“I could never work with my brother!” I’m not exaggerating when I say at least one person says this to us at every wedding! Never in a million years did I imagine I would be a wedding photographer and in business with my brother, but I love our business, and I love that we can do it together. So what’s our story?
Troy and I are the only kids in our immediate family, and we always got along. I distinctly remember our mom saying “Traci and Troy never fight” when friends/strangers/acquaintances would comment on our demeanor. I think it was a self-fulfilled prophecy; she said it so much that we didn’t have a choice! (and just to be fair, if you ask Troy, he’d say we got along because he did everything I told him to do!)
His interest in photography started before mine. When he backpacked through Europe after college, he used his old Canon Elan ii, played with shutter speed with cars driving past the Arc de Triomphe and experimented with exposure while photographing the Eiffel Tower at night. I remember loving the photos.
When my son was born, Troy and I were living in different states about 15 hours apart. I asked him to bring his camera when he traveled to meet his nephew. Photography was nothing like it is today, but I still love the simple, intimate newborn photos he gave us.
Fast forward a few years, and I’m a typical mom with a camera. Have you heard the name “mom tog?” That was me. I saw a friend find success as a mom and photographer and was intrigued. Soon I was smitten with the art form. When I had time away from my babies, I would go to Borders and sit for hours, taking notes so I wouldn’t have to actually buy the photo books. I read voraciously about shutter speed, exposure, and Photoshop. It wasn’t long before I owned a Canon Rebel, two lenses, and officially started Traci Falder Photography.
In the beginning, I primarily photographed kids, families, and seniors. Two years later, I shot my first wedding. I loved every part of it. The beautiful bride, the interaction with the bridal party, the story of the day…
Troy lived in Seattle and was finishing a degree in Mental Health Counseling. After he completed school and was looking to move closer to family, I tempted him with the idea of joining my photography business. We didn’t really know what it would look like, and when he moved to Indiana four years ago, we were still shooting it all– seniors, families, open air photobooths, headshots, weddings, and some commercial work.
While weddings were slowly becoming our favorite, it wasn’t until spring of 2016 that we officially declared a specialization in weddings.
I manage the business every day while Troy works full time at his private mental health practice. On the weekends, we join forces to create beautiful images for our couples.
We often joke about the cute “dates” we experience on wedding weekends while our spouses are home with our kids– or the typical conversation I have while checking into our hotel room:
Traci to hotel clerk: “Just to clarify… that’s two double beds, right?…. He’s not my husband….[oh, wait, why would I be in a hotel room with another male if he’s not my husband]…he’s my brother.”
Troy to Traci: “She doesn’t care.”
But really, I love that we can share this business together. I love Troy’s gentleness when dealing with people and his fun-loving nature with everyone he encounters. And I love the “presents” I get to open after every wedding when I see his stunning, creative images.
As our website states, “At the end of the day, we’re different people with different strengths, but our parents instilled in us to love people, to value authenticity, and to always give our best to others. We love bringing our family to yours.”