Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Get a good look at a photographer's portfolio, and make comparisons. It isn't a bad idea to ask technical questions, either :) Ask for references, if available.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. I try to capture my subjects' energy in their portraits. Posed shots are great, but facial expressions, and communications made without words, go a long way in a photograph.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. Meeting great people, without question. It's better when I give them photos they're really excited about. It's best when it's at an important time in their lives, like at their wedding.
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. It's important for brides and grooms to understand that the wedding portraiture session should be a private time between them and the photographer(s). Well-meaning friends and family that try to "tag along" are often distracting, add delays, and sometimes, steal a killer shot from the paid professional.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. My dad was an amateur photographer when I was a kid, and I grew up messing around with his gear. When I hit high school, I shot for the yearbook, learning the basic skills and techniques needed for a film photographer. I developed my own film, and really enjoyed the craft.
In recent years, I picked up my first digital camera(s) and started shooting again. I loved that I could shoot thousands and thousands of images without breaking the bank. Eventually, people started asking me to shoot their weddings... and things just grew from there.
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. An old friend is a musician, and needed some promo shots done for his band. They rock, and so I really wanted to give them some spectacular work. It was technically very challenging, as their light show is highly dynamic, they are full of energy, and they employ theatrical smoke for effect. I've never had to adjust so many settings (ISO, exposure compensation, flash output, etc) in a single shoot. In most cases, the flash wasn't usable thanks to the smoke, so I had to really time my shots well, using a fast lens, to get crisp images. The colors and expressions turned out fantastic, and the band got the images they deserve.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. Like many photographers, I read trade magazines, as I work to improve my technical skill, and explore my creative boundaries.
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. Practice a long time, and learn the science of photography. Remember it has much less to do with the gear than it does the person framing the photo. Spend time learning from other photographers, and seek honest constructive criticism. Visit Flickr and join some groups.