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 for 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. I still wear an eyepatch most of the time due to the dysfunction in my left eye. 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.
If you've made it this far, you know a pretty good amount about me! I hope this blurb gives you a decent idea about who I am, what I'm about, and what I work towards in my photography. My skillset makes me who I am as an artist, and my values make me who I am as a professional. I appreciate you taking this time to get to know more about me, and I'd be interested to learn more about you as well.