Every person at some time in their life has a defining moment where the proverbial fork in the road is as real as a stomach cramp after a trip to McDonald’s. Personally, that moment came after I left a job in Chicago as the Vice President of Marketing for a multi-million dollar GPS fleet management business to move back to Southern California and develop my own vehicle management solutions company. The only problem was the unsatisfied feeling and lack of fulfillment that engulfed my being in Chicago transitioned over with me when I launched my own business endeavor. Even though my business was financially profitable, it was a creative black hole where I traded my time for money.
Always being a person who loved music and the arts, I was introduced to wedding photography through an ex-band mate from my younger days who developed impressive photography skills in his short time shooting. After assisting him on a couple weddings in the Temecula and Murrieta area, I was hooked on photography like a fat kid is hooked on fried pickles. In an effort to expand my knowledge of different wedding photographer’s styles, I began researching established wedding photographers throughout the Southern California area. That was when I came across a photographer based in Orange County named Amelia Lyon.
After scanning through some engagement and wedding posts on Amelia Lyon’s blog, I was immediately impressed by her artistry with a camera. She had a style that balanced classical angles with a modern eye, all while making her subjects look like they were in a chic fashion magazine spread. However, it was the intimate feel and emotion that poured out from her story-telling photographs that really captivated and inspired me. No images could better detail this statement more vividly than a heartfelt personal blog post about her late-father who courageously battled ALS. Amelia’s photos in that particular blog post were beyond powerful, and really provided a short glimpse, a window, into the warm and caring Lyon family.
Once I came to the conclusion I wanted to actively pursue wedding photography as part occupation/part outlet for creativity, I contacted Amelia via Twitter about assisting them on a couple weddings. I basically wanted to study her and Justin’s approach to attacking a wedding, how they set-up shots, interacted with clients and everything else. They could not have been better sports about my inquiry, giving me the opportunity to shadow them for not one, but four different weddings in the Fall of 2011. Justin and Amelia were both very gracious with their time, and spoke candidly about the type of equipment they used, how they approached the wedding party getting ready, ceremony, wedding reception, ring shots and everything else I wanted to know. They were both fun and professional, making my time assisting them seem like it went by way too fast. What I also learned was that Justin Lyon was not only an equally amazing photographer, but also a ultra-busy producer for a couple popular television shows, including Yo-Gabba Gabba! Not to mention, a father who still makes time for his three children (I seriously don’t know how this guys does it all).
I feel very lucky and indebted to those who have took time out of their lives to help encourage and essentially mentor me in my creative endeavors, allowing me to become the Temecula Wedding Photographer I now am. I can honestly say that my time spent with the Lyons helped me grow immensely as wedding photographer and artist. I can only hope that other people, young or old, who want to develop and pursue their creative and artistic dreams, whether they be photography, music, painting or hot dog eating contests, that they run into people as talented and giving of their time as the Lyons were with me.
Thank you Justin & Amelia!
Photo Credit: Anonymous