P: What were your biggest challenges when starting your career? What about current challenges?
ED: Besides the obvious start-up costs, gear, laptop, hard drives, and stuff like that, (which was hard because I didn’t make much freelancing for the paper, but you start up small and build your gear from there), my biggest challenge was being the quiet introvert. It was hard for me to direct people. Walking into a room with a bunch of nervous people and being nervous myself was a hard thing to overcome. I learned how to own that about myself. I would take the back seat during the day and quietly allow the wedding day to unfold. I work best when I’m ignored. To find how every wedding is different, I learned to sit back and watch, learning how to anticipate moments and show up at a scene while working with what I’m given, which is exactly what I was trained to do while working at the newspaper.
I’ve also discovered that the energy you put out into the world is the energy that is given back to you. If I send out energy that is upbeat and enthusiastic, then that’s the energy that I receive. It takes a lot of effort for me to send out that much energy, and I try to rest the next day to mentally recharge. Something I learned from Steve is how to befriend everyone at the wedding, and by doing so, everyone is more comfortable around me, and it makes it easier to capture good and pure moments from strangers if they feel a kinship with me. And I really do want to be friends with everybody. I am genuinely happy to be there to experience the meltdowns and the moments with them. It’s a significant milestone.