Meet Becka and Nate. This team shoots distinctively modern weddings and portraiture using Canon. They shoot RAW using their right eyes, most of the time in manual mode, but occassionally in AV. They use some TRA and Kubota actions, and also a few of their own.
Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?
Nate and I have both always been artists. I painted and did digital media in high school. He went to school for business and digital media and we actually met because we were both in a band together in college. We both enjoyed photography as a hobby but had never really considered it as a career. We started our business doing portraiture. After shooting a friend’s wedding, we decided that we really enjoyed shooting weddings together so we created a website and started spreading the word. In the first year we won a spot as one of the top 5 best wedding photographers in our area, booked about 20 weddings, were accepted into a group called Modern Photographers, and relaunched a new website. All of those things combined helped us realize, “We’ve really got something that’s working here!”
24-105mm, 28mm, ISO 1000, 1/400, f/4
What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?
We suffered with multiple style personality in the beginning. We were both shooting our own individual styles, our editing was not consistent, and we didn’t have a goal that we were shooting towards. A few months before we relaunched the website, we sat down and talked about who we wanted as clients, what style we wanted as our own, and what words we wanted people to use to describe us. That focus helped us more than anything else! Our style came together, our consistency improved, and everyone started noticing and commenting right away. We were so excited, it was like we finally found our groove together.
24-105mm, 24mm, ISO 250, 1/500, f/4
What makes you different from everyone else?
We are young, in love, pretty goofy, a little sarcastic, and are very non-traditional both in our shooting style and our business mentality. We shoot a lot of super-wide shots and are always looking to incorporate epic clouds or scenery. We do most of our marketing on facebook and on our blog, and we refuse to go to bridal shows. We’re not into that kind of chaos. 😉
24mm, ISO 200, 1/2500, f/2.8
Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?
Nate: Me! 😉 Ok, if I have to pick someone else… Becka
One item you can’t live without?
Our iPhones, this was a unanimous decision.
Your best bokeh image and why?
135mm, ISO 100, 1/125, f/10
We really love this ring shot taken by Nate. Not only is the ceremony site reflected in the band but the colors and lines blurred in the background are just so peaceful and beautiful.
We both got a kick out of “I Am America And So Can You” but you have to listen to it as an audio book because Steven Colbert is a HILARIOUS narrator!
11-16mm, 11mm, ISO 100, 1/500, f/5.6
Where do you find inspiration?
From our client’s personal stories, from our own lives, from other photographers who we admire, from magazines and from the beauty of nature (we especially love big skies).
What do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?
Us as a duo. Anyone can buy a nice camera. Anyone can build a nice website. But we are the only “us” and that is the most valuable thing we’ve got going on.
11-16mm, 11mm, ISO 400, 1/60, f/2.8
Do you use a second shooter?
We are each other’s second shooter. For bigger weddings we bring our assistant, Matt, to help out. (He rocks!)
How would you recommend that someone wanting to second shoot with you go about getting the gig?
There’s a button in the sidebar of our blog where anyone can apply. Other photographers who just want to hang out with us for a day at a wedding can email us directly.
24-105mm, 24mm, ISO 320, 1/320, f/4.5
Are you a member of any organizations and have you won any awards?
We’re members of Modern Photographers and we’ll be joining WPPI this year. We won the title of one of the top 5 best photographers in Orlando for 2008. And were published as a Top Knots finalist in PDN magazine.
24mm, ISO 200, 1/80, f/1.4
What did you have to do to actually take the leap? Did you have any hoops to jump through?
Nate works the business part time, while I do it full time. Eventually we will both be doing this full time but that will just take some building. We think the hoops everyone has to jump through are just those of getting your name out there in the beginning. We are trying to find the balance of continuing to get our name out there but still charging what we’re worth.
28-75mm, 25mm, ISO 400, 1/200, f/5
Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?
Be confident in your worth. Learn all the numbers of your business. Figure out what you need to do to make it work and start taking steps toward that goal today. Oh…and listen to those who are where you want to be, but take it all with a grain of salt. Be guided but don’t let their ideas run your business.
24mm, ISO 320, 1/200, f/1.4
What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?
When we relaunched our website with all our new branding and new images we promoted the heck out it. We contacted a bunch of fabulous Etsy artists who were gracious enough to donate items from their shops and we hosted a week of giveaways on our blog. We got a lot of attention from that and so did the Etsy artists. It was a great collaboration! (Thanks Etsy friends!)
24-105mm, 24mm, ISO 1000, 1/4000, f/4
What’s your idea of the perfect photographer networking “date”?
Coffee and dessert somewhere yummy like Cheesecake factory where we can bond over how delicious the chocolate cake is. 🙂
Anything else you would like to share?
Nate loves video games. Becka is a vegetarian. We both really love nachos, red wine, and cheeses. Nate has a ridiculous tolerance for spicy food. Becka loves Anthropologie. We love meeting photographer friends, so if you’re coming through Florida, give us a call!
24mm, ISO 640, 1/60, f/4