My name's Aryk, I'm a wedding and couples photographer based out of my hometown of Santa Rosa, CA. I've been taking photos for over four years now, and have shot all over the world. I'm a huge believer in photography as an art form, and try to show that through my work. In addition to wedding and couples, I'm also a photojournalist, street photographer, and travel photographer. Below is a bit of my life story and my journey to becoming a wedding photographer.
I was never the artistic type. If you looked at the first eighteen years of my life, you would have thought I was on my way to a typical STEM career. I might have ended up in one if it weren't for a brain injury I received when I was eighteen.
My eyesight was heavily impacted, and I developed a cognitive-visual impairment. This condition kept me from going outside for long periods of time over three years. It wasn't until I finally managed to see a specialist in my condition that it was caught and I was able to begin effective treatment.
A big part of my recovery was easing back into the outdoors. I'd developed a deep-seated agoraphobia after living with my condition for several years, and the recovery of my eyesight was slow. But photography became an excuse for me to venture out into the world and push my limits.
Photography is an excellent way to establish a relationship. Perhaps it was the nature of having impaired vision, perhaps it was the desire to be in the outdoors after being trapped inside for years, but photography offered me the perfect way of re-establishing my place in the world. Landscape photography became my motivation to get out of the house and experience nature.
Eventually, my interest turned towards other people. I became enamored with the work of street photographers I'd seen online and began making trips to San Francisco to capture people going about their daily lives.
This is how I first fell in love with photographing people as they genuinely exist. No poses, no fancy lighting, no preparation. Just capturing things as they happen.
Around this same time I began to attend protests and rallies in the bay area. This was in late 2019 and throughout 2020, so there was a lot going on between protests and fires. I established my relationship with the events around me the way I'd been doing for years: making photographs.
Photojournalism was meaningful. It taught me how to create photography for others, and how to be in the right place at the right time. I'd found another passion, and have since photographed in fires, active protests, and warzones.
Weddings quickly became a natural setting for me. They combined everything I'd been searching for in photography all in the same place. Weddings retain the beauty and allure of landscapes, the connection and realism of street, and the meaning and challenge of photojournalism.
There's no other career where I can exercise every skill I've learned so completely. I like to think that all of these things shine through in the photos I make. This is how I connect with the world around me. Nothing drives me more than this craft. It's my growth, my profession, and my passion.
My recovery is lifelong: my injury left me with permanent damage to the entire left side of my head, which results a dysfunctional eye and a crooked smile. I wear an eye patch to omit my poor eye.
Despite this, my recovery has made me feel more complete as a person and has given me an intimate understanding of how we, as humans, perceive our world.
My experiences shape who I am as a person, and the skills I develop along the way make me who I am as an artist.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about me, and if you'd like to know more about me and my business, don't hesitate to reach out.