I went to Emerson College and studied film. I was able to take photography classes there, learning the basics of film and the darkroom. I started shooting seriously when I was living in Los Angeles working as a TV producer. When my shows went dark, I would rent tons of gear and teach myself everything about film, photography and even a little bit of lighting. Shooting in LA is easy because there are hundreds of beautiful people and all of them want their photos taken. I was lucky enough to break into a little editorial work, as well as shooting a bunch of album covers for an international record label based in San Francisco. After my husband and I had our first child, we decided it was time to leave Los Angeles and head back east, where we are both from. I started photographing families and food. While I loved it, I needed something more. My husband was turning 40 and I really wanted to do something HUGE for his birthday. I was never going to be able to pull off what I wanted for him solely on my family photography income. I had many people tell me I should do weddings, but I was really scared to do it. Wedding photography was not something I thought I could do well, but when my friend insisted I shoot his wedding, I gave in and gave it a shot (so to speak). I had the absolute best time and I was able to capture their day the way I wanted to. I wanted to keep it light and fun and definitely not traditional. I thought to myself, I love this and if I could just book two weddings this year, I would be able to surprise my husband with an amazing party and maybe a small trip away somewhere. Well, that year I booked 15 weddings and I have never looked back. Not only was I able to throw a surprise party for him but I took him to Mexico too. But the best part was I found a niche market in wedding photography. I love my job and adore my clients.
What is your favorite thing about being a wedding photographer?
What’s not to love about a wedding photographer! I love spending time with my couples really getting to know them. I find that it’s super important that they feel comfortable with me no matter what. I think being a TV producer for 8 years really helps me to think on my toes and put fires out without panicking. Weddings are full of unpredictable moments, chaos, emotion and many different personalities, and I thrive on being able to help my couples navigate through all of that. I tell my couples that they are priority number one and it’s my job to protect them at all costs from anything that may stress them out. I have safe words with some of my couples, so if things arise that they don’t want to handle, they can say the safe word and I swoop in and take over. I love working with great vendors. I get a thrill in knowing that I’m helping my couples document their history as it unfolds on their big day. I believe weddings can really bring out the best in people. What an honor it is to witness that with my camera and bring it to fruition through a visual medium!
What type of client do you love working with?
I live for the clients that really let me IN! I love when they are not afraid to wear their hearts on their sleeve because that makes for amazing images. My couples know that when comes down to it, it’s about a marriage and the wedding is just a big fun party. Couple that don’t take themselves too seriously are the best.
What is your best advice for a couple when it comes to wedding photography?
The phrase “You get what you paid for” rings true when it comes to many things on your wedding day, especially photography. Anyone can buy a $5000 DSLR camera and call themselves a photographer. But that doesn’t mean they are. I can’t tell you how many people I know say they wished they would have made more of an investment in their photography, instead of things like expensive favors that nobody keeps. Other tips:
- Make sure your photographer shows you they can shoot a wedding from beginning to end. Websites only showcase a fraction of what is shot on a wedding day. Ask to see albums, or better yet ask them if you can have access to a couple galleries of weddings they have shot.
- Make sure your photographer is insured, has back up equipment and knows how handle all types of lighting situations.
- Seriously consider getting an album made of your images and print your photos too! I wrote this blog post about all of this when one of my grooms passed away suddenly. I went to the memorial service armed with a box of prints from their wedding. When I handed the box over to his wife, she told me that she had her digital files from me for over six months but had yet to print a single one of them. My heart broke for her. It really explains what I do and what is important to me as a wedding photographer.
I think the most important thing besides the above, is that you really like your wedding photographer. I tell my clients, “Can you imagine me at the birth of your baby? How about a funeral of a loved one?” If the answer is yes, then I’m your girl. Because other than having a baby, your wedding day is the most vulnerable time of your life and you need to feel safe with your photographer. Remember, you only get to take three things away from your wedding day: Your dress, the photographs and each other. Don’t you think that is worth the investment? I know I do.
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