I have been hard at work in the HHE office these last few weeks and cannot wait to share more with you. Before I do, I want to introduce you to my dear friend Carolyn of Carolyn Ann Photography. One very cold day in January (and surprisingly the warmest of the month), we met for coffee and went on a few adventures. Who knew that we would end up scheming amazing things for our clients and pushing ourselves creatively in the process? Please pour yourself a warm cup of your favorite bevy and meet Carolyn!
You are going to graduate school for counseling, what drew you to photography?
Oh you hear this all the time from photographers, but its true “I’ve been taking pictures for as long as I can remember!” Its true, I am getting my masters in school counseling, but I honestly see these two paths as symbiotic. My counseling background helps me work with people- which is really what this is all about! My photography let’s me dive into something and really get lost in it, which is an amazing type of self-care. On a more basic level, the two work quite well together schedule-wise. School counseling gives me summers off, and when is wedding season? I am a firm believer in “work to live NOT live to work.” I honestly, don’t feel incredibly bound by picking one career or path for myself in life, right now I am following what I am passionate about.
What sets you apart from other photographers?
I don’t like to assume I’m all that special, but I am proud of the fact that I actively shoot film (yes load it up, develop it, etc.) for sessions. I learned to manually shoot on a Canon SLR 35mm camera while traveling abroad and then quickly starting photographing people as well. Knowing how to shoot with film, made the transition to shooting fully in manual (as opposed to a setting/program mode) on a digital camera much smoother.
What advice would you give to newly engaged couple, both when looking for a photographer and in general?
There are a few things I would suggest couples keep in mind when searching out a photographer:
See a whole wedding: Often photographer’s sites will feature the best of the best. Don’t be shy, asking to see a whole wedding before booking. They may not hand over a disc or walk you through 600 photos, but they should feel comfortable showing you an album (print or digital) that features more than one photo from each part of the day.
Do you want the digital printing rights? This is becoming more popular for couples, but its a question to ask yourself. If you’re booking with a photographer that only provides an album and digital proofs for purchase ask yourself honestly, “After the wedding is done, are we going to want these photos?” If you answer comes even close to yes, be sure that buying those rights fits into your budget. If this sounds annoying, just look for photographers that include them in all packages! I remember feeling overwhelmed by all my options as a bride, so I needed some way to narrow down my choices!
Do you click? You have a right to pick a photographer based on whether you “click” with him or her. Do you like their personality? When looking through their portfolio do you see those as your wedding photos too? Choosing a photographer is really about fit above all else. This is someone that will get to spend time documenting very intimate and personal moments in your life and at the end of the day, their style and approach will represent your wedding in photo form.
What is your favorite part of a wedding to photograph? Why?
I really love sunset portraits! For anyone that hasn’t heard of those, its after the ceremony, often after dinner and its just the couple and the photographer(s). Sometimes its hard to fit this into the schedule or couples are nervous they will be too stressed for them, but they can be so lovely. The light is often just right and the couple is more relaxed and coming down from that ceremony high. During my own sunset portraits, I remember feeling such a sense of relief and comfort. It was nice to get away from the buzzing reception to enjoy the property where we got married. If you love those sunny, hazy photos or gorgeous silhouette shots- its likely your photographer was shooting around sunset!
What are 3 aspects of your dream wedding to photograph. (ex. Location, theme, design element)