Why I Became a Wedding Photographer & Why I Love It

BTS of swimwear photographer Kyle Goldie in Malibu, CA working with Mariel Booth

I quickly just wanted to share a bit more about me. After all, your wedding photographer is closer in physical range to you than most other people on your wedding day – other than your significant other, of course.  Sharing my “why” behind what I do is important to me, and I hope when you make the decision to hire a wedding photographer that you not only look at their portfolio, but you also weigh that against their personality, too. After all, I want you to have FUN on your wedding day all while you create amazing images together. And I want you to know why I became a wedding photographer and why I love it.

BTS of Kyle Goldie in Vancouver

My time as a Los Angeles fashion photographer

For me, becoming a Seattle wedding photographer was more than just jumping into the wedding industry. It was a fairly radical shift from what I was doing previously – photographing fashion campaigns and magazine editorials for companies around the world.  Some of my clients include Harpers Bazaar, Maxim, Playboy, Conde Nast Traveler, Esquire, Amazon, Adidas, and countless others. Primarily, I was known as a swimwear photographer. I’m sure if you google my name that you will see some of my old work. It’s super interesting to look back on some of it and see how far I have grown even since then. (I’m super pumped to see what kind of work I will be producing next season and the seasons beyond.) I was working in board shorts and tank tops on the beach with professional swimwear models & influencers. It was an awesome line of work.

Swimwear photographer Kyle Goldie with Karina Bartkevica in Malibu, CA

Primarily, I worked out of Los Angeles, but my main residence was still in Seattle (Mukilteo & Shoreline, to be exact).  I simply commuted down to Los Angeles once to twice per month, every month – for years on end. I didn’t mind it, really. It just became part of my routine.

I really loved working as a fashion photographer, but after meeting a special lady in my life (who’s now my wife), I had to make a decision. Did I want to move full-time to Los Angeles and get deeper into the fashion photography realm, raise kids in that environment, and play what felt like a “game” to climb the ladder… or did I want to fully settle into the PNW and dedicate myself to becoming a full-time photographer who both lived AND worked in the Seattle market.

I’ve been a full-time wedding photographer since 2008, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

BTS of swimwear photographer Kyle Goldie in Malibu, CA working with Mariel Booth

Family means everything to me

It was an incredibly difficult decision, but there was one thing that stood above the rest that helped me make my decision. I didn’t want to raise my future children around Los Angeles.

While I may be totally biased based on my personal experiences in the market down there, I had enough of the same experiences over and over again to understand that it wasn’t just a fluke thing here and there.  While I love visiting and keeping in contact with some of my fashion clients (I still love fashion photography, and always will)… the move was primarily about my future children.

The decision on when to fully plant my feet in Seattle was about reverse-engineering my decisions about children.

At the time, I was 27. I am now 32 as I write this blog post. So, I knew that I needed at least a few years to fully get up-and-running all over again with a new company, new brand, new network, and build as fast as I could.

My transition wasn’t easy

I struggled with the transition to begin with because I simply didn’t know how to properly transition. I didn’t realize just HOW different the marketing aspects were and how different the photography challenges were. I wish I had hired a coach, but my network in the wedding industry was just about ZERO people, so “I didn’t know what I didn’t know.”

It was a lot of trial and error, a lot of networking events, a lot of business cards and lost money. But over time, I realized what I needed to do in order to succeed. I realized that I needed more than just help with my business, but with my personal mindset and with my focus.

So, I bought a LOT of books, studied from some of the world’s best photographers and business leaders, and just started implementing.

I will always be learning & growing

Fast-forward to this current day and I am still learning, growing, and implementing. I always will be. There will never be a single day where I don’t try to do something better than the day before. And I think that in itself is what is truly required to be an entrepreneur – let alone a wedding photographer.

My clients over the years have put SO much trust into me to document their wedding day details, cherished emotional moments, and formal poses (and everything in between). I am forever grateful for everything that everyone has ever done for me. And I will forever be grateful to my wife, Haley, who has always been there to support me with all of my crazy ideas.

I love being a Seattle wedding photographer.

Being a Seattle wedding photographer that also serves the areas around me like Snohomish (just a few minutes down the street from me), Woodinville (yum, more wine please), Whidbey Island, Orcas Island, and San Juan Island… I really couldn’t be surrounded by a more beautiful place. Sure, the “Seattle freeze” might be a real thing (you locals know what I’m talking about), but the landscapes, sights, sounds and even smells is what had me coming back here every single time my work tried to have me move elsewhere.

Moving forward, I’m sure that I will get back into fashion photography at some point. My fine art work also really drives me, as well. Weddings are just… different.

Why I became a wedding photographer? Family.

To me, being a wedding photographer is about the intrinstic reward that I get. It’s seeing you smile. Seeing you cry, even (happy tears).  It’s the pure emotional joy that you get when you see the final photographs and you can feel the emotion in them when they are displayed on your wall or in your heirloom photo album. THAT is the reason why I love being a wedding photographer. And THAT is why I will always be one.

Sure, when I am 45 years old my rates might be 10X what they are right now, and I will most certainly be a lot more selective on the number of weddings I take on… but the intrinsic reward will never go away. I’m also fairly certain that I won’t be able to take on the same amount of wedding workload as I do right now (photographed 48 weddings and elopements in 2017).

Moving forward, what do I see for myself?

I see myself continuing with weddings, but taking on fewer as I creep closer to 40 and beyond. With that transition into fewer weddings, I want to build my wedding coaching business to help others. After all, I truly wish I had one when I was just starting out. I would have saved a LOT of time, a lot of money, and a lot of headache. If there is one thing that I would want to do for the rest of my life, it would be to help others succeed.

Want to see my other work?

Please forgive me since some of these sites need updating, but here is some of my other work if you would like to check it out.

Landscape & abstract photography:
Fashion photography:

I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to read all of this. You’re amazing. 🙂 And now you know why I became a wedding photographer. Thank you for being a part of my journey.

And if you’re still on this blog, I know you will love these other blog posts I created just for you: