We often get asked the same questions at client meetings so we thought it’d be fun to answer some of them here as a way to get to know us better and get a peek into how we work together.
Vitaliy and I are wired completely different which is why I think we work so well together. If we had similar gifts or passions, I think we might step on each others toes more. But thankfully, our talents compliment each other which is why I believe we make such a great team. Here’s a look into our business and our different roles.
What got you into photography in the first place?
My father was an amateur photographer. Growing up I always saw him in his darkroom developing and printing images. When my dad considered me old enough for the task, I became the designated family photographer – taking pictures on family vacations, road trips, etc. My interest in photography was reignited in college during a B&W film class, where I got to create images in the same fashion my Dad did during my childhood. For the first time I discovered the power of storytelling in a single photograph or a series of photographs. I was hooked. I never pictured starting a photography business, let a lone one with my wife. But when the time came it was clear that this is what we wanted to do together. So we took a risk, and here we are.
Vitaliy introduced me to photography. It actually started off in college. The first place he ever took me to was Borders on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago. We went straight to the photography section and he pulled books from his favorite photographers. Image by image, he interpenetrated the photographs and left me in awe of what he could see that at first glance I clearly didn’t. That was my introduction into photography, but after we were married, I always had a desire to work with him. So, we decided to combine our passions for photography and business and I’m so happy we did!
Do you have different responsibilities in the business?
I believe that our business benefits tremendously from how different Candace and I are wired. I love technology, problem solving and pushing the boundaries of creativity. I know that without both of our strengths contributing to each other, we wouldn’t have survived more than a couple of years in business. Without Candace challenging me in regards to organization, to-do-lists and letting go of perfectionism, I most likely would still be editing our first wedding.
We designated me as the Creative Director very early on in the business. I’m an idea manufacturer! Brainstorming sessions are my hobby. I like to use my passion for marketing to help promote my favorite photographer – Vitaliy. I also love to write but have no tech-savvyness whatsoever so I write, pick images for a post, then email the text to Vitaliy for him to publish a blog post.
What are your roles on the wedding day?
I am known as the Lead Photographer. Thanks to my Creative Director/Assistant and Second Shooter, I can focus primarily on observing and capturing the moments throughout the wedding day. Having Candace by my side is extremely helpful to me since I do not need to worry about adjusting the bride’s dress/hair or help the groom with his boutonniere. This is a luxury that not all photographers have and I am very thankful to have this freedom.
Second Shooter/Creative Director/Assistant. As a second shooter, I look for ways to take images to enhance Vitaliy’s portfolio from the wedding day, adding a different perspective. As Creative Director, I make sure we stay on schedule with the timeline, coach our clients in front of the camera so they feel and look confident and comfortable, and I stay alert and troubleshoot in order to give our clients and their families the best wedding day experience ever. As Assistant, I see it as my responsibility to make sure Vitaliy has everything he needs to fulfill his role as Lead Photographer. This might be grabbing a lens, making sure he stays hydrated, or fluffing a dress.
What are you most excited about on the wedding day?
My favorite parts of the day are creating relaxed portraits of the bride and groom. This is the most exciting day of their lives and I get to witness the true happiness and love they experience. I make it my passion to get them free and comfortable in front of the camera. I hope that these portraits remind them of the love and commitment they felt in that moment so that they can cherish each other for the years to come.
My passion on a wedding day is serving my clients, their friends and their family. I like to challenge myself to find ways to serve our clients outside of our typical roles as photographers in order to minimize stress, calm nerves, or fix a potential snag in the day. A wedding day is unforgettable and I like to be a part of making sure those memories that are unforgettable are good ones.
Who does the post processing of your images look like?
Clean and timeless is the feeling I try to convey in my images during the post process. For many years I did all the color correction and minor exposure adjustments by myself. I simply could not find anyone who did a good enough job for me (can you tell me that I am a perfectionist?). Until RAW Digital. We have been partnering with them for a couple of years now and I am happy to say the way they handle the image processing is nearly identical to what I do. I believe that less is more, and that a good image is created in camera, not in Photoshop. Once we receive the images back from RAW, I do a quality control check before uploading the images to PASS and delivering them to our clients.
After a wedding day or photoshoot, I cull the images. We do this because, as a female, I can look for things that the bride might be more self-conscious about and can select images that portray her and everyone else in their best light. As Creative Director, I also select the images for the blog to make sure they’re branded and appealing to future brides.
Any other questions you’d like us to answer? Have any suggestions that would be helpful to answer for future brides and grooms? Please leave us a comment – we’d love to hear from you!
Thank you John for the photo!