Your Surprise!! Interview with Ben Waddell!

My big surprise is our first ever interview!!
Ben Waddell (blog) is the creator and photographic genius behind Ben Waddell Photography (formerly Ray Studio). Ben was the photographer we almost snatched up. I, originally, was drawn to the fact that he does both photography and videography. However, he was booked for the videography. I loved his style. So, we debated and eventually, went with Nikki. However, I still loved Ben. I recommended him to my friends and Ben and I stayed in contact. Well, a couple of weeks ago I asked him for an interview. This is what followed.

Don't you love this photo? Classic!!

QTK: How did you get started in Wedding Photography?

BW: About three years ago I spent a summer living on a houseboat on the amazon river. A good friend of mine was with me and I remember him always getting frustrated with me whenever we were taking pictures. He's always say, "you are so frustrating, whenever we take a picture of the same thing mine always looks good but yours always looks like a work of art!" I kind of thought that was funny but never really thought much of it, or pursued my interest in photography any further. Then a couple of years ago I was videotaping a wedding and the bride asked me if I ever did any photography. Without thinking I immediately said yes! I could feel my heart sink when I realized that I had inadvertently lied without thinking about it. So we booked a photoshoot and I went home wondering how in the world I was going to do it. I went to a camera store, rented a camera and tried to figure out how to use it. I had always used really simple cameras and I remember the guy in the store having to show me how to turn it on. It was so embarrassing. Long story short, the photo-shoot was a huge success, the bride was very very happy and that's how I got my start!

QTK: You have seen many weddings. What is the most unique thing you have seen done?
BW: I enjoy the Trash the Dress Sessions. A couple of months ago we did a night shoot at a public pool. We had lights all over the place and the water was freezing cold but we had an awesome time. The most unique thing I've seen done at a wedding is a little tougher. Most of the "creative" things you find to do are done almost every weekend by other brides who are searching the internet looking to be unique. I always enjoy it when the bride and groom coordinate a fun dance for the first dance. It is always a blast!

QTK: What should people really ask a photographer that they don’t?

BW: Most of the question guides you find in the wedding planning books and magazines are pretty thorough. Once you get enough information to know they are truly a professional I think you need to take time to ask personal questions. Photographers love getting to know their clients and they will likely work much better if they feel like they have gotten to know you a little bit.

QTK: What is the number 1 thing couples can do to make their wedding memorable?

BW: I think the most important think couples should do to make their wedding memorable is to be sentimental about it. Too many brides get caught up wanting to have the "perfect" wedding with all the right decorations, music and food that their personalities get lost in the planning. For me a good wedding is one where it is evident that the couple is in love. I was recently at a wedding where the groom was a huge Penn State fan. His fiance had planned all sorts of little Penn State things throughout the day. When they exchanged gifts in the morning he got tickets to a game. When they got to the reception there was a Penn State grooms cake. When he took her garter off it was Penn State. The best part about it was that she is a HUGE Michigan fan. It was obvious she loved him because she made the day as much about him as it was about her.

QTK: What are some tips you have for brides (and grooms) to take the best pictures they can?

BW: I think couples should seriously think about doing a "first sight." That's where they see each other before the wedding. That gives the photographer so much more time to take pictures and allows for the pictures during the ceremony to turn out better because you the couple is more relaxed.

Don't they look like they are having fun?!

QTK: What is your favorite part of weddings?
BW: My favorite part of the wedding is the reception. I love capturing people when they are having fun and I love being able to relax and just be creative.

This one is my absolute favorite and is almost making me rethink this part of our wedding.

Thanks Ben for stopping by and leaving us with your beautiful images and thoughts. Ladies, if you are looking for an amazing photographer in VA or the South think about hiring Ben. You will not be disappointed.

Rocking: Run DMC x Walk This Way
Feeling: Happy

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