One of the most important decisions of your wedding is finding the perfect photographer that will capture your beautiful and unique story with you and not just for you (Totally unbiased..kind of). With how crazy and fast your wedding will go, and trust me it will fly by. Your photos are one of the only pieces that you get to keep forever.
Whether it’s White Buffalo Weddings or another photographer that you choose for your day there’s a few things that you should really think about before signing the dotted line. It’s one thing to find someone talented but the real key is to find someone that makes you feel comfortable by just being there. I’ll go into a much longer blog post that helps you find your perfect wedding photographer but for now let’s dive into some questions I get asked pretty often so that you can get a better idea for who I am!
Who are you, What do you do, and where are you located?
I am Matthew Stegall, I am a wedding photographer based in Austin, Texas – the home of some of the best breakfast tacos and weirdest people.. but I love both!
How long have you been doing photography, and if you weren’t doing that, what would you do?
I have been shooting for over 6 years now, but have been shooting weddings for 3 of those. The moment I picked up my camera I knew that I wanted to photograph people, I just wasn’t sure in what way. After shooting many many different styles I randomly fell into my first wedding, which also happened to be the first wedding I also ever attended..serious, no joke. After that wedding I fell in love with the entire process and had never felt such fulfillment from anything quite like this. I put everything down right after and decided this was my path.
What tips can you share for the brides out there that want to look the best they can in front of the lens?
I think that’s one of the most popular questions I get and I can break it down into two separate parts. For a photographer it comes down to being able to assess where you are and what looks flattering to the subject. Once you’ve done that, it’s all about finding that perfect light to shape the mood of the photo and help complete the story or emotion you are trying to portray. For the couple or model, it’s all about making them look 100x better than what they think their best day looks like. To do this I truly believe it is all about communication. Within the first few moments with my brides and couples I try to cultivate a real relationship with them and be completely transparent and open to their will. I want true genuine emotions in my images and the only way I know to do that is to make friends and have real conversation. One of the biggest compliments I ever receive is how comfortable and happy my brides and couples look. “They look like they have known you forever, and are just doing it naturally!” That’s because I took the time to talk and really know my brides on a personal level and not just show up and say, “Hey go pose in that bush” haha.
What do you see people do in your photos that you just can’t stand?
Ha! There are actually two things that when I see it I correct it immediately. Number one, when some tall person crouches down to be the same height as the person shorter than them. It’s ok to just stand as tall as you are, you don’t need to be 5’0 when you’re 6’2. The other and this one I really pay attention to, I can’t take it when someone has gum in their mouth for photos. It really just makes the jaw look really stiff when you hold it there to smile or pose, so I make sure all gum is gone before starting any photos.
If there was one part of the wedding other that photography that you would encourage your brides to put their money towards, what would it be?
For me there are actually two options that I would say for my brides to focus on. The first is a big one, and that’s a wedding planner. DIY is awesome don’t get me wrong and I love to make whatever can myself whenever I can, but do you really want to deal with all that stress on a day where you are supposed to be enjoying being just married with all your friends and family? Wedding planners really help with cutting down the stress of the entire wedding process and not just the day of. The second are I would focus on are the florals. This is probably just me because I really love flowers and the feel they bring to photographs and the day as a whole. However I would say always meet with your vendors when possible, you would be amazed with how much a good photo can make something plain look like.
Finally, what is one thing that you want to share that most people wouldn’t know about.
Ok so this part might get a little bit dark but there’s a light at the end and I think this moment in my life really shaped me to how I see things now. The year before I started my wedding photography journal I got into a really bad accident, lost my job and became homeless. While being homeless I spent the last of my money to buy a camera, for some reason it just felt right. A year later I would find myself doing weddings for a living and creating a life that was better than I ever had growing up. It’s crazy how things work, but I think going through that made me really see the world from a different perspective and is probably where the moodiness in my photos come from.
Well that’s a quick overview of who I am, and some of the things that I think might help you on your wedding day. I know your wedding planning can be stressful, but just remember at the end of the day it is all about the love you share with your significant other. If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check back every week for more!