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Under the Spotlight – Jeremy Harris

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Not only am I loving sharing some truly fabulous photographers and vendors in this Under the Spotlight series, but I actually feel honoured that so many ass-kicking professionals want to share their work with me (and you!) Today’s interviewee is Jeremy Harris, an authentically rad and totally rock n roll photographer based in New York. With a passion for music, tattoos and yoga (!) he is most certainly the perfect candidate for a spotlight feature on Rock n Roll Bride and I hope you love reading about him as much as I did interviewing him.

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Who are you and what do you do?

Jeremy Harris.  What do I do……hmmm, that’s not an easy question to answer.  I’m a photographer by trade, if that’s what you mean, but I also an avid bicyclist, yoga enthusiast, artist.  I enjoy cooking,  a good bourbon, tattoos, live rock show in small clubs

Where are you based and what cities/countries are you available to for work in?

I am based in New York and am available to shoot anywhere.  I have a valid passport and love to travel

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Under the Spotlight – Jeremy Harris

Not only am I loving sharing some truly fabulous photographers and vendors in this Under the Spotlight series, but I actually feel honoured that so many ass-kicking professionals want to share their work with me (and you!) Today's interviewee is Jeremy Harris, a authentically rad and totally rock n roll photographer based in New York. With a passion for music, tattoos and yoga (!) he is most certainly the perfect candidate for a spotlight feature on Rock n Roll Bride and I hope you love reading about him as much as I did interviewing him. Who are you and what do you do? Jeremy Harris. What do I do……hmmm, that's not an easy question to answer. I'm a photographer by trade, if that's what you mean, but I also an avid bicyclist, yoga enthusiast, artist. I enjoy cooking, a good bourbon, tattoos, live rock show in small clubs Where are you based and what cities/countries are you available to for work in? I am based in New York and am available to shoot anywhere. I have a valid passport and love to travel Who/what are your biggest influences? Whose work do you really admire? Anton Corbijn, Diane Arbus, Tom Waits, Mark E. Smith, Hunter S. Thompson, William Burroughs. I really admire the work of all the people who have tattooed me over the years. Now THAT's a real talent! How would you describe your style of photography? An edgy mix of editorial portraiture, fashion, photojournalism and lifestyle. I lean towards a classic and sometimes vintage look with a variety of b/w and color. I like appeal to a wide variety of clients, from the wacky tattooed couples to the couples who might be a little more conservative and traditional. Do you have an ethos to which you stand by in regards to your photography? Create the best images possible no matter what the conditions, or amount of money involved. Have as much fun as I can in the process. When I'm having fun, my clients have fun. What or who made you get into photography? How did you get into photographing weddings? I discovered a love for making photos in High School. It was a medium of expression that just felt right for me. At the time I was really inspired by the images I saw on the albums I was listening to. Anton Corbijn's images of Depeche Mode, Echo & The Bunnymen, and U2 had a profound effect on me and where a big inspiration. At the time I was living in DC and going to lots of shows: Fugazi, Jane's Addiction, Flat Duo Jets. I always had my camera with me. My love of rock photography expanded when I moved to San Francisco and emerged myself in the rock scene there. So many good bands! The Mummies, Zen Guerilla, The Holy Kiss, etc. I started making friends and became fairly well known in town for my work. I got into shooting weddings though friends and friends of friends. Before I knew it I had a strong body of work and was getting more and more requests. When I moved to NY last year I decided to expand my wedding business. You have a real passion for music and rock n roll. How, if at all, do you bring this into your wedding photography? Yes, I do. Shooting a wedding for me is like shooting a rock concert and band portrait session. Fast paced, exciting, and often spontaneous. I have to rely on my instinct, personality, and ability to direct to get the shots I want. As well as the willingness of my clients to try something fun. Who or what are your perfect clients? Well, I have yet to work with anyone who I didn't really like personally. I try to build relationships with my clients that either become friendships or continue on a business level. I guess the perfect clients are the ones who are super cool and easy to work with. They love to be photographed and take little if no direction to make the fun creative photos. What do you love about weddings? Well I gotta admit I'm a bit of a romantic sap. Hanging out with people who are in love and happy on such a special occasion is amazing. Also who doesn't love a party? Though I am working first and foremost, I do have a great deal of fun at weddings. What do you hate about weddings? Nothing, really. What do you think makes a great rock n roll wedding? A creative, fun couple, with a cool look, who wants do something unique with their big day. Tell me a little about your favourite wedding ever and why? Well so far it has to be Carrie and Brady's wedding at Bimbo's 365 Club in San Francisco. They are friends of mine, so that was great, but the wedding itself was exactly how I would want MY wedding to be (which hasn't happened yet, btw). In a classic 1940's swing club, dressed to the nine's, surrounded by all my best friends and family. They had a great DJ that played a variety of garage rock, soul, r&b, and new wave, as well as a live band (also friends of theirs) who put on a amazing performance. Brady is musician himself (Black Cat Music) and is heavily tattooed. So there were lots of tattooists, and musicians there, which made for great photos. What would you say your greatest achievement has been to date? Staying alive and working as a freelance photographer If you could photograph anybody’s wedding whose would it be and why? I think shooting a REAL rock star wedding would be cool. What advice would you have for couple’s on the wedding photographer hunt? What is a sign of a good/bad wedding photographer? Rule one, find someone with EXPERIENCE. Everyone these days has a digital SLR and calls themselves a professional. Shooting weddings is not easy, and to get really great shots takes knowing what will happen in advance and being ready for it. It also takes a keen eye for light, and how to create good light if it's not available. Rule two, find someone who you really like as a person. If you can have a good time with the photographer over drinks at a bar, then you'll have a good time with them during the shoot. What role (if at all) have wedding blogs played in promoting you and your work so far? I find that blogs are the most cost effective way of reaching the type of people who I would like to work with. So many people use the internet these days and it's cool that there are so many different wedding blogs that cater to so many different types of people. Do you have any advice for budding photographers out there who want to get into weddings? Second shoot for a photographer who's work you admire. Build up some experience and hopefully a portfolio (I always let my seconds use their own photos) without having all the responsibility. What can we expect from you in 2010? Lot's of good stuff! I'm consistently shooting bands for Kerrang! Magazine in London, have a cover/feature in Bicycling Magazine coming out in April, and have a bunch of weddings booked for Spring and Summer. What are your goals and aspirations when it comes to your photography? My goals are to make a decent living doing what I enjoy for as long as I can, and to create work for myself that has nothing to do with my commercial aspirations. Thanks to Jeremy for taking the time to share his Rock n Roll photography with us. For more information about Jeremy Harris head over to his website. You can contact Jeremy by phone on 415-786-2027 or by email to jeremy@jeremyharris.com If you are a photographer or wedding vendor and are interested in being featured in a future ‘Under the Spotlight’ post then drop me an email for all the info.

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Family Ties

This beeeautiful family/bridal shoot was submitted to me by the bride, Kim, a few months ago and I have been eagerly awaiting the images from photographer Natalie for what feels like an age! I was so excited when they arrived that I couldn’t wait to get them up. You’ll see why! This gorgeous family had a shoot that would not only remind them of their wedding day, but that encompassed them as a unit

“My inspiration, and Kim’s inspiration connected immediately!” Natalie tells me “It’s not that I “try” to be different,.. it just happens! I am attracted to art, not tradition. I am a freelance artist besides a photographer, so when thoughts/visions and poses come into my mind… I have to draw them out! I have been asked how I think of my poses when I shoot… and I really don’t know how to answer it. The thoughts come to me randomly. Driving, or just sitting at home working. Kim is so creative and artistic herself, but the two of us together, created so much style! Kim let me be creative, and completely trusted me to do whatever I wanted.”

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Modern Marie Antoinette

Simone & Matt were married at the Historic Mission in San Diego.  Simone wore a Monique Lhuillier dress from and Christian Louboutin shoes.  After the ceremony all the guests headed over to the Prado restaurant at Balboa Park for an outdoor cocktail hour with hors d’ourves and live jazz.  Before entering the ballroom the couple entertained the guests with giant Bride and Groom pinatas which were attacked by kids and grownups alike.  There was no formal sit down dinner.  Instead guests were welcome to use the sushi bar and the mini kobe burger and fries bar.  Big band jazz and vocals entertained.  Later in the evening the band packed up and a DJ took over while a separate room was opened up with a taco bar and a ‘Tostitoes’ bar.
 
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Modern Marie Antoinette

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Simone & Matt were married at the Historic Mission in San Diego. Simone wore a Monique Lhuillier dress from and Christian Louboutin shoes. After the ceremony all the guests headed over to the Prado restaurant at Balboa Park for an outdoor cocktail hour with hors d'ourves and live jazz. Before entering the ballroom the couple entertained the guests with giant Bride and Groom pinatas which were attacked by kids and grownups alike. There was no formal sit down dinner. Instead guests were welcome to use the sushi bar and the mini kobe burger and fries bar. Big band jazz and vocals entertained. Later in the evening the band packed up and a DJ took over while a separate room was opened up with a taco bar and a 'Tostitoes' bar. The inspiration for the our wedding came after I found my dress. Simone told me It is a Monique Lhuillier gown, but i found it at the Neiman Marcus outlet! My mom works for Neiman Marcus, so I got an even better discount too. It was the first and only dress i tried on. It fit me perfectly. The dress inspired my "Marie Antoinette but modern" theme that I wanted for the wedding. I wanted it to just be like a candle lit party with gold accents and ostrich feathers, something I imagined Marie Antoinette would have done. I also wanted my guests to have fun, so I made the food interactive, I had the photobooth, and the little bride and groom pinatas for everyone to have fun with. The food was all matt and my favorites, especially the tosti locos which are a mexican snack. Thanks to John, Simone & Matt for sharing

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Best of Blogs – Issue 5 ~ Steep Street Photography

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The best thing about writing for Photo Pro magazine, except obviously squealing everytime I see a copy in WH Smith, is the reaction of my subjects when I show them a copy.

Oh my goodness! Han and I are freaking out. We can’t wait to see it for real and would DIE for a copy. If you can’t swing it, the scans at least would be so cool.

Big hug!

Kelty

Yep, they are right to freak out. The images look amazing in print don’t they?

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Best of Blogs – Issue 5 ~ Steep Street Photography

Screen printing, custom designs, image overlay, graphical collage effects – these are all ideas one wouldn’t usually place alongside wedding photography. But Kelty of Steep Street Photography, based in the eclectic and creative Portland, Oregon, is seriously bucking the trend and doing her own thing. As a child, Kelty chose to spend her time obsessively designing, creating and crafting – it’s a very lucky person who is able to bring their childhood hobby into adulthood and to make a career of it. She explains “I grew up with dirty feet, knotty hair and an art project going full steam ahead. And as much as I enjoyed hocking my creations to my friends, family and neighbours, it wasn´t the loose change or the Haribo candy it bought that caused me to leap out of bed every morning and stay up till the wee hours of the night, obsessively beading dangly earrings anchored by rubber eyeballs or mini schnauzers, gluing moss into perfect shapes for a diorama scene or stapling binding after binding for my next illustrated novel. Come to think of it, the most fun I´ve ever had, back then or since, has been making things and a large part of that happiness has been sharing those things with others. I´m not sure how many people in my life still cherish (or even possess, for that matter) a Nature Stick, a water-colour portrait, a persuasive-bordering-on-pushy brochure or a rainbow-braided bff bracelet, for example... but making whatever it was with them in mind was basically my purpose in life back then.” Skip forward 20 years to the present day and her quickly emerging successful career as a web designer, artist and wedding photographer is a reality. Kelty is certainly what one might call an experimental and spontaneous photographer and artist. She chooses never to settle for the easy option or to follow the popular wedding crowd. She is always pushing herself to create art that reflects her client’s personalities and ideas, and to generate small seedlings of imagination into a reality. “My inspiration comes from the couple I’m working with. It really depends on what the couple likes. The style of Hannah and Alex wedding images came out sort of goofy spy/comic book inspired because that's what they love. I know they like bright colours and popping shapes. I'm inspired a lot by the couple's personal style, and try my best to translate and reflect that into the work.” From the outset, Kelty chooses to let the client and the environment determine the shots. Posed ‘smiling at the camera’ shots are a big no no, pushed to the side in favour of more naturalistic, spontaneous and organic imagery. “I like a blend of far away shots to let the environment speak for the couple, mixed with up close, personal moments” she told me. What intrigues and ultimately excites me the most about Kelty’s work however is her post-production techniques. I have never seen anything like it. One of my favourite examples is the wedding of her sister Hannah to Alex. The experimental aspect of both the wedding itself, the photography and the post production all came together to tell a story that is exciting, eclectic and perfectly personal to the couple. “I love when my clients are open to mixing their photos with other elements, collaging a bit and putting a new spin on what could be an average photo.” Kelty told me. “Hannah and Alex needed 8 cd covers made to use as favours for their guests and let me do whatever I wanted with the photos of them to create 8 little worlds for them to live in. I created the collages in Photoshop using photos of the couple, other photos I've taken, torn out magazine pages, scanned textures and other elements. The covers came out wonderfully and were also printed large and hung as art in their home!” The style is one you may already be familiar with. You have probably seen similar ideas being used in magazines or in advertising…but wedding photography? The idea is in actual fact a simple one; it’s the execution, the situation and the subjects that make it so exciting. “It’s simply digital collage. I layer photos and scanned textures in a Photoshop document and then print it flat. It's hard to hand collage something like that, but Photoshop allows me to collage much richer designs because I can make some layers more prominent and solid, and other more transparent and layered. I think this is what gives the dimension, richness, imagination and energy to the collages” Kelty admits to not being the most effective blogger when she first began. It is hardly surprising when she was so busy being crazy-creative in her work. With a life full of photography, editing, web designing and other art projects, who would also have time to be obsessed with blogs? However luckily for me, her sister Hannah submitted some of her work to Rock n Roll Bride last April and so my obsession with her photography and style began. I believe I actually even blogged about my ‘girl crush’ on her a while ago! The amazing thing about blogging, really unlike any other media is the snowball effect it can generate, almost immediately. Once Hannah had submitted her sister’s work to both myself and other bloggers, it not only started popping up all over blog land, but people who saw her work on the professional wedding blogs similarly wanted a slice of the action and began sharing it too. Her experimental ideas have literally created a wave that has rippled its way through the blogosphere in the last year. After seeing Rock n Roll Bride and other blogs, a new outlet for her work began to emerge. “I had just begun blogging and discovering the wedding blogs like yours.” She told me “Other photographers and fans have given me a real purpose in my blogging. It feels amazing having such talented people out there who are willing to share, guide, and inspire me.” After the discovery of blogs, she’s never gone back “I like blogging because it makes me feel more connected to my friends and clients. Knowing I have a forum to post my work to inspires me to improve every time and the feedback that I get from friends and viewers is priceless. Blogging has helped my business more than any choice I've made so far. It has connected me to hundreds of like-minded creative types with lots to share and I couldn't be more grateful for the exposure. I think wedding blogs are getting cooler and cooler. I especially like blogs like Rock n Roll Bride who post unusual weddings, DIY elements and images of people. They're a treasure trove of information and inspiration that I'm sure helps hundreds of brides plan something personal and different. I've also noticed that TONS of married or single people are fans, which proves that it has a universal appeal in its artistic side. People of any age, marital status, location or job can apply the photos, tips and stories to their own life, which is totally rad.”

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Hannah & Ali’s Quirky, Art Deco and Too-Damn-Freakin’-Cool British Wedding

Do you remember Hannah & Ali’s awesome ‘at home’ engagement shoot complete with their awesome kitty cat? Well I was over the moon to receive an email full to bursting with their quirky, art deco, vintagey wedding goodness from their photographer Steve Gerrard just the other day. I am loving Hannah’s Jenny Packham dress and headband (le swoon indeed) and the bridesmaids look just too damn cool for school in their All Saints dresses.

Their wedding took place just before Christmas at The Daffodil in Cheltenham, a fantastic converted 1920’s Art Deco picture house Steve tells us, The vintage theme continued throughout the wedding and I have to say I wish more couples would go down this route. I think it’s so cool and stylish. Hannah and Ali both looked amazing, but their guests also made a huge effort and win the award for best dressed guests ever!

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A Schoolyard Elopement

Tiffany & Tyler’s images is one I knew I had to blog as soon as I laid eyes on it. I love all the different elements at play here – the doggie, the Converse, the awesome dress…everything! The couple, who met at school, eloped and called their photographer friends Ashley & Stephanie that very morning to pop down and take some shots for them. They chose locations such as their old school to make the photographs really special.

These two (and Nikki, their adopted greyhound, makes three!) were a true joy to shoot, and Ashley and I are so happy they chose us–they are the true quintessence of White Rabbit Studios! Fun, artistic, flirty, bright, and definitely a bit offbeat–all things we love. And, really, could we have asked for better sunshine? I think not. 
We chose two different locations–first, the (unfortunately) soon-to-be-closed East Clinton Elementary School, and then we reconvened for a few quick, fun shots (and delicious gelato!) at the ever-fabulous Sam & Greg’s in downtown Huntsville.

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