This wedding photographer got her start in advertising, and before she knew it – she was a professional wedding photographer! Liz Banfield has passion for being a photographer like many others, however, she has a lot of gumption I tell you. Go ahead, read on! :)
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.
I started my business after leaving my career at advertising agency, Fallon. In “Mad Men” terms, I was Pete Campbell! Photography has been my full time profession for 14 years now. In addition to weddings I also shoot advertising, catalogs, books and editorial. When I’m not working, my husband and I are busy parents to two children. We love to travel, spend time at the beach, ski, and play tennis. I’m also a Suzuki parent to my children who started piano at a young age. I’m no “tiger mother” but piano is still a pretty big part of our lives.
Learn more about Liz after the jump…
2. How did you get into wedding photography?
My hobby advanced to another level when I was working on the Nikon account at Fallon and I had permission to borrow any Nikon equipment I wanted. I was shooting a lot of friends and family on the weekends. Colleagues who were engaged would see those photographs in my office and say, “I don’t want a “wedding photographer, I want that.” And so that’s how I got my first jobs. I was very fortunate to have an instant client base from my stylish advertising co-workers. They were having trend-forward weddings in great locations with lots of details, which made them especially suited to editorial placements. Images from those early events were published in Martha Stewart Weddings a mere two years after quitting my job.
If I had to pick one moment that is my absolute favorite, it would be the first dance. Capturing people in motion is a major theme in my work. Plus, I love seeing the connection between the couple set to music. It’s intensely romantic and joyful. Father-daughter dance is also a favorite. Dads are almost always great dancers!
4. What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?
I shot a wedding 8 months pregnant in Hawaii on the hottest, most humid day imaginable. I felt fine, though conspicuous, and kind-hearted guests kept suggesting that I sit down and relax…
5. What is the best thing you ever ate at a wedding?
My favorite food at a wedding is a really terrific appetizer. Usually by cocktail hour I’m famished and being able to pop something small and wonderful into my mouth is energizing. A beggar’s purse filled with caviar comes to mind as a particularly memorable one. Also, I have eaten some fantastic wedding cake over the years. Perfect Endings chocolate cake is to die for, seriously.
6. Nikon or Canon?
Actually, I shoot a majority of my coverage with a Contax 645 in lush medium format film. The image detail of a bigger negative is extraordinary. For quick action shots in 35mm I’m a devoted Nikon shooter. I also shoot almost exclusively with “prime” lenses, meaning I rarely shoot “zoom” or telephoto lenses. It has a unifying effect on the perspective of the pictures.
Oh, I can’t pick just one! My ideal venue is a place with great light, vistas, and distinctive architecture. Lowndes Grove in Charleston is definitely one of my favorites for all those reasons. I also think San Francisco’s City Hall and the Flood Mansion are spectacular venues as well. I love exploring new venues which is one reason I like to shoot destination weddings.
8. If you could shoot a celebrity wedding past present or future, who would be the lucky couple?
Okay, I’m not even going to consider “past” because the list would be a mile long! Let’s think future because maybe it could actually happen? I’m interested in British culture and I love redheads so I’m going with Prince Harry.
9. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?
Build good relationships with all the vendors on a wedding. It’s a referral-based business and the power of an industry recommendation can really help your business grow.