Skip to content

Looking toward the future adventures!

Some people spend their whole lives trying to figure out their purpose. Oftentimes they spend too many hours working in fields they grow to resent, simply because they need to pay their bills. Thankfully, this isn’t that kind of announcement. I am still very much in love with my journey and I hope I get to do this for the next 70 years…

Of course, over the 2,600 miles I’ve driven this week, I’ve had plenty of time to think about how I wanted this to sound, but did I stop to record voice notes along the way? Absolutely not, lol, that would make too much dang sense..

If we have spoken for more than 90 seconds, you’ve learned a few things about me; I live and love to travel for weddings and elopements and Olive is my absolute best friend in the world. Naturally, behind the scenes, two of those things also cause me a great deal of stress that I don’t share with you. The first is being concerned with my flight(s) getting delayed or cancelled and how much time I am going to be away from Olive and who is going to stay with her while I’m working. 

As you all know by now, on June 26th I tore my left biceps tendon. I have had a successful repair and I thankfully have been able to work during 99.9% of the time except for the first two weeks post op. During the last 2.5 months I have had a lot of time to reflect on the things in life that make me feel alive and the things that truly matter to who I am as a dog dad, story teller, partner and human being. I’ve come to the realization that I am great at my job because I am a walking photograph full of memories and secrets. The first thing you notice when you see me are probably the tattoos that fill my arms, and as I’ve been healing and sadly admiring the loss of muscle in my arm during this time, it’s forced me to pause and reflect. A lot of these tattoos are words, some are for my military service, some are for photography, and some are for people that are no longer part of my journey. Each and every day when I look at myself, I am reminded of those moments in time. No matter where I am or what I am doing, there are certain things etched into me that will never dissipate even as the ink fades; it reminds me of old photographs. They may be yellowed and worn, the ink may be fading, but your eyes still allow you to see the image, however, what lies beneath will remain part of a history unknown to most who observe. 

It has taken me almost a decade to figure out what I truly wanted out of this career. When I first began, I wanted to do it all, as most do! Over time I figured out what I was most passionate about and also what made me the most nervous. Early on, I had to let go of the idea that just because I was friends with someone doesn’t necessarily mean I was going to be photographing their wedding, and believe me, that was the one lesson that hurt the most….and then there were you, complete strangers, trusting in little ole me. All these years later including publications, features, larger, more traditional weddings, micro weddings, elopements, secret elopements. Photo sessions, fundraisers, corporate events, the list goes on. BUT where is this all leading us? What makes Reese the happiest when he is behind the camera? I know most of you can probably guess, because you see my eyes light up, see my facial expressions and probably hear me scream..”the shot.” 

I am the happiest when I am connecting with you, in an intimate setting where your day is not riddled with stress, a million humans and three million moving parts. I am the happiest when I have your undivided attention so I can redirect you and that attention back to one another. I am the happiest when I get to explore new places, when adrenaline is fueling an 11 hour non stop drive because I know what lies ahead will be pure magic. I am the happiest when you, complete strangers, become my friends and family. When, for the first time meeting, you are so comfortable with me, you can make a joke as soon as I approach and that is how we greet. OK Reese, so what does this all mean, man…get to the point…I KNOW I KNOW.

On 8/18 I turned 35, and no, I don’t really want to talk about it, lol. I will talk about this, though. My first flight out of DTW on 8/17 was delayed 5 times, it had me missing my connecting flight out of Vegas to Seattle. With no help from anyone on the phone, chat or at the gate with Spirit Airlines, I was begging a flight attendant to help because I could not miss that flight into Seattle. Thankfully, with the help of her and one longtime friend, they were able to confirm the pilot messaged to have the connecting flight out of Vegas held because there were 28 of us that would’ve been stranded. Make the flight and get settled to find out the plane had no AC and we would need to deplane because it was too hot to keep us on there while it was being fixed. Another 4:45 minutes go by before we depart. That debacle ruined the whole evening and while it all worked out, it really made me think. These flight issues happen with almost every flight post covid, on every airline and really made me dread booking out of state work. However, I love my job and I love to travel so there has to be a way around this, right? 

On Sunday, 8/20, after photographing one hell of a post wedding session in Oregon, we started to make our way back to Seattle but I decided I wanted to stop at the RV lot that we passed on the way Friday. We went in and I was greeted by a wonderful man and I explained that I am from out of state and I just wanted to look and gather information to see if this is something that could actually be a thing. Mission accomplished. That night we stayed in an Airbnb which was an old 70s camper. S’mores for dinner while watching a movie on a projector screen outside and a bath and shower the next morning, outside, in nature, in a clawfoot tub. Living the damn dream, for real. By this time, I had reached out to AAA for an insurance quote and decided I wanted to proceed with making this a reality. 

And well, one thing lead to another and I would like you all to meet the new woman in my life, Minnie! Olive hasn’t met her yet, but I think she will be real happy to know that she doesn’t have to be home staring out the window wondering when her dad will be coming back, because now, she will be living her best life as my co captain!!!!!

Ok, Reese, what does this mean? 

This means that the adventures are truly just beginning!!! Over the next few months there is going to be a rebrand, the website is going to get a facelift and Reese Oliver is going to finally have a true look and feel. There is no limit to when or where anymore!!!!!!! I will still be booking a handful of more traditional/ larger weddings because I do love the customs and traditions. However, helping to plan intimate weddings and elopements while working with you in a closer capacity is just where my heart is at and where I feel that I want to dedicate more time on going forward. 

I AM SO EXCITED TO MEET YOU! Whether we are hiking a trail together, planning your elopement in Vegas, Greece, New Mexico or Paris! Let the adventures begin!!!!!