Temecula Wedding Photography: My Journey

Engaging in creative activities has always been something that has appealed to me, whether it was sketching in college art classes or writing punk rock songs specifically to anger parents. That is why when my good friend Justin, the brainchild behind Your Inner Song Photography, began making a career as a Temecula Wedding Photographer I knew I would eventually inquire about the practice. Although Justin had only been shooting professionally for about a year, his past experience working in photoshop, canvas printing and recreational taking of psychedelic drugs gave him a pretty solid foundation for any artistic endeavor. At that time he had only a small number of weddings under his belt, but his natural talent and creative eye, raw as they were, are very evident even in his earliest photographs. Since our dreams of being international rock stars was on a temporary pause due to difficulties finding a quality singer and bass player who could stay sober for more than 3 hours, I asked Justin if he could let me hang with him on a wedding shoot. He obliged.

Before shooting my first wedding with him I was very nervous. I really did not know anything about weddings, or the whole process and preparation of a wedding photographer. Most importantly, I knew that Saturday afternoon was the most special day ever for somebody somewhere. The whole thing felt a little intimidating. However, once I saw Justin snapping photos of the bride and interacting with the wedding party with a loose and relaxed feel, the positive and reassuring tone in the air became tangible. We were not going to screw this up, or at least he wasn’t. My only goal for that first wedding was to have fun, and hopefully get one good picture. In the most respectful way possible to George W. Bush, Mission accomplished!

After that wedding, Justin was kind enough to let me tag along with him on a few more local weddings throughout Temecula and San Diego, which was awesome because my photos were about as impressive as a person wearing crocs on a first date. I was snapping the standard shots with 45 degree angle tilt for no reason, and of course the rookie mistake of not paying attention to the direction of the light pretty much all the time.

What I learned working with Justin and Your Inner Song was that wedding photography was difficult, but like any skill can be improved with a great deal of practice and patience. What makes wedding photography challenging is that the it combines portrait photography, detail shooting, fast-moving subjects, sometimes drunk subjects, shooting during the bad part of the day, shooting at night and every other possible variable a person can think of. Through all of these obstacles, the wedding photographer must remain fun, professional and capture genuine moments the split second they happen, or risk losing them forever.

Justin has continued to evolve as an artist, and in my opinion is one of the top tier wedding photographers in Southern California. He may not bring any intensity or consistency to the gym when it is time to get fit, but he does bring a young, fresh and energetic approach to photography that is desperately needed in a profession that is saturated with introverted creeps and old birds who cry about the beauty of film processing. However, what impresses me most about him as an artist is that he strives to strengthen his talents by learning new techniques and abstract ways of capturing a moment. I know that he will only get better, and that is something that will only benefit his clients and nurture his personal growth.


When someone begins their quest to do anything from playing the piano, learning to snowboard or shooting photographs, they will quickly realize the challenges involved with that particular goal. However, it is important to note that NOBODY STARTS OFF as a GREAT anything! Michelangelo worked as an apprentice before he painted the Sistine Chapel, Ansel Adams learned simple darkroom techniques from a photo finisher in San Francisco before he so beautifully captured the essence of Yosemite and Joey Chestnut probably threw up many times while training before he eventually became the 5-time Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest champion of the world. One day I hope to be the Joey Chestnut or Takeru Kobayashi of wedding photography, and if that day comes, I will know it was because of the early help I got from good friends like Justin and others who supported my creative goals.