I’m pretty sure that these interviews are one of my favorite parts of this job! It’s so much fun to learn about all our amazing vendors and hear their stories on how they got started and what they’ve experienced along the way. I especially enjoyed this interview with Liza of Juniper Spring Photography. Thanks Liza!

 

Juniper Spring Photography WeddingPhotoLove

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company

Well, hello, I’m Liza. I’m a bit silly, a bit quirky, and in love with photography. I majored in fine art in college, and it took me a couple of years to move into wedding photography. It was almost incidental how I got started – it just happened, I tried it out, and fell in love. Love is like that sometimes. My business, Juniper Spring Photography, is about capturing life and love as they are. Each couple, each family, each relationship is different, and I feel that the best photos are ones in which *who you are* comes through.

Juniper Spring Photography WeddingPhotoLove

2. How did you get into wedding photography?

I’ve always loved taking pictures – it’s a passion my husband and I share, and we often go out just to take pictures.  In the spring of 2010 it just happened that my sister in law and a good friend both got married within a relatively short period of time – I took photos “just for fun” at my sister in law’s wedding, and ended up being the primary photographer for my friend’s. After that one wedding, I was hooked and haven’t looked back.

3. What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?

I have a few faves for different reasons (I know, I’m cheating on answering the question, but it’s just so hard to pick!). I love the getting ready portion because the excitement is palpable, but there’s usually the chance to take your time and shoot everything you want to cover; get the details and the whole process. Of course, if there are quiet moments throughout the day for playing with lighting on details, that can be a lot of fun and a peaceful breather in the midst of the excitement. But I think my absolute favorite is the first dance – it’s one of the most romantic moments, and the bride and groom only see each other. It’s a great photojournalistic opportunity to capture the honest, raw emotion between the bride and groom. And I am a sucker for honest, raw emotion.

4. What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?

I think the most awkward would have to be one time when I was second-shooting with another photographer. The reception was in a church and the bride and groom had planned a sparkler send-off…unfortunately, something went amiss with the coordinating and people started lighting the sparklers indoors. One (highly intoxicated) person lit a huge mass of them and ended up dropping them on the floor….the smoke set off the fire alarms and everything broke down into chaos when the fire trucks started showing up. I felt so bad for the venue folks and coordinators! The moral of the story – fire and copious amounts of liquor is a bad combination. (Everything turned out alright; nothing was on fire, and no one was hurt.

5. What’s the best thing you ever ate at a wedding?

At one venue they not only served us first (a huge rarity!) but they also served us the most enormous steaks I’ve ever seen. It was delicious, and I’ll certainly remember that venue!

Juniper Spring Photography WeddingPhotoLove

6. What is your favorite venue and why?

So far I’ve experienced a number of non-conventional venues – restaurants, back yards, farms. I loved the “ambiance” at Rush Ranch in Fairfield… not your typical venue, but so beautiful and rustic.

Juniper Spring Photography WeddingPhotoLove

7. Nikon or Canon?

Canon. It’s all I’ve ever known, and I love it.

8. What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?

I’m definitely a nature sort of gal, so I would love to shoot in the Yosemite or Tahoe area. Preferably in the snow.

Juniper Spring Photography WeddingPhotoLove

9. If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?

I’m going to completely cheat and cop out of this question. I have no idea, to be honest – I would love to shoot any celebrity wedding simply because it’s likely to be beautiful. But really, I love to shoot weddings where the couple and I get along and have similar ideas about photography. And even more so, when the bride and groom are completely head over heels for each other. And It’s impossible to tell which celebrity couple would fall into that category!

Juniper Spring Photography WeddingPhotoLove

10. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?

I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned in wedding photography applies to life in general: no matter how much you’re struggling, trying to get ahead, make ends’ meet, compete, etc., what really makes you successful is how you treat people. If you treat your clients and co-workers with kindness, respect, sincerity and friendship, no matter how your business goes forward, your life and theirs will be the better for it.

Juniper Spring Photography WeddingPhotoLove

See Juniper Spring Photography on WeddingPhotoLove or visit her site. Happy Monday!

We were able to catch up with Gavin Farrington, a photographer based out of LA and one of WeddingPhotoLove’s talented vendors. For brides who are tired of the over-posed wedding scene, Gavin is your guy!

Gavin Farrington WeddingPhotoLove

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company

I was born in Ferndale, a small rural Northern California town, and relocated with my family to the San Francisco Bay Area at the age of thirteen.  I studied design and multimedia in college, but ended up in IT.  When IT had sucked my soul dry, I moved to Japan to teach English for four years before returning to California to start my photography business.

Gavin Farrington WeddingPhotoLove

2. How did you get into wedding photography?

I discovered photography in high school, but it was to be many years before I broke out of hobbyist-mode.  While living in Japan, a friend who is a pro photographer was traveling through the country working on a personal project.  He invited me to join him at a couple of stops, and for the first time it occurred to me, “hey!  People make a living doing this!”  It changed my life.  To be brutally honest, there was a time many years ago when I turned my nose up at wedding photography.  I never could have guessed how much I would love it.  It’s the ultimate job for people-watchers.

Gavin Farrington WeddingPhotoLove

3. What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?

This would have to be a toss-up between getting-ready and reception dancing.  There are some wild and awesome things that happen when the lights go down and the drinks come out.  Moments during the getting-ready time are so genuine and intimate.

Gavin Farrington WeddingPhotoLove

4. What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?

Hmm… probably the time a vendor at the wedding tried to make everyone laugh by letting it slip that he’d seen one of the teenage bridesmaids having a little sip of alcohol with the bride before the wedding.  Instead of the winks and chuckles he was expecting, everyone within earshot got really quiet.  Incredibly awkward crickets.

Gavin Farrington WeddingPhotoLove

5. What’s the best thing you ever ate at a wedding?

Parmesan cheese-puff hors d’oeuvres.

Gavin Farrington WeddingPhotoLove

6. What is your favorite venue and why?

My favorite venue is the one I haven’t seen yet.  Nothing gets my creativity moving like tackling a new space.  That said, I shot inside a barn once at Chileno Valley Ranch, and the light was absolutely stunning.  I look forward to shooting there again.

Gavin Farrington WeddingPhotoLove

7. Nikon or Canon?

If you must know I’m on Canon.  I firmly believe there are things to love in both camps, though.

Gavin Farrington WeddingPhotoLove

8. What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?

Having worked in India, Hawaii, New York, and Japan, I think next up would be Mediterranean Europe or South America.  Tropical beaches are always welcome.  India is absolutely incredible – I’d go back in a heartbeat.

Gavin Farrington WeddingPhotoLove

9. If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?

Hmm I don’t have an answer ready for this one… Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz. Can you imagine the stories??

Gavin Farrington WeddingPhotoLove

10. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?

Advertise.  How else will people find out about you?

Thanks, Gavin! We enjoyed learning more about you and seeing your work. Check Gavin out on WeddingPhotoLove or head over to his site for even more photos.

We had a chance to sit down with WeddingPhotoLove’s very own Robert Leons Photography for an interview, and of course a nice dose of eye candy! Based in the UK (Cheltenham), Robert has a modern photojournalistic style that we absolutely love. Now, onto the good stuff. :)

Robert Leons Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.

I grew up in Durham City, joined the Army, went travelling and that’s when I discovered my love for photography. Once returned from my travels I got serious about photography and never wanted to do anything else. What started as a hobby soon became my full-time job, and my company is growing rapidly and I look forward to a very busy 2012!

Robert Leons Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

2. How did you get into wedding photography?

Whilst traveling I bought a camera (as you do). Once I started to take pictures I soon became obsessive and never put it down.

3. What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?

Easily my favourite part of the day is working with the couple during the romantic images.

Robert Leons Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

4. What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?

I once announced that it was the request of the “guide and broom” that we all move over yonder for a group photo… it worked though!

5. What’s the best thing you ever ate at a wedding?

Beef Wellington at Ellenborough Park near Cheltenham.

Robert Leons Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

6. What is your favorite venue and why?

My favourite venue is Westonbirt House/School in Gloucestershire. There are so many opportunities for beautiful romantic images, whatever the weather or light situation. I also got married there!

7. Nikon or Canon?

Nikon at the moment.

Robert Leons Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

8. What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?

I would love to shoot a wedding in London and Paris.

9. If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?

Kate and Wills, at Buckingham Palace with a modern twist.

Robert Leons Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

10. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?

Get tuition from somebody whose style you admire.

Thank you, Robert! You can see more of Robert Leons Photography on his site.

Scott Andrew Studio is a California based wedding photographer who “fell in love with love” (and his pictures prove it!). We were able to take some of his time for an interview, which had to be a challenge with a busy schedule and THREE kids. Thank you, Scott!

Scott Andrew Studio WeddingPhotoLove

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company

Scott Andrew Studio was founded in 2007 and focuses on documenting beautiful wedding stories throughout the world. I’m Scott Andrew, the principal photographer and a native Californian. My wife Cheryl and kids (Eden, 7, Huntley, 4, Holden, 8 months) are my joy and the zest of my life.  We live in the Central Valley of California and love to travel, spend the day at the beach and roast marshmallows.

2. How did you get into wedding photography?

I got suckered in to second shooting for a friend who had just started shooting weddings himself and the rest was history. I fell in love with everything that a wedding day is and all of the possibilities for amazing photographs there are.  Weddings are truly amazing.

Scott Andrew Studio WeddingPhotoLove

3. What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?

I love photographing the several minutes right after the recessional when the couple is surrounded by their friends and family. Their is so much emotion, joy and elation there. It is an amazing time and the smiles are priceless. Also, I love shooting portraits of the couple at sunset.

4. What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?

This could be embarrassing, haha. Probably dropping a camera onto the tile floor during a catholic mass (due to a faulty strap).  It was really loud and I was really embarrassed!  The camera was okay, but my ego took a little hit.

Scott Andrew Studio WeddingPhotoLove

5. What’s the best thing you ever ate at a wedding?

Ramekins catering makes the bacon-wrapped, smoked figs that are delectable. I could eat a plate of them, mmmm.

6. What is your favorite venue and why?

I love anything in wine country and feel that the organic nature of most of the venues really reflects my aesthetic well. Carneros Inn, Anderson Ranch, Annadelle…they’re all pretty awesome.

Scott Andrew Studio WeddingPhotoLove

7. Nikon or Canon?

I shoot mainly on a Contax 645 and Leicas (film) but if I shoot digital, it is all Canon.

8. What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?

I want to shoot in Israel somewhere and Buenos Aires.

Scott Andrew Studio WeddingPhotoLove

9. If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?

David Lauren and Lauren Bush just got married and I feel like I gelled with their sense of style a lot.  I’m not really into Hollywood that much so it would probably be someone low-key, although I think Natalie Portman is a gem and would love to photograph her wedding.

10. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?

Be yourself and let that come out in your work.  It’s okay to check out other people’s work, but there comes a time when you should shut out all of the voices (aka: photoblogs) for a little bit and find yourself.  Shoot a ton of work, refine yourself and truly set your own vision.  People will see it and you’ll have the clients you want.

Scott Andrew Studio WeddingPhotoLove

You can see more of Scott’s work on WeddingPhotoLove or on his website!

Today’s interview comes from WeddingPhotoLove’s very own, Ella Photography. An International photographer based out of Montreal, Canada. Isabella, thank you so much for spending some time to answer all of our questions. Most of all, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

Bella Photography WeddingPhotoLove

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company

>Ella Photography was founded in 2010 [ yup only 1.5 years ago]. Prior to working as a lifestyle photographer, I worked in fashion. I soon came to realize that fashion wasn’t a field that I enjoyed. The way that the media preserves beauty hurts me deeply, especially with 3 nieces that tell me that they want to be beautiful like those models. To have millions of people believe that what they see in magazine is real is a world I didn’t want to live in. That’s when I decided to work as a lifestyle photographer. I made it my mission to show my clients that their life is beautiful just the way is it. No need for photoshop or illusions. 

2. How did you get into wedding photography?

I started working as a wedding photographer especially because to share such a day with my clients is just wonderful. Bride and grooms are so in love and to capture such emotion is indescribable.

Bella Photography WeddingPhotoLove

3. What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?

The morning of – having the bride getting ready and be nervous. It’s the moment of the day where you really see how everyone really feels: the father seeing his daughter for the first time and the mom helping out with the dress, the girls getting all giggy because she’s getting married–it’s all really fun.  I looooooooove taking detail shots too.

4. What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?

All my weddings have been pretty normal. I am lucky, I guess! However, I’m not sure if I would call it awkward but I was helping out a friend at a wedding once, and the uncle of the bride was a wedding singer in his day so he dedicated a song to the bride and groom. When he started singing, we realized he was lip singing! Plus, he didn’t even know the words! We weren’t sure what to do really. 

Bella Photography WeddingPhotoLove

5. What’s the best thing you ever ate at a wedding?

Oh my gosh. Food. The perk of being a wedding photographer. Great meals every weekend. However …the one thing that stands out is one wedding day last year where they gave sugar cookies as a favour. I know I know. You asked me the best thing I ate and I mention sugar cookies rather than the actual meal? Yes, they were AMAZING. I almost took my tables favours while they were dancing.

6. What is your favorite venue and why?

My favourite venue to date is the W in Montreal. The ceremony area was a large white room with Chandeliers all down the aisle. The bride and groom were at the top at steps for everyone to see. Then, when the ceremony was over, the venue opens all the doors on the right and left and it opens to the reception hall. Gorgeous

Bella Photography WeddingPhotoLove

7. Nikon or Canon?

Nikon. Nikon. Nikon. And I’ll never change.  Most of my photos are SOOC because the colour that Nikon delivers is amazing.

8. What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?

In BC at the bottom of a mountain at sunset. Precise no? But the views there are amazing. Also, destination weddings are awesome too. Beaches, white sand and sunset (love those sunsets)–I would travel there every week if I could. 

Bella Photography WeddingPhotoLove

9. If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?

I wish I was the one shooting Kate Moss’ wedding. All those flower girls and the venue was awesome.

10. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?

There’s time. When you first start , everyone is always telling you that you have to be perfect all the time and make sure you catch all the moments in a flash. It’s not true. Don’t just shoot to shoot. The kiss lasts 5 good seconds, the first dance is an entire song, the first time to groom sees his bride is a good 45 seconds (as she’s walking down the aisles) there’s time. It’s not about quantity but about quality. Take the time to relax, readjust and breathe in order to get the right shot. 
Also, back up your files! There’s nothing more scary then losing the wedding photos of a bride and groom. When it happens, it’s the WORST but you’ll move on. Until then, be safe! Always bring an assistant in case something fails and back up those files!

Bella Photography WeddingPhotoLove

Thank you for chatting with us, Isabella! You can find Bella Photography on WeddingPhotoLove or head to her site for more beautiful photos!

Have we mentioned how much we are enjoying these WeddingPhotoLove photographer interviews? Because they are SO MUCH fun. We were able to get some time for an interview from Dee with Shutterdee (such a cute business name, don’t you think?). Thank you so much for answering all of our questions, Dee.

Shutterdee Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.

Oh the dreaded question…I don’t like to talk about myself, but if you insist! :D I’m a lover.  I’m truly interested in people…and what makes their world go round. I’m shy yet outgoing. I love food, culture, and chocolate is my weakness. I’m indecisive because there’s so much I want to experience. My company, well, it changes from time to time, BUT what doesn’t change is what I love to capture and how I shoot…it’s the raw, organic, photojournalistic, natural light, sort of way. I love to see people laugh and to see what makes a couple and family tick. The moments that go unnoticed…well that’s what tells the story. The NOW.

 

Shutterdee Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

2. . How did you get into wedding photography?

I was encouraging a very artistic friend of mine years ago to pursue something artsy. Photography came up. As I went over all the wonderful possibilities, it stirred things up and a light went off (I was that teenager whose walls were covered from top to bottom of photo prints). “Wait…I want to do this!” So I started looking into what I needed to do, made some phone calls, and a wedding photographer took me under his wing. He literally threw me in there. (kind of like our grandparents, grandparents, taught their children how to swim…know what I’m talking about?!! I was scared but learned A LOT. Fast forward a couple of years and here I am!

3. What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?

My FAVORITE is the first look. (that’s if a couple chooses to do so) The first look is where the bride and groom opt to see each other before the wedding. I love this so much because it’s the most private and intimate moment of the day. I get to capture the moment he lays eyes on her and when he holds her and tells her how beautiful she looks. You just don’t get all that at the altar. It’s wonderful for me too, because it relieves so much stress and nervousness for the bride and groom. I get to connect  with them, while taking the time to capture, to me, the most important part of the day, the two of them. By time the ceremony starts, we are so comfortable and everything just falls into place.

 

Shutterdee Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

4. What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?

I’m totally embarrassed to admit this, BUT I’m gonna keep it real. While I was shooting a wedding once, my camera stopped working. MID PHOTOS. Right in front of the groom and his family. The shutter button was stuck. The LCD screen went black and would not let me view my photos. The groom nervously looked at me like..is everything ok? After a few moments of “changing the camera settings” while I talked about…who knows what..I figured out that I literally had to keep turning on and off the camera after about 5 snaps to get it to work. I had to try my best to guess exposure settings. I was then shooting with my Canon 20D, and I had just worn that thing out. Back up camera? What’s that? Oh, and my assistant was a friend helping me out with a very amateur camera; and she was off taking guest photos. Talk about praying for the ground to open up and swallow me up.

5. What’s the best thing you ever ate at a wedding?

My brides take good care of me. I’ll start with deesert. I was shooting at a country club and they literally had the BEST tiramisu I have ever tasted in the world. My assistant and I almost fell out of our chairs. I don’t even LIKE tiramisu. It’s true. Meal…probably this vegetarian orzo pasta with feta, I was served. It’s hard, I’m a vegetarian that eats fish on occasion and my brides make sure I have vegetarian options…so most of the time it’s marvelous. Did I say my brides take care of me…some even have place cards for my assistant and I! A-mazing. I’m happy with bread (I eat lots of bread) and a fabulous Caesar salad.

6. What is your favorite venue and why?

Honestly I’m a sucker for backyard weddings. Or garden weddings. Because they’re usually so intimate, and, so detailed oriented. I love the natural light too. Makes for best of pics.

 

Shutterdee Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

7. Nikon or Canon?

Nikon who? Canon all the way!

8. What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?

I have too many but definitely someplace in Europe. Probably Venice or Capri. Wait no Morocco! Actually…I would be so happy to shoot in Greece. I also really want to shoot a wedding in the snow. Did I mention I’m indecisive?

 

Shutterdee Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

9. If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?

This is a fabulous question (my husband and friends are shaking their head at me right now)! There are many. I want to make a list starting with, my gals like: Kate Hudson, Jennifer Aniston, Zoe Saldana, and Drew Barrymore. But I’ll spare you and will narrow it down to two. I really would have loved to shoot Reese Witherspoon’s recent wedding. Sigh. She’s just so classy. But over all I think Russell Brand and Katy Perry’s Wedding in India would have been an amazing experience.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?

1. Be realistic. Things aren’t going to be perfect, “regrets and mistakes, they’re memories made,” Adele says. Lol. It’s true. Learn from the mistakes you’ve done. Don’t let that make you feel like you’re not good at what you love to do. Just keep ‘swimming’. 2. Always..ALWAYS, check your camera while you’re shooting. Sometimes your lighting changes so fast..your settings need to also. Glance at your screen every few shots just to make sure you’re doing great. 3. Stop doubting yourself and don’t give up. I’m still kind of, from time to time, doing that, but getting further away from feeling inadequate. It’ll only ruin your ‘vision’ and you won’t be your best on a shoot. 4. Put yourself out there, the worse people can say is no. 5. I’m a big rooter for others, be a peer and a support to your fellow photographers…competing is harsh. 6. Try not to let your work swallow you neck deep…you’ll lose your joy.

 

Shutterdee Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

Thank you again, Dee! Check out Shutterdee on WeddingPhotoLove or visit her website for more beautiful photos.

Today’s interview comes from WeddingPhotoLove’s very own, Aaron Riddle Photography. It’s no joke, that he does beautiful work (I’m also sure he’s heard that one before). We were able to catch up with Aaron and have him tell us more about himself and his business behind the camera.

 

Aaron Riddle Wedding Photographer WeddingInviteLove

Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.

I am a professional photographer residing in Winchester, Virginia. I specialize in wedding photography, portrait photography and special event photography needs. My style as a wedding photographer is unobtrusive, friendly photojournalism. I capture the moments of your day as they naturally unfold.

How did you get into wedding photography?

With a background in art, drawing and design, I fell in love with photographing weddings, events and people while serving as photographer for one of the largest community colleges in Virginia. One day a co-worker requested that I take photos at his wedding. I had never thought about myself as a wedding photographer, but decided to give it a try…and absolutely fell in love with it. Things took off from there and I started my business, Aaron Riddle Photography, shortly after.

 

Aaron Riddle Wedding Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?

This is a hard question because I love every aspect of the wedding day…from the excitement of the bride getting ready to the dancing and partying going down during the reception. But if I had to pick only one, it would be the moment after the bride and groom kiss for the first time and the ceremony is over. It is usually during that instant that all the nervousness of the day washes away and the bride and groom are elated, happy and so excited about finally being married to one another.

What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?

Haha…very good question. I’ve seen quite a few awkward and humorous moments happen to others during my many weddings, but if it had to be narrowed down to a moment I experienced, it would be the one time I was photographing a wedding this fall. I was taking some photographs of the pumpkin decorations on the tables, and a guest asked “What are you taking a picture of?” I said “Oh, just that camel……PUMPKIN!” To this day I do not know why I said camel, but every time I tell that story it gets a laugh :)

 

Aaron Riddle Photography WeddingPhotoLove

What’s the best thing you ever ate at a wedding?

I’ve eaten at weddings catered by many great chefs and food services, including Wolfgang Puck, but one time I photographed a wedding for a couple who held there ceremony and reception on a local farm. They had it catered by a local southern BBQ company…”Mr. B’s BBQ”. It was the most mouth-watering BBQ I ever had, so that is the top of my list.

What is your favorite venue and why?

Since I live in the Shenandoah Valley, nearly all of the venues have gorgeous settings full of mountains, forests and trees so many breath-taking views. The one venue that pops into my head is CrossKeys Vineyards near Harrisonburg, Virginia. I have only photographed one wedding there, but everything about that day was perfect. The venue had so many views of the surrounding mountain ranges and vineyards, that I could have spend all day taking photographs there. Photos of this wedding can be seen here.

 

Aaron Riddle Photography WeddingPhotoLove

Nikon or Canon?

Canon….the only reason being that I started photographing with Canon cameras, have loved the results, so I have stuck with the brand.

What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?

I would say Myrtle Beach, SC. I have been going there once a year for a beach vacation with my family since I was a little boy (I now take my wife and kids there annually), so it would be a lot of fun to photograph a wedding there :)

If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?

My choice would be one of the British Royal Family weddings. They are world-wide events that are part of history, so it would be nice to be a part of it.

Aaron Riddle Photography WeddingPhotoLove

Thank you for your time, Aaron!  Check out Aaron Riddle Photography on WeddingPhotoLove or go to his site for even more!

With all the talent we see on the pages of WeddingPhotoLove, you only see the OTHER side of the lens. You know the one–the side that shows all the pretty pictures. But photographers are people too, and we’d like to start getting to know our vendors. We’ve written a list of questions and are so excited to get this blog series started.

Without further ado, we introduce to you Altared Visions, a wedding photography duo with a passion for candid moments and stylish portraits. Thank you Pam and James for being our first interview!

Altared Images Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company?

James and I met on The Hideout Photography forum (re-opening soon!) back in 2008 or so. James was living in Arizona and noticed that I lived in the same city as his parents and sent me a message. We kept in touch through the forum while both of our marriages fell apart simultaneously. When James found himself divorcing and needing change, he decided to move here and give life of the East Coast a shot. We agreed to get together and shoot for fun when he got here, and shoot we did! We started with “photo safaris” around the South Coast of MA, followed by planning “model parties” with other photographers and make up artists. I asked James to second shoot a wedding with me as I’d been doing them on my own for about a year and was happy to have the help. It only took one wedding to bring us together permanently! Suddenly work became fun and we began to discuss what we wanted to bring to wedding photography. The answer was then, and remains today: FUN. Altared Visions is now approaching its third year and we couldn’t be happier doing what we do.

Altared Visions Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

2. How did you get into wedding photography?

Both of us came to wedding photography with a degree of “meh” about it. We both picked up cameras in high school and college and shot friends for years, James with his skateboarding buddies and me with local bands and my kids. James did some commercial work, I dabbled in portraiture and even a little commercial myself. We both knew we wanted to work in photography, but we were sort of aimlessly wandering for a few years. James shot a few weddings before moving here and I had one season under my belt, working for a few hundred dollars per wedding while I was flunking out of art school. After our first wedding together we decided we were looking at wedding photography all wrong. We were going through the motions of what we thought our clients expected when we should have been approaching wedding photography for what it is: ART. What other genre of photography gives you equal parts of portraiture, fashion, candid photojournalism, commercial (detail shots!) and above all, story-telling! Just like that, standard poses and cliche ideas got banned from our shot list and our clients became subjects to tell the world about!

3. What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?

I think we both agree that we love shooting “The First Look” best, that’s when the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony for the first time in a usually private location. There’s so much emotion and joy in those few moments, before the chaos of the day kicks in and it’s just that perfect little moment of love. After they’ve seen each other and soaked it all in, we take them for the “fashion shoot” portion of the day in which is always fun and full of laughs. I have an epic catalog of rather hilarious behind-the-scenes shots of James showing Brides how to Vogue-pose…and if he ever gives me flack… ;)

Altared Visions Wedding Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

4. What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?

We’ve been pretty fortunate to have some incredible couples and very little in the way of “horror stories” but we have had our share of backing up with an eyeball in the camera and stepping on Granny feet, mixing up names of family members and things like that. I almost lit myself on fire with church candles once and James got a bit of lapdance from an intoxicated guest while snapping a photo from the dance floor. Near self-immolation aside, none of that is so bad!

5. What’s the best thing you ever ate at a wedding?

Ooooh man, that’s a tough one. I’m a vegetarian so half of the time whatever I eat is pretty terrible, the worst being white rice stuffed in a green pepper with three pieces of cauliflower...but some venues really take care of their veggies! The best we’ve had recently was definitely Bittersweet Farm in Westport, who knocked my socks off with their pumpkin ravioli and James’ with their prime rib. So delicious! The food is definitely a perk of our job!

6. What is your favorite venue and why?

We don’t really have any one favorite venue but I can tell you some of our favorites from this year! We shot Kat and Rick’s wedding on the deck of The Odyssey in Boston. The boat itself isn’t the best part, but the surrounding area and view from the deck was amazing. They also rented out The Times bar nearby for a karaoke after party and that place had GREAT atmosphere! Hartman’s Herb Farm in Barre, MA is absolutely beautiful, as was Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, MA. The Whaling Museum in New Bedford, MA is also fantastic to shoot in and around and recently we shot Lauren and Ben’s wedding at The Squantum Association in Barrington, RI and that place is so gorgeous. The best venues have great light and pay attention to things like ceilings (no water-stained drop tile!! ew!) and helpful, friendly staff.

7. Nikon or Canon?

Both! But eventually James is jumping ship to Canon so we can share lenses.

Altared Visions Wedding Photographer WeddingPhotoLove8. What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?

We would both be JUST FINE with doing some destination weddings on tropical islands. Just putting that out there, future clients. Ahem.

9. If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?

James’ answer to this and most celebrity queries is simply “Christopher Walken.” Not even sure he’s married, but there you go. For me, I recently swooned over the fairy tale themed wedding of Jamie Hince and Kate Moss…she was stunning. Gwen Stefani’s wedding gown alone puts her and Gavin’s on the list, and because I’ll always be a teenaged goth kid at heart, the ill-fated wedding of Marilyn Manson and Dita Von Teese would have been another…she wore a purple gown at an Irish castle! Lastly, True Blood’s Kristin Bauer and Abri van Straten’s (The Lemmings) because they were such a romantic looking couple in a perfect setting.

10. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?

Back up your back up and then back them up again! Double check everything and have two of every crucial piece of equipment. I had the photographer’s worst nightmare happen to me when my card reader failed during a transfer and I didn’t realize it until the files were long since formatted and gone. Up until that point, I did all of the formal photography and of course…it was the one card with the formals so even though there were two of us, they were lost. The whole thing was awful. I wanted to quit weddings forever just to avoid that feeling in my gut that I had blown it all forever. Since then we don’t just transfer and back up our photos…we check them to make sure they’re all accounted for and then I back them up to two hard drives at home and use Backblaze to auto-backup online in case something happens to my home and hard drives. Our motto for back ups is “three places or it doesn’t exist”. I also had my camera ERROR 99 just as a bride was walking down the aisle, which if I worked alone would have been a complete disaster. This season’s casualties have included one flash and several smaller pieces of gear. We can’t recommend having a second shooter or partner enough…the worst WILL happen, you WILL make mistakes, so be prepared!

And above all? If you don’t love wedding photography…don’t do it. There’s far too many bitter, miserable weekenders in this field and plenty of newbies eager to take their place and shake up the industry. Wedding photography is not easy money and it should never be something you do just to pay the bills. You’re responsible for documenting one of the most important days a couple will experience and if you approach it moaning you will not only give them mediocre photography, you will taint their special day with your attitude. And that, to us, is unacceptable. If you DO love wedding photography, jump in, be confident, network and support your peers and don’t let anyone tell you what you’re doing is a lesser art.

Altared Visions Wedding Photographer WeddingPhotoLove

Thank you again, Pam and James! We had a lot of fun doing this interview. Check out Altared Images on WeddingPhotoLove or hop on over to their website for more eye candy.