Love brought Hardy Klahold to the United States from Germany. Now, he devotes himself to photographing weddings. I think it’s safe to say that he has a thing for love, and it truly shows in his work and his words. Thank you Hardy!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company
I started as photojournalist in Germany and I worked for a news agency in Munich/Germany. It was there that I met my wife, who is is from Denver. It started out as a very long distance relationship until I moved to Denver 2003.
I love my life and I love taking photos of it. Wedding photography became a big part of my life. Wedding photography is the work of a storyteller: It’s photo journalism… telling the important story of 2 families joining together, a story of romance and a lot of emotions.
Learn more about Hardy and see his AMAZING photos after the jump…
It is also fashion photography – all the colors, the dresses, the excitement. Sometimes before the ceremony when I’m in the bridal suite, it feels like being in the back of the runway at the New York Fashion Week and the bride is my super model.
It’s portrait photography – At a wedding I get to work with people of all generations. I watch them, their laughs and tears. I find these moments and photograph them, preserve them for the bride and the groom.
2. How did you get into wedding photography?
My wife suggested to look into wedding photography. One of her staff members got married and couldn’t afford a photographer. Honestly, I had no clue what I got myself into when I agreed to shoot this wedding. I had no clue what this couple expected from me, or what a wedding in the US was all about. I just took my camera and showed up at this beautiful venue in the Foothills. I didn’t know anyone.
I decided to handle this like an assignment from my old agency; I go in, document what I saw and go home. – easy! I ended up having so much fun and I loved every moment of it. I was like the fly on the wall at this wedding.
Based on my back round as a news photographer this was an easy task. As a news shooter you are trained to be ready before the important moment happens. You are on a lookout, watching the scenery, you are there waiting for it and you are ready. You don’t think, you just know — that’s it.
3. What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?
There are many things I like on a wedding day. Although my favorite time is when the bride is getting ready. Everything is new and everyone is excited about the flowers, the dress … a lot of emotions can be photographed at this time.
The moment when they open the bag that protects the wedding gown… this is one of my favorite moments during the entire wedding. Everyone in the room is watching it. The bride takes the gown out of the bag and lays it carefully out on the bed. It’s like she is putting a little baby carefully back in the crib. These are the moments you live for as a photographer.
4. What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?
I always prepare my brides that I will be in the room when they get dressed. If they want me out of the room, they have to tell me. So, there was this bride who was about to get into the wedding gown. She started opening up her bathrobe, when one of her bridesmaids suddenly jumped in: “Wait the photographer is still in the room.” The bride looked and said: “He is from Europe, he has seen it all.” – Everyone started laughing and she got dressed.
5. What’s the best thing you ever ate at a wedding?
I just love good food, but eating at a wedding is not fun for me. I see all this great food and I can’t enjoy eating it. I’m constantly on the watch for the next moment. I know other vendors will hate me for this: If a couple offers boxed vendor food I’m happy, because I can eat whenever I have the time.
6. What is your favorite venue and why?
In Colorado, I have to say it is the Broadmoor. Everything is right there. You have the elaborate decorated beautiful ballrooms, a wonderful lake – and everyone is so helpful and friendly. I love shooting here. I shot a wedding at the Broadmoor last year and the reception had just started when the bride took my hand and pulled me out of the ballroom. Then she said, “You told me about all these wonderful locations at the Broadmoor, now bring me there and take photos of me. I can have a party every day, but a photographer like you in this perfect location is a chance of a lifetime for me.” So we went out and shot for almost an hour.
7. Nikon or Canon?
That’s a tough one. I’m a big Nikon fan, but I shoot Canon. I started out with Nikon on film. The F2 and F3 were my most favorite camera bodies of all time. I still own them. During the transition to digital Canon was far ahead of every other company. As a news photographer I had to switch to Canon and I was very sad about this. I hope I don’t sound nerdy when I say: Give me a Nikon D4 body and let me use the Canon lenses on it. That would be the perfect camera for me.
8. What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?
There are so many. I shot a wedding at the Plantation House on Maui last November. The couple was beautiful and the light was a dream. In 2010 I shot a wedding in Germany in an old castle, build in 1492. We even got stay over night and had a great romantic shoot early the next morning. That’s the beauty of our job: We get to see all those beautiful locations.
9. If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?
Actually my first wedding that I ever shot was a celebrity wedding in Germany, but I wasn’t a wedding photographer, I was there as a news photographer. It was a very popular German actor. I don’t think he is known in the US, Heiner Lauterbach?
Celebrities here in the US? – I don’t know what celebrity plans a wedding right now? I would love to talk to them about their plans – if you read this call me. :)
10. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?
First and the most important one: Learn the craft of photography. You can jump on a trend wagon with all photoshop actions, but what are you doing when the trend is changing?
Second learn the business side of Photography. That was my biggest obstacle.