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Hello, and welcome to the CSP blog! I'm Chris Sosa—ice-cream-lover, encourager, and wedding photographer based in Miami, Florida! My passion is photographing timeless estate weddings for joyful couples who put their marriage first! Grab a pint of your favorite ice cream, curl up on the couch, and enjoy scrolling through some of my recent weddings, getting all the latest planning inspiration, and learning from my best photography tips!

It’s been exactly one year since this moment. I’ve never shared the whole story, with the exception of a few close friends of mine. But I’ve learned that my story can be encouraging to others, and I hope it will encourage you!

In 2015, I attended a conference called Showit United in Arizona during a time when I had recently been let go from a full time job, and had no work planned out. It was just by the grace of God that I learned about United and had enough money to attend! I went with no expectations, and it was life changing!

I walked in thinking that I was the new guy and no one would recognize me. To my surprise, I was wrong. In fact, almost everyone knew who I was!

Being recognized by wedding industry leaders and educators… That’s something I never would have expected in a million years. I thought I was just a kid from Hialeah. Nothing good ever comes from Hialeah, right?

Sharing my dreams

During the conference I was listening to a talk by two photographers, Ashley and Graham Scobey. They had everyone in the group share their dreams and goals with each other.

When it was my turn, I laughed nervously and shared my dreams out loud probably for the first time.

In that moment, Ashley looked at me and said, “Chris, I’ve never met you. But I have heard a lot of great things about you from everyone. You are going places and going to make it happen.” I just lost it and started crying in front of the whole group.

After their talk was over, I went back to Ashley and Graham and asked if I could take a picture with them. Then I asked Graham if he could pray for me, and he did!

But I still felt I need to just speak to God on my own, so I walked to the hotel’s pool, which at that time of day hotel was empty.

Praying by the pool

In that moment, I wasn’t sure if I should keep being a wedding photographer or do something else. I had no idea what to do!

Even though I loved what I did, financially it just wasn’t working out. I didn’t feel confident, and I didn’t believe in myself at all. People would say, “You’re so awesome, Chris!” and I’d just brush it off. All the years of being verbally bullied and picked on in school made me so numb even to the positive and good feelings as well.

I remember asking God, “Should I keep doing this? Give me a sign. I don’t know, maybe my favorite photographers will come by and call my name, like in the movies.”

Yeah, right. Impossible!

But after twenty minutes of praying and looking at the floor, I felt at peace. If you’ve experienced, this you know what it feels like. The whole weight of the world is off your shoulders again. You can hear the wind and silence of the air and it’s no longer your voice and craziness in your head.

Nothing is impossible!

I heard my name from across the pool. Someone was saying,”Hey, Chris, can you take a picture of us?”

It was Matt Kennedy, one of the amazing photographers I had been following for a long time! He was standing there with five more of my favorite photographers, dressed like rock stars ready for the gala that night.

Amy and Jordan, Katelyn and Michael, Matt and Carissa. To most, they are just regular people. But to the wedding photography industry? They are some of the top encouragers and educators out there!

And it really happened! They called my name!

I was slightly in shock and super nervous to take their photo. Imagine seeing your favorite band. They recognize you and call you over and tell you to take a band photo – or better yet, to play on stage with them! That’s how I felt.

Luckily, that day was the first day I had packed my camera in my backpack! With a huge smile on my face, I took a cell phone photo, and then a photo with my camera.

After I was done, Katelyn James asked, “How much for the photo?” I laughed and said, “$99!” She smiled, saying, “I’ll pay more than that! You are the best.”

The cool kids table

Later that night, at the gala, Katelyn James called me over. I said, “Oh cool, I get to sit at the cool kids table!” Humbly she said, “No way, this isn’t the cool kids table!” I wasn’t sure what to say; I was still kind of in shock from earlier. The only thing I could think of was that I was kidding about the $99 for the photo. Later I also got asked by Amy and Jordan if I wanted to sit with them at their table!

While I was outside of the gala at Showit United, getting ice cream (of course), Matt Kennedy found me and said, “Chris, come here!” I sat in my chair and I saw my favorite photographers on stage. Jordan Demos was talking about how this guy is always encouraging and always helping and commenting on posts and the industry needs more people like him.

And the award for encourager goes to . . .

It makes me tear up a little every time. But, yeah . . . For the second time in one day, they called my name. I went up on stage, and Amy & Jordan Demos, Katelyn James, and Todd Watson were saying, “Dude, you’re awesome,” while each giving me a big hug. The room was filled with my friends and favorite photographers cheering and screaming, even crying, and they all knew it was going to be me.

Photo Cred: Matt Kennedy (iphone) Photo Cred: Matt Kennedy (iphone)

From left to right we have the awesome Todd Watson (CEO of Showit), the amazing Katelyn James, and my first #demossandwich with Amy & Jordan. This moment was something to remember and their stories encouraged me to keep going and to keep encouraging and helping other photographers.

Never underestimate God, and believe in yourself.

I say this all the time. I needed something drastic to happen in my life so I could learn the hard way, and this was it. It’s hard to go through, and I never want anyone to ever feel the way I did, which is why I love encouraging others.

Thanks friends for reading. I’m always happy to respond to emails and messages, and I’m always cheering you on. You rock!

Matt, Carissa, Jordan, Amy, Michael, Katelyn. If you read this, I can’t wait to hug you guys again at United this year. Love y’all. Keep being amazing!

Our Life

October 19, 2016

United 2015 | Encouraged by Encouraging Others

  1. Stella Throop

    October 19th, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    You rock, Chris! ???????? What a great story. I can’t wait to meet you at United this year!!

  2. Carissa

    October 19th, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    Awww we love you Chris!! God has given you the gift of encouragement and you use your gift well!

  3. Raelene Schulmeister

    October 19th, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    GAH!!! This vulnerability you’ve shared is one of the reasons you’re so loved!! You’re one of the biggest cheerleaders for others that I know! You are amazing Chris!! Great things are going to happen for you friend 🙂

  4. Sharon

    October 19th, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    One day I will meet you in person Chris! Until that day, I will enjoy reading your uplifting posts and encouraging comments. Your beautiful light is just to bright to ignore.

    Your Alaskan Wedding Photographer friend, Sharon

  5. Mindy

    October 19th, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Love the photo of these AMAZING mentors, and I love your story! Keep it up!

  6. Michelle

    October 19th, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Great story!!! Your bloggin is amazing! ????????

  7. Chris Sosa

    October 19th, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    Thanks Michelle. I try 8)

  8. Ashley Durham

    October 19th, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    That’s so awesome! I’m so bummed we aren’t able to make it to United this year!! 🙁

  9. Elizabeth Urbanowicz

    October 19th, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    Awwww Chris this brought me to tears! You are a rockstar. One of the biggest encouragers I know. God will do great things with you and your business! ((HUGS)) And when I visit Florida you’ll get a real one ????

  10. Chris Sosa

    October 20th, 2016 at 2:30 am

    Wish you could. But it was great seeing y’all at WPPI!

  11. Chris Sosa

    October 20th, 2016 at 2:31 am

    Sounds fantastic!

  12. Carey Franquiz

    October 21st, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    Brought me to tears… thank you for sharing and being so vulnerable.

  13. Jennifer

    November 2nd, 2016 at 2:01 am

    This is so amazing! I can’t even imagine how that must of felt to have them all in front of your camera! How awesome!

  14. chrissosaphotography

    March 28th, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Yes, It was quite scary and I was so picky about the little things. For a nobody like me I was freaking out. So many stories. 8)

  15. chrissosaphotography

    March 28th, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    8) my pleasure. It happens. Lots of stories and openness. It makes us human and hopefully encourages someone. 8)

  16. Andrea Arostegui

    April 21st, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    Chris, I don’t know if you remember me, but I was the girl you bought the vagabond from, and let me tell you, your post right now just really got to me. I’ve been in your same shoes for a few months now, not knowing whether I should give up on all this or keep going. And as if it were a sign from God, I stumbled upon this blog post I don’t even know how. I am so happy to hear of what God is doing in your life and your work and I can’t wait to keep seeing it! I know you’re going to do even greater things than you could’ve ever imagined!

  17. chrissosaphotography

    May 3rd, 2017 at 4:17 am

    You are the best! It would be so much fun to meet!

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