A little over 10 years ago Nicole and I were married and we chose Ken as our wedding photographer. I would never have even thought at that time that in a little while I would be photographing weddings WITH Ken. When Nicole and I took a trip out west to the Sierras and Yosemite I started getting a little interested in photography. Wishing my photos would actually “turn out” was a major goal as well. Once we were back home I started to take photos with our “point & shoot” camera and soon realized that wasn’t going to cut it. In a few months I had my first real camera, a Canon Elan 7E. I really was interested in photography by then. Later I even got into the “make your own bathroom into a darkroom” and 4×5 “field” cameras but that’s another story. In the mean time though, I had got back in touch with Ken and he invited me to shoot my first wedding with him.
I was really nervous. I remember exactly starting out at the bride’s house. My first shot I didn’t have film in my camera. I walked around the corner, reached in my coat and put a roll in. Then I started to take photos again. I’m not sure if Ken noticed, but if he did he would never have said anything. Ken never said anything negative about my helping him out. That day was the start of a real friendship and learning experience. Eventually I relaxed and I had some fun too! It was amazing being a part of some one’s wedding day. I was hooked.
There’s so much to thank Ken for, looking back now. A wedding day can be pretty hectic, and you have to roll with the day. Ken was a master at this and he would keep people having a great time all day. I helped Ken for around 5 years, and I never would have learned about weddings without being a part of them. As I did more and more weddings I learned what to look for, and what comes next.
I also learned to be comfortable at weddings. Ken was always “lifting” me up and that gave me confidence. Before long I was popping in and out of a pew, photographing the bride walking down the aisle. (This is something I really didn’t know if I could do at one time!) I began to feel more and more at ease because of Ken. And when I booked my first wedding of my own, Ken came along and that meant so much to me.
Ken taught me so much. The way I learned first hand in weddings is something I never could have learned in books or at a school and he was a great teacher. He never once said “No don’t do it that way”. Rather he would say something like “try one this way”. He would ask me before rushed times “What number are you on?” (Those days were film! and you could only take 36 photos before re-loading). He would calmly say “Maybe you should start a new roll”. I was very fortunate to be eased into wedding photography and taught first hand!
While there are so many things I learned working for Ken, our friendship is the best part. We had so much fun going to new churches, and meeting new people. He is the type of person who really enjoys life and has fun in the simple things as much as big events. I have so many memories of funny things we’ve done and our trips to weddings together. We’re friends outside of weddings too, and our family enjoys visits when ever we can. Ken and his wife Phyllis are the type of friends that would do anything for you, and we are very blessed to have them as friends. So for everything you’ve done, thanks Ken!