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Leaving San Francisco

August 22, 2017

 

For most of the past decade, I’ve been a destination wedding photographer, based San Francisco and traveling the world to places like Bali, South Africa, New York City, Bermuda….and Cleveland. In that time I covered destination weddings, engagements, tens of thousands of miles, and a name change as well. The Artist Formerly Known as Poser became Erik Clausen. The business started in Dallas but moved shortly after to San Francisco where I sought the almighty destination dollar. The journey brought me an opportunity to team with industry visionaries and influencers such as Alison Rinderknecht of Alison Events with whom I work with on Tyler and Danielle’s wedding, one of the most extravagant, stylish I’ve ever witnessed that took place between The Battery in San Francisco and the family’s property in Chicago:

Aimee Monihan of Tropical Occasions styled the lavish wedding of Ryan and Lindsey atop Aspen mountain at the Little Nell:

From shooting in the myriad of breathtaking wedding destinations like Tianhua and Linghui’s wedding at The Montage in Laguna Beach with the talented Michelle Groom of Mele Amore:

or in the California hills with Eugene and Stephanie overlooking the ocean at Rancho Del Cielo:

or with Brian and Samantha at the charming Diablo Ranch:

with Fabio and Rachel at the incredibly beautiful Ojai Valley Inn:

or with Balistarz and Ari and Koca’s infamous 72-hour wedding in Bali:

Getting to travel the world shooting weddings, my incredible couples, and working with industry leaders has been incredible, and an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Shooting destination weddings has allowed me to meet many incredible people, including some of my very best friends. In the photography community, at least amongst the photographers that I consider friends, we are colleagues, not competition. I’ve shot for and had some of the world’s absolute best photographers shoot with me. Getting to shoot with brilliant photographers like Otto Schulze, Nirav Patel, Bradford Martens, Adonye Jaja, Sean Flanigan, Jonas Peterson, Paul Van Rieter, and James Christianson has done nothing if not make me a better photographer and the person that I have become.

As fulfilling as it is has been, I have decided to bring the business back home to Dallas. It’s not that I don’t want to shoot destination weddings anymore, I absolutely do and will. Shooting in locations such as the Carmel Valley Ranch:

and Old Westbury Gardens in New York:

will always stir up the wanderlust in me; It’s just nice to sleep in your own bed after a long wedding every once in a while.

As I state in my ethos, life is an odyssey, every day tells it’s own story. I’m ready for the next story. The next chapter. To meet my next friend, favorite planner, or incredible venue. Making beautiful photographs is not why I am a photographer. I’m a photographer because of the people I have met and will meet that I would never have met if I weren’t.