Today’s wedding photographer interview is with Misti and Colin of Bohemia Photography, based in beautiful Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Enjoy!
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.
We are Misti and Colin and we are a destination wedding, husband and wife photography team based in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We are originally from the United States, but decided to make the big move to Mexico three years ago. We were both working in unfulfilling corporate type jobs, and doing photography on the side. We started taking frequent weekend escapes and holiday breaks to Mexico for a break in our daily routine 7 years ago. Eventually, we felt we were more ourselves in Mexico, like a weight had been lifted from us. We started dreaming about it and soon moving to Mexico completely dominated our conversations. We were probably pretty annoying about it actually!
Long story short, after 2 years of dreaming and planning, we decided to take the leap and move out of the country! We quit our jobs, sold all of our belongings and took 4 suitcases and our 2 cats and started life over in Mexico. We’ve been here in Playa del Carmen for 3 years and everyday I feel so grateful and happy we decided to take the risk. Now instead of a cold cubicle, we get to photograph people on the happiest day of their lives in tropical paradise, it just doesn’t get better than that. :)
Read the full interview after the cut!
How did you get into wedding photography?
We were both always the “creative type”. Colin is a great artist and talented musician and had been dabbling in creating short films for awhile. I have a bachelor degree in interior design, but found I couldn’t be as creative with it as I had imagined upon graduating. However, I’ve always been able to lose myself in a photo… I really love looking at photos! I would be the first person to volunteer to look at all of your vacation photos, really!
Eventually my photo obsession turned into wanting to create those photos myself. I enrolled in a small arts school after college and began taking photography classes. After that, I ended up working for my photography teacher part-time, as did Colin.
When Colin and I got married, we payed a lot of money for a big name wedding photographer, who ended up being rude and very disappointing. We knew then we could do better than that. We also wanted other couples to have a better experience than we did on our wedding day with their photographer. That’s when we decided to try our hand at specializing in wedding photography, we loved it and never looked back.
My favorite part of the day is before the ceremony, during the getting ready photos. There is a giddy excitement and energy that’s fun to capture on camera. It’s photographing all the small moments in the day with those closest to the couple in their rooms, that I absolutely love. It’s also a time for me to get to know the brides and grooms a little better and help them to relax with the camera.
Colin’s favorite part is photographing the couple together after the ceremony when the couple is more relaxed and the photography can be more spontaneous and creative (ok I like that part too).
What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?
I can speak for both us I think, when I say it was when I was completely knocked over by a wave in Cancun. I like photographing people from the perspective of the sea, with their reflection on the water and palm trees in the background. However this time, the tide was coming in… quickly! What started with me being only shin deep ended with the water over my head in seconds as a random wave crashed over me. I was knocked down underwater and was doing everything I could to keep my arm above the water to save my camera as I tumbled in the waves! The camera was saved (and me), but my poor couple looked horrified and I was soaking wet for the rest of the shoot. Anything for a great shot I guess!
What is your favorite venue and why?
We love photographing weddings at the Mayakoba resorts here in Playa del Carmen. As a former interior designer, I have a lot of appreciation for the attention to detail that was put into the resorts. They did their best to be sustainable and preserve nature while incorporating it into the design and architecture. The resorts are big, but not crowded with tourists. They have outstanding customer service and are easy to work with. They also have a newly opened town square called El Pueblito Mayakoba that can be rented out for weddings that looks like a cute, colonial Mexican village with a cathedral. Photographic opportunities abound there.
Nikon or Canon?
All Nikon. I think they’re both great camera systems, but when choosing my first DSLR the Nikon just felt better in my hands.
What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?
Anywhere in Europe! We would love to photograph a wedding with all the old architecture and history. We went to Bonafacio, Corsica on our honeymoon and I think that would be high on the list to start with. It’s the perfect mix of turquoise waters, stunning views and ancient architecture. Cuba is a close second.
If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?
We love photographing anything out of the ordinary and people who love to have fun! After a lot of thought, I think the newly engaged Chris Hardwick and Lydia Hearst would be a blast! Of course I don’t know them personally, but they seem like a really fun couple to be around. I think with Lydia’s model skills and Chris Hardwick’s comedic prowess, we could get a great mixture of natural candid moments and beautifully posed photos. I think the wedding itself would probably be pretty unique too!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?
Don’t melt under pressure; confidence and positivity are key! Even if everything is going wrong, the lighting is horrible, it’s raining, you got bad news before you arrived to the wedding, the bride’s parents are having an argument, etc., etc. – you have to stay positive, engaged and relaxed. Your mood and energy will completely reflect in the faces and personality of the couple and show right through in the photos. When we first started, we would hope that our couples would be fun, easy going and love being in front of the camera. We quickly learned that we are responsible for creating that mood a lot of the time, as photographers spend a lot of time with the couple on their wedding day. Most people are not natural in front of the camera and they certainly aren’t models, and that’s ok. Make your couples feel happy and confident and you’ll get some great photos for them. I’ve always thought wedding photography itself is more 60% psychology and 40% actual photography.
What tips or advice can you give to couples who are looking to hire a photographer to cover their big day?
We think it’s really important to meet your wedding photographer in person before your wedding. Being destination wedding photographers ourselves, it’s rare that we can sit down over coffee and chat with our couples beforehand, but Skype and the phone are great alternatives. Like I said earlier, you’ll spend a lot of time with your photographer on your wedding day so it’s important that you guys click and feel comfortable around eachother. (That goes for photographers too). On the wedding day, you’ll also feel more relaxed with someone you already know photographing you all day, and your photos will be even better!
Lovely work guys, thanks so much for sharing! For more information about Bohemia Photography, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website.
Do you have any questions or comments for Misti or Colin? Add them to the comments below!