“Starved Rock is a very special place to the couple. During their long distance dating, this was a middle ground for them to meet. They love being outdoors and so they would take long hikes and explore here. Aaron also proposed on the trail. Towards the end of the session we hiked down into the beautiful canyons! “
major thanks to
#everoursafterhours serves as a learn the “why” behind their work, to get to know photographers and videographers that are the game changers or ones that in their tiny little corner of the earth are just getting it done. i have always, ALWAYS, prided myself on the that community that i have the fortunate experience of knowing and featuring. for the past five years, i have surrounded myself with such a beautifully talented community of wedding photographers and videographers. so i’m just going to build on that this year and give them the spotlight they deserve. i’ll be highlighting photographers almost every week. but obviously if i have the time, i’ll be featuring more but it’s all dependent on the photographers who have the time to answer too. it’ll be up on Sundays and it’ll just be a chance for photographers to kick back after shooting a wedding, grab a coffee, and have a lazy Sunday read.
this week’s highlights
i’m pretty sure i discovered Kat via social media friends. we officially met last year during a summer visit to NYC. before meeting her, it was absolutely amazing following on her journey of not just wedding photography and fashion/editorial photography, but her passion for all aspects of life. she never “preached” but her motivation alone for her own self was enough to get your own mind running to see what else there was you could do to make YOU better. i think all that energy from Kat just oozes through and shines through all her work. truly been a joy to have her work on here and many thanks to her for taking the time to answer these questions!
How did you get your start in wedding photography?
I always loved photography, but didn’t think I had a creative bone in my body. Through working at Invisible Children after college, I lived in a house with 50 other creative people (Ben Sasso being one of them…crazy right?). I was surrounded by creativity, and one of my bosses and heroes Jason Russell told us all that every human being is creative; it’s just figuring out what your creativity is. And once you find it, honing in on it and using your craft for good. Long after I worked for Invisible Children that stuck with me. Months later when I was in between jobs I worked a contract job for an event coordinator in Dallas. Mike Colon was the wedding photographer at that wedding. We met, and I got his card, and was inspired by our short chat during the vendor meal. He was obviously very talented (being hired from LA), and was a humble man of faith and encouraged me to chase my dreams. Shortly after that I moved to LA for a job at another non-profit, and in that move I made a decision to start trying things I never thought I could do. I took dance classes, voice lessons, and was committed to start taking pictures. I reached out to Mike, and we met at his studio. A few months later, even though I didn’t know a thing about photography, he took a chance on me. He hired me full time to be his assistant and office manager. I didn’t know a thing about photography, but thought the best way to find out if I liked it and was good at it was to immerse myself into its world. Working for Mike opened up this whole new existence to me. He taught me everything I know. From editing to running a business, to shooting manual, to posing, to taking chances. He brought me to all his shoots and weddings, to shoot New York Bridal Market, and I got to sit in and produce all of his workshops. What I found over my almost 4 years of working for Mike was that I not only loved photography, but I was pretty good at it. If you would have told me 6 years ago that I would be living in New York City running my own wedding and lifestyle photography business and fashion blog I would have laughed in your face. I’m so grateful Mike took a chance on me. Without it sounding terribly cheesy; it changed my life.
What is unique about your style of shooting?
Photography has been a constant journey of self discovery for me. I think the most unique thing any of us have to offer in our craft is ourselves. No one sees the world quite like I see it, and same with anyone else. I think the more I can get to know myself, my creativity, and what brings me life, the more unique I become as an artist. What I do with my wedding photography is create a mixture of those timeless classic portraits alongside those in-between moments. The laughter, the stolen kiss, bridesmaids whispering secrets. I’m always looking for the moment that’s not the big moment. To me it’s the tiny almost unnoticed moments of the wedding day that I love the most.
Include one of your images that is your most recent favorite and explain why you love it?
(I’m the worst at narrowing things down so I chose 3. I hope that’s ok). If you’re anything like me when I’m done shooting 97% of the time I feel like I could’ve done better. Or wish I would’ve stayed with my shots just a little longer to get that perfect shot, and completely dread editing my images. There have only been a few times in my career where on the shoot I have felt ‘oh this is it’. This is the shot. Like you know in your gut when you took the photo; it was just what you wanted. I did a test shoot last fall with an amazing team of ladies; it was freezing cold outside and we had about an hour to shoot before it was dark. I shot the below series, and love them. There’s a quiet beauty to these images that I really love, and to me it represents my style so well. It’s real life, but it has that edge of lifestyle/editorial. They feel connected, light, and intimate, and that’s what I love.
What do you struggle with the most? Business wise or shooting wise?
A constant battle I have is to be present and not compare myself to others. For a long time I didn’t think there was a place for me in the wedding photography or photography world in general. Who would hire me when there are so many great photographers out there? What did I have to offer? I wanted to speak at WPPI, hold my own workshops, but I just felt so insecure. Who would come? Who would listen to me? I felt like a fake. I would get to a shoot, and feel good and then think oh ‘well so and so could do so much better than I am doing’, and mid-shoot I’d just shut down. I had to finally get to a place where I gave myself permission to be on my own journey. I’m not on so-and-so’s journey. I’m on my own, and my voice does matter, and my images do matter. I always want to be 10 steps ahead from where I’m at. As soon as I lose my presence and begin comparing myself to someone else it immediately kills my creativity. I have to consciously choose to be present reject comparison at all costs.
Where do you see wedding photography heading next? Where would you like to see it go?
I really think wedding photography is going back to a more classic + timeless feel. We’ve gone through the vintage phase, the rustic phase, but timeless always comes back around. I think men with tailored suits and tuxes and ties that fit their lapels will be more of a common theme. I think more formal attire will be coming back to the forefront of the wedding industry. I love it going that direction, because it’s more my style and aesthetic. But really there’s always going to be space for the other stuff. As long as we’re all humans, and have different upbringings and passions there’s going to be an endless wave of weddings styles and themes. The traditions in the wedding world now are that there are no traditions. Do what you want with your wedding day. Make it your own. Break the rules.
If you could send one message to the wedding photography world, what would it be?
Be present. Be You. Your voice matters. Your perspective matters. Your creativity is altogether separate and unique. The world needs your creativity. Dream big. Chase your dreams with reckless abandon; it will free those around you to do the same. We truly are all on this journey together!
What drives you as a person and as a wedding photographer?
My vision for my life is to empower and encourage young women to embrace their beauty, identity, value and worth. My photography is a vehicle for that. As a wedding photographer I get to connect deeply with my clients, and my brides specifically for sometimes up to 2 years. What drives me is the possibility that I could encourage these brides to love themselves, to own their beauty and voice, and to share with them that they matter.
What makes you confetti throw at the end of the day?
When I am connected to myself, to God, to my family, to my community, and to a deeper sense of purpose in my life I will throw confetti all day long to that!
if that doesn’t inspire you to start checking out KAT HARRIS, i don’t know what else will. oh maybe the fact that on top of running her photography business, she runs an amazingly stunner of a fashion blog with Emily Scott called The Refined Woman. check that one out as well as KAT HARRIS’ WEDDING SITE and FASHION/EDITIORIAL SITE.
there’s not really any words to describe this wedding or the work of
it’s just always solid gold talent and story telling at its best. capturing the emotional and raw moments of the day. absolutely love how Christian consistently captures all of that in his work.
check out more from this stunner of a Hawaii wedding HERE. then i highly encourage you to stick around CHRISTIAN’S BLOG for more of his latest work. think his weddings are amazing, wait til you see his editorial and lifestyle.
pretty sure you know you have an awesome wedding photographer if they have the ability to make you feel comfortable being silly and yourselves in front of the camera. and make it look like you’re having fun too!
definitely has that ability. the above serves as proof. this is probably one of my favorite engagement sessions where the couple just looks so adorably cute having their kind of fun. and that shot on top of the roof…i can’t even…
i hope that
never stops sending me all the elopements he captures because they’re always beyond.
this one is no exception and i love the story behind this couple, which you should read for yourself HERE.
then stay and mosey around TYLER’S SITE for more of his work, not just elopements, i promise, but not sure why that even matters. it’s just solid gold.
sometimes it makes me giggle when a submission comes from another country. an excited giggle because somehow someone in that corner of the earth knows about my blog and i am more than thrilled. so many thanks to go this Italian photography team
for sending this one over.