Since we tied the knot and began our business in 2006, our deeply emotional style and passionate partnership has taken us from the white sand beaches of Costa Rica to the romantic vineyards and canals of Italy to the down under streets and ‘roos of Australia and everywhere in between to photograph extraordinary weddings and incredible couples.
As leaders in the photographic community, we are passionate about helping other photographers create viable and sustainable businesses, while building a photography industry built on integrity and authentic leadership.
In other words, we’re open books about our business, and we want to share as much free, valuable content as we can in order to improve the day to day lives of photographers.
We are also passionate about wine, cheese, and happy hour nachos.
When we’re not traveling, shooting, blogging or speaking, we’re either cooking in our kitchen with some good friends, cuddled up in bed watching 30 Rock with our cat Gracie, or riding our matching scooters to a new happy hour. To find nachos of course.
Yeah… it’s a pretty sweet gig.
That’s what you need to know.
Here’s what we *want* you to know.
Jeff is a freckled, charming Sperry’s-clad boy that was raised by a midwest family on a suburban golf course in San Diego. He has been a photographer since his dad gave him a camera when he was ten years old. To say that Jeff latched onto photography would be an understatement. He was hooked. All of his family photos from that teenage era show Jeff in neon shorts, No Fear t-shirts, checkered Vans, and a camera around his neck hanging straight down. Tourist style, baby.
Eight years, an army of film rolls and a mountain of worn-out Vans later, Jeff hung up his beloved camera and decided to go to college and get a real job.
As a surgeon.
Four years after that, amid a stack of med-school applications, Jeff discovered some amazing wedding photography. He knew instantly that he had found his passion. He finished his bio-chem degree, skipped out on med school, got a job as a scientist (with lab goggles and everything) and began shooting weddings on the side.
When we met, I was a glasses-wearing, pony-tailed freshman literature major fresh off the farms of Idaho and working in the library with wide-eyed dreams of being an English teacher. Or at least of fitting in. San Diego was a world away from the potato fields I rode my horse in.
Two and a half years later (when Jeff discovered weddings), we got married on a blistering hot June day (because I know you’re gonna ask, Jeff’s photography mentor, Lisa, shot the wedding).
Intrigued by these weddings Jeff was shooting, I began tagging along with him to carry his ginormous camera bags, sweating and smiling in brand new dresses, blown-out hair, and three-inch heels (I had learned how to fit-in).
It was at one of those early weddings that I sat bored under a tree while Jeff ran around in a field with his bride and groom. Twirling my hair in my big-eyed sunglasses, I noticed his extra camera sitting in his inhumanly large bag, figured out to turn it on (thankfully it was in Program mode), and started clicking away.
It was the first time I felt it. That knowing. If you’re a photographer, you know what I mean. It was the same thing ten-year-old Jeff felt when his dad handed him that old Canon AE1 and showed him how to load film.
I knew exactly what we were going to be doing with the rest of our lives. It was magical.
That was in 2006. Very soon after, Jeff Youngren Photography became The Youngrens, and this business began taking us around the world to places we had never dreamed of seeing.
We shoot together, we travel together, we dream together, we succeed together.
Like I said, it’s a pretty sweet gig.
But we have also shared in every struggle, pitfall, disappointment, embarrassment, and trial-by-fire that comes with creating and building a working, thriving business. We’ve been through it all, and we only hope that we can lend others a helping hand with the head starts, shortcuts, hard lessons, and tricks of the trade that we’ve learned the hard way. That’s why we have this blog along with our main wedding blog. It’s a place for us to be honest and real about what goes on behind the scenes at The Youngrens. It’s also a place for us to connect more deeply with photographers around the world that are sharing in the same dreams and desires and journeys that we are.
So thank you for being a part of our continued story and thank you for being a part of this community. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated on big announcements and subscriber-only content, and check back regularly for new articles and info. We quite honestly can’t wait to connect with you!