What’s your approach?
I photograph things as they are, without interference. The authenticity is important and I strive to convey a real sense of intimacy — an honest reflection of how people feel, the complexity of relationships, what the day is actually like.
I maintain a quiet presence. I’m not invisible, but most people forget I’m there even when I’m only a couple feet away. I don’t manufacture moments. You’ll never hear me ask you to do something again or in a different way. I observe, wait, and anticipate. I let you be you and don’t intrude upon your experience.
How did you come to photograph weddings?
I got into photography to tell stories, in depth, with nuance. I worked exclusively as a photojournalist for fifteen years, occasionally photographing weddings on the side for friends. But my main work was in extended stories, spending a week or so on assignment, trying to peel back the layers to show what was happening and why — the greater context. As the market for traditional journalism changed, these assignments became fewer.
I started doing more portraits and illustrations for publications, while my wedding coverage could best be described as actual photojournalism. So I shifted my focus, though I still do magazine portraits and I enjoy the balance.
Do you travel for bookings?
I travel across the country, for both weddings and magazine assignments.
I don’t charge extra for travel outside of actual expenses, which are estimated beforehand into a flat fee to avoid surprises. I take care of everything so your experience is as if you’re working with someone locally.
We don’t live in Denver. How can we meet with you?
About half of my clients live elsewhere and hire me without an in-person meeting. I’m quick with emails and phone calls and Skype is always helpful.
If you live in the area or are having a destination wedding in Colorado and are here for a planning trip, I prefer to meet in person. This allows us to get a sense of one other and I can pick up on aspects of your personalities that I’d hope to capture.
Do you photograph family group photos?
While unobtrusive documentary coverage is my primary focus, I often make group pictures at weddings. I like to keep things as brief — and organized — as possible so everyone can get back to the party.
I’ve moved from a very formal manner toward taking a more relaxed approach that dovetails nicely with the rest of the coverage. In either case, authenticity is still the focus. My posed portraits are honest in what they are — a record of people gathered together at an important moment in time. No one destroys their dress, jumps without cause, stands under a sprinkler with a red umbrella, or runs through a meadow in a chorus line of bridesmaids. I’m serious about the jumping.
My fiancé is uncomfortable in front of the camera. How can you help?
I’ll never stop you or your partner in the middle of a great moment and ask you to act in a certain way or do something for the sole purpose of being photographed. That makes anyone self-conscious. I’ve worked with many couples that feel like this, and they do great.
When I’m photographing, I strive to be as compelling as a potted plant or a lampshade, so uninteresting you can’t possibly pay attention to me. So you both can be your normal, charming selves.
Should I give you a shot list?
When we meet or talk, I try to get a good sense of what’s important to you along with particular details and dynamics I should be aware of. My hesitation with shot lists is that while running around trying to check off the boxes, it’s easy miss what’s actually happening at the wedding: real, unanticipated, actual life moments. By all means, tell me a few things to watch out for, but otherwise I’ll capture the things you remember — and a good many that you never saw.
When will we see our photographs?
I’m an obsessive editor and though I’ll be delivering a few hundred images, I want them all to look right. This takes time, and two to three weeks is a realistic timeframe. It’s great to turn things around super fast, but I develop these with the idea that you’ll be looking at them for decades. I take pride in my work and want to do the best job I possibly can.
When your photographs are ready, I post a password-protected gallery so you can decide who gets to see them.
What about prints, digital files, albums?
Prints can be ordered through your online gallery and I offer a discount for the first 30 days. I also include print-resolution files of everything in the gallery with right of reproduction for personal use.
I also send you a nice box of prints without my name, studio imprints or branding.
An album is optional, though most of my clients request one and it’s the best expression of this kind of documentary coverage. A well-edited, well-sequenced selection, beautifully reproduced and bound, is greater than the sum of its parts and immune to obsolescence. We are so used to screens that it’s easy to forget the intimate, tactile experience of holding a book of photographs in your hands and getting lost in it.
What do you charge?
I have a flat fee of $4,000 for up to eight hours of coverage and the items mentioned above. Extended coverage beyond eight hours is $250/hour, but eight hours is almost always enough.
Rehearsal dinners or gatherings the night before are $1,000 for up to four hours.
So what are the first steps?
Assuming the date is available, we’ll meet, talk, or Skype. I’ll ask you to give me as much information about your wedding as possible, with the understanding that some things won’t be known until later.
I’ll put everything in a contract, which you’ll return with a deposit of $1,000 to hold the date.
As the date gets closer, I’ll be in touch so you can update me on all the details, what to look out for, give me a list of any groups you want photographed, etc. The wedding day comes and I’ll tiptoe around like a mild-mannered ninja — and basically stay out of your way. In a few weeks, you’ll get a package from FedEx, you’ll open it up and immediately start looking for a tissue. But the very first step is that little box below.
GET IN TOUCH
If you’d like to have a real, live conversation about your wedding, please get in touch.