I was nineteen when I started taking photos. They were terrible photos. I had recently moved to Lithuania for university and wanted a better way to communicate about my life to friends and family back home. (While it was great to be able to share my life with friends back in the U.S., in retrospect I feel bad for all the people who had to sit through my terrible slideshows). Despite the poor quality, the reason I loved photography was the way it allowed me to engage with people. I was able to communicate my feelings through imagery and show people how I saw the world; photography was a way to invite people into my life—into my own story.
It’s an Ideal that stems from one of my core beliefs: that people matter—that marriage matters—that your story matters. When I started to pursue photography, and particularly wedding photography, what drew me in was the people that were inviting me into their lives. These people were inviting me to collaborate with them and to be a part of—and participate in— their story.
My fascination with stories started as a kid; I would devour books. I would sometimes read two or three in a single sitting. My favorites were mystery novels—you know, like The Hardy Boys and The Boxcar Children. There was always a sense of adventure to these stories that left me inspired. I wanted to live a life of adventure.
My imagination was pretty uninhibited and as a kid the world was so incredibly accessible and innocent. I was always excited to be outside exploring. I’d make up new languages, write short-stories, and build forts in the woods. I was the only 12 year old I knew checking books out of the library on (multiple) Indo-European (primarily Slavic) languages. (My first aspiration was to be a polyglot. I’m currently not very successful). When I was 14 my parents let me expand my borders and let me trek out on my first trip to Europe with some family friends. Ever since then, in addition to having an overactive imagination, I’ve had a severe case of wanderlust.