Seattle, Washington Photographer
http://www.benbphotography.com firstname.lastname@example.org 2064862151
For today’s ISPWP member spotlight, we feature Seattle wedding photographer Ben B. Nguyen of Made Media Photography.
Ben B. Nguyen Bio
Hi my name is Ben B. Nguyen! Don’t you hate buying a CD and there’s only one song that you like on there? Well I’m a Seattle Wedding Photographer that treats every wedding as if I’m creating a great music album, one that you can listen to in a loop and never be tired of it. I pull in various forms of photography styles to artistically depict every bride and grooms special day. Combine that with a little creativity and amazing knack to make my clients feel at ease and it becomes the perfect recipe to jaw dropping photographs for every part of the special day.
How did you get your start and why did you choose wedding photography as a career?
I started with a background in Graphics design, art, and business right out of college. I found that photography was a perfect medium to sustainably portray my art. Photography is timeless and so are weddings.
How has your extensive experience in wedding photography helped you in difficult circumstances on a wedding day?
I believe that my patience and empathy allows me to easily connect with my clients. It’s so easy to be frazzled when things do not go as planned. In many cases, I’ve had to tie bow ties, pin boutonnieres as well as signed as a witness. And as we all know most weddings will have a hiccup or two, so it’s important to stay fluid and roll with the punches. With regards to photography, I’ve shot in every possible lighting situation, space, and restriction so when I walk into a room I immediately think about my camera settings, lens choice, and how to compose a creative shot within the first minute.
What are some of your favorite local venues?
I love the Artic Club in Seattle. It has such an amazing dome ceiling.
What advice would you give a bride who is looking for a wedding photographer?
Do your research and always meet with your photographer. You can never fully understand or relate to a person purely through email. I always find it so important to vibe with my clients and let them understand beforehand how I work.
What are your top tips for brides to help them get great photos on their wedding day?
My sometimes overly used saying has always been. “Be a model and not a mannequin”. You’ll get the most bang for your buck to get a variety of photos instead of a single pose in 10 different frames. However it’s also best not to try to overly force a situation and to let everything organically unfold throughout the day. That’s usually the best recipe for capturing genuine emotion. Also try to enjoy your day vs stressing over the little things. Let the coordinator shoulder that burden. You want to look relaxed and happy not furled and stressed.
What do you find is the biggest challenge in wedding photography?
I believe that the biggest challenge for wedding photographers is the juggling of business and photography. It’s a relatively saturated market out there and it’s not easy to set yourself apart. It can be tricky too, to play business owner, web designer, marketing, secretary, accountant, boss, and artist at the same time. However to be successful you have to put on all these different hats, sometimes all of them at once to make it work. It’s easy to lose the passion when all the administrative stuff gets in the way of just doing what you love.
Do you do “destination weddings?” If so, what are your favorite destinations?
Yes I do, I love Hawaii and Cabo. I love the warm weather and being in the tropics.
What do you do for fun when you’re not shooting weddings?
I’ve had many hobbies in the past, but now that I have a family, it’s all about spending time with my wife and baby, I’ve also started gardening and grow my own organic foods. I have lots of cell phone photos of weird but healthy veggies. My favorite has to be the Okinawa Spinach. It helps lower your cholesterol and lose weight.
How would you describe your style of photography?
My style is a combination of photojournalism, strobism, and all around creativity. I call it the Sriracha of Wedding Photography. The photos are spicy and we don’t advertise. Just let the legend grow with each shoot.
What (or who) inspires you?
I love the work of Ben Chrisman and Daniel and Davina. I love their approach and how they portray the wedding. It’s just pure art and jaw dropping, yet seems so effortless and unforced.
What’s the best photography-related advice you’ve been given?
I’ve mostly come into my own with my wedding photography business. Most of it has been through tons of tutorials and couple workshops. The best thing I’ve learned from a workshop was to use gummy poster tack to help you stand rings up for macro shots. Best $400 I’ve ever spent. =)
What would you say was the biggest reason for your success?
I have to thank all of my former clients for my success. They do the heavy lifting for me and help me spread the word of Made Media Photography. Much of that is a testament to my interaction with my clients and how I treat my clients wedding photos. It’s a nice feeling to know that your clients love their photos so much they tell all their friends about you. I approach each wedding with the idea that this is the most important day of your life and failure or mediocrity is not an option.
What equipment do you use?
I’m a big Canon fanboy. I love the lens and I love my 5d Mark iis. They are my workhorses and I think I’ve gone through at least 4 of them. Lately however, I’ve been playing around with film cameras and have fallen in love with the look. I’m in a bit of a collecting phase and have the Contact 645, Mamiya pro-tl 645, canonet III, Canon 1V. Shooting film has made me a better digital photographer. I’m more methodical with my shots and I slow to compose each shot before I ever fully click the shutter. So my keep rates now are nearly 50%. I used to deliver about 500 photos for my clients but now I’m sending CD’s off with about 1300 photos.
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