hi, I’m Anni.
I . . .
+ grew up all over the midwest but call Chicago home
+ love the mountains, a good book, a strong cup of coffee,
& the anticipation that comes with shooting a roll of film
+ believe in dinners with friends, often and for hours
+ dream of living in Paris for a year
+ watch Mad Men obsessively (I’m still humming Zou
+ just married love of my life
+ believe travel is good for the soul
What drew you to wedding photography? How’d you get started? People ask me all the time. I struggle with an answer, I could tell you about three or four starting points along the way, things that needed to happen in order for me to call myself a Photographer with a capital P.
In reality, the camera was an end point. I wanted to tell stories. I was never a talker, I always listened. I let other peoples’ words roll around in my mind, and struggled to find a way to share them, to package them up neatly enough that they could be transcribed to another generation, another time. But my words were never satisfying enough, they were too much about me.
My parents kept an old shoebox filled with loose photos. Snapshots of my grandparents, in front of their first house, with their kids and their dog, a family vacation where they got stranded in the desert. I used to pour over those pictures for hours at a time, the ones that showed people I had never gotten the chance to know, and the ones that showed the important people in my life far before I was born, leading their earlier lives that I knew little about.
Those photos were perfect, even when they weren’t. They were faded and dusty, they featured cheesy grins and red faces, flushed from excitement.
They told stories, big and small. They remembered, even when people forgot.
And so I didn’t choose photography, I didn’t make a decision to pursue it. I couldn’t not photograph, and somewhere along the way I figured out that I could tell those stories for other people, that the way I listened came in handy here, that it allowed me to see people. And I love it, and I’ll do it for the rest of my life, because I don’t know how not to.
And I’m lucky (I think we all say this, wedding photographers, not because we have to, but because it’s so undeniably true) because I’m there to not only listen to these important life stories, but to experience them, to be a part of them and take joy in them right there with you. And that’s a beautiful thing.
Photo credit: Nirav Photography