A very frequent question that I get is:
“How long have you been a photographer?”
This is a tough question, as I’m sure it is for most artists, because how do you define the starting point of a lifelong passion? Is it when I got my first camera? When I started my first job so that I could afford to shoot a roll of film each week, develop it and buy a new one?
I think the real genesis of “Drayke Larson Weddings” was in 2006.
That was the year that I purchased my first digital single lens reflex camera. It was entirely for shooting random things in life, I never intended for my passion to become a career. It was at a science fiction convention in Minneapolis that I took random portraits of a stranger dressed as Captain Kirk, while standing in line for food, which really started it all. Immediately after taking the picture of Kirk and his red-shirted friend, I showed him the image. He thought it was pretty good, so he asked if I would come out to the courtyard and take images of his “wedding”, just a fake ceremony being officiated over by a group of Klingons. It was fun, a great time and full of bat’leth fighting!
Weeks later, I received an email from Captain Kirk and his Orion slave girl bride saying that they loved the photos I had taken of their fake ceremony and that they were wondering if I would be available to shoot their real wedding! Naturally, I was terrified. I had never had a greater responsibility than shooting photos of friends at parties, and suddenly I was being offered real
money for a real photography assignment. Not only that, but an assignment that is once-in-a-lifetime, don’t-screw-it-up stressful! It had not occurred to me before that moment that I could possibly make a living doing what I love, so I didn’t feel that I had any other choice than to accept.
Luckily for Holly and Earl, the photos ended up being fantastic! This is largely because they had an amazing, colourful, geeky, incredibly fun and low-stress wedding admittedly. They made me feel like a true artist while I was just screaming with worry inside, and I could not possibly have asked for a better couple to have as my very first clients. Years later, I have not only remained friends with them both, but I actually work rather often with Holly in her profession as a makeup artist, and we are both members of the Libertine Asylum (a fashion collective dedicated to spreading fanciness and promoting positive attitudes in the Minneapolis fashion scene). That one random encounter at a convention surrounded by cylons, klingons, and ewoks launched a career that has seen many weddings, fashion shows, families, seniors and all manner of photographic subjects.
Too long; didn’t read version – About five years, professionally. A lifetime of love.