I’m incredibly fortunate to shoot a ton of weddings. 45 so far this year, and another 7 to go. My students, and even some of my brides ask me “how do you stay motivated… what drives you to keep going?” it’s a valid question given the fact that I’ve surpassed 900 weddings, and counting…. The truth is, I still get moved, and I’m still caught up emotionally in the events that unfold before me. I’m completely invested in finding those “hidden” moments for my clients to look back upon. It’s these moments that help them recall something incredibly special that took place on their wedding day. I still get goosebumps on occasion, and it reminds me of why I do what I do.

I spent 17 years as a photojournalist before I began shooting weddings. While I’m no longer really a photojournalist, the instincts to anticipate and react to moments are still in me, and I place it at the top of my priority list when photographing just about anything. My transition from photojournalist to wedding photographer wasn’t as easy as some think. I had to learn SO many other facets of the craft besides just capturing moments and making things look visually interesting. I needed to learn how to make people look their best, how to make women and my couples look beautiful, how to solve problems, and also deal with adversity during a day that can be full of surprises. I shot, I learned, and I’m still learning, frankly. But, as my mother used to say, “you can take the boy out of the Bronx, but you can’t take the Bronx out of the boy”. You can take me out of photojournalism, but you can’t take the photojournalist out of me.

Here, below, is the lovely Ashley Cook and her father, Harry, at the Four Seasons in Philadelphia this past Saturday. There are only a few moments before she’ll walk down the aisle with her dad. Ashley is a warm soul, and a beautifully emotive person. It was a privilege to work with her, Mark- her husband, and their families. For me, this is what I’ll remember from this particular wedding, and I hope it’s something her family will cherish.

For you photographers out there, what is it that motivates YOU? Just curious. Feel free to leave comments, and I’ll chime in as well.

Nikon D4S, Nikkor 24-70 2.8 1/320th @ F2.8 ISO 5000fourseasons1