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My Journey to Wedding Photography

Now unto Him who is able to exceedingly, abundantly above all we ask or think according to the power that works in us.

Ephesians 3:20

Three months before I photographed my first wedding I had never owned a real camera. Of course, I had owned an iPhone and a little digital point and shoot, but never a quality camera that required any skill. Wild, I know. To tell this story fully, we need to start in November 2018.

The First Nudge – Leaving Starbucks

About 6 months after I got married, I felt the Lord press into my heart to quit my job with Starbucks. This was a huge decision. I had just been brought on to a higher volume store, I loved my team, and we were paying for my college out of pocket. Logically, this was the not the move, but rarely do I find God’s quiet voice leading to a place that makes immediate sense. My husband and I prayed, then put in my two weeks. We didn’t know what the Lord was doing, but since I was still in school we assumed that was supposed to be my focus. There was an abundance of peace. About a week after I quit, my husband got a 17% raise that covered the exact amount I was making previously. God’s provision was right there.

The Second Nudge – Quitting School

As my fall quarter came to a close, I sought a creative outlet with all my free time. Being passionate about homemaking, cooking and thrifting, I created a YouTube channel to document our life. With an iPhone and iMovie, I began vlogging and posting weekly. It was a fun passion project and the first time since I was 16 that I didn’t have a job. By the time winter quarter rolled in, I had over 30 videos and was starting to get a rhythm with Simply Suitt. To my great shock when I walked on campus for my first day of classes I felt a deep pull in my spirit to withdraw and quit school. I was dumbfounded. I called my husband, a little panicked, and asked him to pray with me over this decision. At this point, I was 4 years deep with a year left and $16,000 in debt. Quitting was the last thing I thought I would do, but we prayed. It was surreal how strongly I felt the Lord say “NO, I have something else for you.” To the withdraw office I went and within minutes I was jobless, unenrolled and had no clear direction on what’s next. What I find beautiful about reflecting on this moment is how it doesn’t matter what the next step after obedience is. What matters is saying yes and trusting the Lord will give the next step in due time.

The Third Nudge – Buying a course

I went home and continued to do YouTube, dive into the Word and clean my house. I started honing in new skills like cooking more and reading more. Within a week, I was praying everyday for direction. That’s when I felt another nudge. This time it was to purchase the Heart University (now called Photo Major). It’s an online business and wedding photography course made by two Jesus loving women. At the time this felt so weird. First, I wasn’t a wedding photographer or a photographer at all. Second, we had school debt and the course was $1800. Still, I felt deep in my spirit this was the next step. We prayed and God made a way. We were able to get a big discount being the first cohort to take the course AND they had a 12 month payment plan that was doable for us. I consumed this content so quick with the intention of implementing the social media portions and business education to start my YouTube brand. Yet God had something else in mind.

The Fourth Nudge – Quitting… well everything.

It was not much more than a month later as we prayed for what to fast from during lent that I felt a quiet nudge to abstain from YouTube and Instagram. At this point, I looked to God so confused. I had no job. I had no school. Creating content was quite literally my only job/hobby, but still I leaned into Him. For the next 40 days of lent the Lord did some of the deepest healing I’ve ever experienced in my walk with Him. He spoke identity over places in me that I didn’t realize were so broken. I learned to hear His voice even clearer, to trust His yes, to walk alongside Him even when it doesn’t make sense. I forgave a lot of people, including myself. I gave up idols and let Him break strongholds of fear in my life. As the 40 days came to an end, I prayed that He would give me clear direction to walk boldly into over the next season. He did.

The Final Direction – You will be a wedding photographer

I was on my hands and knees praying for direction when I felt deep in my spirit, “You will be a wedding photographer.” My response was… WHAT? It wasn’t anything I expected or even desired previously. I didn’t own a camera. I didn’t know how to run a business. Yet, I felt so sure that the Lord was going to make a way. AND HE DID. We sold bitcoin to be able to purchase my first little camera. That course from way back in January ended up being the foundation of my business. I photographed everything, practiced everyday and chased this with God. He opened more doors than I can even explain, but I want to highlight a few to give Him glory for His goodness in all of this. I booked my first paid wedding before ever having photographed one. The couple simply believed that I would be talented enough to document their wedding a year from the first month I got my camera. Every single person I took free photos for ended up paying me. Within three months I shot my first wedding for free, but it was a coastal wedding on the cliffs of Cayucos, CA, with stunning rolling golden hills and a blue barn. Within six months, I had people finding my work on instagram and giving me second shooting opportunities that I had no business taking. I photographed two weddings at the Bel Air Bay Club and booked over $12000 in work. As someone that went from never using a camera, this is insane and absolutely a testament to the Lord’s faithfulness.

I’m now five years into business and I feel so thankful that the Lord handpicked such a perfect career for me. It’s a combination of everything I love: people, love, covenant, and beauty. Whenever I find myself losing steam or purpose in this industry, I go back to this. God brought me here for a reason and I can trust that He would still me here until He makes that known.

Thanks for reading this testimony. I pray that encourages you to be bold in your faith, even when it doesn’t make sense. God will always provide the next step when you are walking with eyes on Him and feet quick to move in the direction He’s calling. God bless you.

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