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June 13, 2017

That Time I went to California and Came Back a Different Person

Hey guys!

So it’s been a minute since I’ve blogged something personal because my life has been super hyper-drive busy lately!  I did want to share with y’all an amazing experience I recently had that completely changed how I view my business.

In January, I attended a workshop in beautiful Carmel, California put on by my absolute favorite pair of wedding photographers, Justin and Mary Marantz.  Going into that workshop, I was mostly concerned about not fangirl-ing when I met them for the first time (oh, and of course, maybe picking up a technique or two!).  Y’all.  It changed my life.  Obviously, I did come home with more technical and business knowledge, but it was really the self-reflective aspect that their workshop implores that did it for me.


I’ve been in the wedding industry for about 8 years now.  It started when I opened my bakery down in Port Aransas, Texas, and at that time, I loved weddings primarily for the desire to be around pretty things.  My understanding of what a wedding truly means has grown over the years (especially once I, myself, got married), and when I decided to go into wedding photography, my love was more of marriages than it was of weddings.  I still love all the pretty details, and as a photographer, I’m naturally drawn to them.  Up until this workshop, it was really just my love of marriage that drove my connection to weddings.

One thing that Justin and Mary really tried to drive home was understanding your why.  Why you do what you do.  How everything you do on a wedding day relates to your why.  It took me a bit to wrap my head around what that really meant.  When I came home from that experience, I decided to go through my own wedding images to see what it was that connected me to certain images over others.  I came across this image (image by Sarah Diane Photography).

This is my maternal grandfather (Poppy) and my paternal grandmother (Bauder).  I remember when I first saw this image and I thought, “Oh, how cute that they’re dancing”.  It never meant anything to me.  Until recently.  In my 2016 Year in Review post, I mentioned that Poppy passed away this last year.  It happened a week before my baby shower, and my son is named after him (and Miguel’s grandfather).  When I look at more recent pictures of him, you can tell that his health had been deteriorating.  This image from my wedding day is the last image I have of him looking healthy, vibrant, and happy.  And that’s when everything changed for me.  When I finally understood why I do what I do.  Sure, my immediate goal is to capture every detail of a wedding day, to tell a story of the day through imagery.  But my real goal is to create images that mean something.  Maybe it won’t mean something today.  Or tomorrow.  But at some point, the images I curate for a couple on their first day as husband and wife, will mean different things at different times in their lives.  These are the images that will define a lifetime. That will one day be framed in their children’s or grandchildren’s house.  When all is said and done, these are the images that will carry on a legacy.  That’s a huge responsibility on my part if you think about the magnitude these images will have on a couple and future generations.  But, I truly feel like it is my duty to couples to provide this level of responsibility and passion.  They’ve entrusted the biggest day of their lives to me, and I owe it to their grandchildren to deliver the images that define their relationship.

I feel so much more connected to my business and the amazing couples who welcome me into their wedding experience and I seriously CAN. NOT. WAIT. to see all of these couples start their Day 1’s.


Much love,  Catie Ann

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