September 18, 2019

Wedding Photography – Why I Started, My Journey, and My Struggles

PERSONAL

Hi there! I’m Cori from Cori Story Photography and I’m a wedding and elopement photographer based out of sunny Los Angeles! I photograph awesome couples all over the world and get to hear their stories, but some of you may be wondering how I got into wedding photography in the first place so I decided I’d share my story with ya’ll today.

Cute girl in a yellow jacket smiling at camera

Wedding photography has a special place in my heart. I thought it would be fitting to reflect and take today (ahem my birthday!!!) to bring you back to the start of my photography journey.

person standing on cliff edge in front of radiant sunset with birds flying overhead

How I first became interested in photography.

I’ve always been fascinated by cameras since I was young. My aunt loved taking photos with her digital point-and-shoot, so I was inspired to make photos interesting and document moments. In high school, I loved rainy days because I could go out with friends to take moody photos.

treeline visible against a dark purple, starry sky

I wanted to document every moment and go on adventures, in hopes of creating something interesting. I used to read a lot of books when I was younger and I had a huge imagination. I loved daydreaming of all the places I wanted to see one day.

Once I began college, photography became more important to me in coping with life.

I became disgruntled and disheartened over the consistent pattern of platonic relationships fading away to a dim memory.

It made me wonder if it had really been there, that bond. I used photography to immortalize moments and memories with people so that even if the relationship faded or happy events passed, when I looked back at photos, I’d still feel warmth and reassurance that whatever had been was real, even if it didn’t exist anymore.

young woman standing in dimly lit alleyway at night

Cue: depression and anxiety.

This is something I started struggling with in college as my ideals of what should be clashed with the current reality of what was. My world felt gray, bleak, and pointless.

Photography became a lifeline for me to keep going. It was a therapeutic outlet. I’d travel and go out in nature, wanting to escape and find solace in the solitude.

Photography helped me document the beauty I’d find in the most random of places in my escape adventures. Because everything was so gray and dismal during that time, I felt I was searching for a place I didn’t know existed or not, places that I’d only read about in books or dreamt about in dreams.

When I did find these fantasy-like places, I felt something that was as close to joy as possible in that season. I felt more hopeful.

I created some of my most colorful and vibrant work on days when I was the saddest and most discouraged. When I created, I felt the most alive and hopeful of all the endless possibilities.

young woman standing on rocks as waves from ocean crash around her

I know a lot of artists and creatives create work that reflects how they feel inside, and lot of work showcases the darkness they feel inside. But, I didn’t see a point in expressing myself like that. Why would I create more unhappiness and darkness in a world that already felt dismal, cruel, and dark? I was sad and unhappy – close to giving up.

I wanted to create nostalgic art that made people feel what I wanted to feel at that time: happy, hopeful, and adventurous.

I never wanted anyone else to go through and feel what I felt. I wanted to give to people what I wanted and a reason to hope. I guess photography was my way of trying to be a small light to the world even when I like a melting candle on the brink of being snuffed out myself.

a beautiful starry sky with light from a camping tent below

I slowly transitioned from doing landscape photography to portraits of other people. I found that people loved how they came out with candids when I photographed them and made them feel like models. I loved seeing people’s growing confidence as sessions would go on.

I wanted to give people what I had always wanted to have: to feel confident, beautiful, and treasured. Plant a flower of kindness, leave a drop of light, add some color to the world.

young woman with long hair looks out a window

I fell in love with wedding photography, and it was then that I realized why. I liked photographing subjects wearing long, flowy dresses because it felt more artistic and ethereal. This eventually led me to conclude that wedding photography encompassed all the areas I loved.

I like witnessing joy and bringing joy when people would see themselves in photos and feel radiant. I’ve always been the more quiet, observant type so I’m able to anticipate and catch the small moments.

female photographer capturing portraits of bride on wedding day

You’ll notice in my photos that I never lost my love for color. Moments don’t last forever so I’m there to document those moments and preserve those warm, happy feelings into tangible evidence for you to always look back on and relive the memories. 

young woman wearing hat and yellow sweater sitting in field of wildflowers

“Some people dream of success, others wake up and work hard at it. Don’t let your dreams be dreams.”

This was a life-changing quote for me.

I decided to stop waiting on chance, or wistfully daydreaming about when everything would magically click together. I went all-in and dove after a creative career to pave my own path. We only get one life to live, so I want to create the life I want, without any regrets.

Dream big, but don’t just dream…do something and make stuff happen.

I hope by sharing this you’re able to take away a piece of inspiration or common ground. Do you have a creative outlet that you use to deal with difficult things in your life? I’d love to hear about it! You can always reach out to inquire about photography or just to say hey. You can also check out more of my work on my blog or on Pinterest. 🙂

Yours Truly,
Cori

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