This week I welcome Poser. All I have to say about Poser is that his imagery ROCKS! An awesome guy who absolutely loves to capture the love of his clients. He has only been photographing weddings since 2007, which you wouldn't believe looking at his awe-inspiring images. I really hope you’re learning something from these interviews and they’re making you think outside the box in your own image making. See you next week for another killer interview.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I love God, I love my wife, and I love my kids, in that order. Everything else is just everything else. I happen to be a photographer.
Where is home?
I currently live in McKinney, Texas, a few miles north of Dallas.
If you could live anywhere on this awesome planet where would you build your dream home?
I don’t know. Personally, I would love to live in a really cool flat in London. I love the city and I am absolutely fascinated with the British accent. Maybe I would get one if I lived there long enough. But seeing as how I am a happily married man, my selection would have to include my wife and kids as well, so I suppose I would choose somewhere in Southern California. The weather is perfect and we are such an outside family. It’s hard in Texas with the 8000 degree weather. There are days where we literally can’t go outside because it's so hot. I hate that.
What is your current state of mind before we continue with the interview?
Life is UNBELIEVABLE.
Did you go to school to study photography?
How long have you been a photographer?
I picked up a camera for the first time on June 6, 2005. I shot families for about a year and a half and became a wedding photographer in January 2007 after attending the Anti-Workshop with The Boutwells and Alt-F.
How long have you been a wedding photographer?
What or who got you started in wedding photography?
It started with the Anti-Workshop in January of 2007. After seeing what people were doing with wedding images, I was absolutely enchanted. My love affair with telling wedding stories has grown as my journey with Destiny continues. The longer I am married the more Iam in love with being so. I am passionate about marriage, as it is the single most important influencer in who you will become as an individual, and as such it should be taken seriously, but not only that, it should be ENJOYED! The story of two individuals passion and lifetime commitment to each other is a story that, in this day and age of divorce, NEEDS to be told in a way that honors the commitment, not just the celebration.
How would you describe your style?
I am passionate.
I am a storyteller.
How many weddings do you average per year?
I have shot a total of 30 weddings. If and when I get to where I can shoot as many as i want per year, I would not shoot more than 30-35.
Do you have a few recent images you can share with us?
What type of cameras do you shoot with?
I shoot with two Canon 5D MKII's and a Canon G-10 (the secret weapon)
What is your favourite photography accessory, other than your camera?
50 1.2 L. Without a doubt.
If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?
the 50 1.2 L. It's almost all that I shoot with as it is.
What lighting equipment do you take on a shoot?
I dont always use all of it, but I have in my bag, two 580 EX speedlights, a Quantum T5D, a reflector, a couple of "deer lights", and from time to time, my iPhone.
Can you describe how and when you use flash, video light, reflectors and natural light during a wedding?
During a wedding, the only thing i use are the speedlights, and i use them during the reception only. I have an assistant holding one on a monopod, and I have hand signals that i communicate with to tell himwhat kind of lighting I desire for whatever shot I want. If we get to steal away during the reception for some portraits, I will employ the deer lights from time to time, but i try to use whatever is available to me, i.e. street lamps, car lights, reflections, or whatever.
What is your favourite computer/editing accessory, other than your computer?
30' Apple Cinema Display. Beastie.
How important is Photoshop in your final images?
Every image I proof is adjusted and touched in Photoshop, but I try to get all of my desired effects in camera when possible.
What is your most used Photoshop tool, plug-in, action set etc.?
Exposure 2 by Alien Skin.
Are you a MAC or PC lover?
Once you go Mac, you never go back 😉 But seriously, if it ain'y broke, don't fix it. If a PC is working for you, more power to you.
Do you plan on buying any new equipment and if so what do you have your eyes on?
Not right now, but if money were no object, I would buy the 85 1.2 L.
I finally feel I have mastered my Crash-Art workflow, can you briefly describe for the readers your photographic workflow after a wedding?
First, download cards into Aperture. Second, and most important for me, walk away from the images for a while. Then I export and rename to an external hard drive. Open in Bridge, and make my selects. Then begin editing in Photoshop.
I use Queensberry albums, what wedding albums do you supply your clients with and do you design them yourself or outsource the design?
I use Finao, and I design them myself.
How do you feel about cropping an image?
Thats how I practice composition when I'm not shooting.
I choose photographers for these interviews because their work inspires me and gets my creative juices flowing, hence the interview. What gives you ideas and inspires you to create such amazing imagery?
I pray before every shoot for God to reveal something to me that has never been seen before. More than anything else, it's my passion for what these couples are doing and entering into. I love marriage, and I celebrate the commitment they are making so what I see when I look through the lens is going to be very different than someone that is simply a photographer shooting a wedding. My number one goal for my career as a wedding photographer is to save a marriage. There will come a day in every couples' lives/marriage, when it doesnt "feel" the same as it used to. Maybe they're in the middle of a huge argument. Maybe it's the tenth time in the last week. Maybe she walks out ofthe kitchen into the living room and sits down, fuming, thinking to herself that she doesnt even remember why she married him, and that she can't remember what it was like to love him. Then, maybe, a book catches her eye. She looks, and it's their wedding album. She opens it up and she relives her wedding day through MY perspective; one of celebration and joy. The story is told in such a way, such an honest and passionate way, that she cant help but relive those moments once frozen. And then, maybe she remembers.
What has been your most memorable assignment and why?
In the short time I have been shooting weddings, I have been blessed with great couples and great stories, but I would have to place Esteban and Somerleas at the top of my list. Somerlea's sister read Bradley Hathaway's "The Celebration Wedding" during the ceremony, and I was balling. If you haven't, you really should hear it. Go to iTunes and check it out. The whole wedding was a celebration of their union filled with symbolism and passion. It was amazing. Love those guys.
If you could shoot a wedding with another photographer who would it be and why?
It would be me, Sean Flanigan and Otto Schutlze. We all get the importance of passion between two people and the connection that has with amazing imagery. I also have to say Laura Kleinhenz of Docuvitae. Some of the best PJ in the world there.
Do you have an assistant/2nd shooter that accompanies you on wedding assignments?
I always have an assistant and a second shooter.
How many images do you average per wedding and how many do you usually present to your clients?
It really depends on the size of the event, and the amount of coverage they get, i.e. day after, rehearsal dinner. I never deliver less than 400, but I have delivered 1200.
Where would be your dream destination wedding?
How do you make the bride and groom, bridal party etc feel relaxed in front of your Canon 5D?
By just being myself. I am vulnerable with them, tell them about my passions and what my life is all about, and that makes it easier for them to feel comfortable with me. The more honest and real I can be, the more I believe they open themselves up to letting me know them, and THAT's what I want to capture. And to make them look cool.
Have you ever had anything go wrong at a wedding and if so, how did you handle it?
Nope. Kidding. I have had equipment malfunctions, but I had backups. I did have a "wardrobe malfunction", but it wasnt that bad.
What are your favourite three images you have shot recently? Can you describe their creation in regards to location, lighting, composition, camera settings etc, also your thoughts when creating the images and what they mean to you?
1 - I shot this in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on the rehearsal dinner cruise. This image just makes me feel alive. I can't imagine a more exhilarating moment.
2 - This was shot in Atlanta, Georgia at the Peidmont room. During the ceremony they had a band play an Enter the Worship Circle song, and they are simply lost in worship, yet still holding hands. This image represents to me what marriage is all about. Marriage is a form of worship. This represents the "three strand cord" perfectly.
3 - I shot this image down the street from my house in Mckinney. I really like the perspective, but more than anything, I just think it looks really cool.
What do you feel is the most challenging thing about photographing weddings?
For me, its the timing. Making sure I am everywhere I need to be to capture everything.
What do you think of the wedding photography industry at the moment and where do you see it in 5 years from now?
I think it's fairly saturated to be honest. There are a lot of photographers out there that are good business people, but not great photographers. Its great for them personally, but I really wish there were more wedding photographers that had talent that focused on the couples unique story more than their business.
A wedding photographer who inspires you?
It's almost that time of year for a Poser family portrait. Is there any photographer out there that you would be stoked to say he/she took my portrait?
A website and/or blog you visit often?
The first photographer that comes to your mind and why?
Sean Flanigan. He's 4-0 in my fantasy football league.
The last workshop or seminar you attended and why?
The Anti-Workshop in Austin 2007. Its the only one I have attended.
Do you have any workshops planned?
Yes, I am speaking at For the Love that is taking place on February 8th-12th, 2010 in the Preserve resort in the Mountains of Tennessee. It's main target are Christian photographers who want to connect, reconnect, enhance their connection to God, in every way, but specifically as the source of their creativity and business. If you want some more info on it, go to www.fortheloveworkshop.com or contact Ginny Corbett at email@example.com.
What photographic organizations do you belong to?
PPA i think. I was kicked off of WPJA and AGWPJA for being a Poser. LOL.
One way you market Poser Image?
By always being myself.
Do you advertise? If so where?
I have an ad on photographik.org, but that's all.
How important is an awesome website for your business?
I think it's very important. But I definitely don't think it's important to spend a ton of money on it. There are several companies that provide great templates at a great price, and if your images stand out, then it wont matter that it's a template. But that's just me. Mine cost like $500 at BigFolio, and I love it. I could care less if someone else has the same template.
If not a photographer, I would have liked to be a Formula 1 driver. What would you have been?
I am doing exactly what I was designed to do, but if I could do anything else, I would play major league baseball.
I realize that each great photographer has a particular penchant or love for photographing a particular subject whether it be nature, portraits, sea or landscapes, shadow and light, etc. as a result I would love to have you talk about and share whatever images you feel appropriate of your own private obsession in the magical world of photography.
I shoot people, so my personal work centers around my family. My wife and kids are the very things God used to awaken this gift inside of me.
Is there anybody or anything you would love to photograph?
When I was 2nd shooting I was picking everybodys brain, I still am actually. That's why I love these interviews so much. Every interview I learn something that makes me a better photographer. What advice do you have for somebody who wants to pursue wedding photography?
Remember that what you do is a means to an end. That end is relationships. The only reason I am a photographer is because there are people I am supposed to impact that I wouldnt have met, or wont meet, unless i was doing this. And the reverse is true, there are people that impact my life that I would not have met had I not been a photographer. Otto Schultze is one such person. That is why I am grateful I am doing what I am doing, not any accolades, or money. Work is not about making money, it's about making an impact. So do what you love, because the world needs you fully alive.
We know that each of us has someone or something, which inspires our life and work. Can you tell us the true basis of your inspiration?
My inspiration and reason for living is Jesus Christ. Everything was created through Him and for Him, and as such I go to Him for any and all creativity.
Is there anything you would have done differently during your photographic career?
Probably, but I don't have any regrets.
Name a photographer you would like to take a portrait of?
Don't have one.
Do you have any workshops on the horizon?
I am considering doing something, but it will be very specific in nature. There are plenty of workshops out there now.
If you could be invisible for one day with your camera...
I'm not sure what I would do.
I've learned the most from...
Being humble. If you think you know it all, you cant learn anything.
What talent would you most like to have?
Something you're still learning?
Selflessness. I can be very selfish at times. It's without a doubt the biggest struggle in my life.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Destiny was created with me and my desires in mind. She fits me perfectly. Her imperfections are perfect to me. Without her I wouldnot be who I am today. And that's a fact. I am so comfortable with her.
What is your greatest fear?
Losing my family
Something that is overrated?
Something you're saving up for?
A vacation with Des
What item do you wish you had designed?
If you could have lunch with anyone who is famous who would it be?
Where you'll find me on a Friday night at 9 p.m.?
Uncle Julio's with my family
Your favourite film (movie) of all time?
The Count of Monte Cristo ('98)
Who would play you in a film (movie) of your life?
First thing you would do if you won the lottery?
Which five words would your friends use to describe you?
Passionate, Creative, Deep, Eccentric, Athletic,
What ambition have you not yet achieved?
I want to shoot a wedding in Europe (Git 'er dun becka ;))
What would you like to be doing in 5 years from now?
Wedding photography, no doubt.
And the last question, if you had one wish
I prefer to let the mysteries of the universe come to me as they will
Oh one more, if someone said how can I be the next Poser? What would you say?
"Your missing the point".
Your readers can find out more about me:
Over lunch at Uncle Julio's. I love meeting with other photographers and just talking. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if I'm ever in your area, let's hang!