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Inspiring Conversations with Sam Sansudsavat of Fearless Wedding & Elopement

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sam Sansudsavat.

Sam, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
My story is different. I was born and raised in Thailand for 15 years; then, I moved to WA for high school and a little college. I wouldn’t say I liked school, so I joined the US Army as a medic, and they sent me to Hawaii 😅. But my passion for photography never left my heart, so I decided to pursue it. I’m a phoenix wedding photographer traveling the country in my camper van, photographing adventure elopements.

Growing up in a different world gave me a different perspective on life. Most people do what they can to survive. It was much harder back in Thailand, so my family cherished the simple and good things in life. Like, I was going out to eat! My mom would always take photos of us. I wouldn’t say I liked it, but looking back at it now, it was probably what started my passion for photography.

When I was in High school, I took a photography class, probably the most fun class of my high school experience. That’s when I started to take photography seriously. However, I didn’t want to pursue it immediately, and I wanted to serve in the military first. So I signed up for the Army and joined as their combat medic. The military sent me to Hawaii, which was awesome. That’s when I started traveling, doing lifestyle photography, and doing a few weddings. After my military contract was over, I moved to Wisconsin for 2 1/2 years and started my wedding and elopement photography business. However, WI didn’t feel like home, so I moved to Phoenix, Arizona! And now I travel the country in my self-converted camper van, photographing weddings and elopements in epic locations

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been fairly smooth?
Def some challenges along the way. Moving halfway across the world was def a challenge. Learning a new culture and living independently at 15 years old with no guidance was very difficult. But by far, the most difficult thing is learning the photography business.

I love photography. I will do it for free forever if money isn’t a thing. There’s marketing, lighting, websites, social media, etc. I want to be the best wedding photographer because it’s my mission to is to give people tangible pieces of memories while allowing them to live in the moment so that when they look back, they’ll remember all the good moments long after they’re gone.

I’m extremely passionate because life is precious, and I learned that hard. On a random Wednesday afternoon, one of my army brothers passes away unexpectedly. And although we were very close, I didn’t have any photos of those good moments. We were busy living life at the moment and never paused to snap a photo. As time passed, I felt like I was losing more of our good memories.

(dang., that got dark fast, sorry)

I don’t want anyone to experience that feeling of not having real photographs to look back on. So after years of mastering landscape & travel photography, I pivoted to elopement and weddings, then everything just clicked. That’s why it’s so hard to learn the business side of photography. It wasn’t natural for me. I can evoke emotions naturally for my couples, make them feel comfortable in front of the camera, and create a great wedding photo experience because of my past experience, The business side is just not natural for me. but I know that if I want to serve more couples in the future, I have to learn how to run a good wedding photography studio

We’ve been impressed with Fearless Wedding & Elopement, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
You know, there are a lot of talented wedding photographers out there. What sets me apart is my approach to photography. I take pride in prioritizing my couples’ experiences over photographs. It is much more important than my couples are having a great time on the wedding day than to try to take the most epic photographs. This sounds counter-intuitive, but that’s how you capture real, authentic emotions that people will cherish. Because in the end, it’s the emotions and the stories behind those photographs give their value. So instead of asking my couples, “what’s your wedding like” I asked them, “how do you want to celebrate your love” and that took me anywhere from working at the biggest wedding venues in Phoenix to photographing an adventure elopement on top of the mountain. I’ve learned in business that if you never get paid more than you do, if you don’t do more, you’re paid. It’s about giving 110% in everything that you do.

What do you like and dislike about the city?
Honestly, I love Phoenix. It’s the culture and energy in the Valley for me. Probably because of all the sunny days here the people are so lovely. However, the summer heat was a little unbearable. I live in a self-converted camper van, and when it gets too hot here in Phoenix, I’d drive to Sedona or make a road trip somewhere. However, this works out with my work schedule. I’d stay in Phoenix in the winter, photographing weddings, and then in the summer, when it’s too hot here, I’d travel the country and photograph adventure elopements.

Pricing:

  • Weddings & Elopements beginning at $3400 as of right now.
  • Engagement or Couple sessions begin at $500

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Sam Sansudsavat – Fearless Wedding & Elopement

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