Surprisingly enough, one of the hardest questions for me to answer is “what made you become a professional wedding photographer?” Well, let me start by saying that it honestly came to me out of nowhere. The summer of 2006, I was a groomsmen in my brother’s wedding. I distinctively remember hearing the photographer’s camera clicking near my ear during the ceremony. Something “clicked” in my mind at that instant, as I then began to pay more attention to the photographer than the wedding itself. “What an awesome job that must be!” I thought to myself. There were so many questions I wanted to bombard him with, but he seemed quite busy. Later that night, I immediately began searching online about wedding photography.
Although, I was already the “family photographer,” something came over me in a way I had never expected. At that time, I barely had two nickels to rub together. So the very next day, I took my Best Buy credit card, and charged the most expensive camera kit my credit limit would allow. It was a Canon 50D with a 28mm-135mm zoom lens. That camera and I were inseparable for the next several months! I would take a picture of any and everything! It wasn’t long before I visited the majority of the parks in the Fort Lauderdale area. Photographing trees, flowers, insects, sunsets, landscapes, portraits, strangers, Fort Lauderdale Beach, you name it! I was absolutely hooked! I knew then that this was something I was good at, and had finally found my niche. I was destined to pursue photography on a professional level!
My style of photography could be categorized as photo journalistic. I love capturing weddings as they naturally unfold. Something I hear from clients often is “Wow! Where was I when that was happening?” This is because one of my favorite things to do, is to walk around with my telephoto lens and capture the guests mingling on the other side of the room. These pictures are by far more genuine, and candid as opposed to posed group photos were guest are painfully aware of my presence. I am constantly on the move when I’m photographing weddings. Rarely do I stay in the same spot for more than a few minutes. Ideally, I love to photograph the same scene from many angles and perspectives. This act somewhat mimics the varying vantage points of my client’s guests who are watching the wedding in real time. As far as my post production style goes, I lean towards natural color hues, images that reflect my client’s personalities, and most importantly, quality over quantity.
My photographic style is one of many reasons why brides often choose me over my competitors. Another reason, which I’m not sure I can take total credit for, is my height. Given the fact that I am 6 feet 6 inches tall, affords me the unique ability to capture images that are not possible for my average height competitors to capture. I’ve mastered the ability to aim my camera in the exact direction to perfectly frame an image, while holding the camera over my head with both arms fully extended. Also, everyone that knows me describes me as the most patient and empathetic person they’ve ever met. These particular character traits absolutely come in handy when the bride is nervous and at times, under pressure. Additionally, because of my experience photographing countless weddings, I’m able to assist my clients with the flow of the wedding by directing the wedding party and family members during formal portraits. There are times when I help the bride and groom with anticipating the next event, such as the cake cutting, garter toss, and bouquet toss.
Although I photograph weddings all over the great state of Florida, I primarily operate as a wedding photographer in the Fort Lauderdale area. Fort Lauderdale is definitely the perfect city for wedding venues. The weather is perfect year round, the multi-cultural inspired cuisine is to die for, and nothing compares to the South Florida beaches. As an internationally known tourist vacation hot spot, Fort Lauderdale beach just so happens to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world!
I have had the pleasure, privilege, and opportunity to photograph weddings in all 4 corners of the Fort Lauderdale area. Some of the venues include Sonesta, 999 North Ft. Lauderdale Beach Boulevard; Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa, 3030 Holiday Drive; Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six, 2301 Southeast 17th Street; The Ritz-Carlton, 1 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd; Shiva Mandir, 3000 NW 29th St; along with a host of other great wedding venues.
As far as my personal life goes, I am married to a very beautiful elementary school teacher named Shauntel Ingraham. We have 2 very handsome sons, seven and two years of age.
Finally, I love photography. Love it. I study it, practice it, read about it, teach about it, preach about it, I go to sleep with it on my mind, and I wake up with it on my mind. Each and every day, I strive to be better at it. I am as patient as can be, and I treat every client as if they were the president or a celebrity. I chase the moment.