How I got here: my journey to wedding photography

In high school I was an athlete. I played basketball, softball, tennis, cross country, and I even won a weight lifting competition at one point. My friends were my teammates, and my idols were my coaches. I lived and breathed for my teams. So naturally I decided I wanted to take every class that my coaches taught so that I could spend time with them during the day. It started freshman year with my basketball coach, Ms. Allard. She was the most amazing person to me, and I wanted to learn from her and be like her. She worked in the business department, specifically teaching multimedia classes. So, being the impressionable freshman I was, I signed up for multimedia 1 and multimedia 2 in order to take classes from Ms. Allard. Little did I know that it would be the beginning of my career in multimedia. We learned photoshop and final cut and I ate up every moment in that class. So much so that I got my hands on a download of photoshop on my home computer that I could use. I loved it.

Fast forward to college. I attended college at the University of Northwestern - St. Paul. I came in studying Physical Education, though it was apparent early on in college that I was losing interest in all things athletics. By my sophomore year in college, I was conflicted with what I wanted to do, and I needed to figure it out. I campus ministries staff member and I met and she presented the organization YWAM to me. I found out that I could receive college credit, receive a full scholarship from UNW, and go live in the mountains in Montana for 2 months and then take a 3 month mission trip, and just like that my bags were packed I was sold. I got to YWAM with a class of around 50 other young adults. It was amazing and the culture was very new to me. We had a giving night where we prayed and asked God with generous hearts if there was anything He wanted us to give to someone. On that night I prayed and felt overwhelmingly thankful for my scholarship for the school from my college; I also felt God lead me to give someone $500 that they could use for their tuition. I contemplated it back and forth. It was a lot of money, but I was obedient. Then, moments later, a classmate came up to me with a bag and a note. The note encouraged me about my unique gift of seeing beauty in the world and how God wanted me to capture that beauty. Inside the bag was a DSLR camera. My first camera. I ended up traveling to Brazil with this group and I brought my camera. I was able to capture beautiful pictures of the people and the things we did there. I fell in love with photography.

Pictured is my group of classmates in the Winter Discipleship Training School that I traveled to Brazil with. We were waiting for a bus when this photo was taken (yes, it took multiple buses to accommodate our group).

Pictured is my group of classmates in the Winter Discipleship Training School that I traveled to Brazil with. We were waiting for a bus when this photo was taken (yes, it took multiple buses to accommodate our group).

Being in Brazil, I gained a heart for missions and one thing I noticed was that they struggled with graphic design there. The billboards consisted of Microsoft word art, and I knew that I had the skills to help teach people graphic design. When I returned back to the University of Northwestern - St. Paul I created my own major in the Interdisciplinary Studies department that consisted of graphic design, film, photography and overseas missions. I took classes in video making as well as photography. I loved it.

At that time, I also worked at the University of Minnesota when I was not taking classes. At the UMN I was given new duties at work in the realm of communications and graphic design. Though, it was shortly after that my struggle with anxiety and anorexia surfaced. I made the decision to take a leave of absence from the University of Northwestern and I quit my job at the University of Minnesota in order to seek treatment for my mental and physical health struggles. I decided to take a leap and I signed myself into treatment at The Emily Program.

Photo by: Teddi Anderson

Photo by: Teddi Anderson

I sought treatment at The Emily Program for over four years. I went through the levels of care: residential, day treatment, intensive outpatient, and then outpatient therapy. I grasped many things about myself during that journey: foremost being that I learned that I am creative, and I learned that I adore people. When I was ready, I decided that I was so passionate about the journey of recovery that I changed my major to counseling and I graduated from the University of Northwestern - St. Paul, May of 2016. August of 2016 I started grad school to become a therapist.

After treatment, I met the love of my life in an unexpected way and I was swept off of my feet quickly, and by the grace of God, my eating disorder became part of my past. I have been recovered now for about three years, and though it was difficult, I am so thankful for my journey to where I am today. I will graduate with my Master’s in Counseling in May.

I am healthy! With Aaron Rye, the love of my life, on the day he proposed (right before he did it!)

I am healthy! With Aaron Rye, the love of my life, on the day he proposed (right before he did it!)

I decided, happy and healthy, to pursue a career helping people experience what I did at The Emily Program: getting their lives back from their struggles. I experienced genuine care, empathy, and community. It helped me recover. (Of course, shout out to my amazing therapist, Maureen, and my dietitian at the Emily Program, Anne, for all of their support.) I aspire to be the support that they were to me.

Then, I got married. January 6, 2018, was the best day of my life. I made a lifelong commitment in front of those dearest to me to love Aaron for all of my days. We celebrated and it was wonderful.

Then came January 25, 2018. For my photographer, I hired a friend of a friend. His Instagram was simply incredible, and when he told me his price for wedding photography, I was convinced I found a hidden gem. However, I should have noticed the red flags when I saw my engagement photos: there was only one photo in the entire gallery of Aaron’s face. When I went through my wedding gallery my heart hurt. I was missing those intimate and romantic wedding portraits. There were no candids. The editing was minimal. It devastated me.

On January 26, 2018, Lindsay Rye Photography, LLC., was born. I decided in that moment that just like my experience in becoming a therapist to help those who are where I once was, I wanted to make sure no bride and groom felt how we felt. I knew I had the skillset from Ms. Allard in high school, from my classes in college, and my job at the UMN, and add that to my passion for people, my hard work, and my commitment to excellence, and I had a feeling I was onto something.

I spent 2018 second shooting for many, many, photographers, and I shot 3 weddings of my own as the lead. Read my reviews, they are self-explanatory about my client’s experiences.

So where am I now? I have booked 23 weddings this year. I am also about to graduate with my Master’s degree in counseling in May. I work part time at a day treatment for kids with emotional struggles, and on the weekends and evenings I invest into my photography career shooting weddings. I hope to continue in both careers!

I am happily married, healthy as can be, and so in love with the life that I live. God has blessed me abundantly with a journey and a story of triumph over trouble and I am so excited to use my experiences to help benefit the lives of others. So, that’s how I got here: my journey to wedding photography. Shout out to everyone who helped get me here!


Lindsay Rye