Channing Johnson Photography » A Photographer's Journal

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Occasionally Asked Questions

What do you look for when you are taking pictures?

Emotions, interaction, clean compositions, light, color and surprises. Also, I don’t take pictures for my clients, as much as I take pictures for my clients’ children. What will future generations want to see? They’ll want to see a straight shot of mom and dad gazing into the camera looking amazing in their wedding attire, of course. However, I imagine they’ll actually treasure the real moments that were captured without pretense, predictability, or interference. What a gift . . .

Do you take formal portraits at weddings?

Of course. Formal pictures are important. My portraits, particularly my group photos, are very straightforward. People who hire me want a nice and complete record of their families without dedicating too much of the wedding day towards it.

Does my wedding need a second photographer?

Probably not. The pictures I make benefit from blending in and unobtrusively honoring the purpose of your wedding. I’m like the hum of the refrigerator: you know I’m there, but after awhile you stop paying attention. I’m also a big believer in quality over quantity. I’m not there to capture everything. I’m there to capture most things in a thoughtful way to elicit memories and convey feelings later on. There’s usually plenty of room before a ceremony to spend time with both the bride and groom getting ready. Of the 250+ weddings I’ve shot less than 10 couples have ever added on a second photographer. The norm in the industry is to hire students and amateurs as second photographers, so it can be confusing to understand that two photographers doesn’t mean twice as many pictures and certainly doesn’t mean twice as much quality. I’d be happy to elaborate and answer questions specific to your own wedding.

Do you use a flash?

Sparingly. I almost never use a flash before the dancing starts. I think natural light is often what makes a particular environment unique. I’d hate to eliminate that with a flash just to make a “proper” exposure. I’ll often opt for darker, sometimes even motion-blurred photos before putting a flash on. However, sometimes I need to use artificial light to catch the acrobatic dance moves of your guests. That’s much more important than preserving natural light.

Are you an LGBT ally?

Absolutely.

What’s the most interesting article you’ve ever read on the topic of weddings and wedding photography?

This article by wedding photographer Matt Mendelsohn, who visited with past clients several years after their weddings, is fascinating.

There are thousands of photographers out there. Why should we hire you for our wedding?

Each photographer is unique. Each couple is unique. After narrowing it down to a handful of people whose pictures you like, the last criteria is who do you want around you and your family on one of the most significant, overwhelming, and beautiful days of your life? Let’s find out if we’d be a good fit. I’d love to learn about you and your wedding.