We’re so lucky at Click Love Grow to be frequently inspired by our Graduate Students. I am often in awe of the beautiful images that are shared in our group, and just recently I was so excited to see one of our advanced graduates dream big and move mountains to make it happen.
Jess Kaucz took our Enthusiast Photography Course in 2015… yes, just last year! She followed her dream and started Mapleberry Photography and she did something BIG and bold and exciting! She had a dream to shoot a Destination Wedding, and you know what… she did just that! AND she captured it beautifully to boot!
I’m thrilled to introduce Jess, and to share her fabulous Destination Wedding Experience with you!
Jess’ Dream Shoot
When I started my photography journey I decided to start a photography bucket list. I wanted to keep challenging myself no matter how long I was in the game and putting down my dreams at the start of the journey meant I had no preconceived notions of what was achievable… anything was possible. My bucket list consists of some insane dreams, but I love that. I love that I’m not confining my dreams to what I perceive is reality. I found in my first year I had ticked three dreams off the list, leaving some of the crazier ones to be tackled. I’d photographed a birth, a mass breastfeeding shoot and a marriage proposal.
At the start of 2016 I revisited the list and picked shooting a destination wedding. I went about sharing my dream on Facebook and asked people to help make my dream come true through a little video I made. That video was watched by over 5,500 people and shared all over the world. I was contacted with offers of weddings all over the world but the timing clashed with other shooting commitments. I started to think this dream would never become a reality.
That was until Jess and Leigh contacted me with their offer to shoot their Las Vegas wedding. Not only was I available, but the wedding was in ONE month!
My favourite part would have to be the crazy amount of support I received. I couldn’t believe and I am still humbled by the generosity of my friends and strangers in helping make my dream come true. I don’t feel deserving and I never thought I would get such an incredible response let alone find such an amazing couple! It really makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and restores your faith in humanity when you see people pulling together to help a total stranger’s crazy dream come true. I am just so grateful people cared enough to make it a reality.
Romantic, exotic. . . any hiccups?
It honestly was like being in photography heaven, I wanted to do a destination wedding to keep me excited… you can get bogged down in doing the same thing over and over again. So I wanted the challenges to keep me on my toes, to help me grow. I’m super organised and this was very important. You have to be on top of everything, you can’t afford to have equipment failures over there, or lose anything. I made sure I had a spare body, enough memory cards to last a lifetime, and I split my cards after the wedding in case one bag got lost (I always shoot on to two cards simultaneously).
I think the only real challenge was not knowing the area. After the ceremony we entrusted the limo driver to find us a nice desert back drop only to have him look at us blankly and drive around aimlessly. We were lucky enough to find a spot on his random drive that would work. Everything else is just like home… a wedding is a wedding no matter where it is. I just had to walk further than normal since the strip is so long!
And for those of us wanting to follow our own dreams?
My advice for those wanting to follow their photography dreams is to be childlike, dream big and then double it. Unless you believe in yourself no one else will. You need to push those boundaries otherwise you are confined in what you think is possible and that’s not even the tip of the iceberg. Anything is possible, but you have to believe it is and you have to work hard to achieve those goals. Don’t get lazy, don’t get complacent, keep that fire burning in your belly and push forward, even when it feels embarrassing, even when it feels crazy and even when you fail.
People thought it was great I was giving it a go but no one really believed I would do anything incredible. My stubbornness and amazing ability to dream has meant I have achieved things people who have been in the industry longer than me haven’t. It’s not because I am a better photographer, it’s because I am a better dreamer and I fight for what I want. I’m a risk taker and I never ever want to feel comfortable because that’s when I know I am not growing and I want to be the best I can be.
I learnt how pushing my boundaries brings so much growth, I know I am a better photographer because of this experience. I tried new ways of shooting, was freer in my approach and less constrained by what I had to achieve and it meant I got better photos. Sometimes having a plan, which the planner in me loves, can undo our creativity and this trip allowed me to be free from plans because it was such a whirlwind.
Next Up for Jess. . .
Ok this is scary to put out there, and I need to update that bucket list of mine because my dreams keep getting bigger, but I want to start a revolution! Now that is insane seeing it written down but I want to start a revolution for my daughters. I want women to see how truly beautiful they are just the way they are because my heart breaks for all of us who loath our bodies. We have been sabotaged by the media to hate ourselves and I want to change that because when I look through my camera, it’s like magic and I see all the beauty in these women bursting out and I want them to see it too.
To you have a big bold photography dream?
Share it with us in the comments… as Jess assures us, the first step is putting it out there into the world!
Thanks again Jess for sharing with us! Xx