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I met Gavin Wade back in ’06 when he modeled for one of my 4-Day Intensives here in Newport Beach. I remember thinking… this guy is waaaay too nice! How can he keep this act up? I wanted to be a fly on the wall to see him kick his dog when nobody was looking so I could expose him. No such luck: the guy is for real. A genuine and perfectly nice fellow. Rare these days.
Then Erin came on the scene and things changed. Dramatically. But don’t worry… She didn’t steal his innocence and turn him into a bad boy. No, she was a good Christian girl who loved God and loved Gavin too. The change I saw was a fire in Gavin. He was on a mission to make this girl his wife. And he was on a mission to pursue his dreams in photography with her by his side.
Little did he know, she had a fire inside to pursue her dreams in photography too. And to make him her husband!
Gavin called me up one day in the late summer of 2008 and asked if he could buy my lunch and pick my brain. At lunch, Gavin told me all about his plan to get married and start a new business with Erin as wedding photographers. I was so proud of him for his decision to pursue his dreams. I mentioned that I was planning a retreat-style workshop/surf trip in Maui that winter. His eyes lit up and he said “count us in!” I knew instantly that this guy was going to make it. Not because he was coming to my workshop, but because he knew what he wanted and wasn’t afraid to make a decision. He didn’t even flinch at the $10K plus it would cost for the trip even though I know it was a stretch for them.
It was in Maui when I got my first glimpse of Gavin & Erin “the team”. They were perfect compliments to each other. What stood out most to me was their humility and passion for learning. Pair up humility and passion with some serious talent (I’m talking BOTH of them) and you have a recipe for superstardom.
I had my eye on them ever since that workshop in Maui. I knew they were going places and I wanted to help. Over the next couple of years, we stayed in touch and got together quite often. In July of 2010, I called up Gavin and asked if they wanted to be guinea pigs for a new “Mentorship Program” I was forming. I explained my goals for the program which was to meet with them every week and help them polish up their photography skills, presentation, and marketing plan.
Over the last several months, I’ve had the privilege of watching this young couple make leaps and bounds in their photography business. They are not only booking upwards of 30 weddings per year, but they are already teaching and giving back to the wedding photography industry (Check out their upcoming workshop in Vegas at WPPI). They are truly a breath of fresh air for me and everyone who knows them personally. They are an inspiration to so many already and they deserve every bit of the hard-earned success that keeps coming their way!
This post is a thank you to Gavin and Erin for being great people, amazing photographers, hard-working students, and the perfect blend of talent and humility! Oh… and they ain’t bad to photograph either!