Ask the Expert | 2thirtyone Photography

How long have you been shooting weddings and what drew you to the industry in the first place?

I'm heading into my fourth season shooting weddings. Photography offers me an opportunity to meet new people and see places in a way that otherwise is not possible. A wedding day is dynamic, alive. There is an excitement that I feel whenever I'm out on a job. Not only am I capturing memories for the client, but making them for myself as well.

What kind of equipment do you use, and why?

I'm a Canon guy. I guess it started years ago when I bought my first point-and-shoot camera. Once investing thousands into a brand, you tend to stick with it. Specifically, I shoot 1-series bodies. These are Canon's flagship professional cameras. They offer speed, features, and reliability unmatched by any other models, and the ergonomics work better for me than other cameras. Comfort becomes important when you're carrying heavy camera equipment all day. My lenses are all L-series by Canon. They offer speed, reliability, and amazing quality.

Is there one shot that you always strive to get on the big day?

One of my favorite moments is the first dance. I always shoot the first dance with dramatic lighting to enhance the mood of the image and to add romance. During the first dance the bride and groom have a moment alone, nothing to worry about. The stressful part of the day is behind them. They can talk, laugh, kiss, or be silent and enjoy the moment, lots of little emotions happen during the dance and that makes for great photographs.

What advice could you give engaged couples when searching for a photographer for their wedding?

Choose a photographer by value, not by price. Choose one by how you feel looking at their images. The photographs you make during your wedding day will never be made again. They will stay with you your whole life, then be passed on to your children and family. Years after the wedding, the photographs remain tangible. Consider the overall cost of the wedding, decide what's important to you, and budget accordingly. Great photography is a worthwhile investment.

If you could give one piece of advice to engaged couples as they move through the wedding planning  process, what would it be?

Have fun, be yourselves! Your wedding should reflect your personality and tastes. TV and Pinterest are great for inspiration, but make it fit you. Location can make an enormous difference on your wedding day. Especially from a photography standpoint. But plan ahead for things like weather, shifting of the timeline, expect the unexpected. Every wedding requires planning, but be willing to flex if needed. Some of the best photos come from a spur of the moment idea or location. Also, because your wedding day happens just once, make sure to enjoy it and don't sweat the small stuff.

Thanks Chris! To learn more about 2thirtyone Photography, please visit their listing on our vendor guide.