Interview with the Experts | Photography | Behind the Lens
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 Kara Reese Photography….
How did you know you wanted to be a photographer? How did you go about starting out?
Like many photographers, I had a love for art and photography that began in my childhood and teenage years. In high school, I always elected to take Photo as part of my class roster. I loved the smell of the darkroom and seeing my photographs come to life before my eyes as the prints went through each chemical bath. However, I never in a million years thought I’d be able to turn photography into a full time career. I actually spent a year in school at UW-Stevens Point on track to become an Elementary Education teacher. But midway through my second semester, I had a change of heart, and really felt led to pursue my photography business more seriously. I dropped out, and never looked back! I’ve been full time since 2014 and feel incredibly blessed to have a job that I adore and that provides for my family.
How long have you been in the business?
What are the qualities that make a successful wedding photographer?
A successful wedding photographer is someone who obviously has passion for what they do, but more importantly – a passion for making their clients happy. Great photography is nothing when it comes to business if it’s not paired with outstanding customer service.
Why do you love photographing weddings and engagements?
It’s the start of a new chapter. Weddings and engagements are infinitely happy times! Sure, wedding planning can be stressful – but above everything else it’s a wonderful celebration. I love being surrounded by the positivity and love that weddings bring.
How has your photography (style) changed since you started?
It’s become more refined and natural. There’s a lot of pressure to do everything you can to create your own shooting and editing style when you first start out. There’s some truth to that, but I found that I really just needed to focus on what I *liked* instead of what would make me different. From there, my personality was able to start to shine through – and now, not only do I love my photographs, but they showcase my style and personality naturally, and that sets me apart.
When choosing their photographer, what should a couple look for?
Someone who is friendly, caring, and above all client-focused. I treat my clients’ wedding days as an event that’s even bigger and more important than my own wedding day was. I completely dedicate myself to each client – not because I have to, but because I want to! I care deeply about their happiness and want to give them photographs that they’ll look back and smile at for decades to come.
Is there anything you wish couples would ask?
I wish more couples would ask my opinion on how to display their artwork from their wedding and engagement photos. We are living in a digital age, but there is something to be said for printed, heirloom-quality artwork. Computers, phones, and other digital media is constantly changing – but I bet your Grandma has a print or album from her wedding day somewhere.
How do you assist in keeping the wedding day running smoothly? Do you work hand in hand with the other vendors?
If my clients choose to hire a Wedding Planner or Day-of-Coordinator, I work closely with them to make sure everything is running smoothly. If my clients don’t hire either – oftentimes I will step in as a Coordinator and keep everyone on track with regards to their timeline (while simultaneously making sure I’m getting the photographs I need to!)
What is a typical wedding day routine for you?
The night before a wedding, I spend a few hours prepping my gear. I charge every battery I own, clean off lenses, take inventory of all my gear to make sure I’m not missing anything, reformat and line up CF cards so I can easily pop in new ones as they fill up with photos, make sure I have a printed copy of the couples’ timeline with important addresses and must-have photo lists, and finally pack my bags and set them by the front door. The morning of a wedding day is pretty relaxed since I do all the prep the night before. I eat a good breakfast, have a couple cups of coffee, get dressed and head out the door!