6 years ago yesterday i photographed my first wedding. i was so nervous i couldn’t eat, sleep, or barely think straight until i got to the brides hotel. if you would have asked me that day where i’d be in 6 years, i would have never imagined it would be this place. i’m currently sitting down by the ocean with my laptop, the high tide is coming somewhat uncomfortably close to me (haha) and i’m trying to think how the heck did i get here.
i remember 5 years ago i was sitting outside of the beachhouse restaurant at sunset with my mom and dad as a wedding was going on on their lawn. i looked at my dad and said “man, can you just imagine if i ever got to photograph a wedding HERE?!? that would be a dream.” to me, at that moment, one wedding on kauai was the epitome of success in my eyes. i drove by that same restaurant yesterday which i am now one of the exclusive photographers for, and that memory along with the last 6 years played like a highlight reel in my mind. i slowed my truck and pulled off to the side for just a moment. i thought about then and now. it’s been a lot of sweat and a lot of tears. hustle, achievements, failures and more hustle. one of my favorite quotes that i have lived by throughout this process is “your business doesn’t care about you, unless you design it that way” and i believe that i’ve created a business that fulfills me in my work, keeps me on my toes, expands my mind, connects me to people, allows me to travel, live and thrive on this beautiful island while giving me the ability to empower others. tears filled my eyes for a second. i’m not sure if it was just pure exhaustion, feeling overwhelmed by where i’ve been and where i’m going or just being proud of the journey so far. i definitely don’t have everything figured out and still after all this time i sometimes feel like i have no idea what i’m doing. i still get nervous before every single shoot just like i did 6 years ago but if i’ve learned anything so far it’s this: find what makes you happy and believe in something. the only bad idea is the one everybody agrees with. do the work, it will pay off, i promise. and be real, the sooner you realize that you are smart enough, funny enough, good enough, talented enough, the better.
i’m so excited to see where the next 6 years take me, and where peter will be 6 years from now too. we’re sitting here right now at this same beach infront of that same restaurant, brainstorming and talking about what we would now consider “a dream”. the only difference is that i now know these dreams aren’t out of reach. i couldn’t be more thankful to sandra and erik who, 6 years ago, trusted me enough to photograph their wedding, what an incredible gift to have been given and i will be forever grateful. so cheers to the dreamers and the doers, the movers and the shakers, here’s to where we’ve been and where we’re going. i couldn’t be more excited.