Today’s wedding photographer interview is with Daniel of theSquare, based in Bucharest, Romania! Enjoy:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company
I’m close to 40 and it shows: a bit too fat, less hair, eyeglasses. My company is also my family, I am blessed with two wonders of 8 and 2 who struggle all day to find out who can spread the legos more evenly on the entire floor. My photography brand is theSquare. Our family has four members, like the corners of a square :) Seriously now, I think that one needs proper support from the family in order to cope with this business.
Read the full interview after the cut!
How did you get into wedding photography?
It started as a hobby 15 years ago. I was working as a sociologist. Steady and high income, shares within the company… But I got bored. And I was already hooked into photography. I spent a small fortune (for Romania) and went to Tuscany (Italy) for a 7 days workshop with one of the most experienced teachers of classic portraiture: Monte Zucker. It was a blast and an eye-opener. I came back to Romania and decided to change my career. That was the moment I became a full-time wedding photographer.
What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?
Getting-ready is the most sincere part of the day. Mother-in-law struggling to make coffee to friends while ironing the dress, fathers talking about sports and sharing memories, bride getting her make-up and laughing with her sister. Almost everything is real, no fakes are needed. As soon as the bride is ready for the day, everyone put on a face and attitude that aren’t real anymore. The show begins. Romanians tend to show-off during the wedding and an experienced photographer knows what’s real and what’s not.
What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?
The couple was walking to each table, during the party, greeting everyone. I was trying to discover some opportunities to shoot emotions and hugs. We arrived at the parent’s table. His mother didn’t stand-up, turned her head the other way and said: this wedding is a mistake and you didn’t follow my advice. I was pretty much shocked. The couple was great, good looking and smart, they seemed like a good fit to me. How could a mother come to the wedding party and say things like that? Keep in mind that his father is a priest.
What is your favorite venue and why?
I don’t care too much about locations. Light is light, my subjects are human, everything else is not so important. I can tell you the venues I don’t like: the ones with yellow dim lights, with no accents and no contrasts. People look ill and there is no depth in the photos, no sense of tridimensional. This is when I put up some flashes on tripods to define the perspective and give more punch to images, without destroying the mood and the general appearance. Of course, beautiful venues help, although my images are more about the people and atmosphere than about the place they party.
Nikon or Canon?
Sony of Fuji, Pentax or Leica, I don’t care. I shoot with Nikon nowadays but it’s just a tool. Nowadays all tools are in the same ballpark performance wise. If light is hitting the sensor and the equipment is tough enough to withstand long-hours operation then it’s fine. I tend to prefer lighter gear than impressive gear. I like to spend wisely, knowing that it’s me who create the pictures, camera is a small part in the whole equation.
What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?
One fellow photographer (and a good one too) told me a wedding story that I instantly loved. The whole party was dressed in white. No shoes whatsoever, on a sunny beach of just 3 feet wide. The beach was bordered by high cliffs. The bride was dressed in red. Imagine that.
If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?
Any actor would be a great subject. Actors don’t get shy in front of the camera. And their body and facial language is a recipe for success in creating strong images. A great and expressive couple would be Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Still, my preferred clients are those who make a financial effort to hire me. Generally, These are more respectful.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?
There is nothing you could miss. There is no reason to fear. You should try to blend in, to get a grasp of family relations, to enjoy the day. If you shoot the wedding like you’re the bride’s brother, she will love everything. It’s not about the gorgeous backgrounds and sophisticated posing. It’s about true and valuable memories.
Ask yourself if you would like to be in that picture. If the answer is YES, then create it. This way you get to do what you like and your future clients will ask for the same kind of images. Practice and imitate but just as a photographic exercise. Otherwise you will be a pale copy of someone else.
Last but not least, your most valuable tool is you. Educate yourself, read and shoot as much as you can. Go to valuable workshops to get inspired and stay away of boredom. Get smart. You will like yourself a little more afterwards.
What tips or advice can you give to couples who are looking to hire a photographer to cover their big day?
Find someone who tries to understand you. Fine someone responsible. Look throughout the portfolio and get a sense if those images are touching something within you. No photographer can shoot all styles equally good. Budget is a restrain, but don’t think cheap when it’s about your dear memories. Your kids and your grandkids will look at those memories. It’s an investment, not an expenditure.
Thanks Daniel! For more information about theSquare, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website. Do you have any questions or comments for Daniel? Add them to the comments below!