Annie x Mike: Origins
Like all good superheroes Annie and Mike have an origin story. Now do you want to hear how we met at a college party in Boston? Exchanged numbers and met up the next day? Walked around the city for six hours covering miles and eating ice cream while falling madly in love at first or more appropriately second sight? Nah, that all follows your standard Rom-com outline including the "and they lived happily ever after". Do you want to hear about our wedding in 2018 where we made the entire audience sing a harmony with us as we raised our hands and our voices in the name of everlasting love like the music nerds we are? Or about how we bought our first piece of art (a wire sculpture of a man and woman dancing - by the Boston based artist Will Corcoran) as a couple and vowed to purchase one piece of art every year after on our anniversary? No, we think you want to hear about how we became professional wedding photographers as the result of a car accident, a beautiful gay wedding in Providence, RI, and a radioactive spider? Ok we stole the spider thing from a pretty popular superhero movie which shall remain unnamed so we don't get sued. Ok, you twisted our arms far enough. We'll tell you the story.
For any of you who don't know both Mike and Annie were just simply photography hobbyists who had each separately bought a few mid-level prosumer Canon cameras (T2i and a T3i). Mike being the Berklee College of Music trained musician he is spent a lot of his early days of photography shooting fellow musicians at open mics and using his cameras video capabilities to shoot music videos of himself. Annie has always loved photographing people, dogs, and nature. She used to take rolls and rolls of disposable camera photos throughout middle and high school.
Well one day Mike's jazz band had a gig performing at a wedding in Providence, RI for a really amazing couple. Annie had tagged along as the incredibly supportive girlfriend to take some promotional shots of the band for marketing. After a few minutes of shooting the band and getting all the material she needed Annie decided to ask the Grooms if they were alright with her taking photos of them and the rest of the wedding guests and decor. They gave her permission, even though they had already hired a professional wedding photographer. When the time came to upload the photos and see what kind of shots she got Annie and Mike were stunned. The photos came out absolutely gorgeous, and we sent the best ones along to the happy newlyweds and they ended up loving them! Without ever planning on it, Annie became a wedding photographer. From there she signed up for a company that connects couples and wedding photographers to help her book her first few weddings. For many of these first events the couples requested a second photographer, enter Mike. While these weddings were extremely low budget, they were incredible learning experiences for Annie and Mike and gave them the confidence to begin booking weddings on their own. There was just one problem, Annie and Mike were working with the absolute bare minimum of gear required to shoot weddings. BIG PROBLEM! The cameras and lenses they were working with performed well under ideal lighting but VERY poorly in less than ideal lighting and the majority of the time wedding photographers are dealing with less than perfect conditions. What will the dynamic duo do!?
This brings us to the next big development in their wedding photography journey and it starts again at, you guessed it! . . . another jazz concert. Mikes band was playing a gig at Short Path Distillery in Everett, MA. They had parked Annie's 2008 grey Honda Accord along the street where the entrance to the bar was. Soon enough the band was rocking, or more specifically jazzing. As they finished a tune to a round of applause from the audience the owner of the bar came up to Mike and pulled him outside. A confused Mike asks what was the problem when the owner points toward Annie's vehicle which was about ten feet further up the street than where they had parked it. It was dark so Mike had to walk closer to the car to see what had actually happened. The entire back left side of the car had been smashed in. The owner said that nobody saw what had happened so he took Annie and Mike inside to look at the security video footage. Apparently someone who drives an unmarked white van had a few too many drinks and decided to come swerving down the dark narrow street that Short Path Distillery calls home. This mystery driver slammed into their poor Honda Accord and had ultimately totalled it, then without stopping, continued swerving haplessly through the night. They went back inside and Mike finished the gig, as they say, "the show must go on". Mike and Annie took an Uber home that night and were, needless to say, a bit distraught at the outcome.
A month or so later Annie received a check from the insurance company for her totalled automobile. It was a good car, and it deserved better. Let us have a moment of silence for her... Now then - where most people would have decided to take that cash and buy another used car with it Annie decided to make the biggest decision of her life. She took the entire sum she'd received from insurance and went down to her local camera shop in Boston called Hunts Camera right by Fenway and it's notorious "Green Monstah". She purchased her first professional full-frame camera. A lightly used Canon 5D Mkiii and two very nice lenses. Who needs a car when you live in a city with such comprehensive public transit right? Well that was the beginning of something great. Mike and Annie continued to shoot weddings only now they had more of the right gear for the job. The quality of their work rose far higher than they were capable of before. This increase in quality brought more work and allowed them to grow their business to the point where Annie was able to quit Nanny-ing and Mike was able to quit busking on the streets of Boston which had been their full-time jobs for years.
The moral of this story is that sometimes when something awful happens, like a drunk driver totalling your parked car, you can turn that situation from a tragedy to an opportunity if you are willing to take the risks. Luckily Annie and Mike are both natural risk takers and as of right now those risks have paid off. Their business is growing by the day, and they are relocating to Ohio, a market with more opportunity for growth and less saturation. They have just been featured for the first time in the highly acclaimed Tacari Weddings. On top of all of this they are planning on giving away an entirely free wedding photography package to a couple in need from the COVID pandemic when they move their lives and business to the Ohio area. Stay tuned for more details on how to enter to win completely free wedding photography!
To this day Annie and Mike will look back on that first wedding Annie shot, and that fateful night of the car crash at Short Path Distillery and will frequently laugh at how everything worked out. What if Annie had been too shy to ask the grooms if she could take photos of their wedding? What if Mike had parked the car on another street, or even just two feet further to the right? What if Annie and Mike hadn't been crawling around in the gutters of a toxic waste dump looking for a lost lense cap and hadn't been bitten by a radioactive spider that gave them the power to 1000x zoom using nothing but their eyes!? They wouldn't have the thriving business they have today and they wouldn't be living their dreams of making art and working together building their future in the image they've always imagined. So this concludes the first edition of the epic saga of Annie x Mike, the superhero wedding photography duo. Stay tuned for the next episode and be good...we're watching you from 1000 yards away!