I recently sat down with the lovely and talented Amanda Young of Swoon Over It Photography. She’s a veteran of the wedding industry–she has planning experience, but her true love is wedding photography.
Amanda is particularly close to my heart as a wedding vendor–she was my wedding photographer, after all! It was great to talk to her about her business, the wedding industry, and what she loves most about being a photographer.
1. How would you describe your style as a photographer?
My style as a photographer – both in shooting and editing – is natural and very organic. I work hard to break down the barrier of being in front of the lens so I can capture my clients in real moments, feeling real emotions. From an editing perspective, I go for bright vibrant colors and contrasty details so the images feel true-to–life as subjects looked that day.
2. How many weddings do you average per year?
Two years ago I was averaging 30ish weddings per year. This year I scaled it back to the mid-20s and for 2014, will likely only shoot about 20. While I ab
solutely love shooting weddings, what I really love is being able to provide my clients with a boutique-level service. So, by capping my number of weddings, I look forward to being able to enhance the experience for each of my clients.
In addition, I balance my weddings with my amazing portrait clients (especially as my wedding clients go on to have babies and build families)—so, limiting the number of weddings I take lets me take on only weddings and clients that are a perfect fit for my style—ensuring the flawlessness of the whole process.
3. What types of cameras do you shoot with?
The main body I use is a Nikon D4, with a Nikon D3s and two Nikon d700s for backup. I’m a Nikon girl, but started eons ago with a Canon Rebel. So, no hate here for either : )
4. What is your favorite photography accessory, apart from your camera?
Ooh, what a difficult question. My Kelly Moore bag. I currently use the Thirst Relief bag in a sand color, but just ordered the black boy bag. And no, I’m not afraid of ordering men’s accessories—when they work, they work. I’ve tried more lens bags than I’d like to admit and this is the first time I ever have found one that fits my needs perfectly. It’s big, but not too big. It has a flap for protecting my lenses from the elements. It has plenty of pockets, but not so many that your things get lost. I recently thought I would change to a different bag of a similar size and practically had a meltdown when I tried to use it and couldn’t fit everything. Apparently, I’ll be using the Kelly Moore bag for life.
5. What are some of your favorite computer tools or software that you use, besides the computer itself?
I have so many! The first one that comes to mind though is Photomechanic (who doesn’t love Photomechanic?!) It’s a simple program designed to be able to sift through hundreds of images at optimum speed. I resisted it for several years because it seemed superfluous. Then I tried it and was able to cull weddings and sessions in less than half the time. I can’t really explain why it’s so much faster than other popular methods (like Lightroom and Bridge) but it just is. Trust me. It’s worth every penny. And no, they aren’t paying me to say this.
I also love Album Exposure. It’s a simple site for uploading and sharing your albums with clients. It is simple, easy to use, and makes the whole album proofing process so painless. I seriously don’t know what I did before it.
6. What is your favorite thing about being a wedding photographer?
I absolutely love being able to capture such a special, joyful day in people’s lives for them to remember and reflect on forever. But beyond that, I love the relationships. I love meeting new people, getting to know them, and getting to capture images that reflect them. And when the wedding is over and they decide to build a family, I love, love, love when I am one of the first people they call and they ask me to capture it. I cannot imagine anything in the world more rewarding.
7. What is the most challenging thing about photographing weddings?
Inclement weather! It’s not to say we can’t create some incredible images indoors (or in the rain!), it’s just that when the plan is changed at the last minute people tend to get stressed. And stress + happy photos can be difficult. Fortunately, I have had some of the most laid-back, easy-?going brides who trust me and are willing to live a little dangerously, which has allowed us to capture beautiful images no matter the conditions.
8. If you could photograph a wedding at any location on earth, where would you choose to go?
Oh, this is another tough one! I would love to go somewhere I’ve never been… perhaps Switzerland, or Germany. But then another part of me would love to capture a love story somewhere iconic like Paris or Sydney. I’ll take anywhere on the other side of the earth… how about that?
A big thanks to Amanda for taking the time to talk to me! I wish all good things to come for you and your business.