How did I end up becoming a Wedding Photographer in Washington DC and Baltimore?
I’ve had to re-do this several times.
For those who have had to create a dating profile, this is how awkward I feel writing this.
I decided to split this up into my personal life and my photography career.
I think by sharing one, the other starts to making sense.
Personal Life – Pre Wedding Photographer Life:
I was born and raised in Maryland and I definitely call Maryland home.
I’ve traveled around quite a bit throughout the years – with over +20 countries visited now.
But without hesitation, DC, Maryland, and Virginia have my heart.
I wasn’t always that way though.
My story begins with very humble beginnings.
Wedding photography was not my first passion.
Landscapes and daily life were much more my muse.
Feel free to laugh at all my awkward phases.
I’m posting these as a way to break down the ice.
I enjoy self-deprecating humor and am 100% comfortable with it.
Hopefully this doesn’t end up going viral.
Around 10-year-olds, my family went to Japan to see our family and friends.
Out of sheer laziness, my parents gave me the family camera and allowed (better word for ‘forced’ lol) me to take photos of our vacation.
In middle school and high school, I carried around a camera on the weekends to highlight my friends adventures.
This was where I initially thought of becoming a photographer.
It just seemed ‘right’ if that makes sense.
It became a bigger deal when MySpace and Facebook began getting popular.
I was able to share my photos with friends and it was extremely gratifying to share it with them.
Albeit, they weren’t great photos – they still praised it and told me to continue doing it.
I became THAT GUY in the group that documented everything.
I initially thought about going to art school for photography (a story on its own).
But life lead me to California.
I attended a small liberal arts university in Southern California.
Long story short – during my time there, I somehow became the unofficial campus student photographer and attended every event.
While I was on study abroad in Chile during my junior year, I decided I didn’t want to do the traditional 9-5 job.
This probably was not what my parents wanted to hear at the time.
They slowly came to accepting that I wasn’t going to be their star child.
‘As long as you are happy Justin’
Wedding Photographer Career:
This portion of my life starts right after I graduated in 2011.
After a lot of encouragement from friends, I dabbled in wedding photography as an assistant.
To my surprise, I was the most fulfilling job.
I wouldn’t have thought my dream job was becoming a wedding photographer.
Working with people; capturing one of the most memorable days of their lives.
I continued pursuing photography, eventually getting a job back at my alma mater as an assistant photographer.
In 2013, a wedding brought me to Hawaii.
The whole time, I was thinking to myself,
“This is the dream job!!! I get to travel and do something I love”
After that trip, I planned for about 9 months and decided to resign my job.
I made my way back to the Washington DC / Baltimore area at the end of 2013 – with some amount of savings, but with an even bigger passion and determination.
It has been about 7 years since that Hawaii wedding.
Now having +200 weddings under my belt, I definitely understand weddings differently.
I share a bit more on my philosophy page.
In a nutshell, it’s a beautiful experience to be able to capture and see families / loved ones be able to celebrate together.
Simple Pleasures in Life – Outside of Wedding Photography:
Without sounding too romantic:
I am fairly low-key and enjoy having quality conversations with people over fantastic food while sharing stories.
I’m currently binge watching The Office from beginning to end.
If you ever decided to do the ceremony dance, let me know.
We might become instant best friends.
Feel free to reach out about anything – it doesn’t have to be wedding or photography related~
Looking forward to meeting you!
Where to Find Me + More About Me:
If you are looking to connect with me on my personal Facebook / Instagram page, please feel free to add me:
Drop by to say hello~!
Who knows, we might have some mutual friends~!
PS: Do you have other passions?
Yes, I love to dance (hip hop)!
If you are ever in need of getting your reception / dancing started, I’m your guy!
I’ve been Pinterest-ing and looking up Apartment Therapy ideas.
Staying up late at night to look up Living Big in a Tiny House videos on Youtube as well.
*** Number One Question I get asked ***
“Justin, you look really young.. how old are you?“
I turned 30 in 2019.
I thank my Japanese genes.
I’ll take what I can get for the time being lol
But I promise you, I’m an old soul in a young body.