I photograph a lot of weddings and you would think, by now, that I would be a little, I don’t know, jaded. You know… the grizzled veteran who’s seen it all and never gets surprised anymore.

But I get surprised all the time and it’s not the big things that surprise me, it’s the little things. The emotional things.

Last Saturday I was photographing a beach wedding in Treasure Island. Joe and Ashley. Small wedding, just a few friends. A destination wedding so I had never met the couple before.

I look up and here comes the groom. He’s a good-sized guy and covered in tattoos. Plus he’s got some piercings and those big disks in his ears. This is a serious guy. This is the sort of groom that might be trouble… might think the whole “wedding” thing is a pain in the ass, might not like posing for pictures.

Treasure Island Beach Wedding


Joe reaches into his pocket and pulls out the paper with his vows written on it. Then he starts to lose it. He was overcome with emotion and had to stop several times. He’s crying, the bride is crying, the guests are crying, I’m crying (and taking pictures). It was wonderful… touching and heartfelt and a joy to witness. It was everything you hope to see when two people who love each other announce it to the world.

That’s the great thing about my job. The surprises. The surprises make it all worthwhile.

Treasure Island Beach Wedding

Congratulations Joe and Ashley!