Monday, November 11, 2013

the apprentice:


When I tell people I am getting married they automatically ask, "have you picked a date?" and their second question always is, "who is going to photograph your wedding?". I had two amazing photographers in mind. I actually had spoke to one before even getting engaged! (I am a planner I can't help it). But throughout the year I had been thinking (to myself mostly) It would be cool to find someone who I can teach my style of photography and then have them shoot my wedding. Of course I knew no one would ever agree to a proposition as such.

Let me tell you, being a photographer and finding someone to shoot pictures of you is HARD. It is incredibly difficult for me to be on the other side of the lens.

I finally voiced my idea out loud to Richard one day. His response: "that's a great idea! do it. Find someone!". Oh thanks for the help sweet fiance. So I thought of Amanda.

See, Amanda has been to a million weddings this year alone. Every time she would post a picture on Instagram I would say to myself, "she should really start a photography business!". I never voiced my opinions to her though. Until that one day I sent her an email stating my proposal.

I jumped for joy when she agreed.

Amanda is so eager to learn. She already has an amazing eye. I truly believe that photography cannot be taught. Like they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it is true. I cannot teach Amanda to see what I see, I can only teach her how to capture what she sees in her mind.

So far, it is going very well and I am already happy with the photos she is producing. I let her borrow my Nikon D40 and she is shooting everything in sight! We went on a shooting date last month and I got to show her just simple mechanics of lighting and aperture.

This weekend, I will be shooting her holiday photos and showing her how to work with glowy light (that light you get before the sun sets). She will be shooting our engagement photos that day too!

Needless to say, I am THRILLED about this experience. I can't wait to see all the amazing images she is going to shoot and all the memories we will make a long the way.

 Here are a few photos from our first day shooting together:

practicing angles

and different perspectives

my student is a beauty! isn't she?

I probably should have brushed my hair, but here is a photo shot by Amanda.

A note from Amanda:

I met Yessenia last year (2012) in our last class of undergrad at CSULB and I immediately liked her as a person. We didn’t get to talk too much but the few times we did talk I could tell she was down-to-earth; someone who was willing to be “real,” with me (and the whole class for that matter), and I liked that.

We kept in touch through Instagram and Facebook but it wasn’t until this summer (2013) that we really reconnected and she offered what has come to be one of the greatest opportunities ever extended to me. 

It was a Sunday morning when I got her email (Subject line: “Weird Question”), basically asking me if she could trade me a year of personal photography training in exchange for me shooting her wedding a year later (with the skills I would be acquiring). My jaw fell on the ground along with my stomach; this was the most ludicrous idea I had ever heard—I had never even held a DSLR camera in my life! My first reaction was “Ha! This must be a joke! Why on earth would she, a photographer herself, ever consider me capable of shooting her WEDDING?” But the more I thought about it the more I began to fantasize about the [many] doors this could open for me. I had been secretly wanting to do this for quite some time, and by that I mean I had been studying photography and videography (via Pinterest, lol) in hopes that one day I might be able to bribe someone to let me capture their special day! Ha!

Well, long story short—I accepted Yessenia’s offer and I am now currently in the midst of learning everything I possibly can; absorbing every bit of wisdom and skill that she has to offer, and taking pictures of anything and everything and trying to find ways to make them better. I am as nervous as can be and I confess to already having a few nightmares about missing all the good wedding-day shots, but from what I’ve experienced so far I know that Yessenia is [and will be] a great teacher—always patient and encouraging, and willing to give extremely constructive feedback in a gentle way. 

It’s hard to let your guard down and to become a “teachable” student, leaving your flaws exposed and raw, but I’m trying my best. In my mother-in-law’s own words, “she wouldn’t have offered you this opportunity if she wasn’t confident in her ability to train you and have you prepared in time.” And I know she’s right. Fears aside, I’m so excited for this invaluable experience, for all there is to be learned throughout the process, and for the friendship that I’m gaining along the way!


  1. That is SO cool! It's economical, obviously, and you are teaching her a great skill! I think it will be so interesting to see how she develops as a photographer (haha photography pun, couldn't help it!).

    1. hahaha! develops as a photographer...GREAT pun. I can't wait to see. I know all her images will be fantastic :)