I could tell you a ton about how I got here. How it all started because a zen monk couldn’t train me, so I picked up a camera instead. How photography became my passion. How I found my authentic voice in this world from telling stories from behind my camera. I could tell you those stories and if you ask, I will. But that’s not who I am, or at least that doesn’t cover the whole story, that’s just the photographer me. Let me introduce you to the rest of me.
Who am i
What happens when a lemming stops being a lemming?
It is so hard to say “fuck what they’re doing, I’m going to just do me.” Social media isn’t making that any easier either. We see everyone’s highlight reel and we think we have to meet their standards, or at least the ones they appear to be showing us. And when we do what they do, we feel hollow. Why? Because it is not who WE are. Like trying on someone’s clothes that just don’t fit us as we wriggle and hold our breath to fit in.
I fell prey to that feeling and direction more times than I care to admit or even count. From photography to family life, I was just doing what I saw the masses doing and disregarding that it never felt like me, finding myself wondering whose life was I living. Worst of all, I never spoke up about it and when I would try to utter anything remotely on the topic it came out all wrong.
In 2015, as I was just about to ditch photography because I felt like a soulless hack without an original thought, I decided to invest in myself and my business one last time. That time proved to be the change in everything, both good and bad.
My work blossomed because for once it was me speaking through the camera with my raw feelings and emotions combined the interactions I have with my couples prior to their weddings. Each wedding was distinct and not a cut-out from a wedding magazine or blog I had seen somewhere. As fast as a wedding could go, I was seeing it in slow motion.
While my work was becoming everything I had hoped it could be, my personal life was falling apart. Over the next four years I experienced the worst in myself and others, all because my words didn’t make sense to them and theirs didn’t make sense to me. So I dove head first into therapy, I began listening to self-help podcasts, I read any book or audiobook I could get my hands on dealing with happiness, communication, relationships or work-life balance, I relearned meditation and found out about self-care.
My life is nowhere near perfect, but it is much better. I am a human being in process always and forever, but a lemming who does what others do…not any more.
“If you aren’t vulnerable, there is a lot less pain, but a lot less love.”
some of my core beliefs
About a year ago, a friend took me on a really interesting journey, basically to figure out my purpose. During this process of introspection and writing down thoughts, I came up with what I see as my core beliefs and a year has gone by and I feel very much the same about them.
Perspective is everything until you realize it can change, and then the reality of change is everything.
When you love something, you fight for it.
Sometimes we need to trust in and respect the process.
Laughter is the best distraction.
This is not the end.
“I find it amusing that we’re all pretending to be normal when we could be insanely interesting instead.”
why do any of this
It took me 34 years to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. It took me 36 years to realize I had a real photographic voice that resonated with people. It took me two more years to almost lose everything that means anything to me as I derived all of my self-worth from what I did behind my camera and the pats on the back I received from said work, and two more years to fix that and begin finding self-worth and pride for the connections I maintain with those around me. Photography is no longer who I am, it is simply what I love to do.
I do this to show my boys that you can absolutely do what you love for a living. I do this because I love the relationships I build with my couples, whether they only lead up to their wedding day or if they continue on beyond that. I do this because of the feeling I get from it. I do this because it’s the only thing I’m really fucking good at. I do this to connect with people on a deeper level than pretty pictures.
“I think you’ve really got to wait and see how things play out…some of life’s wildest journeys begin with a wrong turn.”
- Beau Taplin
the devil in the details
Chapin is actually my middle name, my actual last name is Brophy. I was named after my great-grandfather. And because I am somewhat neurotic, I didn’t like the -phy in my last name rhyming with the -phy in photography. So here we are.
If I was stuck on a desert island with only one food it would be the breakfast burrito with chicken and sausage from Roberto’s in Del Mar, CA.
I made it through high school only reading one book cover to cover, and that was The Odyssey. Needless to say, I was not an excellent student, but damn did I love that book!
I have an adventurers soul, like Peter Pan without tights and I don’t like heights.
As a kid, I wanted to be a veterinarian. As a teen, I wanted to be a snowboard instructor. In college, I wanted to be a psychologist. Yet here I am, a photographer.
I have 8 tattoos, soon to be 9 and likely more as I go. Feel free to ask me about them.
IPAs > Stouts // Tacos > Sandwiches // Hugs > Handshakes // Mountains > Beaches
Favorite quote: “You get what you give” - No idea who said it first and I refuse to accept it was the New Radicals, but it is 100% true.
Maybe that really resonated with you, and maybe it didn’t and that’s okay. Though if it did, and you’d like to hire me for your wedding, you can contact me below.