Austin, Texas wedding photo by Ryan Brenizer

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From an Austin wedding — everyone is more flexible in Texas?

Patreon stuff below: Feel free to read or feel free to ignore and just enjoy this awesome image from Tatiana!

In 2014 I developed a lecture on how to stay profitable and happy as a self-directed photographer and businessperson*. I have learned since that the advice was really good, partially because multiple people told me how much it helped them, and partially because it helped *me* every time I followed my own advice, but mostly because every time I *didn’t* take this advice I became less happy in my business and less productive. A/B testing the hard way, if you will.

When I finished all my notes and the development process, I had a really good, complete, six-hour lecture. For a 90-minute speaking slot. I know all too well what Mark Twain meant when he said “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one.”

I managed to whittle it down, but there’s a lot left to say. Over coming months, I will not only be dispersing each piece of advice from this lecture extended into article form; I will be adding whatever was left on the cutting room floor that shouldn’t have been, and the lessons I’ve learned since then: Both from the times I followed this advice and from the times I didn’t.

Part of what we do is take pictures … but actually clicking the shutter is the small part. Getting and staying motivated to do each part of the job is what keeps us going and truly makes us better. We will be taking that journey over at our Patreon, and are excited to have people take it with us.

(Also our resident Patreon guru Sam Hurd tells us that we should raise our prices on the premium tier, so we might not be at $5/month much past March! Get it while it’s hot, and you can totally blame Sam if you don’t make it in time for the deadline).

D3s, Sigma 24mm f/1.4 ART @ f/2. 1/250th, ISO 1000

Reading Terminal Market wedding: Ally and Andrew by Ryan Brenizer

We have always said that the highest compliment we can give a wedding is that we would have loved to attend even if we weren’t photographing that — well, Ally and Andrew’s wedding was all of that and a bit more, since it was in a venue we would love to explore even when there isn’t a wedding there!

The wedding was in the culinary cornucopia of Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market, and it took full advantage of the numerous stalls and marketplaces, as well as a dance floor in the middle of a usually-crowded terminal. To balance the industrial feel of the reception, the ceremony was in the gorgeous and historic Masonic Temple Library and Museum.

We knew from the engagement shoot how much fun this would be — it was sometimes hard to find pictures of them not laughing together, enjoying each other’s and their friends’ raucous energy. It did not disappoint from beginning to end, and we smile just looking back.

Villa Sheherezade Dubrovnik wedding: Lynn and Kristof by Ryan Brenizer

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When Lynn inquired with us, we thought for sure we were being scammed. What would you think if your phone chimed and you read a text message from a strange number: “Quick question. Are you available for our destination wedding in Dubrovnik, Croatia this year? We live in London. I’m from Taiwan and he is from Belgium :-)” And the date happened to be fast approaching and the only weekend that month we were free? It all sounded too good to be true: She might as well have said that she’s a Nigerian prince.

But it turns out that not only are Lynn and Kristof very real, they are also an amazing couple who match each other in zeal for life and each other, if not in height. And so we were on our way to Dubrovnik, an area long known for its beauty and now exploding in fame as the site of much of the otherworldly beauty of Game of Thrones.

Under the planning guidance of Matthew and Bertie at Matthew Oliver Weddings and local coordinator Marcela at Dubrovnik Wedding Inspiration, their wedding took advantage of all the amazingness the area has to offer. The rehearsal dinner was set on Lokrum Island, where Lynn was overjoyed by the preponderance of peacocks and bunnies that have overtaken the island.

The ceremony was a gorgeous affair in the five-century-old Sponza Palace, officiated by a dear friend and mentor, who ensured it was touching and deeply personal. Afterward, Lynn and Kristof headed to the reception on their own boat, speeding down the harbor to the fantastic Villa Sheherezade.

The reception was filled with surprises. Kristof’s best man is a rare combination of entrepreneur and professionally trained clown, and he gave a lion dance performance before revealing himself to the crowd … by taking off the head and blowing a giant fireball.

But nothing could top what Kristof had for Lynn. To begin the dancing, he took her over to the cake-cutting and said “Lynn, I promise I will never stop surprising you.”

And then the sky exploded into fireworks.

That’s the sort of energy and love we’re talking about, and we are so excited that we were able to tell this story.

Stylist: Christine from CC Wedding Studio in Taiwan
DJ: Jordi Ruz from Ibiza
Venue and staff: Anamarija and Lindita Adriatic Luxury Hotels
Video: Justina from HDmoments (their video teaser from the wedding here!)