How did you start shooting weddings?
I first got into photography when I was in college at Auburn. One of my first outlets was photographing the Thursday services of my local college ministry. With me taking pictures every week, the worship leader got to know me pretty well, and asked me to shoot his wedding when he got engaged. Lucky for me (not knowing anything about weddings at the time!), I moved to Birmingham before his big day and met the whole A Bryan Photo crew. I assisted them and they taught me a ton about the wedding world. I shot that friend’s wedding in October 2008 and never looked back!
How do you approach the wedding day?
My approach to weddings has always been to try and stay more in the background and really capture the day for what it is without directing it too much. It’s one of the most beautiful days of a couple’s life together and I love catching the intimate moments, the quiet glances, the tears, the smiles…the moments that become memories cherished for a lifetime. I shoot on film, which inherently slows down the day and allows me to value each shot and each moment. That pace helps the couple to slow down too and really enjoy the day, rather than feeling rushed through it.
What advice do you have for the bride and groom?
I always try to tell my couples to make sure that they plan their day how THEY want. It’s their wedding day, not an all day photo-session. I love it when a couple wants to wait and see each other for the first time during a ceremony despite everyone telling them there won’t be time for pictures (don’t worry…there will be plenty of time!). A wedding day is a special day and I think a bride and groom should make sure that it gets treated as such, rather than compromising on the vision that they want for the sake of the schedule… you only get one so make sure you do it in the way you’ve always dreamed of!
What’s your favorite thing about photographing weddings?
I love the special moments —the bride looking at her proud father right before they walk to the alter, the couple’s kiss as they recess down the isle, the shots of them running through sparklers to their car. To me the little moments are what the wedding day is all about, and capturing them so that couples can continue recalling them for the rest of their lives is an honor and privilege.
What other kinds of photography do you do?
Aside from weddings, I stay busy with editorial and commercial photography. I shoot quite a bit for local magazines like Birmingham Magazine, and lately I’ve enjoyed shooting a lot of food. You can check out that work on my commercial site (www.stephendevriesphoto.com).