What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
Like many photographers, I read trade magazines, as I work to improve my technical skill, and explore my creative boundaries.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
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.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
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.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
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.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
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.