If you’re new to my photography journey, you might (or might not) be surprised to learn I spent a good four years coaching college speech while pursuing my master’s degree and teaching public speaking & intercultural communication courses. It feels like a different world now, so when I get to photograph “kids” I used to coach, it feels magical.
Aiden is one of my former speech “kids”. I mean, he’s a full-fledged adult and has a full-time job in Downtown Minneapolis, but still! One of my kids. I love any opportunity I get to spend time with him, so when he asked me to be his wedding photographer, I was 1000% up to the task. Not only because Aiden is one of my former speech students– but also because Aiden is getting married to an absolutely perfect-for-him human named Dillon. I mean, perfect. Aiden is quick witted, creative, funny, and kind. Dillon is brilliant in their own right, a talented musician, full of funny stories and big laughs. Aiden and I met each other during a…let’s say “stormy”? part of our lives– and from that, Aiden has become an integral part of my spread-out community. Seeing him happy and loved, getting to know his partner, hanging out with a camera– what could be better?
I don’t get to do studio-style engagement photos very often, but I love studio photography. So when Aiden said they wanted to do a few studio shots, I was READY. Kind of. I mean, a lot of my process involves looking around the space and playing with light and trying weird poses that may or may not work– but in this case, over half of my ten favorite frames were taken in a tiny space with a tacked-up black cloth background and a single softbox. I think I love these photos so much because we allowed ourselves space to play, to try things out. Aiden & Dillon never complained, were up for anything, and over the course of a couple hours we got some of my favorite engagement photos yet. They’re different, like Aiden and Dillon, in the best ways.
Ten frames: Aiden & Dillon
Mandy Paris is a wedding photographer in Minneapolis, Minnesota & Iowa City, Iowa.