SnapKnot is delighted to welcome Las Vegas wedding photographer, Christina A. Bentheim of Red Corduroy Media Group to the stage. With Christina you will get more than modern and classical wedding photos, but an artist and an expert every step of the way.
Tell us a bit about yourself. I’m a nerd. I read–a lot. Photograph–a lot. And spend time with my husband and our three dogs–Mickey, Daisy, and Max. Nothing makes me happy like holding my camera and doing whatever it takes to get the shot!
Why did you choose to become a photographer? I’ve always been in love with photography and the expression of one’s vision through images. My first camera was a cheap little 110 camera that was terrible. I took photos so much that my weekly allowance as a kid went to photo processing. My mom also taught me how to develop photographs in our darkroom at home. I finally got my first 35 mm camera when I was in college. I let go of film about 8 years ago and have never looked back. Photography is more than a creative outlet for me. It’s what inspires me. No two people see the world in the same way. Photographs tell distinct stories that I create as the photographer.
How long have you been a photographer? My business name has been registered for one year. However, I’ve been shooting professional as a freelancer for 10 years–first as a travel photographer.
How would you classify your style of photography? My style is unique in that I shoot with a creative edge. I like to shoot from odd angles and perspectives and I really like to play with light. In addition, every photo has an end purpose. When I shoot, I know what I want to do with the image before I take it.
Who or what are some of your influences on either a personal or professional level? Gosh. There are so many absolutely fantastic wedding photographers out there. There are a select few who are truly exceptional. And with whom I draw inspiration from: Jose Villa, Jerry Ghionis, Jasmine Star, Doug Gordon, Bob and Dawn Davis, Kristen Weaver, and well, the list goes on.
Do you have any good wedding stories? At my very first wedding during the pre-ceremony bridal party session, I was shooting on the beach, wearing all black, carrying my heavy equipment, in loafers. I lost my balance and literally plopped down into the sand landing in a strange position, much to my own embarrassment. All I could do was laugh and say to the wedding party, “Ok! I just did something funny. Now you have to!” And then I shot them goofing off!
What’s your preferred type of camera equipment? I’m a Canon girl. I grew up learning manual Nikon cameras from my mom. However, my first 35 mm was a Canon and that’s how I’ve built my system.
What would you recommend for a couple just starting their search for a wedding photographer? I actually have a 10-part series I am currently writing on my blog that address this very issue: http://blog.rcmgphotography.com/running-a-legitimate-photography-business-series/. The series is about half done. In a nutshell, do your research. Look at their work online. Talk to them in person and on the phone. If they’re not good at connecting with you straight away, they will probably not be very good communicators once they have your money. Also, make sure the photographer is legitimate. Just because someone takes nice pictures doesn’t mean they’ll be able to capture the shot at the exact moment. There are no do-overs in in wedding photography. Even in the business, professional photographers usually say that wedding photographers have the hardest gigs because we shoot in unpredictable conditions (weather, lighting), and with all types of people, not all of it can be planned. The wedding photographer has to be on his or her feet and know what to do in any situation to get the shot. Finally, do not skimp on your wedding photography. Cut something else out–but not your photography. Down the line, when people at your wedding are no longer with you, you will have your photos. Your flowers will die. Your dress will yellow. The food will be long gone. And only your memory and those photographs will show you what happened that special day .
Any fun personal facts we should know about you? I traveled around the world by myself in the year 2000 to get over my fear of flying. Another thing is that my husband and I met on January 25th, 2004 and have not been apart a day or night since. It was right from the beginning. He’s my photography assistant and is with me at every shoot We get so much joy out of seeing the beauty of couples in love.
Anything else you would like to add about yourself, the wedding industry, photography, brides, grooms, etc? The market is currently flooded with wedding photographers. However, changing an image to black and white or having a $2500 camera does not make someone a professional. A wedding photographer without liability insurance will be cheap. A wedding photographer who does not pay for a business license will be cheap. A wedding photographer without experience or adequate equipment will be cheap. Don’t chance your wedding day. Hire a professional wedding photographer who runs a legitimate business!
Christina is offering $100 off any total package when this SnapKnot profile is mentioned during booking.