Q&A

-How did you first become interested in photography?

My mom gave me my first SLR camera after college. I’ve been hooked every since.

-How would you describe your style of photography?

Authentic, natural and fresh. I like capturing what is real.

-What is your typical camera setup on a shoot?

During weddings, I have two camera bodies on me, one with a 50 mm f1.2 lens and the other with a 70-200 mm f/2.8 lens. I try to use flash as infrequently as possible, but if needed, I use the 580EX Speedlight.

-What do you believe to be some of the characteristics of a good wedding photographer?

Un-invasive, intuitive and good with people. You really have to know how to make people feel comfortable.

-How do you promote your work?

My biggest following is on Facebook, followed by Instagram, so I consistently share my latest work via those platforms and blog once per week.

-What is your post-production workflow like?

First I back up everything to 3 places: 2 external hard drives + the cloud. Then I import the files into Lightroom and cull (I always cull the photos because someone who wasn’t at the wedding wouldn’t know which moments might be important to keep). After culling, I edit. If it is busy wedding season, I have an editor help me clean up the photos.

I worked with an editor who comes into my office. Even though we’ve worked together for years and she knows my style, she can never be completely in my head. So after she is done, I go through and make little changes. For each wedding I deliver between 500-700 edited photos.

-What is your dream project?

To travel with Angelia Jolie on a humanitarian project and document. I watched an interview with her one time when she said she flies commercial when she goes on some of these humanitarian trips, and it’s just her and a photographer. I have documented the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Lesvos, and also done humanitarian work in Africa. Would love to do more, and with her.

-You also teach photography through various online platforms, how has this influenced your own way of shooting?

I’ve started doing styled bridal shoots at my workshops, so I have a new appreciation for fashion and editorial photography. Teaching also tightens my technical knowledge. It’s always a refresher when you have to teach it!

-You describe yourself as a storyteller. What does this title mean to you?

It means I’m a sentimental cornball who feels moments. Lol.

-What is your top technical tip for shooting a wedding?

Know how to operate your camera in manual mode as if you do it without thinking. The moments happen fast and if you miss it, you’re toast.

-How would you advise someone just starting out photographing weddings?

One thing I didn’t do when I was starting out was shadow someone and second shoot for them. As with many things, I jumped right in and made many mistakes (apparently I like learning the hard way).

I think finding a mentor is the best way to go. Attending styled workshops can be helpful, but keep in mind it doesn’t give you real on-the-job training. You might get ideas and pretty photos for your portfolio, but being at real weddings will teach you how to shoot while everything is chaotic and not staged.

-What was the best career advice you were ever given?

Work hard, plain and simple. Not many people have a good work ethic, so if you are willing to work hard, you have everyone else beat.