Mike from Stella Weddings gave us some of his time this morning. Maybe it’s all the coffee I’ve consumed, but I found myself giggling at so many of his answers. I just love a good sense of humor, thanks Mike for ending my week with some good laughs!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company
I’m a photographer based in Sacramento with a background in sports, portraiture and documentary work. I felt that my style of shooting would appeal to couples who would like to have their weddings documented in such a way that would highlight candid, sincere and memorable moments. So I started Stella Weddings with ‘stella’ being a play on the first part of my last name, Starghill.
Learn more about Michael and see the great photos he shared with us after the jump…
2. How did you get into wedding photography?
I got into wedding photography by shooting my aunt’s wedding and a good friend’s wedding in the same summer. They knew I was a photographer, but also knew I didn’t have a whole lot of experience shooting weddings. I was able to document their weddings the same way I would tackle a sporting event. Getting the obvious action while also looking for the moments that people don’t normally focus on. After that I was able to get some second shooting gigs with established wedding photographers to learn more about how other, more seasoned professionals go about covering the day.
3. What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?
My favorite part of the wedding day to capture is definitely before the wedding or “getting ready.” I think it’s great to be able to be present and documenting the interaction of the bride and groom and their closest friends or siblings before the big show. Every interaction is different and it’s always interesting to see how the bridesmaids and groomsmen handle the nerves of the bride and groom as they prepare for this great occasion.
4. What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?
I’d have to say the most awkward moment I’ve experienced happened between me and one of my cameras. The couple was in front of the minister reciting their vows and as I quickly peeked at the back of my camera I noticed a light leak. Busted shutter. I had backup gear but I’d never had a camera break on me in the middle of a shoot. It totally threw me off my game.
5. What’s the best thing you ever ate at a wedding?
A turkey sandwich in a cramped room full of tables and stacked chairs. It wasn’t that the sandwich was so good but that I was so extremely hungry and didn’t care that I’d been shuffled to a closet-like space to scarf while the guests dined finely.
6. What is your favorite venue and why?
My favorite venue is a beach or coast. When it’s the late afternoon and the light is right…you can’t take a bad picture.
7. Nikon or Canon?
Definitely Canon. My first camera was a Rebel EOS 2000 film camera so I’m sticking with the brand.
8. What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?
I think it would be cool to shoot a wedding somewhere in the mountains while it’s snowing. But not blizzard snow…just a light visible snow.
9. If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?
HA! This is a tough question…probably Ozzy Osbourne’s wedding or someone wild and crazy like that. Just because you’ll never know what will happen next and the probability for interesting pictures would be very high.
10. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that you have to shoot to get better. Marketing and getting your name out is a huge part of the equation…but ultimately it’s not why people will hire you. Shoot, shoot and shoot some more!
Check out Stella Weddings on WeddingPhotoLove or visit his site for even more photo goodness!