How I Became a Wedding Photographer

Growing up, I was that neighborhood kid who was always dragging others into my newest idea and raising "capital" from our poor parents. I had a dance studio, back deck coffee shop (very originally named Starducks), and in high school a baking and photography business. And I actually photographed my first wedding when I was a junior in high school!

My dad told me when I was applying for college that I could be whatever I wanted and even use my college savings as seed money to further grow my businesses. At 17, that idea terrified me. So, I decided to get a degree in a field where I knew I could get a job - enter engineering. 

In college, I wasn't planning on meeting and marrying my best friend. I had a 5-year plan for myself and it definitely didn't include getting married. But when I met Greg, I never doubted giving up my plan. I just never expected how much different my life would look.

All through college, I kept photographing weddings, couples, and loved all the experiences. When graduation came around, and my husband was at seminary, I decided to take an engineering job to give the corporate world my best shot, and thought I would just stick with photographing weddings on the side.

I learned so much working as an engineer. When I hired in, I was the only female in the entire department. So, I had to figure out how to speak my mind, do the work, and be humble. But a little over a year in, I had this nagging that just wouldn't leave that it was time to move on from the 8-5. My husband got a new, more demanding job, and I was still working, traveling, and filling up my calendar with weddings.

How I Became a Wedding Photographer Erika Aileen Photography Indianapolis Wedding Photographer
How I Became a Wedding Photographer Erika Aileen Photography Indianapolis Wedding Photographer

Every night for weeks, I cried wondering what I supposed to do. I would ask Greg what he thought I should do, but he told me that he was confident I would make the right decision and that it was my decision to make. The feeling never went away and I knew in my heart it was time to step away from engineering to be more flexible and present for my sanity and the sake of our marriage.

How I Became a Wedding Photographer Erika Aileen Photography Indianapolis Wedding Photographer
How I Became a Wedding Photographer Erika Aileen Photography Indianapolis Wedding Photographer

On my last day, I was one of the last people to leave the office, but I remember the president of the company staying late to shake my hand as I left with my office boxed up under my arm. And it was as if in that moment, everything was confirmed and I felt a new sense of confidence that I was leaving to go where I was always meant to be.

So, when I began running my business full-time almost 1.5 years ago, that was a dream that had been 7 years in the making. This opportunity to do what I love, I don't take lightly. It's a dream that I love chasing and work I'm happy to hustle for. 

How I Became a Wedding Photographer Erika Aileen Photography Indianapolis Wedding Photographer
How I Became a Wedding Photographer Erika Aileen Photography Indianapolis Wedding Photographer