Thursday, July 17, 2008

Photography Week - Part CJ! (Part 4)

How fun has this week been! I love comparing images from each of the different photographers and seeing their different styles on paper, and their personalities shine in their answers!

Today, I bring you a good friend of mine, Caroline Johnson. Her funky, artsy qualities, and stylish approach to her portraits keep brides coming back for more! Her personality shines through in all she touches. I love working with Caroline, she scouts out the best places for great images, check out her blog for more fun stuff!
How did you get into Wedding Photography?

Sort of by chance! I always had a passion for documenting events and people. After graduating from College with a degree in Business and Communications I worked as a pharmaceuticals rep for 7 years and somewhere down that path I decided to study photography at the Photographic Center Northwest in Seattle, WA. I absolutely knew that this was for me. I would find myself heading into the darkroom early in the day and heading out when it was pitch black. I could lose myself in the process and forget about anything else and just be in the moment! I loved this feeling. My first brides came to me through friends of friends. And next thing you know I was heading off to over 15 states in the U.S. and then to remote wedding destinations in Italy, Belize, Costa Rica, and Canada.

I still need someone to pinch me because I can't believe that this is really my job. Not only have I unleashed my passion but I have clients who genuinely appreciate my gifts and encourage me and inevitably have become some of my dearest friends. Life could not be any sweeter when you find what it is that you were meant to be doing. One of my favorite quotes is "Take life one dream at a time". If you are still searching for you passion live by these words and explore and the more you dream the more you will discover what it is that you were meant to do!

What do you consider your style of photography to be?

Editorial with a splash of Photojournalism. I take a modern approach to design and capture.

If you could offer one piece of advice to a bride, and only one, what would it be?

Hire a wedding coordinator!!!! As a photographer I seriously appreciate all of the wonderful things that Wedding Coordinators do for the bride and their families on the day of the wedding. When a wedding is well planned and executed my brides and grooms are more relaxed which allows me to capture images that are amazing. When a bride acts as the wedding coordinator I have found that they tend to not be in the moment and people will constantly ask them questions which pulls them mentally in different directions. From my standpoint it is really challenging to take away these distractions and continue to get killer images that document their day in a fashionable manner.

Also, I want to recommend that brides and grooms consider seeing each other before a wedding. I know... this totally breaks tradition, but today's brides are not about having traditional weddings. In fact I find that they are wanting to do almost anything they can do to break tradition and make their weddings uniquely theirs. I have found that when this is done that my clients get far more amazing images than they could possibly imagine and with a greater variety of locations.

Also, everyone tends to be more relaxed by the time the ceremony takes place. Now you certainly don't have to take this approach but you can't expect to get great images when you are crunched for time trying to rush to the reception or cocktail hour and trying to get all of your family shoots in along with entire wedding party and then images of the the two of you. The choice always sits with my couples but remember how much of an investment you are making in hiring a professional photographer. Collaborate with your photographer and come up with a plan that works for you both.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

There are so many things that I love about wedding photography. I seriously get a rush when I capture images. When I know that I nailed a shoot my clients may get a glimpse of what I call "the happy dance". It is so silly! Then there the moments when you are sitting behind your computer and processing pictures and I'll suddenly see a shoot just jump off the screen with pure beauty. These unexpected images give me a total rush. When a client hires me and trusts me to capture one of the most important days of their lives. When a client picks up their album. When I see the bride’s father seeing her for the first time. When the groom toast his new wife. When everyone tells me how much fun they are having the day of the wedding. The first kiss as husband and wife. The gitty little gleam that the happy couple has as they are walking down the aisle. How could someone not love being a part of this happy time. Traveling to locations that I never dreamed of visiting let alone working. These really are just a few of the many things. There are so many things that keep me addicted to wedding photography.
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