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Behind the Lens with
Ideal Impressions Photography

April 4, 2018
Behind the Lens interview with a wedding photographer

Interview with the Experts | Photography | Ideal Impressions Photography

Finding the right photographer to capture your day is such an important element in your planning process so we created “Behind the Lens” to give you a more in-depth look at each of our photographers! We will be running a new post each month, so be sure to check back in! Take a look below to get to know Ideal Impressions better….

How did you know you wanted to be a photographer? How did you go about starting out?

My uncle was a Sports Illustrated Photographer and gave me his old gear when I was in JH. I shot a lot of B&W and processed it for free in my high schools dark room and won a national photo contest. Ended up heading to the Art Institute in Chicago and got a job working for a huge photo agency… The “new guy” had to carry this giant 1.2 megapixel digital camera all day that took 25 shots. I followed the masters around with their medium format cameras and shot my 25 shots when they told me to! At the end of the day I loaded them up on a computer and showed them at the wedding. Keep in mind this was 1997 and was quite the hit! The rest was history and I have the privilege of spending the best day of peoples lives with them every weekend!

How long have you been in the business?

I shot my first wedding when I was 16… I got a degree in education and taught for 15 years shooting weddings on the side and then started Ideal Impressions in 2006. We have been nominated Wisconsin’s Best photographers consecutively the last 10 years.

What are the qualities that make a successful wedding photographer?

100% customer service and the ability to capture amazing images in any situation. It’s a lifelong pursuit of passion.

Why do you love photographing weddings and engagements?

Is the best day of their lives. Clients make huge investments by hiring me, working out for months, dressing their finest, hair makeup, you name it… the entire day is about capturing this moment.

Bride with veil photo by Ideal Impressions

How has your photography (style) changed since you started?

I used to shoot medium format B&W film. With medium format you think simply but work much harder. Today I shoot with super sharp prime lenses and have a team of people doing individually and simply what they do best.

When choosing their photographer, what should a couple look for?

Hire experience and customer service. Your photographer needs to do what you want. To many self learned photographers are only capable of one style and all the images will look exactly the same. Its important that you find a photographer that is good enough to capture amazing images in any situation and with several different styles.

Is there anything you wish couples would ask?

This is a lifelong Investment, not a “purchase.” I love it when couples ask what I think they should get. This is their first wedding usually and I have been part of over 1000 weddings. Experience pays off.

How do you assist in keeping the wedding day running smoothly? Do you work hand in hand with the other vendors?

Our company, Ideal Impressions, has been in the business for over 10 years and know all the venues very well, we are the preferred photographers at more resorts than any other photographer in Wisconsin and know the locations better than anyone else. We work with most couples for a year planning the day and itinerary and have established a great system of pre wedding day routine to make sure that we are delivering exactly what the bride is looking for and often helping her to also discover it herself.

What is a typical wedding day routine for you?

Most weddings are 8-9 Hours. Couples have discovered that doing a first look makes the greatest investment of their schedule with the photographer. So often our team meets for breakfast before we start and walk through the day. Then we arrive and shoot getting ready photos for 1-2 hours and progress into the first look. We continue to blend Romantics with bridal party for about an hour and might travel to a second location for another 30-45 minutes if desired. We finish up arriving to the ceremony location to shoot family photos about 1.5 hours before the ceremony and finish with a 30-45 minute Break before the ceremony begins. At this point most of the photography is over for the clients and they can simply relax, spend time with their guests and enjoy their day. We move to a more journalistic approach and capture the rest of the day. Typically we finish shooting speeches and the dancing starts around 8pm. The first 3 dances finish in 15-20 minutes and the dance floor is packed. We continue to capture the dance floor for 45 minutes or so and typically are finished around 9 unless there is something happening later like fireworks or we are doing a photobooth etc… that we need to stay later for.

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