Today we want you to meet Karen Ard, one of our favorite wedding photographers on SnapKnot! We had the pleasure of meeting Karen back in March at WPPI in Las Vegas and she’s a great person. She’s been very supportive of us since the beginning – and she also takes fabulous photos!
Learn more about Karen, who is based in LA:
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a California girl, born and raised! I love the ocean in all its beauty and power. I lived in the Caribbean for a while, as well, where I started shooting destination weddings, ate the best food in the world, and watched the sunset every night. I have the most supportive, fabulous firefighter hubby and two kids that melt my heart.
Why did you choose to become a photographer?
Would it be silly to say photography chose me? I consider myself an artist with the camera as my medium. Maybe it was because I was never good at drawing? Possibly because my dad gave me a camera when I was 10? Whatever the reason, it is part of who I am and I really don’t know anything different. It is my passion. It allows me to capture beauty, laughter, love, pain, joy, details… moments that would otherwise go unrecorded and perhaps even forgotten.
How long have you been a photographer?
Besides a few odd jobs here and there, I have made my living as a photographer all my adult life (ummm, that would be a long time!). I started shooting right out of high school, got editorial work published before I was 20, continued with mostly editorial and commercial work, then got hooked on weddings and portraiture. I love capturing real moments for my clients and creating art for their homes.
How would you classify your style of photography?
My style of photography is pretty modern, yet I’m influenced by vintage cameras, films, and textures – you’ll find some of that in my fine art pieces. I have a photojournalistic background and I find that creeps into my style as well, especially during weddings and my personal work. I love clients who think outside the box and I’m thrilled when they call me to shoot something non-traditional!
Who or what are some of your influences on either a personal or professional level?
My professional influences are mostly street photographers… Robert Frank, Diane Arbus… There is such truth and honesty in their work.
Do you have any good wedding stories?
They are all good! I feel fortunate that all my clients have been amazing. Not a single weird/bad/crazy thing has happened. (I hope I haven’t jinxed myself!) I guess the best part is at the end of the night when they give me the biggest hugs and thank me for being there. Becoming part of their family is my good wedding story!
What’s your preferred type of camera equipment?
I think what is important in photography is your eye. Cameras come and go. What do I shoot though? I am a Canon girl. My first camera was a Canon AE1 and I’ve just stuck with them even though I’ve had Nikon and Mamiya as well. I still try to shoot film and use my collection of working vintage and toy cameras whenever possible. Sometimes, I’ll even whip out my iPhone camera – so don’t be alarmed!
What would you recommend for a couple just starting their search for a wedding photographer?
I realize we all have budgets, but please look at a photographer’s style before the price. Find a style that matches yours. Meet with them whenever possible and make sure you click, personally and professionally. I love to build relationships with my clients – be part of the friends and family that are cheering them on. I hope to be old friends with them by the time the wedding rolls around so they are relaxed around me and we have fun. I know what might make them laugh and what their best angles are, which is why I love doing my complimentary engagement/portrait sessions beforehand.
Any fun personal facts we should know about you?
I’m a bit of a dork and I’m okay with that. I’m a Mac. And, I love, love, love to dance. The hardest part about shooting weddings is not being able to get my groove on at the reception!
Karen’s Special Offer: A complimentary mini day after/trash the dress session within the LA area for any weddings booked through Snapknot.
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