Today’s wedding photographer interview is with Kristen of Kristen Mittlestedt Photography, based in Fort Wayne, Indiana! Enjoy:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.
Currently I am working as a wedding and lifestyle photographer who travels around Indiana and beyond. With a background in fine art film, I find myself deeply inspired by light. I like to think of myself as a story-teller, crafting the story of my clients in a romantic and modern style. In 2012, I graduated with my BFA in Fine Art Photography from Ball State University. I’ve been exploring the world and meeting fantastic people ever since!
Read the full interview after the cut!
How did you get into wedding photography?
It started with a love of photographing people. I loved seeing the interactions of love and happiness between couples. So I began shadowing and second shooting with a few fellow photographers. After the first wedding, I loved being so engaged in such an important part of the couple’s lives!
What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?
It’s a close tie between details and the reception. I love photographing all of the details, because so much time and effort go into making each detail of the wedding perfect. However, wedding receptions are pure joy! All of the nerves and stress of the day disappear, and you can capture pure love and candid happiness between the couple and their closest friends.
One of the first weddings I photographed, the bride locked herself in a church closet and refused to be photographed. When she emerged, she was obviously high. She even popped a handful of pills before walking down the aisle. By the end of the ceremony the groom was holding her up, and when it came time for pictures, she sat in a pew and refused to get up.
What is your favorite venue and why?
I recently had the pleasure of photographing at The Crane Bay, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Not only are the staff attentive and extremely accommodating, the venue itself is so incredibly versatile. The space is vast, and beautifully lit! Honestly, it’s a photographer’s dream.
I started my love of photography in film, and my camera was a Nikon. When I switched to digital, it just made sense to keep with it. Although several of my second shooters use Canon. We often joke about the rivalry!
What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?
Anywhere in Iceland! I would love to explore the stunning natural landscapes with a bride and groom. Think of the serenity and intimacy that would come with an Icelandic elopement! I swoon!
If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?
Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter. I have two main reasons. First off, I am an avid lover of British television and theatre. So I may be a slight fan of Benedict. However, the main reason was their venue. They were married on the Isle of Wight in a medieval church dating back to the 12th century! Who wouldn’t want a chance to photograph a gorgeous couple in a historical landmark?
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?
Not every couple is going to hire you, and that’s okay. When I first started out I was barely bringing in clients, and my prices were dirt cheap. I would take every rejection personally, and at one point I almost gave up. Plus, most of the clients I did book treated me quite poorly. When I started valuing myself and my work, I noticed most of my clients were booking based purely on my pricetag. Some had never even looked at my portfolio! After increasing my pricing, and learning to say “no” to discounts and photographing out of my style, I slowly began getting clients who actually liked my work. If they respect you and your art, they are the people you want to photograph! Every bride has a budget, you may not fit in that budget, and that’s okay. Some people may not like your style, but some people will. So when a client does not book you, they are not the client you would want anyway. Take rejection with a grain of salt, and stay true to yourself and your brand.
What tips or advice can you give to couples who are looking to hire a photographer to cover their big day?
Be sure to like the photographer, not just their work! Think about it. The photographer will be the only person with you constantly through the day. Sometimes more than your wedding party or family. Having to be around someone you don’t like all day, on your wedding day, will not be worth the end product. No matter how great their work may be!
Thanks Kristen! For more information about Kristen Mittlestedt Photography, please visit her WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to her website.
Do you have any questions or comments for Kristen? Add them to the comments below!