Things you might want to know about how I work:
How long have you been a photographer and when did you begin shooting weddings? I've first started shooting in Los Angeles 15 years ago when I started taking photography classes at UCLA. Working as an actress, I was looking for an additional creative outlet. To my surprise, I loved it and started doing less acting and more photography. I shot documentary and editorial photos until I landed a position as an Associate Producer for the Academy Award winning film, "Into the Arms of Strangers, Stories of the Kindertransport," where I did the historical photo research as well as photographed the contemporary stills for the film and the companion book.
I have always felt the combination of documentary, editorial and portrait photography was the perfect training ground for covering a couple's big day at an emotional level, but I knew light was incredibly important to shooting the varying conditions at weddings. So I spent the next year perfecting my off-camera lighting skills. I started my business at the beginning of 2008 and have since photographed over 200 Atlanta area weddings and engagement shoots.
What sets you apart from other wedding photographers? My understanding and use of light as well as my experience in documentary and editorial photography. A lot of photographers talk about the emotion of the day, which is obviously a very big deal, but unfortunately, there are too many people who don't understand the fundamentals of lighting, so the emotion literally gets lost in the dark. I not only understand the emotion but I have the skills to light it, at all times of the day or night.
What kind of client do you feel you work best with? I work best with couples who love good photography. Maybe that sounds cliche, but with the advent of cell phone photos, mass produced digital cameras and consumer photo manipulation software not everyone understands what makes a good shot. While I work to stay current, I don't spend a lot of time following the trends. I don't want my couples to look back 10 years from now and cringe because their album is filled with whatever the photographic trend of the day was. A couple of those kinds of images are fine and fun, but they're going to be tomorrow's double exposure in the brandy glass (check out your parent's 70's wedding photos), so a little of that goes a long way in my estimation. :) I work to cover a wedding with good solid exposure, beautiful light and color and the emotional thrill of the day.
Why is your hourly rate capped at 4 hours? Shooting and editing a 7, 8 or 9 hour wedding requires a lot more time and energy than a shorter, more intimate one. Many people who are having shorter weddings are also have low budget ones and have made the decision to forgo some of the more expensive elements of a traditional wedding and have a smaller more intimate one instead. I want to make good photography available to these couples and can do so because of the reduced time and energy commitment.
What style do you shoot? That's a really common question that doesn't always have a clear cut answer. I shoot a little bit of everything - artistic, photojournalism, portraiture and fun - because I think it takes all of those styles to properly cover a wedding. If I only do one of them, say photojournalism, then there are no posed family photos, which most families want. But if I only do posed photos, everyone can end up looking stiff and unnatural. So I bring artistry and classic portraiture into my posed photos and the best techniques of photojournalism into the rest of the coverage. The best way to tell what kind of style someone is is to look at their photos. Do you like what you see? Can you imagine your wedding shot in the same way?
Do you work alone? No, I always have a second photographer with me for full weddings and for large weddings I may even bring a lighting assistant as well. It's my company and my visual style, so I do the main events and portraits, but I love having a second photographer catching a different angle or capturing something going on with the groomsmen (there's always something going on with the groomsmen!) while I'm working with the bride or vice versa.
Do you bring back up equipment? Yes, absolutely! Even the best maintained equipment fails occasionally or just plain wears out. As I'm fond of saying from my LA days, there is only one take at a wedding. If something happens with a camera, lens or flash at a wedding, you simply need to be able to turn around and pick up another.
Do you carry liability insurance? Yes, I run a real business. I'm insured, licensed by the city and pay sales taxes on the products I sell. As a creative type, I'll admit that's my least favorite part of owning my own business, but it's essential to doing it properly.
Do you do more than one wedding per day? No. Even if I'm doing a smaller wedding with fewer hours, I give it my full attention. Weddings take a lot of energy and focus, so I make sure I'm well rested and healthy for each wedding I do.
Can we look at a full gallery of wedding images? Yes, I highly recommend you do that for any photographer you're considering. A full gallery is what we give to the client, not just what we put on our website or in an album. Photography is the ultimate in WYSIWYG - what you see is what you get - but most couples don't know to ask. It's easy to fill a website with good shots or choose 60 images from a wedding to fill an album, but most wedding photographers deliver hundreds of images to their clients, so you want to see what their photos look like all through the day.
It's important to do this with every photographer you're speaking to, however. Hundreds of images from someone else's wedding might be a bit monotonous after a while, so you don't want to judge one photographer's work by seeing the best of reel and another's work by viewing large galleries. Do it with everyone and a clear picture (no pun intended) will emerge.
I suggest you look at at least 2 full weddings from the last year, preferably at the time of day/night as your wedding. Couples often ask if I've shot their venue, but they are less likely to ask if I've shot a wedding at the time of day/night when they're getting married. It's actually a much more important question.
Do I get a copy of the images from my wedding on a disc? You get a copy of all of your images as high resolution files suitable for printing, but I no longer deliver them on a disc. All weddings get a fully downloadable (and shareable) online gallery and some packages also get a beautiful USB drive and keepsake.
This is another reason to look at full wedding galleries. Many photographers only finish the photos that go into your album and deliver everything else as non-edited proofs. If you want to print from your high res images, make sure the full day of shots is perfect.
Can we meet you in person? Of course! I would love to sit down with you and hear about your plans. Getting along with your photographer is second only to loving their images. You'll spend more time with them during the lead up to the wedding and on the wedding day as any other vendor. Make sure you like them!
Just give me a call or text at 404.210.0879 or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up and appointment.