**SEE FOOTER BEFORE READING!!**
Let’s start with a question. What do you expect from an expert hairstylist? If you were paying top dollar for your salon services, what would you expect from the stylist? You’d at least expect to stay looking current, while not being too trendy. You’d also expect this stylist to make sure you look your best: age appropriate, face and feature flattering for you. You’d expect that stylist to be using top of the line quality products and for your hair to be in excellent, healthy shape. You expect this stylist to be a trend setter not follower too, always on the edge of moving on to the next thing before everybody else.
I use this analogy because my wife’s a stylist, so this makes sense for the two of us. However, the comparisons are similar to what I expect out of myself as a professional photographer. I realize that most of my competition is made up of untrained photographers who have turned a hobby into a business. What ends up happening (in any creative industry) is that the professionals start a new trend and within a year, most people in that industry copy it and then it means it’s time for the professionals to start again on something new. I, similar to an expert hairdresser, have to be giving my clients current artwork, without going overboard on being too trendy (which is why you don’t see any of my pictures of kids in front of damask wallpaper- cute, but too trendy.) My style doesn’t stay the same! When I started, photographers were still producing work that seemed minimally edited- “simple” so I started to really saturate my photographs and played around a lot with layering textures onto photos. It was different. Within a year and a half, most photographer’s work was heavily saturated and textured. Now, I’m not cocky enough to say that I “invented” this style, because I didn’t! I just started this editing style before most of my competitors did. Then it was time to change again, so I started softening up my photographs and phased out textures, switching for lens blurs to make the photographs more dynamic and automatically drawing the eye to the heart of the picture. As I started to mute down the vibrant color saturations, it was making the photographs have an interesting antique type look that I loved. I just kept moving in the antique/vintage direction of editing styling. Anybody who knows weddings right now, knows that ‘vintage’ is so trendy that it’s getting tired. It’s been “in” for a while now and it’s time to move on. So, for me, that means time for a style change again. So I started removing anything unnatural to how the scene would be viewed in real life. My style is now very natural, simple, and clean. Of course, this is nothing new, just like editing ‘vintage’ was nothing new. Just like clothing, we repeat styles, changing them to be current again.
Now I want to make something loud and clear- as a professional, you should EXPECT my style to change. You should expect my work to change to stay exciting and ever progressing. HOWEVER, should you still want your photographs to look vintage, or saturated, or clean- you can request whatever editing style you prefer. Without a request, I will of course do whatever editing style I’m currently featuring. And while my editing will continue to change, pretty much everything else stays the same. Here are some things about my way of being a photographic artist that remain unchanged although the look and feel of the end result images will change:
* All of my photographs represent reality. I refrain from detailed posing because I only want to create images to reflect the REAL you, the way you really interact with each other. The real laughs, not the forced ones (have you ever been to a photoshoot where the photographer says “laugh please.” ?? Ya, I don’t do that.) The genuine smiles, the real tears, the way you hug, hold hands, kiss, etc. Expecting photographs that truly represent who you are individually, or as a couple, and how you really felt at that time in your life or at that event is what I guarantee to continue to provide.
* Using the best quality products I can find. Sure, you could get an album from anywhere for probably cheaper, but I order your albums from the companies who use products that are guaranteed to last and stay beautiful. Same goes for everything you would order- especially printed pictures and albums.
* My knowledge of photography. I went to the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Massachusetts for photography schooling. Things like accurate exposure, attention to visual detail, knowing how to get the best lighting in ANY situation, using the best lens for the shot, etc. is EXTREMELY important. Bringing this knowledge to every event/shoot is something that obviously will never change about me. You can always expect me to be utilizing all of my professional training.
* My personality. This seems silly, but is a huge part of hiring a photographer. I couldn’t stand my own wedding photographer. I liked the images just fine (this was prior to my photography schooling, fyi) but the guy was a clown. He was loud, in our faces, and I got really tired of being told to pose awkwardly and unnaturally. I’m sure plenty of his clients thought he was funny and hyper but for me, he was just annoying. The person I am probably won’t change. I’m very down-to-earth, pretty chill (likeable I think!) type guy. However, this doesn’t mean that I’ll be lazy while on the job- because I never stop working, I don’t stop shooting hardly ever. But it does mean that I’m not going to be the life of your party, I like to photograph the life of the party. I’m not going to be in your face constantly telling you what to do for a picture. In fact, I rarely will do that- I take a much more documentary approach to wedding photography in particular. THIS IS NOT FOR EVERYBODY!! I recognize that some people will want a photographer that’s more of an entertainer, always getting everybody to laugh and continually grouping people up for photographs, etc. I hope that a client picks a photographer who’s personality and shooting interaction is in line with what they are expecting and wanting.
* My personal professionalism. During my photography schooling, I was awarded at graduation ceremonies, the perfect attendance award, meaning that I was never once late, and never once was absent. Being promt and reliable is something I value greatly and provide to every client. I also will always be dressed for the occasion. You can expect me to come to your wedding or event in my best black suit and tie. I never ever use profane language- swearing even casually is very unprofessional in my opinion. I will also never make any obscene gestures or inappropriate comments or jokes. This is simply not my style of working.
100% professional attitude, reliability, and quality results are my continual and constant guarantees.
This is a lengthy post, but it’s something I want all of my potential clients to know before they make their decision on who to hire. I’m not for everybody, and for those who are wanting something different than me, I will be happy to recommend other professionals that would better suit their needs/wants. Hire me because you want what I have to offer as a whole package.