A few years ago, I did a photo project for the D.C. Shoot off. Great fun. We had less than 24 hours to plan, design, shoot and edit a small portfolio for judging. I was able to get access to the Bikram Yoga in Pittsburgh, Pa. They only gave me 30 minutes.

As i transition my galleries and photos from my old business website to this blog, I have to say that I have shot nearly 100 weddings over the years. I started with a small Pentax K100 with a Vivitar 283 flash and 10 rolls of film, and slowly built enough capital to have a full studio, business model, clients etc. etc.

What I loved most about shooting weddings were the people. They were so inviting. I was a part of one of the most important days of their lives: from the planning, the dressing, the ceremony, the intimate moments caught alone, the reception; and then weeks later when they come and look at their images.  The wedding photographer is the guy who is there through the entire process.

At times you can feel a bit like a midwife. I have mended wedding dresses with my sewing kit. I have carried drunk best men to the ambulances. I have duct taped torn hems in the tuxedo. Calmed down panicking mothers. I even gave the benediction for the reception when the minister’s car broke down on the way to the hall.

I have also dealt with the bounced checks. Stood in the hurricane that is the bridezilla. I have been screamed at by drunk bride’s maids and mothers who can’t understand why a wedding photographer might cost more than $500.

One of my favorite memories was Madame X, who called me after two years to ask if I still had her wedding photos that she never picked up AND if I was free to shoot her wedding with her soon-to-be second husband.

Big Changes

I started my photo business, Dragonfly Digital Media, in 2000. It was a small side business to earn some cash and have fun on the side while I served as a combat camera photojournalist in the Navy. The business grew and grew. We moved from Virginia Beach to Pittsburgh. We changed the name to Dragonfly Photography as we focused less on video production and more on just portraits and weddings. We were very successful.

In 2009, I had decided that I was spending much more time hustling for work and much less time doing what I loved– photography. I was also spending less and less time with my daughter, who is the most amazing kid. So I went back to graduate school. By 2011, I was so busy with single-parenting and school, that I scaled back the photography. By 2013, after a decade of shooting I officially decided to close my formal business.

I still take photographs: occasionally still shooting weddings or helping other photographer; and even teaching a Butler County Community College or guest speak at University of Pittsburgh, CCAC and Point Park University. But I have decided that the entrepreneurial business of running a photographic service was not a calling I enjoyed anymore.

But I didn’t want to get rid of my website. I still love to shoot and share my work. I will be keeping DragonflyPhotography.com but rolling it into my five year old blog “The Camera Chronicle.”

So come and see my journey through life through my lens.