I have a favor...check out the website: www.KristaLeePhotography.com and tell me that you didn't fall in love with the photos on the home page...I did! After that, you know I had meet her and sit down for some Q&A. I can't wait for you guys to learn more.
You have been in the photography series for 12 years, what made you start your business?
I had always tinkered around with cameras and photography. From a young age, I had a SLR camera and took photos of friends and family. As time went on, more and more people kept coming to me, offering me a lot of money to take their photos. I actually never planned on doing this as a career, it was always just for fun! But after trying my luck in several boring office jobs out of college, I quickly decided maybe I would enjoy doing this more than having an office job :)
You studied under renowned National Geographic photographer Joe McNally, what made you specialize in weddings?
I started out shooting music and fashion. Looking back, it’s amazing how your environment pulls you different ways. My fashion and music clients started getting married and begged me to shoot their weddings. At first, I turned them down but finally I caved, lol. I tried it a few times, and absolutely loved the challenge of a wedding. You have to be incredibly versatile, organized, and be able to work well with people under sometimes very stressful conditions. For me, it is such a fun challenge to be able to produce beautiful, consistent results under unpredictable conditions (weather, changing schedules, people running late!)
If you could describe your style of photography in three words, what would they be?
Modern, bright, candid
What is in your camera bag that we wouldn’t expect?
Earplugs! Many times at receptions, I’m standing in front of the band’s loudspeakers. I think I would have major hearing loss by now if it wasn’t for my trusty earplugs, lol.
If you could do a photo shoot of anything, what would it be?
Oh gosh, definitely travel photography. I love traveling, but due to a growing family and responsibilities at home, I’m not able to wander the world as I’d like!
What is our favorite part of your business?
Making people happy, and providing images that capture their event in a beautiful light.
How many weddings do you shoot a year?
In order to be able to provide excellent service, I only take a very limited amount of clients every year. When I first started, I used to accept up to 3 weddings per weekend. Now, I shoot around 20-25 weddings/year.
What packages do you offer? Do they include an Engagement Shoot and a Bridal Shoot?
All of our packages include 2 photographers (myself plus a second shooter), a USB drive of all high res edited images in both color and black and white, and an online viewing gallery for friends and family. Depending on what level of products you’d like us to provide, we also carry beautiful hand made heirloom albums that tell the story of your day. We have so many out-of-town brides (mainly from Chicago, NYC and California!) that we no longer automatically include the engagement or bridal session, as so many of our brides are not in town until the week of their wedding. But people can certainly add those sessions on, as an a-la-carte option!
What is your process? Do you meet with your brides before hand?
Yes, definitely! We usually meet or talk via skype/phone initially to talk about the bride’s vision for her day and to make sure we are a good match. After our couples formally book us, we dive into planning. We have many tools we use to either work with their planner, or help them devise a schedule and itinerary for the day. We also go over all family members, requested poses and backgrounds, etc. We are extremely thorough in our preparation so that there are no surprises the day of :)
How do you send your files to your brides?
They can choose, either digital download or via a USB drive!
What makes you different from other wedding photographers in Nashville?
With the introduction of digital SLR’s in the past few years, I feel like a lot of my competition have just recently gotten in the photography business. Many are good with natural light/pleasant weather, but do not know how to operate studio strobes or artificial lighting in the event of inclement weather. We are extremely versatile, and can handle just about any situation, rain or shine. Training with National Geographic photographer Joe McNally made me extremely capable with location lighting. I also am capable of shooting both digital and film, which many do not offer.
What trends do you see with the current brides?
I am LOVING the trends we are seeing lately. 5-10 years ago, the trend was all about attitude, trash-the-dress sessions, bold poses and setups. Now, the trend has softened to the look I’ve always loved. Instead of fake, stiff setups, the trend has finally shifted to a softer, photojouralistic type photography that captures the day and the people involved in a very natural and organic way. This is actually the way I’ve always shot (even looking back at my film photos from 20 years ago!) and I love that people are getting on-board with the more natural style that truly captures them.
I think that's what I like so much about your photos, the natural look.
Now, a little about you…
What do you like to do when you are not photographing weddings, portraits, etc.?
I love family time! Hanging out with my sweet little 3 year old and our family. I also love traveling and working out, or running with my dog!
What are the five presets on your car radio/ipod?
Oh gosh… LOL! I’d be lying if I didn’t say I listen to a TON of Bruno Mars, Jack Johnson, Meghan Trainor, some bluegrass, and a lot of country music. My son is currently obsessed with Maroon 5, so we also spend a lot of time being silly and dancing to them ha!
If you weren’t a photographer, what would your dream jobs be?
Stay at home momma!
If you give the brides one piece of advice, what would it be?
If you do not have a planner, be sure to physically write down and think through your wedding itinerary! In the past before we got so involved in helping plan before the wedding day, we saw so many near-disasters due to poor time planning!
If you could tell the brides one thing about your business, what would it be?
That we truly aim to please every single one of our brides. One thing about being a small business is that each and every customer counts. We really do our absolute best to make sure you are happy and love your photos!
Thanks Krista for sitting down with us today. I loved listening to all your answers. For those of you in the Nashville area looking for a wedding photographer, be sure to check out her website and social media.