First Interview in my Getting to know the Pros, Series. This is a great friend of mine, Eric and I met a good while ago, Although I don’t remember exactly how or when? Maybe he will! But Me and him have been growing our knowledge and experience together, He started in landscape photography, which are some of the greatest! He then started getting into Wedding Photography. This is where me and him share tips, ideas, and help each other. (He mostly helps me! Lol).
Are you a self taught photographer or did you have a mentor that showed you the ropes or did you attend school?
Strictly speaking I am self taught, but really it was due to the massive amount of information on the internet that greatly accelerated my learning. When I was getting started I participated in a monthly print critique group where everyone brought a stack of prints and we all gave our thoughts on them. It really taught me to look much more closely to my photographs and see things I never knew to look for.
[W]as there a defining moment when you knew that it was time to take pictures professionally or was it a gradual transition?
There was a defining decision that I knew I wanted to do this professionally, but the process was a gradual transition. Beyond picking up the craft, there is just as much to learn about running a photography business. I had to learn how to market myself and secure clients.
Sometimes when I am shooting photography it feels very spiritual and photo ops simply present themselves as a gift….do you ever feel that way and do you think there is such a thing as someone really having a “natural eye” for photography?
Very often I have those spiritual moments when you’re out in nature in the quiet of the forest and the sun sets, that feel like a gift straight from God. Sure there are those that have a natural gift for composition, but like anything it can be matured and mastered. I don’t think anyone picks up a camera and instantly starts taking competition winning photographs.
Do you rely on lighting (natural, or artificial), or do you rely on dark-room/computer manipulation?
I rely on every kind of available light and I post process (aka finish) all of my photos on a computer.
Do You Have A Favorite All-Around Lens…If So What Is It?
I own two lenses and use one of them 90% of the time. It’s a very basic 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. It’s not the sharpest nor the fastest, but it gets the job done. No one has ever said my photos would be better if I had better lenses.
In general, during a wedding, how many pics would you say you take and how many would you deliver to the client.
I take a ton and I deliver a ton. My last wedding I took about 1500 photos and delivered about 400 of them. That’s pretty typical.
I had read over your website and package, How did you determine your price and what is included in it?
I have a single package because I feel like my clients should get everything or they should get nothing. I don’t limit how long I’m going to be there, I don’t limit the number of shots they get. So I set my pricing so I’m making a profit big enough to continue doing what I’m doing.
How did you go about branding your business? and what is your favorite tip.
My business is me, so I let myself show through as much as possible. I don’t hide anything or act a certain way. That way it’s clear to my clients what and who they’re hiring from the get go.
What is the ONE lasting impression you want to leave in your photos?
I don’t really care what the impression is that gets left with the viewer, I just want it to be a lasting one. I like to create images that have a lot of impact.
It’s wonder getting the opportunity to do something creative where we travel and meet tons of amazing people. But that’s not all glitz and glamor, I’m away from my family a lot. I sleep in my car and marketing my business is the opposite of creativity for most people.
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you want to be? Why?
Well, I’ve done lots of things and it was those life experiences that led me into photography. I didn’t just wake up one day and realize I was a photographer, it was a decision I made and had to work very hard to achieve. I could have chosen something else, but I didn’t.
What type of reading do you do on a daily basis, Photography wise?
I read lots of blogs on a daily basis. I keep them on tap in Google Reader. Social media is a big stream of information too. It’s not scheduled though, it’s unpredictable like the wind.