I’m Colby (he/him), your friendly neighborhood dog dad/beer lover/former mascot/barbershop singer/wedding photographer. My love language is shouting compliments at people. I'll take any excuse to go outside. I manage my ADHD, most of the time. I really, really don’t like having my photo taken.
More than 10 years ago, I started trying to capture the people I love in their element - with their people. For me, photography is more than documentation. It's a way of connecting with people, times, and places. My favorite photos make my stomach drop with nostalgia, and they're never the ones where everybody is standing still and looking at the camera.
It means a lot that you’re here with me. If you’re picking up what I’m putting down, then here’s your sign to hit that little button down below and make a connection IRL. It’d be my honor to serve you.
These aren’t just pictures of you: they’re pictures of the way you connect with your partner (or your family, or the world around you). This connection is the subtle little spark that I specialize in.
When it comes time for us to make magic together, I’m expecting you to bring your full authentic self, no holds barred. Every love story is different, and every single one deserves a good hype man.
I want to see the life in your eyes, and it just doesn’t happen when you’re standing still. My work is UNPOSED - meaning, I’m going to give you a task, game, or prompt that is designed to create a genuine little moment between you and your partner. When you’re moving, interacting, and playing, that’s when the real joy, affection, and spontaneity comes through. (Yes, this will be way more fun than you’re expecting.)
Around here we celebrate stepping outside of your comfort zone. Giving your heart to somebody requires a lot bit of vulnerability and trust. It’s exciting, uncertain, and a little scary. It takes effort, and it's always worth it. It's my job to find that courage and put it on camera.
When we develop a day-of timeline together, we’ll start by identifying what you value and how you want to spend your wedding day. It’s my job to advocate for you to maximize that quality time while making sure we have enough time set aside for all your hallmark moments.
Maybe it's the ADHD talking, but I am constantly chasing the serotonin that comes from a project or a connection with a friend. When I couldn't stand my day job, it was building relationships with my students and my coworkers that got me through the day.
My job now is to witness people's passion. I get to watch people fall in love, whether it's a big new love or a fleeting moment of old love, rekindled. Maybe it's actually their stories I love most... witnessing people grow from curious young minds into wise, loved, whole people.
I have this instinct to absorb stories like that and reflect them back at the world.
And I think it's a really important part of the human experience to share your story/passion/love with someone, and then have that reflected back at you with affirmation and encouragement.
I call myself a professional hype-man sometimes, half-jokingly, but it really is the most basic way to describe this crucial dimension to my work. The way I see it, if you ask me to create photos of you, before I ever pick up a camera I need to understand who you are so I can love you and help you see how worthy of love you are.
Honestly, that's a big responsibility, but even after leaving it all on the dance floor at a wedding, I walk away with a fuller cup. It's a labor of love, literally. And it's definitely not boring.
On wedding days, the thing that fills my cup is the joy I get to witness when you’re being goofy with your person. It’s the doubtful look you give your partner when I tell you to jump on their back. It’s the raw, real, honest feelings that come out on a wedding day that deserve to be preserved. It’s the tear that drops down your dad’s face when he sees you all dressed up and ready to get married. It’s knowing that when your wedding day is just a memory, you’ll have timeless prints to show your grandkids (or maybe your neighbor’s grandkids?).
Wedding photography is a LOT more than just pushing buttons on an important day, which is why it’s my favorite type. We’ll start building our relationship early (like, maybe in 5 minutes once you fill out that inquiry form?) because it’s important that I know who you are in order to know how to best tell your story like it’s The Notebook. As your wedding photographer, I’ll double-duty as Macgyver when a button pops off, Johnny-on-the-Spot when you need a water bottle or a coffee or a shot of tequila, and jobsite supervisor when we need to transform the back room of a church.
The thing is, I've done wedding photography for ten years - most of that time as a side-hustler. But once I became a full-time wedding photographer, I realized how much better I could serve my clients. I spend *all day every day* thinking about my couples, helping them scheme, and growing in my craft. When you invest in a real full-time professional, you get real professional quality service. When you hire the cheapest person you can find... well, you've probably heard the stories.
After a few years of photojournalism and portraiture in Obama's first term, I stumbled into the wedding world with the help of a couple mentors -- and I was HOOKED on day one. Nothing could compete with the raw joy and connection on the other side of my lens. And while it's fun to tell just any story, I find particular joy in the people side of wedding days: grabbing a tissue for your mother-in-law, making friends with your ring bearer, herding the extended family in and out for a quick photo, and setting my camera down at the end of the night to do the wobble with you. After it's all over, making sure you have those prints for your walls and album to pass down to the next generation is icing on the cake.
As the author John Green put it, "That's a calling to me -- to present more light, and to better witness the light of others."
A portion of the proceeds from every wedding I photograph is automatically donated to OneIowa — a nonprofit that advances, empowers, and improves the lives of LGBTQ Iowans — because companionship, romantic love, and sexual fulfillment are the birthrights of every person who seek them. Marriage equality has only been legal federally for seven years, and is still being challenged by conservative politicians today. Every day, queer couples are rejected by wedding vendors who fear difference. A season of life when the rest of us are unconditionally celebrated is often a scary and frustrating journey for LGBTQ+ folks. I hear stories like this all too often from my clients and colleagues in the wedding industry.
So, this is my way of holding some space in the wedding industry for my LGBTQ+ siblings. It’s my way of making the industry work FOR queer joy instead of against it. It’s my goal to celebrate queer love even louder every time someone tries to silence it.
Learn more about oneIowa