Doug Levy is a wedding, editorial, and commercial photographer based in Sharon, MA. Doug caters to the Boston area and is also available for destination weddings. I had the pleasure of meeting Doug along with a few other Boston-area photographers a few weeks back. Doug’s a great guy, passionate about his work, and he produces some fantastic shots.
Today we’d like to let you get to know Doug a bit. Learn how he got his start in photography, his style, tips for finding a wedding photographer, and more:
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a former professional baseball umpire turned wedding and commercial photographer. Six months after graduating from Syracuse in 2003 with degrees in finance and journalism, I decided I’d rather work in baseball than a newsroom. So in January of 2004, I headed to Kissimmee Florida to attend the Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring.
After graduating umpire school as an honor graduate, I was offered a job in rookie ball, in the Gulf Coast League. That was the beginning of a six year career that saw me work more than 600 professional games all over the country, and a few big league spring training games in 2009.
I spend my time trying to create
Last season, while working behind the plate in Harrisburg, PA, I was hit in the face with a thrown bat, fractured my cheek and spent 6 weeks at home injured. I’d been shooting professionally in the offseason for a few years, and while I was home hurt, realized I didn’t really miss the game. Back behind the plate my first day at work in Binghamton, NY, was the first time in six years that I was on the field and just didn’t want to be there. If I’d missed 45 games in my first few years in the game, I’d have been pacing my house, not knowing what to do with myself. Last summer I just enjoyed the time home with my camera.
Why did you choose to become a photographer?
Baseball left me with a lot of downtime during the day, and I had been kind of searching for an outlet for my time for a while. Then in 2006 umpires and baseball had a labor issue and we struck for the first 2 ½ months of the season. As the strike went on, I started saving money to pay for my health insurance. Thankfully things were resolved at the last minute, leaving me with a spare $1,000 in the bank.
I used that money to buy a Nikon D70s with the 18-70mm kit lens. I sold my first print later that summer and I started shooting professionally in the offseason of 2007.
How would you classify your style of photography?
I think my Twitter profile says it all, “moments + vision + motion + emotion = photos.” That also kinda speaks to my attention span, which is nonexistent. I want things to happen now. I want my pictures now. I want the light now. I’m not a believer in waiting.
To put it more bluntly. I have a friend who likes to say that pretty girls are easy to come by, but it’s not often we meet a truly stunning girl. I spend my time trying to create stunning images.
Who or what are some of your influences on either a personal or professional level?
Photographically I’ve been really loving the work of music photographer Danny Clinch lately. Esquire just gave him a 10 page story – that kind of thing just doesn’t happen. Also frequent inspirations from Sam Jones, Platon and Dan Winters.
Do you have any good wedding stories?
My favorite wedding story is actually pretty simple. In September of 2007 I assisted my good friend Rob Brown at a wedding. I didn’t take a single picture. This past fall, that first groom’s little brother got married, and when Rob and I walked into the bride’s hotel room and her face lit up and she remembered us like we’d been friends for years. The opportunity to meet clients like that is why I love my job.
What’s your preferred type of camera equipment?
I’m a Nikon guy, but really the gear just lets me make images faster, more consistently, in a wider array of conditions. That said, I’m really loving my Lastolite Ezy-Box lately – beautiful, fast, portable light.
What would you recommend for a couple just starting their search for a wedding photographer?
Great photography is a collaborative effort. It’s more important that you get along with your wedding photographer than that they make great images. You’re going to spend more time with your photographer on your wedding day than anyone except your new husband/wife. There is certainly a minimum standard that needs to be there when it comes to image quality, but if you don’t like who they are, there’s almost zero chance you’ll love what they create.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
On my first day at my first internship after my freshman year of college, my boss said to me, “There are two types of people. Those who create problems and those who solve problems. Be a problem solver.”
Anything else you want to share with future brides & grooms?
Your wedding is your day. I see too many couples get, for lack of a better term, pushed around by coordinators and venues. If you want 15 more minutes for your photos and the coordinator is telling you they have to do introductions now, well you know what, they don’t – it’s your day, you’re running the show. They’re not going to start without you.
It goes both ways though – if you’re tired of photos and just want to go party with your friends tell me. I tell clients it’s my job to push for more time, more images, more locations, it’s their job to tell me when enough is enough (though usually I can tell on my own).
Contact Doug Today!
Doug’s Flickr Wedding Set: