We were both hitting the reset button on adult life, already being disillusioned with the future we had been moving towards. With each of us refusing to continue down a path that led to abandoned aspirations and imposed compromises, we started down the unconventional, risky, and ill advised road less traveled.
For Eliza this meant dropping out of college, quitting her job, spending all her savings on a camera she couldn’t afford, and taking a month in Kauai to pursue a career she’d previously only thought of as a dream. For me, a reset meant walking away from a well paying sales job and moving from the only town I’d ever lived in to a place I’d always enjoyed being (so far we’ve established Eliza is cooler than Drake). I landed in Destin, Florida doing the beach bum thing and, like Liza, I blew through most of my savings before discovering a new direction I was excited about pursuing, which turned out to be, you guessed it, photography.
Eliza and I knew of each other through a mutual friend but it wasn’t until I followed her out to Kauai that we finally met. The trip was supposed to be a random adventure with a new group of friends because, well, why not? Everything else about our lives at the time felt impetuous, so this would be no different. As it turned out, after spending a week together, we both realized the connection that formed between us was very different from anything we had felt before. We started a long distance relationship and within a month (not a typo) I loved her. We still laugh that I actually brought up the “L” word after dating for what felt like thirty minutes, but three years and some huge life events later I know now more than ever, that was exactly when I began loving her (turned out she loved me too).
Fast forward about six months and we’re at our wedding to begin our marriage. Yes, we know, six months is insane, we’re being vulnerable with those of you who care about our story, but to be honest i’m not so sure how I feel about it lol. The next day we sat in bed in our fancy pants New Orleans hotel room my uncle paid for and talked about our wedding while eating the most amazingly soggy red velvet wedding cake we’d ever had. We thought about the experience from the perspective of our (awesomely great) wedding photographers, Erin and Geoffrey, they’re married too : ) We talked about how obvious it was that they had so much fun together, how we could constantly see a grin peeking out from behind the camera, how we could tell they were genuinely excited for us, and how they got to use their craft to give us something meaningful our family can value forever. We knew during that conversation that we would photograph weddings together one day. Five months later that day came, we photographed our first wedding together as a husband and wife team (thank you Tyler & Jessica)! That was 2015 and now we shoot about 30 weddings a year together as our full time gig.
It took 531 words to tell you about how Drake and Eliza Photography came to be, but reaching our goal of sharing an exciting and meaningful career together was totally eclipsed by a different love that took us by total surprise while scaring us to our core. In March 2016 (do the math it’s been a wild ride lol) we became mom and dad to a little boy who now owns our hearts. We had to finish our story with Row because he’s the result of all of it, our story culminating in him. Our life is a lot less spontaneous and unconventional than it used to be. In fact we’re the family in the burbs that go to local parks on weekends and spend too much money on insurance. But this shared life we never imagined being ours brings us so much happiness and we wouldn’t have it any other way now, that’s the beauty of marriage, life can laugh at your plans and pull you down an unanticipated path but as long as you’re together it can end up being a better life than you could have hoped for. This is why we believe that the truly important thing about a wedding is that it begins a marriage, a new life that two people choose to share.