It’s not often that you see many photographer teams in action. The photography industry is highly competitive and many photographers prefer to work alone. In some instances a photographer may use an assistant but they generally don’t rely on them in a full capacity as a team member or partner. Some photographers aren’t interested in having an assistant because they fear they will teach them too much about the craft and that they are ultimately helping to increase the competition they may face in the future marketplace. Although there are many pragmatic reasons to have a team member as a photographer, such as setting up gear or coordinating people, for some there are more drawbacks to consider. Another challenge that can keep photography teams from forming are the differing opinions and creative perspectives two people may have on or about something so subjective as photography. It is rare to find a photography team that can work as a well oiled machine and have a seamless stylistic vision.
In Kansas City there is one such team. Blogger Local caught up with Lora Devine, one half of the husband and wife team that makes up Devine Studios. We spoke with her about her and her husband Joe’s, unique experience as a photography team, as well as taking a look at this past year’s trends. The Kansas City wedding photographers were recently voted Best of Weddings by the Knot in 2012, and 2013, as well Best of for Wedding Wire from 2011-2013. Lora credits the husband and wife team with their ability to see what each other may not. For instance Lora prefers and intuitively shoots her photos with a more journalistic approach, where as Joe is more comfortable with directing and posing the subjects of his more portrait based work. This dynamic and polarized approach to capturing the wedding day, provides a total perspective for their clients. Lora relates that she approaches her subjects (often unknowing) from a distance and waits for a genuine moment to happen compared to Joe who gives directives and will often act out a pose or action for the subject of his photo to recreate.
I asked Lora about the team’s workflow given their unusual approach to photography. She told us that Joe is the main photographer and she assists him when needed, also covering the duties of second photographer. She is responsible for chronicling the smaller details, like floral arrangements, the wedding dress or rings. Lora also mentioned that she handles all of the billing, client scheduling and production logistics while Joe handles the main photography duties, post production and file management. We noticed that when you watch a slideshow of Devine Studios work it is impossible to tell the two photographers work apart. We asked Lora how this was possible? She related that when the couple first started out as a team Joe was handling all of the photography duties. Eventually he imparted enough wisdom and technique upon her that she could eventually hold her own. Although the two have a different approach to how they creatively envision capturing a moment, their technique is similar since Joe taught Lora all he knew. The Kansas City wedding photographers generally split up to cover the bride and groom as they separately prepare for the wedding. The team’s style and productivity are complimented perfectly by the synergistic bond they’ve created as a happily married couple.
“Pinterest, good or bad had a huge influence on weddings.” – Lora Divine
When we asked Lora what were some of the biggest trends or influences on wedding photography in 2013, she didn’t hesitate to say that she thought Pinterest was a huge factor. “Pinterest, good or bad had a huge influence on weddings.” She believes that it’s influence stems from it’s potential for users to share what they idealize as stylish, beautiful or inspirational. Lora believes it is a great starting point for her clients to really help them conceptualize all of the different ways their special day can be captured or creatively envisioned. Lora thinks that although it is helpful in getting her client’s brains going on how they want their wedding to be portrayed, it can sometimes create unreal expectations for the outcome of their wedding photography. In some instances a client or perspective client may idealize photos they found on Pinterest of weddings and hope that Devine Studios can closely replicate those photos for the client. Some of the photos or types of photos may be unrealistic to recreate given the specific circumstances of their client’s wedding. For example if you are getting married in downtown Kansas City in the early evening during winter time at an event space, it would be difficult to find a field of grass to recreate your favorite wedding photo from Pinterest, especially when during the time bridal party photos are scheduled to take place it is dark outside. Lora said that despite the possibility for unrealistic photography expectations, the fact the Pinterest exists and inspires people at least allows for a reference point to start with and opens a much needed dialogue about the expectations of the client.
We asked Lora what she was looking forward to in the coming year? She told us one of her favorite times of year is just before Valentine’s Day, when they become busy with another one of their specialties, boudoir photography. The Devine Studios team truly enjoys helping other couples celebrate the passion and Love they have for each other. We hope to hear from Lora soon, so she can fill us in a bit more about how the process works and what people can expect.
To find out more about the professional team of Kansas City wedding photographers, give them a call at (816) 668-6061 or visit their website to see some more examples of their spectacular work. www.devinestudios.com
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