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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.