Studio portrait of Columbus Ohio wedding photographer Monty Soungpradith
4500+ (USD)

Monty Soungpradith

Wedding & Portrait Photography Studio | Columbus, Ohio


Creative Photographer Excited About Collaborations, Family-Oriented

Photography is so much more than just a beautiful photograph to me. I’ve held a camera in my hand ever since I was 14 years old. I didn’t fully understand or explore what it meant to me until my father became ill and was on his way to leaving us. I fell in love with the Kodak Disc 4000 camera and cried for months, begging my parents to buy it. Sadly, it was not in the budget. But then, shortly before my dad passed away, he bought me that camera, and I remember documenting everything in my life. I remember how connected I felt to everything through that lens. The last photograph I took with that camera was of my dad in his coffin, and then I never picked it up again for a very long time.

I misplaced the camera back in 1991. I left for college and got my degree in Psychology, Criminology, and a minor in Sociology. During my time there, I also studied fine art photography as an extracurricular course, and I remember how exciting it was to be back photographing again. I returned home searching for my beloved Kodak Disc 4000 but never found it.

I settled, knowing that it was gone forever. I married in 2000, and our first son was born two short years later. Soon after our second son was born in 2005, I had forgotten about this camera. With the birth of my children, my love of photography reignited, and I was back to documenting again, but this time of the birth and life of my kids and not the death and passing of my father.

I fell in love with photography again and was drawn into it; it made me happy.

I bought my first DSLR camera in 2003 to document my son. That feeling of wanting to photograph everything in my life came back as if I was 14 again. I realized then that photography is in my DNA. I also recognized that photography, to me, was a form of therapy to deal with the anxiety and stress of my father’s death. Photography became something that brought meaning and joy to my life. Creating meant living, and creating was essential. It helped me process the complexity of my thoughts and emotions that I couldn’t express otherwise.

The visual stories I created with my camera became a part of understanding myself in a whole different way. Picking up a camera allowed me to see and capture the world around me in a new and insightful way by noticing my surroundings that I would have never noticed before. Photography has made me a better observer, allowing me to find beauty in the simplest things around me and appreciate life even more.

I believe a photograph is a return ticket to a moment otherwise forgotten. Whether it’s the imperfect blurry giggling selfie photo tucked away in your smartphone or a print that your dad meticulously preserved since you were two, that photo holds so much meaning now in our lives, even when that moment is long gone.

So, remember that Kodak Disc 4000 camera? During the summer of 2017, my second son was competing in speedcubing (that’s solving Rubik’s Cubes super fast for those who are not familiar). Apparently, it’s a thing. We traveled all over the US for him to compete, and one day, we landed in Detroit, Michigan, for the finals. During our lunch break, we visited a nearby camera store that was going out of business, and by the time we got there, everything in the store had been emptied except for one box sitting on the shelf. I kindly asked the owner what was in the box. He said, “If there’s anything in there, you can have it.” Unbeknownst to him, a practically brand new Kodak Disc 4000 camera was in that box, exactly like the one I had lost. I shared the story about the camera with him, and he graciously gifted it to me, and I’ve held on to it ever since. It is my WHY and my purpose for waking up doing what I love because photography brings me meaning and joy unlike anything else I’ve ever known.

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