Hi Patrick. How did you get your start as a wedding photographer?
I was actually just beginning photography when a friend got me working with a great wedding company that did Arabic weddings throughout Germany. They hired me as a 2nd shooter. Of course, I did not really earn anything but I was out throughout Germany on many weekends where they taught me everything about professional wedding photography and also film.
What’s in your bag
I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark IV, with 2 Suitcases of Lenses. I use different lenses for every situation from Prime 35,50,85mm, so 24-70, 70-200, 90mm Macro, and 15-30mm. I just need variety because I have certain Shots in my head that are only possible with a special lens. I use the new Mac Pro ( people call it the cheese grater) with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
What’s your wedding photography true horror story?
I was once shooting a wedding where we had a couple Shooting in Switzerland on a Mountain with Helicopters and afterward, we were driving with 2-speed boats to a Church on an Island. The second after I finished the Speed boat trip my Shutter button Broke. This was the only time where I left my 2nd Body in the Hotel and because I needed extra space for 1 more lens. I had to shoot the entire Church with a Touch Screen, where I pressed on the screen like with an iPhone, had to wait a few seconds for each shot. Luckily I could get my camera body back from the Hotel right after the Church, I was really lucky that nothing much happened there, and I learned a lot to never leave my 2nd body in the hotel room.
Who do you think is the best photographer in the wedding industry right now?
I’m not sure, There are so many great photographers. I like James Frost, Jordan Voth, and Aaron & Whitney Photography
I have to ask: Taking nice photos of pretty people is a no-brainer. But how do you shoot flattering wedding photos for people who may not be conventionally attractive?
For the Couple Shooting the Vibe just needs to be there between the Couple and me. If we get along really well you can tell that they are getting relaxed and happy. Then it’s a good time to take the picture.
For the rest of the Wedding Day, I try to catch them when they don’t realize it in their happiest moments, you can’t force a deeply authentic smile from a couple unless they are truly happy. It is my job to capture these moments for them throughout the entire day.
What’s the absolute best advice you can give to somebody with wedding photography aspirations and zero experience?
Start shooting lots of Events and practice portrait shootings with normal people that have no experience. You will learn to master your event photography skills and also your Portrait skills. A Wedding is basically a 10-12 Hour Event where you have around 1 Hour of Portrait Shooting time in between.
Finally, list three things you couldn’t do your job as a wedding photographer without.
I must start with saying music. This makes me more confident in my work, and when I’m with clients, I like to turn on the music when shooting. Sometimes I almost cried when dancing with my loved ones at a wedding; if my jam was turned on, I would put too much in some situations. This is what I feel needs to be part of everything I shoot. Especially after the long wedding, when the music sounded, it brought me back from the edge.
Secondly, my camera strap is the favorite piece of equipment I may have ever owned. It makes those long wedding days easier! It makes everything at my fingertips, I love it to death.
And at least, my great Clients. I do have some of the best Clients. I always want to talk about them. They feel like family. After all said and done, I can spend some of the most important moments with them. One of my favorite things is that I have many repeat customers. I like to watch their lives: from engagement to weddings, to maternity leave, to family gatherings… Watching the family bloom is one of my favorite things.