In the spirit of Labor Day, we thought that we would show you some pics of us at work, and answer some of the semi-(but not all) work related questions that you guys asked us.
What do you wish all brides would tell their photographer?
Elyse: Oh gosh. I would say that I would want them to make sure to tell their photographer any special details they have prepared so that we can make sure to document it. But if I were being really honest, I would say to make sure to give their photographer feedback! It's encouraging to know the good things, and even the ways we can improve.
Ryan: I always like to hear make sure you eat or drink something, but I'm sure that's not my serious answer. It's always great to hear compliments of course, but mostly just let us know the details like Ely says.
Are you Canon or Nikon?
Elyse: We are a Nikon family, no shame here.
Do you have a favorite lens and do you use ND filters?
Elyse: I go back and forth on what my favorite lens is...but it would probably be the 85mm 1.8. And I actually had to look up what an ND filter was, haha, so it's a no on that one.
Ryan: We just got a 35mm 1.4 and I really, really like it but I have hard time getting away from the 50mm 1.4 because of it can be used in almost any setting from portraits to details.
What was your favorite part of your wedding?
Elyse: DANCING! I am so nervous about being in front of people, so I barely remember the ceremony. But Ryan and I love to boogie.
Ryan: Definitely the dancing and being with friends. I selfishly also liked the fact that many people did the handshake with cash thing and it was awesome. Also a huge shout out to my mother-in-law, her food and desserts were amazing.
Did you do a first look? If not, what did you think when you were walking down the aisle and saw him/her?
Elyse: We didn't do a first look, although if I had to go back I would. I think it would have calmed my nerves a lot and I'm sure my hungry bridesmaids/groomsmen would have appreciated getting to the reception sooner. But when I was walking down the aisle I was pretty nervous and I was really glad that I had my Dad to hold onto. But when I saw Ryan it all went away because he was crying, and I don't know why but it made me laugh, and after that I felt so relieved.
Ryan: When the doors opened and Elyse was there walking towards me it was definitely a rush of emotions that is tough to describe. I can still picture it to this day. Having said that, I would now go with a first look as I'm pretty sure I've seen that same feeling and emotion in our grooms that we've shot during a first look if not more so.
Do you edit your photos in PS or LR?
: I do both...I have trouble letting go of the control that Photoshop gives, but Lightroom really is a great program. So I do all of the getting ready/portraits/wedding pics in Photoshop and then the pics that are more candid in Lightroom.
Do you manage your website or do you pay for someone to load and update SEO stuff?
Elyse: I designed the look of our site, but we had a company build it so that we could manage it ourselves. We read some books on SEO to help us understand it more, but we are no experts on it.
What's your favorite part of an engagement shoot?
Elyse: I think the best part of the engagement shoot is that getting to see how people react when they are in front of the camera. It is just another level of getting to know our couples so that we can prepare for their wedding day.
Ryan: Engagement shoots are much more intimate, it's often us and our clients only. There isn't the stress of the wedding day looming over our couples' heads. We get natural emotions but also we figure out how to best work with them so the big day isn't as stressful as it could be.
What's the funniest thing that has ever happened at a wedding you've shot?
Elyse: Ummm....goodness. We had a wedding where the best man made up his speech to the Disney song Beauty and the Beast, and that was pretty awesome. There was also a Ghost Busters semi-choreographed dance at one which was great. I think I would have to say though that the one that made me laugh the most actually happened the day after a wedding. Ryan was getting together his wedding clothes to wash and realized that at some point the night before he had split his pants and didn't know!!
Ryan: That was pretty funny and embarrassing. What can I add?? At my sisters wedding I had this idea to do a spinning panoramic shot when I was dancing, and the flash flew off the camera and the batteries went flying. The only reason I did that though was because it was my sister's wedding and I was having a good time too.
Which is better: a photo booth or the disposable cameras at the reception tables? Why?
Elyse: Well...I may be biased, but I think the photo booth, although I don't actually see disposable cameras on tables often anymore. The photo booth ends up being not only a way to get more pictures of your guests, but becomes a fun activity for your guests. I love hearing laughter coming from the photo booth corner.
Ryan: This isn't even a contest, it's the photo booth. Just look at our galleries for 20 minutes and you'll see why. I still go through them from time to time when in need of a laugh.
Lots of people have smart phones now. Does that impact how you shoot a wedding?
Elyse: Yes, it does more so than I wish it did. We totally understand that weddings are special occasions and people want to document them personally, but we have had several times when people will step in front us us during a cake cutting, or videoing with their phone with a light and it messes with our exposure. We just have to be a lot more aware of not only what is going on with the Bride and Groom but also anticipate what guests may do.
What is the best/worst thing about working with your spouse?
Elyse: Ryan is really fantastic at keeping me worry free when we are shooting weddings. I tend to be a stresser, and just having him helps me so much. It means a lot that he has jumped into the crazy wedding world with me. I think one of my favorite Ryan moments was before a wedding at which I was feeling really junky-- I had gotten a spring cold and taken sudafed and was stressing out that I wasn't going to be 100%. He told me "It will be okay. You're like KD, and I'm Westbrook. Russell is always there to be awesome when KD is having an off night." The worst thing I would say is that because he is my husband, I probably (and by that I mean definitely) am less patient with him when we are in the rush of things than I would be with a normal co-worker
Ryan: The best thing is catching each others glances throughout the day and smiling from across the room. The worst thing is Elyse being my boss, haha.
What sweet things do you do for each other in your marriage?
Elyse: Ryan is far sweeter than I am. He often cooks for me while I'm working, and will surprise me and bring me icees. We both love movies, so during the summer when he is off of school, we take Mondays to spend with each other-- go to a morning movie, eat at a new restaurant we haven't tired, and then run any errands we might have.
Ryan: I'd say that Elyse taking on this business full force for the both of us has been sweet. It's not sappy and lovey dovey but it's been a huge undertaking and she's been phenomenal at it. Her patience for me is absolutely incredible especially during the summers when I'm off from teaching and home bothering her during her work day.