A Brief History of the Photographer

There was this brief little window when my life was like a movie, and I was married to my soul mate, who looked to me just like Daniel Craig. We would go to the theater and to see James Bond 007 movies and I felt like I was watching … my husband, Walter. If I’d known those seven years with him were coming, I wouldn’t have dated, ever – I would have just waited. This makes it sound like our marriage was perfect. It wasn’t, but it was meant to be.

Anyway, Narrow Path Photography was born on one of those movie-like days, on an Oregon beach walk, round about 2005. Walter and I shared hard-won life lessons and unrealized passions for the art of photography, and dreamt of turning it all into a business creating photographs that would help couples stay together when times got tough. We bought our Canon 5Ds, our first Mac and Lightroom. We practiced under skilled mentors, honed our craft, and brought two children into the world.

Through two difficult births, midwife malpractice and a long recovery, we shot every family outing we took; we planned and dreamed. Walter hand-drew business card ideas. Then, in 2012, Walter declared retirement from the USPS – and two weeks later, was bullied into heart failure. I held on to a dreamkilling day job for nine months, was let go (because insuring single mamas is expensive!), and, over the course of a weekend, figured God had better plans for me. I slowly started building our photography business, raising our babes, and recovering.

Narrow Path Photography lives on through me. I use narrative photography to express connection and love. Loss keeps coming, but I keep shooting. As I write this update, I just might have started to find answers to our daughter’s long journey with traumatic brain injury that started 20 months ago at church camp, then took over our lives after horse camp four months later. 

I specialize in weddings, elopements, families and businesses, and welcome commissioned projects.

My Focus as a Storyteller

I photograph weddings and engagements with a journalist’s eye for detail (WWU journalism class of ’94 – which, I suppose, explains my blog, where you likely won’t find a list of my top ten wedding venues, but will get to know me). I look for the overarching storyline, and intimate moments that shore up the foundation cementing two lives together. Family storytelling gives me the opportunity to highlight the unique role of every family member, the special connections between them, and the subtle nuances of their lives together. I craft my business website photography and headshots to touch the hearts you’re reaching out to serve.

Inspirations

As a photographer, I admire the documentary photojournalism of Margaret Bourke-White and Donna Ferrato. I study the natural portraits of Ansel Adams and Edward Sheriff Curtis. And I admire the artistic integrity of wedding photographer Joe Buissink. A childhood spent enjoying National Geographic’s “zip code” photography feature, and watching sweeping musicals like “West Side Story” with my mom, also shaped who I am as a photographer.

As a human, I am inspired by loss. Keeping loss close to my heart keeps me grateful every single day. 

When I’m not immersed in photography or medical research, I think I’m going to be blogging a whole lot more, and can be found connecting with my kids; enjoying too much coffee; tending to our urban homestead; trying to learn how to garden in a greenhouse; cooking GAPS style; and shaking off the effects of deafening silence and empty Christianspeak, to try to patch together the remnants of a faith.

© Irina Negrean Photography

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