Today’s interview is with Kristy from Volatile Photography. It’s very rare that a photographer has two awkward moments that are both equally gut wrenching. Thanks for sharing so much with us today Kristy, especially your photos – we love your work!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.
My name is Kristy Ahumada and I’m a wedding and portrait photographer based in Sonoma County, California. I love being within such close reach to San Francisco, the dramatic coastline and the admired Napa Valley. I’ve been shooting weddings and portraits for almost six years. A lot of my work takes place in the Bay Area, but I‘m also available for travel worldwide, with experience in destination weddings and events. Clients most recognize my candid imagery and attention to detail. The unnoticed moments I capture help them cherish everything about their wedding day, event or life experience. While weddings are my focus, I also love providing artistic portraiture, romantic engagements and intimate maternity photos. No matter what I may be shooting, my heart and soul is always poured into it from start to finish. Currently, I reside in Petaluma with my dog Lewey. When I’m not busy with a camera, you’ll probably find me outdoors enjoying my other passion: Mother Nature.
Learn more about Volatile Photography after the jump…
2. How did you get into wedding photography?
In my teenage years I picked up a camera and just started taking photos of just about anything and everything. Photography was a hobby and an escape for me. A year after playing with portraiture and taking film photography courses, I began assisting for an established wedding photographer and was introduced to the idea of shooting weddings. I can remember my mentor foreseeing my career, as she steered me in the direction of weddings. She had a lot of faith in my natural, growing talent, which I was finally realizing and noticing myself. It only took the experience of photographing one wedding to know that my mentor was right. I absolutely love what I do and I am so grateful for that.
3. What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?
There are so many parts of the wedding day that I enjoy capturing, and I feel like because each wedding is unique, what I love the most is always different. When I think about at all of the weddings I’ve shot, what stands out most is the emotion and affection that takes place between the couple, whether it’s during their “first look,” while they exchange vows, or when we’re taking their portraits. Of course I’m head over heels for the décor and details of every wedding, but the reason I am there is for a reason much bigger and better than that- love!
4. What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?
I can think of a few awkward moments. One of the most shocking and stressful moments would be when one of my clients fell into a pond only minutes before the ceremony start time! Another moment that comes close, would be when one of my clients’ wedding cake was delivered- the cake had fallen over in the delivery van, and was just a pile of frosting and crumbled cake.
5.What’s the best thing you ever ate at a wedding?
Last year I shot a backyard wedding in Arizona, and Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ catered it. The food at that wedding was hands down the most satisfying, flavorful and rewarding food I’ve ever had. I still think about it!
6. What is your favorite venue and why?
If I were to pick a favorite from the wedding venues I’ve shot at, I would have to say that my favorite is Holly Farm in Carmel, CA. This venue is a fairy tale! The whole property is landscaped beautifully with an outstanding variety of plants and winding trails. It also has unique dwellings, out of the ordinary statues and furniture, and so many twinkly lights for the evening! If I were to pick a favorite venue outside of my personal shooting experience, I would choose Nestldown in Los Gatos, CA. This venue is in the redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains and is surrounded by acres of luscious gardens and orchards. This space has large ponds, waterfalls, and looks and feels like a fantasyland!
7. Nikon or Canon?
Digitally, I prefer Canon cameras and lenses. Currently, I shoot with Canon 5D Mark II and Mark III bodies and several different Canon lenses. However, I have a background in film photography, and my favorite film camera is my Nikon f100. Although high quality equipment is vital while shooting weddings, I’ve always believed that even with the most expensive and fancy equipment, you may never be successful with photography. If you aren’t a natural with photography, no class or state-of-the-art camera will make up for it. Beautiful photos can be created with even the most inexpensive cameras. It’s not so much the camera that creates the extraordinary photo; it’s the eye behind it that does.
8. What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?
I could honestly go on and on with places I’d love to shoot weddings at! I can’t wait for the day that I photograph a wedding at Nestldown in Los Gatos, CA. I’d also love to photograph weddings up North- Alaska!
9. If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?
Justin Bieber? My niece would get a huge kick out of that!
10. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?
There are so many lessons to learn! But what is the biggest lesson in my opinion? In order to own and run a successful wedding photography business that not only flourishes but also grows, you really have to know a lot more about business than most realize. Being a great artist is one thing, but that in hand with being a great business owner is so important.