Over the past few years I have had amazing opportunities to grow and further my photography in ways that I have never imagined. I have shot more weddings in the past 2 years, than in the past 5 years combined and have worked with amazing people. I have learned and been a part of an incredible group of photographers through LeahAndMark.com and their internship program.
Don’t worry, this may sound like one of those, “I have decided to hang up my photography” blogs, but it’s not. Quite the opposite actually.. You see, when I first got into photography, I considered myself a “photojournalistic, natural light photographer”. In other words, I didn’t do any posing, and I didn’t use flash. ever. But what that really meant was, “I don’t know how to pose, and I don’t do very well with flash“. Over the past few years I have honed both those skills, and while I may not be an award winning portrait photographer, I am very comfortable posing people, and my flash has become an integral part of my work.
But as I have looked through my own work, and the work of some of the photographers that have inspired me, I have come to the realization that I have begun to veer from who I want to be as a photographer, and thus the title of this blog. It is time for me to re-invent myself, more accurately, it is time for me to pursue the kind of photography that I love, because I love it, not because it is what everyone else is doing, or because I can be successful with a certain look.
That doesn’t just encompass my style, it encompasses my entire business strategy, marketing, everything… I have a good job, I don’t need to do photography, I WANT to do photography. And what I love is capturing life as it happens.
So what does all of this mean exactly???
It means that I am moving to strictly photojournalistic weddings. When I say strictly, I mean it. No posing, no formals, no anything. I will shoot the wedding as it happens, I will take my time with each photo, you are more likely to end up with a couple hundred well thought out, carefully taken photos than the several thousand I normally deliver. It also means I am primarily moving back to Black and White Photography, because that is the style that I love, and that inspires me. And lets be honest, there is probably someone in your family (probably 15) that has a nice DSLR photo that is going to do a pretty good job getting formals and all those photos that are the more traditional wedding photos.
It means that as of right now, I am putting down my flash. I love natural light, and now that I am accustomed to and love my flash, I am choosing to be a natural light photographer because it is what I WANT to do, not because I don’t know how to use a flash. That also means that my work will become much more grainy, because thats what happens when you work with available light. Tick tack sharpness and crystal clarity goes out the window a lot of times, but is that really that important??? The current industry says yes, but the current industry is also caught up in cute poses and funny witty looks that can be great, but thats not what I am going for… And if you hire me from here on out, I am assuming that is not what you are going for either.
It means that as of right now, you pay what you can…. No – seriously. I am throwing out my set pricing, and I don’t even want to know what you are paying me till you hand me payment on your wedding day.. Remember, I said I am doing this because I love it, not because I have to. It is honestly more important to me that you get the photographer and the quality of photos you want, than what is written on the check you hand me, whether it is $100 or $10,000. Obviously, if it is a wedding where I have to travel, I do ask that you cover travel expenses.
This also goes for any kind of family/individual portrait session (excludes commercial photography)
It means I am going to limit the number of weddings I shoot, because I want to devote myself 100% to every wedding I shoot and the post production afterwards, so right now I am setting my limit at 10 weddings a year and will adjust accordingly based on how that feels and how well I am able to devote myself to each couple.
Obviously this kind of work is not for everyone, but it is me, it is the kind of work that inspires me and made me fall in love with photography in the first place. And if it is a good fit for you, I can’t wait to work with you.