"Ask Me Anything..." is a weekly blog segment where I answer your questions about me, photography, or...anything.
1- At what moment do you think the bride and groom are at their happiest moment during a wedding day?
I love this question because it's actually something I've never thought about before. On a wedding day, when there are happy moments to be seen around every corner, when does the couple look the happiest?
If I were just thinking about the Groom, I'd have to say the moment he looks the happiest is when he watches his Bride walking towards him down the aisle. This is such a huge moment of arrival. A moment a man dreams of and sees over and over in movies. He has finally found the woman he will start a family with and love for the remainder of his life and she is walking towards him looking like an angel. The expression on his face is typically priceless.
If I were just thinking about the moment the Bride looks the happiest, I'd have to say the moment she puts her dress on. This is the moment she becomes a Bride. This is also typically the moment when tears start to flow from Bridesmaids and the MOB. This is something many women dream of from the time they are little girls. Putting on your wedding gown for the first time and looking in the mirror to see yourself as a bride is a huge moment.
Thinking back on all the moments when the Bride AND Groom look the happiest, I'd have to say when they kiss for the first time and take their first steps down the aisle as husband and wife. There are so many nerves through out the day leading up to this moment. Knowing that the hard part is over ( standing in front of many people and reciting vows) and now it's time to celebrate, I think brings a sense of calm and relaxation to the couple after this moment. The smiles on their faces as they walk down the aisle together are 100% of the time completely genuine and beaming.
2- What do you wear to shoot in at summer weddings? How can I look professional but still keep cool in the hot temperatures?
Shooting summer weddings in the heat of a California summer can be an extremely grueling process. It doesn't help that a typically professional looking color to wear is black. I try to choose fabrics that are breathable and fit loosely. Cotton based fabrics are usually preferable. I usually try to wear sleeveless tops and a knee length skirt or dress.
When it comes to the level of dress, you really need to evaluate the venue you'll be shooting at. If you're shooting a beachside wedding in Cabo, it might be appropriate to wear nice shorts and a button up shirt or a free flowing sun dress. If you're shooting a ballroom wedding at The Ritz Carlton, you should be wearing extremely professional attire, regardless of the heat outside.
My absolute favorite pair of shoes to wear on a wedding day is Sam Edelman Felicia Ballet Flats. They are by far the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn. After a 12 hour day, my feet don't hurt and I don't have blisters. I personally would never wear sandals to shoot a wedding unless I'm shooting all day in the sand.
In addition to choosing breathable fabrics to wear on a hot summer wedding day, it's also important to remember to stay hydrated. Make sure you are drinking lots of water and even electrolytes. You will sweat A LOT through out the course of the day and drinks like Gatorade or Coconut water help to keep your body fueled. Also, remember to pack plenty of sunscreen and deodorant in your bag! No one likes a stinky photographer...
3- Being in a competitive city where it's easy to get discouraged, how do you keep yourself motivated?
This is such a great question and I'm so glad you asked! Living in Los Angeles is amazing because we are all surrounded by some of the most creative and talented artists in the world. I think it's important to remember, however, that we are not each other's competition. I mean, yes, technically we are. But, I choose to stay away from the cut throat, competitive types in my industry. I do not resonate with this mentality at all. I choose to surround myself with people who celebrate when I win just I celebrate when they win. I am lucky enough to have friends who feel that my success is also their success and vice versa. The more we build up, praise, and support other talented artists in our industries, the stronger we're making ourselves and our own industry. By serving others, we are, in turn, also serving ourselves.
I think the technique I use to keep myself motivated that has been most helpful is setting my intentions. I am a big believer in asking the Universe for what you want in this life. This is not to say that I believe I can make a wish for something and it will magically be delivered to me. I absolutely believe most things in life require hard work and dedication. However, unless we have set our goals and intentions for what it is we want to accomplish in our life, career, or even relationships, how will we know what to look for when it's right in front of us? Knowing that I am working everyday towards an end result definitely keeps me motivated. I'd highly recommend sitting down and making a list of goals or creating a vision board of what you want to accomplish this week, this month, this year, or the next five years. Then think about how you will get there. Post it somewhere you can look at it every single day so it's always in your mind. Watch as your dreams become a reality.
At the end of last year, I sat down and wrote out a 2016 Bucket List of things I wanted do this year. I have it posted right above my computer where I can look at it everyday. I literally dreamed up trips or life events that I would like to experience and some of them are already starting to happen. The motivation I feel from the power of living with intent is so powerful. Don't ever forget that thoughts become things.