We met Chris through a mutual friend. When I discovered Chris was a professional photographer, I had to check out his award winning work. I love how he captures the moment in a wedding when the bride and groom are caught totally unaware. He captures sweet, funny and endearing moments forever. Chris is well on his way to achieving his goal - that of becoming a destination wedding photographer. Check out his unique style, herewith is our reveal - Chris Shum!
Your Name: Chris Shum
Your studio/business name: Be My Photographer
Location: Sunnyvale, California
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1220255046 (A fan page is on its way)
· In 50 words or less, how would your clients describe your photography? My clients like my simple yet elegant, observant yet un-obstructive approach. They will just be themselves at either an important event of their lives, or a photo shoot of a slice of their daily lives, and I will be there to capture the memorable and true moments.
· Are you self-taught or classroom trained? Self-taught
· How many years have you been a professional photographer? 5 years
· Where do you want to take your photography business in 5 years? World-class destination wedding photographer
· Is there a photographer who inspires your style? Who would that be? That would be Ben Chrisman. I met him at my sister-in-law’s wedding and we became good friends since then. His endless creativity pushes standards to the extreme which blows me away all the time.
· Favorite location to take photos? It will be San Francisco with all sorts of beautiful spots and varieties.
· Favorite vacation spot? Anywhere with my family.
· What was the pivotal moment when you decided to become a photographer? I always loved photographing people since I was a kid and it just happened at one point a few years back while I got fed up being an engineer for the rest of my life. I wanted to do something more creative.
· What’s the best marketing tip that has worked for you? Word-by-mouth and being an award-winning photographer in the major wedding photography competitions.
· What’s the most surprising thing a customer has asked you? “Could you use Photoshop and add some hair to my bald husband?” “Could you fix my mother-in-law’s double chin and tighten my grandma’s turkey neck?” Sorry, but I am just a photographer, not a plastic surgeon. And using post-processing techniques to change a person’s look to me is too unnatural.
· Favorite print lab? I’ve been using WHCC for many years. Their super quality and professionalism always achieves and even exceeds my expectations.
· Are you Canon or Nikon (or – gasp--“other”): Straight Canon
· If you could only have one lens on a photo shoot, what would it be? Canon 35mm 1.4
· What brand bag do you carry your camera in? Tamrac
· What gear would we find in your camera bag? Canon Full Frame DSLR Cameras, all sorts of L-Series prime, wide angle and zoom lens, flashes, lots of batteries and memory cards.
· Are you a natural light fan or strobe fan? Natural light
· Are you PC or Mac? PC
Your Tips and Tricks
· What post processing tools do you use? Majority in Lightroom and a small portion of pictures in Photoshop
· Do you shoot in Raw or Jpeg? Raw only.
· Best advice you would give your 20-year old self? Follow your passion and start the photography business early.
· Best advice you would give a new photographer? Develop you own style, be unique always
· What site do you use for your photography and why? I am currently using Bludomain for website template, They are inexpensive and easy to customize. And I customize eBlogger for my blog posts. The format of eBlogger is clean and straight forward.
What Else Should We Know?
· What was your worst photography experience? I don’t really have the worst photography experience, but a bit scary and unique experience - I was trying to get a good angle during a ceremony, and got too close to a candle and burnt a hole in my shirt. Luckily, I realized soon enough and only my shirt was sacrificed. I’m still saving this shirt as my souvenir.
· What would surprise people most about you, whether it is photography related or not? People are usually so surprised to see how my pictures come out just using a simple way to shoot and light gears.
· Tell us something else you’d like us to know: I am also a destination photographer. People always wonder why my client would like to spend extra money to hire me instead of the locals. I think my pictures just speak for themselves. I am an international award-winning photographer in two of the most renowned international wedding organizations: Wedding Photojournalistic Association (WPJA) and International Society of Professional Wedding Photographer (ISPWP).
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