Today’s wedding photographer interview is with Jenna of Creative Freedom Photo, based in Florida! Enjoy the interview:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company
My name is Jenna,my company is Creative Freedom Photo. What sets my work apart is that I am an artist in paint with a intuitive sense of light, composition, and color. My work is a unique blend of fine arts photojournalism. I have taught seminars on “Photography as an art form.” I believe what makes a photograph “art” is that it evokes a feeling, a mood, tells a story!
How did you get into wedding photography?
I started out as a photojournalist for the Miami Herald and several other publications. I have always had a gift for capturing emotion. It makes perfect sense for me to be a “wedding photographer.” A great wedding photographer is a great storyteller, that is what I do best. I feel like a kid in a candy store, weddings are a field day of emotion!
What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?
I love every part of a wedding, each one is so unique. If I had to pick my favorite part, I would say the “intimate” session. The time when my couple is finally all alone. The third and most important subject to capture “the love between the couple.”
What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?
Most awkward moment… I would have to say it was right after going through a divorce about eight years ago. I was getting ready to photograph the bride throwing the bouquet. I was down low with a wide angle lens focusing on all the anxious bridesmaids. The bride was behind me, I asked her to count to three (I couldn’t see her) she counted to three and then, threw the bouquet. The bouquet hit the ceiling, I then felt something out of the corner of my eye falling toward me, put my hand out to cover my head and
like a magnet the bouquet landed in my hands!
What’s the best thing you ever ate at a wedding?
I usually just inhale my dinner, I don’t want to miss anything. The Best thing I ate at a wedding was after a long August wedding, would have to be Key lime pie on a stick. I thought this was a unique alternative to the traditional wedding cake!
What is your favorite venue and why?
My favorite venue was in Germany, at Neuschwanstein’s castle. I could not believe I was sent all the way to Germany to photograph a wedding. It felt like I was in a a fairy tale.The most beautiful setting in between two castles in the mountains. After the private ceremony in the castle, we took a horse and buggy ride through the countryside. Breathtaking!
Nikon or Canon?
I have all Nikon equipment. It doesn’t matter to me, It is my eye and soul that takes the picture!
What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?
Dream location? A place I have never been, I love to travel — perhaps to India!
If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?
I would have loved to go back in time and photograph John Lennon and Yoko’s wedding!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?
Treat each client as if they were your only one. Remember this day is once in a lifetime, you are blessed to be a witness. Get to know your clients. Meet with them, talk to them often — an engagement session is a great way to get to know each other. Encourage your couples to call you anytime for any reason — I am always there for moral support. If they are in the planning process, help them by recommending vendors and venues. I only recommend to my clients vendors I would want to hire for my own wedding.
Keep your cool no matter what. Bring only good positive energy. Have three of everything. If the location is one hour away, leave two hours in advance — I have never been late to a wedding in over 15 years. Have an emergency kit for brides: I have a trunk filled with different color umbrellas, in my camera bag I carry everything from a sewing kit to safety pins, hair spray, etc. I like to start shooting a wedding at least two hours before the ceremony, there is a lot going on at this time.
Encourage your couples to have the guys nearby. If you have to drive to several locations you are losing time when you could be taking photos. Make sure that the bride is not the last person to be ready, you want to have at least 20 min alone with the bride for her bridal portraits. Try to work with your couples on the timeline. Have the ceremony about two hours before time of sunset, this way you have plenty of time without rushing anyone and have the best light for the group shots and the intimate session. Make sure that everyone who is in the group shots will know in advance. You want to save the last light for the couple alone (the magic hour) — suggest that they have a cocktail hour to keep their guests happy while the are on their “intimate” sessions. I hire an assistant to help me — at the same time I am teaching a deserving young person and giving them an experience of a lifetime. Pay it forward!
Thanks Jenna! For more about Creative Freedom Photo, check out her WeddingPhotoLove profile, or head straight to her website.
Questions or comments for Jenna? Leave them below!