Gene Higa had been shooting weddings in the San Francisco Bay Area for several years when he realized that there was a niche in the field that nobody else was filling. "Photographers would say 'available for destination weddings' but no one was really doing it," he says. "No one was focusing on this kind of work in a major way." Higa quickly moved to fill the gap. "Every destination wedding we've done, it's been published," he says, as he rattles off the countries "hanging" on his office wall. Most recently, one of his photos was both featured on the cover and inside the Destination Weddings "World Wide Guide." His new focus has taken him to Mexico, Italy, India, the Philippines, Greece, Peru, Thailand, Spain, Barbados, and Jamaica -- "locations that no one else in our industry has," he says. Paradoxically, this focus on exotic locales has simultaneously raised Higa's "perceived value" in his base city, San Francisco, where he shoots about 30 weddings a year. Higa brings his own stylistic touches to the job, as well. Whereas most photographers take a plethora of shots of the blushing bride, Higa likes to focus on the groom. "I always try to get the cool groom shot. I try to work on the opposite of what everyone else is doing," he says. Higa's Website features a number of strong, solo portraits of grooms alongside his work motto, "Dare to be different." All promotion strategies aside, however, Higa is in the industry because he loves it. "I'm made for this business. I'm very sentimental, I love the art, the dresses; I love every aspect of it. I love the parties, I love the details, I love the client interaction," he says. "I found my calling."