How long have you been a wedding photographer and why did you become a photographer?
I began my career as a photographer in 2000 when I obtained my first part-time job at a small daily newspaper in Arizona after my boss told me he wanted to teach me how to be a photographer since he felt I didn’t learn enough or receive enough feedback during my internship.
Fast forward 8 years later, and working full time and freelancing for various news sources in Arizona and California, I got laid off from the only company I wanted to photograph for – McClatchy (The Fresno Bee), it was the day after my last assignment for the newspaper I photographed an amazing wedding with an amazing couple on the west shore of Lake Tahoe, and I found my calling as a Lake Tahoe based wedding photographer. This is what I’m supposed to do with my photography career.
What makes you different from other wedding photographers?
There are many great wedding photographers in Tahoe; what makes me different from them is two things. First: the moments and emotion are true and real moments. I emotionally relate to how important the moments and emotion are between you and your husband (wife) with friends and family. I enjoy photographing the emotional relationships you have with your friends and family. Do you want the portraiture and scenics to tell your story, or do you want to remember how you felt? That is my primary goal to capture how you felt, who you were on your wedding day.
Second, I photograph with a combination of digital and medium format film. The film photographs add a quality to the photographs that is yet to be duplicated with digital.
There are three other photographers that I know of here in Tahoe that photograph will medium format film and digital, the rest are all digital.
We think we really want a second photographer, is it necessary?
Absolutely, a 2nd photographer is mandatory over 150 guests, as my main focus is capturing the moments and details between you, your fiancé with your family and friends, if you only interact with 50 people, it’s imperative to have a 2nd photographer to capture moments of everyone else that I can’t focus on.
I always bring an assistant to full day weddings, and if you definitely want to have a 2nd photographer for wedding guests around 100, I’m totally in.
Who do you like working with?
Honestly I don’t think there’s anyone up here I’ve worked with that I don’t like. I really enjoy Mountain Magic and Peter’s food, as well as Jack’s food from Men Wielding Fire. Also my favorite DJ is Ryan Palmer, seems every wedding I’ve photographed where he’s been the DJ, the party goes totally wild, and the moments are insane. Videography, I really enjoy working with Jason Chesebrough (VideoQuest Productions). From SF I would bring along Sasha and his team from SashaKino.
Why should we choose you over another photographer?
If you want to remember your wedding story the way it happened, with all the moments and emotion then you’ll choose me. But foremost you’ll want to go with the photographer who you feel most comfortable with, because this person will almost be like your new best friend, your shadow, and you’ll be around that person on the most important day of your life (thus far) so you want to like that photographer and his/her style. Most couples that choose me to be their photographer tell me two things: “When I saw how you captured moments, I cried, your work is so beautiful, it just evokes emotion.” and Two: “You were the most sincere and real person I met when I interviewed for photographers. I knew I could trust you to capture my wedding perfectly.”
What do you like to do when you’re not photographing? Who are you as a person?
I’ve been known to purchase $500 or more worth of shoes on Zappos, just to try on and find the perfect pair. I live for healthy raw foods, and the quality of foods is more important to me than the cost. I shop at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Costco for most my groceries. Every now and again, I get on a Raw Food kick and create all kinds of raw foods that I photograph and put on my Pinterest or Facebook page. I live for Bikram yoga. For many many years I resisted yoga, totally against it, until one day I was ready, but wanted to practice a yoga that would get me hooked from the first class. A friend of mine had told me that when she did the Master Cleanse she went to Bikram everyday. I did a little research, saw the 105º and 40% humidity, and was sold. I grew up in Arizona, so heat was nothing to me, but humidity that would be a great challenge. After my first or second class, I fell in love with the community of Bikram yoga more than the yoga itself. I felt so welcomed in it, that after my $20 for 20 days, I was sold. 100% sold. I haven’t looked back yet. I’ve been told I’m very tenacious (don’t give up), very focused (when I photograph, I tend to get so focused on what I’m doing, my face gets all determined looking), very sincere, real and laid-back. I’m very honest If something doesn’t work, I’ll tell you. and I’ll tell you why. I like my peace and quiet in my introverted way, but can be very extroverted as well. When I exercise (biking, running, hiking, etc) I prefer the sounds of nature than my iPod. (Mostly because I used to hike Camelback in Phoenix for years and years, and whenever I took my iPod or Walkman with me, it would break every time, so I learned to go without and soon began to love the sound of my breath, the sound of gravel underneath my feet, the wind, the animals, other people talking etc).
What about backup equipment?
I always photograph with one medium format camera and two DSLR Canon cameras. I always bring extra light, extra cameras just in case.
How much will it cost me to have you photograph? Do you offer discounts or specials?
I always am open to customizing a photography package to suit your wants and needs, especially with your budget. Expect to invest about 25% of your entire wedding budget towards photography. I always believe that when it comes to capturing your memories, especially on this once in a lifetime event, it’s totally worth having a photographer you’re comfortable with, that you trust and believe in to capture exactly what you want to remember from your wedding.
There are several locations in Tahoe that I have yet to photograph at, and would love to explore new territory, thus I offer special packages for certain locations in Tahoe. Contact me to see if your wedding location is one I’m dying to photograph at. I also offer special deals for several locations in Tahoe for your off season event (November through May). Let’s talk and see if my vision is what you want for your Lake Tahoe wedding photography.