Wedding Photography photo
Photo: Ashley and Jeremy Parsons
Photo: Ashley and Jeremy Parsons
Photo: Ashley and Jeremy Parsons

When Ashley Parsons was first asked to photograph a wedding, she was working as a doula and presenting at a health fair for expectant moms. “I just laughed and said, ‘I’m not a photographer, but thank you,'” she recalls. But the requester, who had seen family photographs she had taken, wouldn’t let it go. Shooting that first wedding turned out to be a revelation. “I went from one experience to another, and every photograph that I made was like giving myself a present,” she recalls. “I came home and said, ‘Jeremy, we have to become wedding photographers.'” Her enthusiasm won him over. “I went for it because I love spending time with my wife and I hated my job,” says Jeremy, who was working for a loan servicing company in their home base of Kansas City, Missouri, at the time.

The couple spent their savings on a booth at a bridal show. They booked 18 weddings, and Jeremy quit his job. Now, after years of developing a natural-looking documentary style together, the Parsons work with clients whom they get to know personally before the wedding. “We’ve got to have a connection to them that feels different than a client,” Ashley explains. “If we wanted to work with clients, we could go back to the business world. We want to have couples that we get. We get their stories and what they’re about, and they get us.”

That the leap of faith they made together has worked out so well doesn’t seem to surprise them. As Ashley says, “How can you not feel inspired when you have the love of your life with you?”

See the rest of our Best Wedding Photographers of 2013 list here.