Rikki Rivera | Photographer » Wedding & Portrait Photography

There’s a story here

 It’s never easy explaining to people WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. The first thing that comes to my mind is a bit of self doubt, will people even care? How do I ensure I don’t come off sharing the bad more than the good. It happens, we see it everyday through social media. I don’t want that, I am happy to live in a place of positivity and seek happiness as often as possible. I am also a realist, which is why I filter as much as I can that comes into our household and lives everyday.

So when thinking about the WHY, I hear a lot of people say they take photos to help them see the beauty in their everyday, especially in the little mundane things. I suppose that’s a bit true for all of us. My story started back around the age of 14. I would catch glimpses of old barns, incredible sunsets, and I knew I wanted to remember that moment forever. I do remember specific sunsets and specific barns, because I told myself that I would always remember that moment and how I felt. I remember wishing that I could capture those things exactly the way I saw them. It wasn’t that I wanted to find the beauty, I already saw it, I wanted to remember it and to be inspired again and again. Little did I know what my future held for me.

I took photos like crazy as a teenager. I was known for always having some sort of little film camera on me, taking photos of friends and family all over the place! I grew up moving A LOT, so when I made friends, it was likely I would never see them again. Many of those friends shaped much of my life and held a place in my heart that never went away. As I entered my early twenties, I realized I had more control of my life and what I wanted to keep and let go of. Photography, friendship, and those moments I wanted to remember, those were all keepers. I wanted to give my kids something I didn’t have; evidence of childhood, evidence to spark memories long forgotten. So I began and I never stopped…

Photography is a challenge. It’s different for every single person, and I love that no two people can capture EXACTLY the same thing. I love even more that when we take our photos home, we process them completely different as well. I became very passionate about the people I connected with, with being as authentic as possible, and uplifting those around me in real life and in front of my camera. I want images that POP in some way. To show my story in photography and the story of others. Have your kids grown? Are you happy? Are you stressed? Do you have more wrinkles? Did you just take an amazing trip somewhere? Are you married? Single? It doesn’t matter what baggage you came to me with, I believe there is a silver lining in there somewhere. Don’t be afraid of those silly little things that would typically stop you from enjoying the moment, or playing and laughing with your family [especially in front of me]. That kind of stuff, I live for – that’s what I seek from each photo session I do. That’s what keeps me coming back and it keeps me moving forward.

Quick back story of silver lining: When I was deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, I worked with a lot of different service members. At one point, I was working at the front gate of our camp with a Navy petty officer. We chatted and helped each other out during our 12 hour shift. During that time in my life, I liked to make light of the otherwise dark situation it could be, I like to see the good and just feel happy regardless of what was going on. I don’t remember our specific conversation, but I do remember him laughing at something I said and telling me, “You know what? You always see the silver lining in things, don’t you?” I wasn’t sure what he meant at that moment, but as I pictured where the ocean meets a cloud-filled sky, I laughed in response to what he said, but his words never left me. Even to this day when I need to seek that good, I remember that moment. Every time I saw him after that, he said, “Hey silver lining!”

Challenge Day 1

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