This is a true Inspire me Friday for me, Noelle, because Silvana IS THE photographer that inspires me most. I was giddy with excitement when I was able to hear Silvana speak at WPPI and even more excited when I won a gift certificate to make a free album with her album company Vision Art and then I was ecstatic when she gave everyone an album with her photos in it. Her photos, her art, Silvana herself, inspire me to the fullest. Enjoy!
How long have you been into photography?
I’ve been shooting now for 16 years.
What got you into photography?
I was inspired from viewing a friend’s wedding photos a very long time ago.
What’s in your camera bag?
3-Nikon D700’s, 60mm, 70-200 mm, 24-70mm, 14-24 mm, 45mm TS, 16mm, 50mm 1.4, 1-SB900, 2-SB800 Speedlights, Lowel ID Videolight, 2-sunpack readylight 20’s, sticky putty, pocket wizards, large Westcott umbrella
When meeting with a Bride and Groom what pointers can you share with us?
Always meet with the bride and groom together. If the groom can’t make it, I reschedule to a time where they are both available. It’s important for me to connect with both of them. Photography is very personal. I feel it is an experience, and I want them both to be equally as excited. Plus, it will be difficult for the bride to justify the pricing back to her fiancé if he has not seen anything in the studio or does not know what I’m about. I also like to offer simple appetizer’s upon initial consulation because most of my clients arrive at my studio straight after work without having eaten anything. People are happier and more relaxed when they have something in their bellies. I also have my three little boys (my cats) that roam around the studio freely and greet my clients. They love them! I find that my client’s are more relaxed with them around. When they come back to the studio, they are always anxious to see the kitties!
How do you market yourself?
Word of mouth still stands true and works the best for me. I also offer incentives to my clients for spreading the word such as complimentary prints if they receive in excess of 25 comments on their blog post. If you put your heart into your weddings, people will see that, and they will remember you should they need a photographer in the future.
Any tips for shooting on the big day?
Plan well ahead of time. Always give a lot of buffer time (to allow for lateness). Prepare gear and program GPS day before. Always be ready for a shot with camera in hand. Anticipate the shot. Upon arrival of Bride’s/Groom’s house, scope the location inside and out to know your grounds. If you are tight on time with a late ceremony, explain to your bride and groom that seeing each other before the ceremony can be quite amazing! 1st looks are always great shots!
You have AMAZING lighting in your photos. How do you achieve your desired lighting?
Practice! I use a mixture of natural light, video lighting and off-camera flash. Every situation is different and calls for a different technique. Polishing the image afterwards is important also so learn your PS.
What was your biggest challenge while shooting a wedding and what did you do to over come it?
Am I only limted to 1 answer here? LOL I would say my biggest challenge is usually time. There is so much that I want to do. I want to shoot everywhere! But we all know how quickly the wedding day goes by.
Any tips or tricks you’d like to share with our readers?
Practice reading/observing people. Be nice to people. Be honest with people. Help them to feel comfortable with you. Compliment them. And lastly, greet and talk to Bride/Groom parents! Meet
them upon arrival at the homes and get them to love you!
What do you like to do on your days off?
On my days off, I tend to still want to work, but I’m getting better at that! Getting ouside in the fresh air, walks in nature, enjoying a good movie, anything that takes me away from my monitor.
You do some amazing charity work with the homeless. What got you into helping the homeless?
I’ve always had a heavy heart for the homeless. I would constantly see them as I drove around downtown Toronto, and my heart would sink. I found myself thinking about people’s situations constantly, but what truly drew me into helping them was an amazing encounter with John, my homeless friend from San Francisco. (You can read all about it on my Blog)
If you could tell our readers one piece of advice what would it be?