Photographer: Kevin Green
Studio: Green Photography
Location: Manchester, NH
- In 50 words or less, how would your clients describe your photography? I always find this question hard to answer, because I do not fit into one category very well. I would say we are storytellers, with an artistic eye. We pride ourselves on our eye for detail and capturing the little things.
- Are you self-taught or classroom trained? Self-Taught
- How many years have you been a professional photographer? Two years
- Where do you want to take your photography business in 5 years? I would like to see my wife be able to do photography full time, but growing our business past wedding and event photography, into portraits and music photography as well. In the current environment I do not think many photographers can do just one thing and make a full time living. Ultimately, it would be great for both of us to do photography full time, but I think that is a longer range than five years.
- Is there a photographer who inspires your style? Who would that be? Is everyone an acceptable answer? I often will look around at other photographer portfolios, to see their take on style and how it relates to ours. I think something beneficial to any photographer would be to try hard to appreciate those styles that are outside your comfort zone, as all styles and people can teach you something that will contribute to your own style.
- Favorite location to take photos? I recently did a wedding on the Maine coastline and the backdrops were nothing short of amazing, the rugged untouched coastlines of New England are hard to beat. Other than that, anyplace there is a sunrise!
- Favorite vacation spot? Colonial Williamsburg
- What was the pivotal moment when you decided to become a photographer? In February 2009 when I told my wife that her dream of being a photographer was in reach and we just needed to grab it. The time was right with the economy to be a customer service driven, affordably option for cost aware consumers while we tried to build our portfolio. I think my best memory was telling my wife that we were booked to meet with a prospective client and her response was…”what?” with a look on her face that was as if I told her she had to disarm a bomb in 30 seconds to save the city.
- What’s the best marketing tip that has worked for you? Craigslist. There seems to be some people who look down on this venue for advertising. However I think that is a huge mistake. It offers a wide audience of people who can see your ad and it costs nothing on the part of the business owner. And you have a lot of room to talk about yourself and what you do. This was a huge benefit starting out, we could lay it all out there that we were learning and growing, as such we would offer them an affordable price and a drive to exceed all their expectations…Hard to do that when you are limited to so many potential clients.
- Favorite print lab? Bay Photo
- You Gear—Are you Canon or Nikon? Nikon, I am not sure what this “Canon” you speak of is =)
- If you could only have one lens on a photo shoot, what would it be? Nikkor 18-105 for any event, for laid back portraits I really like my Nikkor 35mm 1.8.
- What brand bag do you carry your camera in? Tamarac 5613 Ultra Pro 13
- What gear would we find in your camera bag? Nikon D90 x2 Nikon D200, Nikon D40, Nikon SB-600, Puffer diffuser for pop up flash x2, Diffuser for SB-600 (All diffusers are Gary Fong), five extra batteries (Nice to have the two D90 and D200 using the same battery), Lenses: 18-105 f/3.2-5.6 DX VR x2, Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX, Nikon 50mm f1.8 DX, Nikon 18-70 f/3.5-5.4 ED.
- Are you a natural light or strobe fan? Natural light fan, if only more wedding sites would render our flashes unnecessary.
- Are you PC or Mac user? PC
Your Tips and Tricks
- What post processing tools? Like most people we use Photoshop (CS4 for us) but I have recently started using a program that can be companion to Photoshop called Filter Forge. It is a huge resources of unigue filters and effects (8000ish) for a really reasonable price tag.
- Do you shoot in Raw or Jpeg? We shoot JPEG. We have been talking about learning how to edit RAW, but until I start seeing many things that can be improved over what we are shooting now, it is having a hard time getting to the top of the To-Do list. I am certain there is greater flexability to shooting RAW, enough really raletend people say so, but comparing our work to those that shoot RAW I am not seeing a huge difference. I am sure many people will disagree with that assessment, but I am not going to hide our shooting JPEG from those who might disapprove, considering our clients are always happy.
- Best advice you would give your 20- year old self? Start shooting now, you will REALLY love this is 15 years.
- Best advice you would give a new photographer? Be honest. Tell people exactly what your skills are, show them your portfolio and what photography means to you. Not every client is someone you will have a good chemistry with. Sometimes the best thing you can do for a client is explain how that fit is critical to their experience on the day. I find most often your portfolio speaks to who you are and what you are like, but on occasion you will get someone who is not a good match. It is better to be honest than to have anyone be unhappy with what you do on their special day.
- What site do you use for your photography and why? Smugmug.com is the site we use for our galleries. The PRO pricing is very reasonable for a gallery which a customer can purchase prints through, along with the flexibility of two print houses. Biggest thing about Smug Mug however is the customer service. Anytime I have had a question or concern they could not have dealt with it better.
What Else Should We Know About You?
- What was your worst photography experience? It is not a specific instance, but more a type of instance. When doing formal shots at a wedding, sometimes we have amateur photographers who are guests at the wedding who are quite aggressive about getting their shots. In one case I tripped over someone who had slipped in under me to get a shot when I was shooting. Controlling the crowd of guests is a skill set in itself. Work hard to gain expertise at this if you are an event photographer.
- What would surprise people most about you, whether it is photography related or not? I had not shot more than a few hundred pictures on a DSLR before I was the second shooter at our first wedding. This is why honesty from the start is so important, our clients knew the situation fully and gave us a chance…and we gave them phenomenal results.
- Tell us something else you’d like us to know: If you love something, go out and take risks and do it. If you want to be a photographer, be one! Do not let people deter you by telling you how much training, equipment, and experience you need. Find a prospective client, be honest with them, give them a deal and get their business. When you do this, you will build experience now and the better gear will come later, financed by your passion for photography. I am not saying anyone can take a "point-and-shoot" to a wedding and knock their socks off, but once you have the entry level equipment and some experience using it, get yourself out there and wow some people. Not everyone can afford a lot of money for photography, even on the most special of days, so situations when you are just starting out and truly be fantastic win-wins for you and your clients.
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