Yesterday just couldn’t have gotten any better!!! I spent the day with my daughter and Hubby all day long.  It doesn’t happen often because both hubby and I work for ourselves.  And, AND, I got the photos for my first Down The Lens feature from Photographer, Suzanne Fogarty!  Oh wait, I haven’t introduced Down The Lens yet have I – silly, silly me. {Mother’s Brain}.

Down The Lens is my very sparkly, brand spanking, new Sunday Series on Alice In Weddingland.  As you very well know I have a passion for photography and a mission to ensure that what happened to me on my wedding day never happens to you or any other Bride.

I hope that my new Sunday feature Down The Lens will help you make a really well informed decision when choosing a Wedding Photographer so that you’ll have a stunning, amazing legacy, and loads of photos that you can proudly show off – not over 200 badly composed, out of focus, awful photographs like mine were.

In Down The Lens I will be featuring some of the best photographers in the biz along with special features, loads of creative ideas, brilliant advice, hints, tips and awesome ideas for your wedding photography

…And a special Q and A sesh straight from the experts.

Down The Lens: your definitive guide to spectacular wedding photography.

Today’s Down The Lens wedding photographer showcase is by captivating US based (but world traveler) photographer Suzanne Fogarty.  She seems to have an incredible vision and creates new style contemporary wedding photography.  And, she has an uncanny talent for capturing photos that mimic that ‘great moment’ in Hollywood movies, you know the ones where you sit back and feel all fuzzy and romantic when you watch them.

When I came across Suzanne’s wedding photography I was immediately struck by her ability to capture colour and style within her shots, like the image below of the car with the bouquets for example – classy, cool and shows of the bouquets in such a creative, colourful way.

Her eye for detail and ability to notice the small things as they happen enables her to really capture the subjects personalities and their emotions on the day.  I adore her style and I absolutely LOVE her composition.

I personally love photography that challenges the rules, especially when dealing with people and Suzanne’s use of Depth of field is exciting, like the black and white image of the Bride and Groom (with cowboy hat) below.  The fact that only the Bride is in focus makes the photo sexy and invokes her feelings while walking toward her Groom.

Emotive photography is my favourite because it tells a story and invites you into the story your watching and the images below, tell a story!  Suzanne captures the emotions of the couple whether they are far away or close up to the camera through use of movement and expression.

Suzanne is now on my top ten list of all time fav. wedding photographers 🙂

Down the Lens – Q & A Sesh!

How did you get into photography and how long have you been doing it?

I started in photography when my dad converted a bathroom into a darkroom back when I was in high school, and I fell in love with it and spent endless hours in that little magical space.  I studied it off and on through college, and on my own, and then later on studied for 2 years at a fine art photography school in Seattle.

How would you describe your style of photography, if any?

My roots are in film and fine art photography, and over the years my style has evolved to be a mix of reportage and what I would describe as “Prompted Portraiture”…I tend to keep things moving as I shoot – prompting my couples into action/interaction and then capturing that as it unfolds. This of course is influenced by the personalities of my clients – some lend themselves more to a casual, candid style, and some to a more dramatic “created” artistic style. My primary focus is to capture their day as a story, with some beautiful artistic portraits. Composition and playing off visual elements at the location are key for me. It’s also really important to me that the images are timeless, and not a glaring reflection of the latest Photoshop fad.

What’s your most favourite wedding that you’ve photographed and why?

It’s hard to narrow it down to a favorite wedding, but one that is definitely at the top of my list was one where the couple surprised the ENTIRE wedding (literally only myself and the best man were aware beforehand), and after the reception led all of the guests up an embankment and along the path for about 1/8 mile to a little cove where a small sailboat was tied up. They raised the sail (which said “Just Married” on it) and sailed off down the river with 200 guests waving goodbye along the bank. I loved that they did something DIFFERENT!

What would your advice be to Brides & Grooms when choosing a wedding photographer?

As far as advice when choosing a photographer, I suggest really truly looking at what your budgetary priorities are, and why. If you are simply shopping for price, then photography is obviously not very important to you. Technology has made it possible for amateurs to enter the market in droves. There are no do-overs when it comes to weddings. Be sure to ask questions like whether or not they have back-up equipment and insurance, if they do this for a living or as a hobby, and if they can show you complete sets of proofs from sample weddings (not just a few of their best shots). You want someone that has consistency. And just as important, you want someone you feel comfortable with and confident in – they will be in a very intimate space with you on your wedding day, and your images will reflect the synergy between you. Trust is imperative.

An honest little outburst by me

In the spirit of getting to know each other, I thought it only fair I tell you a little secret of mine.  I have only one  New Year’s Resolution for 2012 and that is that I am going to learn photography! Finally!!! I haven’t chosen how/where yet but I am currently investigating (watch this space).  It’s another on my To-Do list which is pretty full with all the exciting projects for AIW, but it has been on my wish list for 3 years now – and I’m going to do it!

And, the secret? I want to do Boudoir Photography.  I did it as a hobby when I was about 24 for family, friends and friends of friends and I loved seeing the transformation of the women after they finished their session. I think Boudoir is extremely empowering for any woman.  I’ve been in that horrible place where self image makes you extremely self critical and how life-debilitating that is so I’d love to help other women experience that challenge, that shift in their self-image and it would be a privilege to witness it again.

… Suzanne Fogarty is a great inspiration to me in that regard.  She has that privilege now as she also does Boudoir photography.  I’ve seen some of her Boudoir photos and they are elegant, sophisticated and sexy, just like I hope to produce one day.

Check out Suzanne’s website for wedding inspiration both for your big day and maybe even before :).  If you’re giving Hubby2B a special wedding present consider a Boudoir photo.  It would be an empowering experience for you and one hell of a treat for him 🙂

My thoughts:

When choosing your style of photography think about who you are as people.  Sit down over a glass of vino one night, TV off and chat between you about the kinds of images you both like.  See what matches your personalities – such as, do you like tradition,  are you natural people, maybe your both fun, quirky or like me a bit of a loony –  experiment with the fun ideas and styles of photography that you both like.

Follow your style and your personality when choosing your photographer that way your wedding photos will look natural.

I hope you enjoyed the first of Down The Lens wedding photography showcase; I’d love to hear what you think of it.  Drop me a comment and let me know.  Until next Sunday folks! Enjoy and happy wedding planning.