Photo by: Mark Kuroda
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company
My name is Josh Gruetzmacher, and I am a San Francisco wedding photographer. I know my name is long and hard to get a handle on, but it’s not too bad once you get it. It’s pronounced Gritz-mocker. Easier than it looks, right? I love telling stories through photography. Images that move me are bright, happy and fun. I try and make photos for couples that embody those feelings while telling their unique story. I want people to be able to look at my images and feel a sense of joy that couples find in each other. I absolutely love photographing weddings for awesome people.
See more of Josh Gruetzmacher’s work after the jump…
2. How did you get into wedding photography?
I got into photography when I was 18. Fresh out of high school and excited to see the world, I set out with some of my best friends and we traveled to as many places as we could afford. I loved trying to document the stuff we were doing on these trips, the people, scenery, ect. Literally everywhere we went had all sorts of inspiring material and subjects to work with. When I shot my first wedding for some friends, I totally fell in love. It was challenging but fun trying to tell the couple’s story with photographs. I feel honored and humbled that couples have trusted me to document one of the most important days in their lives- their weddings- since diving into business in 2005. Over the years, I have been able to work with so many inspiring and fun people and feel blessed that I get to do this as a full time job!
3. What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?
I love getting great candid moments from all parts of the day. These photos typically don’t have a name like the cake cutting shot, first dance, garter toss, etc. It’s the fun stuff that just happens and I catch a frame of it. I also really love getting fun portraits of the bride and groom in great light.
4.What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?
I was taking photos of the bride and groom when a bunch of drama with one of the groomsmen went down not too far away. The cops ended up getting called and it was a full-blown scene. I just felt really bad for the bride and groom, and that this happened at their wedding. What can you do about that?
5. the best thing you ever ate at a wedding?
I shot a small elopement wedding in Carmel a few years ago, and they invited me to go to dinner with them after the photos were done. I got to have dinner with the couple and their kids at a super fancy restaurant in Carmel. I think I had a filet with a peppercorn and red wine reduction sauce. Posh wines were flowing. Good conversations. It was pretty amazing. Honestly, I’m so hungry by the time dinner rolls around at most weddings that I’m pretty stoked on whatever is on the menu though :)
6. What is your favorite venue and why?
I got to shoot a wedding last year at a place called Chateau Dumas in Auty, France. It was a full week of southern France amazingness. I’d shoot there again quicker than you can say ‘baguette!’
7. Nikon or Canon?
I shoot Canon for digital and 35mm film, but my true love is my Contax 645 medium format film camera. I also have a few polaroid cameras that I use on the regular. Polaroids just make me happy. They are like digital for the analog world in the sense that they are instant, but tangible, and I love that. I shoot them at weddings so the couple can take them home at the end of the night.
8. What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?
Bergamo, Italy. My wife and I stayed there with friends last year. It is a magical old European city with a walled city center, cobblestone streets, and candy photo locations literally everywhere. I would liken it to being in California during the gold rush- you just pick up the gold nuggets right of the ground.
9. If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?
I’d shoot Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley’s wedding if I got the call. Han Solo and Leia Organa from Star Wars would have been epic as well. Oh yeah, the kids from Moonrise Kingdom! I’d shoot them in a heartbeat ;)
10. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?
Make work that you love and that keeps you inspired; don’t just do what other people are doing. You have to find what works for you, and this might not be quick or easy, so just stick with it and put in the work. Also, creating images that a couple will cherish forever is the end goal. This should never change, whether you are shooting budget weddings for college kids, or some posh celebrity wedding.