When I found Steve and Kandi's (the two that make up 2 Hodges Photography) website, I loved their About Us. It's always one of the first things that I look at when I go to a website for the first time. If you have checked out my about page, you know I'm a big baseball fan..so when I saw that a baseball game was the first stop on the night that Steve proposed to Kandi, I was hooked and had to learn more. Of course, when I saw the great pictures that they took, I had to meet them and ask them to be a part of our vendor spotlight.
I absolutely LOVE your back story ofhow you met as well as how your business started. Could you share a little bit about that with us.
We first met one evening in a church parking lot, talking for nearly an hour. Steve wanted to keep the conversation going, but he wasn’t quite ready to commit to dinner yet since he didn’t really know me. So, he invited me to accompany him to buy dog food. As crazy as that sounds, I said yes. Thankfully, dinner at Outback (one of our favorite restaurants) followed our trip to the dog food store. About a week later, Steve cooked me dinner for the first time (he’s an incredible cook!), and soon after I knew I didn’t want to eat anyone else’s food. We got married exactly one year after getting dog food together.
As for our business, Steve and I both had an interest in photography. I began taking courses and incorporating it into my job as a public relations specialist. As I began studying photography, Steve began studying equipment and learning to shoot. With only one camera at the time, we began arguing over who would get to shoot with it. We then started investing in more cameras and equipment, and our photography business was born. It didn’t take long until we found our niche in wedding photography. We love working with couples.
I know many photographers who use their spouse as their second shooter, how do you guys work together? Do you split up the different responsibilities?
I would say in our business and our marriage, we love working together as much as we can, but often our philosophy is to divide and conquer by letting each other do what we each do best. Steve and I immediately noticed that he and I shoot differently. We see the same scene, and we almost always see it differently (which is great for our couples because they get a lot of variety.) He tends to shoot more close ups, and I tend to love the big, scenic photos. That quickly taught us who should use which lenses and who should shoot which angles and scenes. For us, it’s not about who snaps the photo. It’s more about how we work together to create an image. Steve is amazing with lighting, so sometimes he creates the scene while I shoot. Beyond the actual shooting, Steve does most of the image processing and taking care of our gear while I take care of the marketing and business details.
If you could describe your style of photography in three words, what would they be?
Authentic, Candid, Fun
What is in your camera bag that we wouldn’t expect?
A 4-foot piece of orange cinema gel, bug spray and a wooden hanger that says Bride. I’m not sure those are totally unexpected, but I think almost anything can be useful in photography. I was taught ways to use everything from paper to aluminum foil to baby wipes containers.
If you could do a photo shoot of anything, what would it be?
I love Steve’s answer – our children’s weddings. When I told him that we couldn’t feasibly shoot those, he said that’s part of what makes them dream shoots.
What is your favorite part of your business?
We love the relationships created with our couples. When a couple books us for their wedding, we think of them as family. We love everything about marriage, and we love that we get to encourage couples who are starting on their journey. When couples tell us how special their wedding photos are to them, it’s extremely humbling for us to have been a part of it all.
How many weddings do you shoot a year?
What packages do you offer? Do they include an Engagement Shoot and a Bridal Shoot?
Our wedding photography includes an engagement session and high-resolution digital copies of their images. We offer albums, prints and USB drives as well, but our main package is minimal for couples who want to prioritize our service, and then maybe later they can add on product.
What is your process? Do you meet with your brides before hand?
After an initial inquiry, I have an in-person consultation with the bride or the couple. If they live out of town, we chat over the phone. We want to get to know our couples as much as possible before their wedding day. This is why we also include engagement sessions in our service. An engagement session helps us get to know who our couples are and how they interact. Plus, we have a lot of fun.
How do you send your files to your brides?
We deliver their images through an online gallery.
What trends do you see with the current brides?
Many of our brides are skipping bouquet and garter tosses. It’s also surprising how many of our couples have already legally gotten married before their wedding day.
For the single girl that is usually thrown into that mayhem of throwing the bouquet, I can't say I'm upset with that trend.
Now, for an out-of-the-box question, what seems to be the favorite song that your brides use to walk down the aisle?
My current favorite song that brides are walking down the aisle to is A Thousand Years by Christina Perri.
Okay, you guys know me and I had to look this song up. All I can say is WOW! Now, a little about you…
What do you like to do when you are not photographing weddings, portraits, etc.?
We love snowboarding in the winter, swimming in the summer, and spending time with our children and families.
What are the five presets on your car radio/ipod?
We’re all over the place. Country, Christian, Rock, Shinedown, and Adele
If you weren’t a photographer, what would your dream jobs be?
I would edit fiction novels or be involved in turning books into movies. Steve would race motorcycles. The conversation Steve and I had about this was hilarious. When I told him what I wanted to be, he said all of that reading sounds exhausting and he’ll just wait for the movie.
If you give the brides one piece of advice, what would it be?
You will spend a lot of time with your photographer on your wedding day – possibly more than you do with your spouse or your wedding party or your family. Make sure you work with someone you are excited to spend your wedding day with.
If you could tell the brides one thing about your business, what would it be?
Your marriage and your wedding day memories are extremely important to us. We wouldn’t be in this business if we didn’t think we offer value to the industry and especially to your wedding day.
Thank you Kandi for sitting down with me today. I loved your answers. If you guys are in the Knoxville area and looking for a wedding photographer, be sure to check out Kandi and Steve and 2 Hodges Photography. Until then, be sure to check out their website and follow their social media.
This will be our last Vendor Spotlight for 2015. We will be back on January 7th, when we sit down with First Colony Winery. Don't worry, we will still be here weekly with other fun wedding blogs to help you plan your great event. If you are located around the Charlotte area, come check out our booth at the Carolina Bridal Show...January 17th. We will be at booth 405-505. Until next time, stay warm and be sure to share you love on Facebook and Instagram.