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Did you go to school to study photography?
We actually went to school for architecture and didn’t even own a camera until after we graduated. Working as architects in Manhattan, we shot weddings on the side until it got too busy to keep up with both things.
How long have you been a wedding photographer?
We just finished our second full time year as wedding photographers. It was a year or two before that when we shot our first weddings.
How would you describe your style?
We hope our work conveys a sense of place, showing the couple authentically and beautifully.
How many weddings do you average per year?
Roughly 40 per year.
What gear do you carry?
We shoot on Canon 5D3’s and 6D’s. Every now and then we bust out an instant polaroid camera.
How important is Photoshop in your final images?
The color grade is very important. Often times it helps us convey the emotion of the day, or perhaps what we intended the image to feel like when we shot it. We try different things on nearly every wedding we shoot. It allows us to keep pushing ourselves and not get complacent with editing.
Are you a MAC or PC lover?
Mac all the way.
What has been your career path?
Aside from what was mentioned above about our start in architecture school, I (ryan) am a commercial director (www.ryanrbrowne.com) and Heidi has started getting commercial / fashion photography commissions. We hope to continue to pursue those things while still maintaining a balance of wedding shoots.
How did you make the transition from aspiring photographer to professional wedding photographer (making a living)?
The weddings simply were booking too fast for us to handle with a full time job. But at the core of it, it was a lifestyle decision – we knew we would enjoy our work, and life, more as wedding photographers vs architects.
What are the ingredients for a successful wedding photography career?
The passion definitely has to be there. More than that, you have to really want it, especially in the beginning. Going out of your way to do shoots for free. Not just any shoots, but “portfolio worthy” ones. Take control – style it, creative direct it, own it. Admit and learn from your mistakes. And finally, only show your very best work. You will be judged by your worst shot.
With the internet making global connections possible, what is this like for you? Have you seen your international clientele grow?
Absolutely. In fact, just recently we started posting our travel schedule on our info page and it has attracted so many worldwide inquiries. I think a lot of couples don’t realize how easy it is to fly in a photographer from another part of the world. It can be, however, a catch 22 situation – you have to have shot an international wedding to get an international wedding. So going after those first few can be the toughest.
What are some elements by which you would consider an image great photography?
Wow, this is a huge question. I’ll dive into a few points, but I could probably go on for a while about it. I think right away, the image has to make you feel something. Mentally and emotionally, it should take you somewhere you weren’t before – happier, sadder, more romantic, a feeling of nostalgia, etc. And at the same time that’s happening, the image has to work in an objective way – e.g. it has clear hierarchy or it has a strong color palette. Next, and this isn’t as important as the first things I mentioned, the technical aspects of the image should be considered. How did the photographer execute it? Were new techniques involved in creating the image? Or, even simpler, is the image in focus and exposed properly?
What is your favorite photography accessory, other than your camera?
We actually don’t have many accessories when we shoot! Very bare-bones gear set-up. I’d have to say our holdfast straps though.
What lighting equipment do you take on a shoot?
Not much. We shoot ambient light as long as possible. Then during the reception, we’ll throw a strobe on the camera if we have to. For dancing shots, we either do on-camera flash or set up a couple remote strobes and shoot into them.
How do you ensure you remain inspired?
We definitely love checking out the work of other photographers. But I think more than that, we are inspired by creativity outside the photography industry. Architects, designers, sculptors, and cinematographers, to name a few.
If you could have one super hero power what would it be? Why?
Teleportation. Would make traveling so much better! Also, we’d be able to get some epic wide shots of our couples a lot easier!