time in January of 2014, I had become fully immersed in the photography world.  I had attended an amazing workshop in March and three weeks after that, I took the leap and applied for my business license.  I was excited to do another wedding with Kristin and gladly accepted!  

I will never be able to thank Kristin Hurley enough for taking a chance on me and for teaching me so much about wedding photography.  She has become and invaluable mentor and friend, and I look forward to working with her always!

As I mentioned earlier, I was able to attend a photography workshop in March of 2015.  I never would have imagined that it would have been that workshop that pushed me to the place I am now.  It was at that workshop that I met and immediately connected with Sarah Dunlap.  Her energy was magnetic and I knew instantly that I would love an opportunity to work with her.  So I put myself out there and told her that I had a few second shooting experiences under my belt and would love the chance to work with her.  She knocked me off my feet when she said she had two weddings back to back that she needed a second shooter for and would like for me to come with her.      I absolutely accepted that very second!  I didn't even care that one of the weddings was the same day as my 30th birthday.  There was no way I was going to pass up working with her!  

I learned so much from Sarah that day and was so excited to work with her again the following Saturday!

I have said to Sarah more times than I can count how thankful and appreciative I am of her advice and guidance.   Having had the chance to work with these two fantastically talented photographers has absolutely solidified my love of weddings and photography.

 If I am lucky enough to get to be a part of a bride and grooms most special day for the next 20 years, I will be insanely lucky.  As their wedding photographer, I won't  just take the photos, I will build relationships and bonds and I will get to witness precious, palpable love.  Tomorrow starts my solo wedding photographer career and I absolutely am thrilled to be a part of Cyndi and Kenny's special day!