How did you start in photography?
In the early 2000's I picked up a camera because I wanted cool pictures of my car. I ended up taking photos of all kinds of things and fell in love with photography at that point.
Do you shoot things besides just weddings?
Absolutely! I get asked all the time to do everything from pet photos to commercial events.
Do you shoot in your off time?
Yes, but not as much as people might think. I always have a camera on me but I find that since I enjoy the photos I get to do for clients, it gives me more than enough to satisfy me. But yes, absolutely.
What camera brand do you use?
Nikon. I started with Canon, had a brief affair with Sony, went to Fujifilm and then to Nikon. I honestly love fujifilm and if I ever switch systems it'll be back to Fuji or Sony. Probably Fujifilm. Their cameras have a feel and quality that stirs the soul of the creative photographer.
What's your favorite thing about your job?
Hands down, it's the people I meet.
What's your favorite moment to capture during a wedding?
The reception. The ceremony is beautiful, the formals are standard, the reception is wild. So many things are going on and generally its with challenging light situations so it really is fun for me to be able to not just capture the moment but also to play with light.
What tips do you have for choosing a photographer?
Pick a photographer that you vibe with and can be friends. The more comfortable you are with them, the better your pictures will be.
How much do you use your flashes?
As much as needed... which is a lot. Natural light is cool. Sometimes you get somewhere right at the perfect time, soft light cascading through a textured backdrop that both backlights and reflects to light a subject from the perfect angle. Yeah, most of the time that isn't the case so I use flashes to create dynamic light or as a natural fill light.
When you do a job, do you have planned poses/shots in mind or do you think of them while you're there? Do the clients request poses and what percentage of the shots are each?
A multi layered one here. If they're portraits, I have some planned poses always in mind just in case. I prefer a natural experience for events so little or only slight posing is needed. Portraits depend a lot on the clients and what they're looking for. Portrait clients rarely request poses because they trust the photographer to make them look good so the percentage of client requested shots is low. Weddings I do very little posing outside of the formals. There's some direction during the bride and groom shoot afterwards but it's more of an experience. Generally the emotion shows already and I can use that. In some instances the posing is indirect, like asking the flower girl to touch the brides dress or get her attention.
Do you research a venue if you haven't been there before?
Absolutely. I go during the time frame that i'll be shooting the ceremony to mainly check lighting conditions and locations. Venues can look much different though because of lights, decorations and the overall setup on the day of the wedding. It's why it's important that a photographer is able to adapt on the fly and be prepared for anything.
How much editing is done on average? How different are the final images from when they experienced it in person?
Quite a bit. There's definitely a problem that can be caused by overly editing a photo though. I generally do minor retouching corrections like clearing acne or temporary blemishes. Also, generally photos get cleaned up if it's a portrait that has a random cup in it or some distracting piece of an image.
How much input/direction do you allow the client before drawing the line to make sure they have good photos?
Generally, clients know the style of photography I do so that's not really an issue. If it interferes in a way that will cause a large delay is where I draw the line. Ultimately, I was hired because they like what I do. I haven't really run into someone that I've had to set that boundary with.
What are your hobbies outside of photography?
My family fills a lot of the time. Besides that I'm a huge car enthusiast. From import to classic muscle, I'm a fan of it all. I haven't had as much time to tinker with them as much as I used to. I can't forget my dog Kona, a mini husky, that likes to have in depth conversations with me that sounds like howling to most.