I would like to give a special hello to my new readers that met me on the Adorama TV interview I did with Mark Wallace. I appreciate all of your emails of support and compliments, and also your questions. Thanks for trusting me to give you good advice, I am so flattered!
I figured since it’s a slow day, I would answer some of your questions. Keep them coming and keep shooting!
How do you photograph the pre-wedding activities with the groom and bride getting ready at the same time on their wedding day? Do you have another photographer with you to catch those special moments?
I always have a second shooter. I always stay with the bride, while my second shooter (guy or girl) stays with the groom as he gets ready. That way nothing is missed and they can do their thing. When the couple does a first look, I concentrate on the bride’s reaction while my second shooter focuses on the groom. During the wedding ceremony, we rotate all around and make sure that someone is on the bride and groom while the other is getting the reactions of the parents.
I’m a little cautious about having clients come to my home and I see you’re doing this… how has that worked out for you?
I don’t typically invite couples to my home office but it does happen after lengthy emails and phone conversations are involved – even more so when they are client referrals so I know they are friends of friends. Typically though, I meet my clients at a nearby coffee shop. I don’t think a day has gone by without me having coffee of some sort! I’m surprised I’m not jittery. Yet.
On the to-do list is finding the perfect home (I’m in a townhome now) that has a second door from the outside that will go into a studio/home office so it will divert traffic from going inside the house to where I work and give them a direct entrance. Still on the look out!
What was the key factor that moved you into going full time?
The key factor was that I had to try to do what I always wanted to do. This isn’t the first time I’ve done something outrageous like this. I was one of those kids who wanted to go to college out of state to get away – do the independent thing and get the REAL college experience without mom and dad around. Then, I moved to LA with no job because I had to see if I could make it in the TV business and I did that, then moved to Phoenix. I jump and I definitely weigh my options. I have been wanting to leave corporate for a while and God really answered my prayers and I have decided that corporate is not for me, at least not now. I have to give this a shot for the next few years and so far, it has been incredibly rewarding. I believe in living life with no regrets. Remember, corporate will always be there but this time in my life, won’t. I always think of LeBraun James who came out of high school and signed into the NBA. He could have done the “safe” thing and gone to college and delayed his career but clearly, he was ready and opportunity was knocking.
How do I get started in shooting weddings?
Ask to second (or third if you are very inexperienced) shoot for a wedding photographer. Practice, practice, practice. Let it be known you want to second shoot for weddings. If you need to add a wedding to your portfolio, go to a workshop that does a designed/staged wedding and shoot it. Make sure you ask before you sign up if you can use it for your portfolio though. I’ve heard about some that do not and photographer’s didn’t find out until they showed up, which is a huge bummer.
What lighting system do you use?
I shoot Canon and I have a 580EXII and my off camera flash is a 430EXII on a light stand. I use the Westcott 43″ collapsible Umbrella Flash Kit with Stand (minus the umbrella) for wedding receptions. If I needed a soft box, I’d use the umbrella like one and shoot through. However, I’m a natural light photographer so I don’t use a lot of lighting systems. Though they are cool and I love the way images look, it doesn’t fit my style.
Diana Elizabeth has been on an insane cleaning mode. She went to The Container Store and spent $150 on containers. She was OCD Diana all night and it was wonderful.