Katie Smith has been a Premium wedding photographer on SnapKnot almost since the day we launched two months ago. Katie took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to tell us a bit about her background, how she came to become a wedding photographer, and why you should consider hiring Katie to shoot your wedding!
What’s your story?
Photography has always been a huge part of my life. Hardly a day went by when one of my parents didn’t photograph some moment of our lives. I still flip through the hundreds of albums they have and giggle at those memories (and outfits)! So it seemed natural for me to have a camera in my hand early on. I couldn’t wait to drop off a roll of film at the store and return later to get my photos. What a thrill to tear open that package and flip through those pictures! To encourage my passion, my parents bought me a Pentax 35mm. No bells or whistles and nothing automatic. It was PERFECT! I immediately signed up for the high school photography class. One of my favorite photos was taken as an assignment for that class and it still sits in a frame in my house. Next came college and wouldn’t you know that my roommate’s father was a photographer! I thought “Wow, I’m roommates with the daughter of a professional photographer! This is definitely a sign that I’m on going to be shooting for National Geographic in a few years”. I was so excited to start my photography career and of course win that Pulitzer. My Pentax and I were going places!
Then OSU discontinued the photography major later that year. My hopes and dreams were crushed in an instant! I wouldn’t dare transfer to another school. What’s a girl to do? My brother’s advice was that declaring a major doesn’t mean declaring a profession, it just means you’re saying “Hey, I like this so I’m going to study it more”. What did I like besides photography? Beer, but that wasn’t a major. People, cultures, monkeys…. Anthropology it was. Off I trotted with my BA and got a job…..at a bank. While climbing the corporate ladder, I kept snapping away, taking photography classes and building my own library of albums.
A position with the bank opened in Florida and I couldn’t take the winters anymore so I transferred, with camera in hand. Three weeks later my life changed or should I say my life started! I met Ben (truthfully, we met one time in Ohio, but that’s a story for another time!). I forgot all about that corporate ladder and found what it means to live, laugh and love! To make it easier for out of towners to see all my photographs from our many trips together, Ben suggested I buy a digital camera. Digital? No dark room? No stinky chemicals? I decided to give it a try with a little point and shoot. WOW. The shutter lag was enough to kill me…or make me toss the camera into the ocean! However, I was hooked on the concept of digital! I just needed a camera that could do those cool techie things but still feel as natural in my hands as my Pentax. Nikon’s D70s was the winner. Still gainfully employed full time, I began digitally shooting for friends, taking digital courses and loving it. When the economic downturn hit and I was laid off in 2007, it was a natural decision to turn my budding photography business into a full time career.
Three years later, a lot of hard work, training and practice has brought me to today….shooting with a Nikon D300 in my own in-home studio. I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner! I have so much fun with all of it; beach portraits (ah, the beach!), maternity (love those big round bellies!) newborns (oh those fingers and toes!!!), weddings (the love in their eyes!), the list growing daily! There isn’t a photo in my portfolio that I don’t remember taking. Many still conjure up strong emotions for me, years later. There is something so amazing about freezing a special moment in time for all to see. I am privileged to call myself a photographer and will never take that responsibility lightly!
Who or what are some of your influences on either a personal or professional level?
Hmmmm, too many to list but Ansel Adams is who got me to love the beauty of photography…and my family who always encouraged my photography, and my husband for being supportive of me starting my own business!
Do you have any good wedding stories?
All wedding stories are great, I love to hear them all! To this day I still tear up at every single wedding I shoot (no, not gushing tears, just a little choked up during the vows) and when I look back through my portfolio. Silly, but I’m a sucker for weddings – I have always loved weddings: working them, attending them, looking at photos and videos.
What would you recommend for a couple just starting their search for a wedding photographer?[Katie has a great in-depth post about hiring a wedding photographer over at her blog.]
Any fun personal facts we should know about you?
Big Ohio State Buckeye fan – we actually have a room in our house painted Scarlet and Gray. In South Florida, wedding season = college football season so miss quite a few good games, but it’s definitely worth it! The hubby and I plan on sailing around the Caribbean in a few years – when we’re not working you can find us at boat shows or just relaxing at the beach…we are beach bums to the core.
Anything else we should know?
I don’t think there is anything more special than being a wedding photographer. I love every second of it!
Katie’s Special Offer: 10% off all wedding packages for couples who contact Katie through SnapKnot
Katie is based in Boynton Beach, Florida. She serves clients in Palm Beach and Broward Counties, and is also available for destination weddings.
Contact Katie Smith Photography Today!