Today’s wedding photographer interview is with Katie of Katie Snyder Photography based in Atlanta, GA! Enjoy:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company
Katie Snyder Photography started (unofficially) in 2003 when I first started studying photography in college. What I thought would be a fun hobby soon became the focus of my life and I began putting all of my entrepreneurial spirit into it. In 2006, my husband, Dan, and I moved to Atlanta, GA and I began to pursue it as my full time career. For many years, the company was ran by just the two of us (me as photographer and Dan as photo editor), but in 2012, we began expanding in order to better accommodate our clients. We now have 4 main photographers, office help, and a slew of videographers and second photographers that we call upon regularly. We split our time between Atlanta and destination weddings around the world! I also teach a variety of workshops for upcoming photographers as well as hobbyists.
Read the full interview after the cut!
How did you get into wedding photography?
I attended a small, liberal arts college (Milligan College in Elizabethton, TN). One day, a friend of mine mentioned that she was going to major in photography and I thought that was the coolest thing I had ever heard of. My high school only offered two art classes: Art I and Art II, so the thought of studying something like that had never crossed my mind. I declared photography my minor in order to be accepted into the program and the rest is history. My first clients were my closest friends and family who let me practice on them. I’m still so grateful to everyone who believed in me and gave me a chance to take their photos while I was still just learning.
What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?
My favorite part of the wedding day to capture are all the most genuine moments. It’s incredible to experience someone’s wedding day with them. Often, I’ve only met the bride and groom once or twice ahead of time, but by the end of the day, I feel like I know them on a personal level. I love laughing and crying along with their best friends’ toasts and hearing hilarious stories from their past. I also love hearing my clients say their vows to one another and remembering what weddings are actually supposed to be about. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the whole hoop-la of everything, but when I’m able to help calm someone’s nerves or photograph genuine raw emotion, I feel very gratified and fulfilled.
What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?
The most awkward thing that has ever happened at a wedding is actually my most embarrassing moment of all time!!!! One day during the rush of after ceremony photos, I bent down to fix the bride’s dress and a loud rip occurred. I realized quickly by the bride’s panicked look that she thought her dress had ripped. No – actually the inseam of my pants had ripped all the way down my leg! Knowing we had a very short amount of time to capture those important photos, I continued shooting (trying to stand very still), while the coordinator appeared with very large safety pins. Although that didn’t fix my problem, it did make a few of my high school punk rock dreams come true (briefly). In the end, I was able to learn how to sew in the bathroom AND get all of the shots needed. The wedding party was very gracious and thankfully didn’t laugh at me too long.
What is your favorite venue and why?
I have worked at way too many fabulous venues to count over the years, but one that is currently my fave is the Payne -Corley House on Main Street in Duluth, GA. Most of what I love about the venue has to do with their fabulous staff who makes working there an absolute pleasure every time. Other things that stand out, though, is that they have wonderful (separate) bride and groom’s quarters, a beautiful wooded area perfect for photos, multiple options for ceremony sites both indoor and outdoor, and the house is drop dead gorgeous.
Nikon or Canon?
The age old question! To me, this question should really be – who is the operator? How much experience do they have? Our team is actually split right down the middle – we have two photographers that use Nikon and two that use Canon. Sometimes I can see differences in coloring, but most of the time, I honestly can’t.
What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?
Any tropical beach – New York City – Europe – West Coast …. I’m not picky at all and my bags are packed! :)
If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?
Hmmm tough one! I tend to be less impressed by the “fanciness” of an event and lean more toward the couple having genuine and fun personalities… maybe Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban? They seem so down to earth and fun!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?
If you want to charge a premium price – you must give a premium service. If you don’t have a lot of experience, there’s only one way to change that. Shoot as much as you possibly can & shoot in as many different situations as you can. Spend the time to be prepared – it’s worth not having any surprises. Weddings are one of the most challenging things to photograph – don’t market yourself until you have several under your belt!!
What tips or advice can you give to couples who are looking to hire a photographer to cover their big day?
Hands down – ask to see an entire wedding they’ve shot. It’s sooooo easy to make a nice website with decent photos these days. Make sure they have shot several weddings – without doing that, there are going to be lots of moments they won’t be prepared for. Make sure they have experience in the same lighting situations that you are planning. Make sure they have professional gear and professional backup gear. And make sure their second photographer is experienced as well. Don’t be afraid to ask for references. This is an investment in your first official family heirloom – it’s important! :)
Do you have any questions or comments for Katie? Add them to the comments below!