Photography Week VI: David Christensen
Up next is Atlanta photographer David Christensen…
Do you shoot digital or film?
I am purely a digital capture kind of guy.
How would you describe your style?
My capture style is very editorial and my image finishing is very crisp, clean and true. I love contrast of bold colors, clean and simple composition and very REAL moments. I want my images to stand the test of time and look great 50 years from now, when my couples are showing their albums to their grandkids.
Do you shoot alone or do you usually have an assistant?
My wife, Paula, and I shoot weddings together. Paula is pivotal in communicating with the bride and keeping the photography part of the day organized and on track as well as shoot. We ask a lot of questions before the wedding to make sure that we know EXACTLY what the brides vision for the day is so that everything is covered. Sometimes I bring an assistant to help me with additional lighting and packing gear.
How soon after the wedding can your clients see photos?
We post our edit of the photographs to our online proofing site no later than three weeks after the event. This gives us enough time to polish the images to that “vibrant pop” that we have become so well know for.
Do you provide an online proof gallery where clients can preview the photos?
Because almost 40% of our commissions are destination, we have developed an online system that allows us to proof images, present album designs, as well as display album material options and upgrades. It is very interactive and gives our clients an experience that is similar to that of being in our studio.
How did you get started as a photographer?
While in college I began working for the school newspaper as a freelancer and then moved to chief photographer. I won some awards while on staff at that paper and realized that this is what I wanted as a career. I transfered to Western Kentucky University and graduated with a degree in Photojournalism. Immediately after college, I began working for an advertising agency as a staff photographer because they were using cutting edge digital cameras. I loved the merge of technology and photography. When Digital cameras developed to a point that you could actually make great prints from them, I was inspired to go back to my roots and begin shooting weddings in an editorial style. There are so many ways to go out and make a living with a camera, I have found my home with Weddings.
Who is your favorite photographer?
I am inspired by a lot of different people, but I would have to say mainly Joe McNally and Chase Jarvis. I love their use of light.
GIVE US YOUR TOP THREE TIPS FOR BRIDES…
1. Hire a wedding Planner! This is one of the best things you can do from a photographers perspective.
By having someone else manage the details of the day, you are free to enjoy your guests, the food, your husband and your photography will reflect that. There is nothing worse than a bride that is trying to handle everything and is constantly being bothered, and frustrated, by every little problem someone brings to her.
2. Don’t shop on price! I can promise that if you base your decision on photography entirely on price you will HATE your pictures! There are so many other things to consider like the personality of the photographer, their approach on the wedding day, how they dress, what will happen after the wedding, etc. You need to feel comfortable that they are going to take care of things and deliver on what they say. Depending on your personality and needs, this could be someone in a higher price point than what you are currently budgeting for. Remember, your wedding is a BIG deal and your photography will be the visual representation of what happened that day for generations.
3. Think about lighting at your event. This has a major impact on your photography as well. Lighting designers can do magical things with a well placed lighting plan. If that is not in your budget, think about how you might be able to use candles, talk with the person in charge of lighting at the venue and see what can be done with the house lights. This kind of thing is what adds the “drama” to a room and will add the rich depth to your photographs. We take advantage of as much of the available light in the room and then accent the image with our own lighting.