From Candid Shots to Champagne Toasts: The Kendal Westbrooks Ascendancy

In the vibrant tapestry of Atlanta, Georgia, Kendal Lanier Westbrooks stands as a beacon of creativity and resilience. His journey from the baseball fields of Kennesaw to the forefront of wedding photography is a narrative rich with passion, perseverance, and the profound influence of family legacy. Kendal’s path to becoming a renowned photographer was illuminated by the guiding light of his father, a passionate photographer himself, and further enriched by Kendal’s own journey into fatherhood.

“My dad was always the one taking team photos, capturing those fleeting moments of triumph and joy,” Kendal reminisces. It was through his father’s lens that Kendal first glimpsed the power of photography to freeze time, to tell stories without words. “I remember this one time, I missed catching the ball, but the picture my dad took was so powerful. It captured me in mid-air, reaching out as far as I could. That image… it sparked something in me.” This early exposure to the art of photography laid the foundation for Kendal’s future, teaching him the importance of capturing life’s most significant moments.

Kendal’s father not only introduced him to photography but also instilled in him a deep appreciation for the beauty of life’s everyday moments. “He would print out the photos and give them to my teammates and their parents. It was his way of sharing joy, of preserving memories.” This act of sharing and preserving became a cornerstone of Kendal’s philosophy as a photographer. Inspired by his father’s passion and generosity, Kendal embarked on a journey to carve his own path in the world of photography.

Pursuing a degree in business, he found himself at a crossroads, faced with the challenge of supporting himself through college. “My parents told me, ‘we’re not going to send you money every week for school, so you need to get a job,'” Kendal recalls. It was this pivotal moment that led to a conversation with his mother that would change the course of his life. “I told my mom, ‘if you buy me a camera, I’ll figure it out.’ And she did. She went up there to Target, bought me a little point-and-shoot camera, and from there, the rest was history.”

Kendal’s journey into photography wasn’t just about capturing moments; it was about discovering his voice and carving a niche in a world teeming with creativity. After graduating, Kendal ventured into the corporate world, taking a job at Hewlett Packard in Alpharetta. Yet, the confines of an office space could not contain his restless spirit. “I remember sitting there one day, thinking, ‘if I have to get up and come here every day to survive, I’m gonna lose my mind,'” he shares. This realization propelled him to take a leap of faith, resigning from his job to pursue photography full-time.

In 2019, Kendal founded Champagne Love Stories, a wedding photography company that quickly distinguished itself with its first wedding in Mexico. “Our first wedding was in Mexico. And from there, once again, the rest was history,” Kendal says with a sense of pride. Champagne Love Stories was not just a business; it was a reflection of Kendal’s philosophy on love and life. Drawing inspiration from his observations and experiences, Kendal sought to capture the essence of love in its most authentic form. “I’ve always believed that the most personality are the ones controlling the narrative,” he asserts, emphasizing the importance of authenticity in his work.

Kendal’s approach to photography is candid and timeless. “As good as I am at posing people, I’m a fly on the wall. I try to anticipate things before they happen,” he explains. This philosophy extends beyond his professional work, influencing his personal projects and his recent venture into fatherhood. “Becoming a father was the best thing that could ever happen to me,” Kendal reflects, acknowledging the profound impact it has had on his perspective and approach to life.

The birth of his own child added a new dimension to Kendal’s work and life. Fatherhood transformed his perspective, deepening his understanding of love and responsibility. “When you become a father, you really learn what grace means,” Kendal reflects. This newfound understanding of love and grace has permeated his photography, allowing him to capture the essence of human connections with even greater depth and sensitivity.

Kendal’s journey into fatherhood has been a source of inspiration, challenging him to be present and engaged despite the demands of his career. “They don’t stay little forever,” he muses, speaking of the fleeting nature of childhood. His commitment to being an active and present father is a testament to his character, a reflection of the lessons learned from his own parents.

Today, Kendal Lanier Westbrooks is not just a photographer; he is a storyteller, a guardian of memories, and a conduit of love. His work with Champagne Love Stories is a celebration of love in all its forms, a reflection of his belief in the power of storytelling to unite and inspire. “Everything I thought love looked like, I try to live that through my lens,” he says, echoing the legacy of his father’s influence.

“I haven’t put the camera down since,” Kendal says, reflecting on his journey. And as he continues to capture the stories of love, life, and everything in between, one thing is clear: Kendal Lanier Westbrooks is just getting started.

You can follow Kendal at @ChampagneNupe and visit his website at https://www.champagnelovestories.com/.

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