Meet Kristin Griffin, one of the newest additions to our list of Boston wedding photographers. When she’s not reading a good book or frolicking in the snow with her hubby, this New England wedding photographer is utilizing her fine art wedding photography skills to capture your romantic moments.

wedding, shoes

Tell us a bit about yourself. I’m a New England wedding photographer, and I live in Southern MA with my husband, Ron, and 4 year old son, Wesley.  Ron and I met while we were teaching at a high school (biology for him, photography and graphic design for me).  It turns out we were a great match and in 2005, we eloped to Vegas before moving to Sydney, Australia for a year while he completed graduate school.  When I’m not photographing, I love reading a good book, ice skating, snow blading, swimming, traveling and baking cookies.  My peanut butter chocolate chip never seem to make it to the cookie jar!
bride, groom, beach

Why did you choose to become a photographer? I fell in love with photography when I took my first black and white course in high school.  Something about the magic of watching your photograph develop in the tray just grabbed me!  I decided to study photography in college and went to the University of Notre Dame for a bachelor of fine arts degree.  While in Indiana, I also had the opportunity to work as a teaching assistant and I found that my initial love of photography got rekindled every time I saw that spark of inspiration in the eyes of a new student.  I went on to pursue my master of fine art degree at Rochester Institute of Technology, so that I could continue to teach on my own.  At RIT, I found a new love – bookmaking!  I find sewing text blocks and creating original covers extremely therapeutic and I love making handcrafted albums.  I think understanding the process of constructing a quality book has made me very critical at choosing the vendors and labs I work with as well.  I’ve found a couple professional labs that create beautiful books that I’m sure will become heirlooms for my couples.

How long have you been a photographer? I’ve been a professional photographer for over a decade.  I didn’t find wedding photography as my niche right away, though.  It took a friend begging me to photograph her wedding for me to dive in.  After that experience in 2004, I was hooked!  I love photographing people in love, and what better time than the first day of their new lives together!  After graduate school, I focused on fine art photography, publishing work and exhibiting prints in gallery shows.

I’ve been honored to have my photographs shown in galleries all over the world.  While working as a fine artist, I also taught black and white, color, digital, alternative process and the history of photography at the high school, university and adult education levels for eight years.  I especially love night photography because of the spectacular and unexpected colors that happen around twilight and beyond.  I also have a soft spot in my heart for historical processes.  I have tried my hand at a number of different antiquated processes, and I think this helps inform my style of photography, even in the digital age.  I love one-of-a-kind works!

bride, laying, floor

How would you classify your style of photography? My training was very classical and fine art based, so I’d say my strength lies in detail shots, fashion posing and finishing.  I love arriving before the bride is ready, so we can capture some unique images of the details she’s focused her wedding planning around.  So much thought and energy goes into this one day, that I like to make sure every feature is captured.  Once the ceremony starts, I’m pretty unobtrusive.  I want to document all the emotions and moments, and I want them to be authentic.  Some of the best compliments I’ve received from brides are that I was everywhere on wedding day and that I captured special little moments between them and their grooms that they are so thrilled are in their albums.  I think my style is a blend between photojournalism and fine art.

Who or what are some of your influences on either a personal or professional level? It’s so hard to pick just one or two influences, but I can share some of my favorite artists and photographers.  I absolutely love the work of Duane Michals.  I enjoy his storytelling ability and it’s so hard to make viewers laugh when they see your images.  It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen “Things are Queer”, it still make me smile.  I’m also in awe at the impossibility of still-life sets by Michiko Kon and Sandy Skoglund, and the amazing camera work by Arno Minkkinen (can you believe he does this in the camera – no Photoshop?!?).  I love the fashion work by Horst P. Horst and Richard Avedon.  Their control of light and use of pose is something I push myself toward.  I’m also an avid reader of bridal magazines where I find great inspiration from photographers, designers and planners.  I believe strongly in the power of continuing education.  I frequently attend workshops and conferences hosted by PPA, WPPI or places like the George Eastman House, so I can continue to improve my storytelling ability, technical skills and workflow.  Good photographers are like bread – we’re no good once we go stale!

Do you have any good wedding stories? Oh gosh – what wedding photographer doesn’t?  I think my favorite moment at a wedding was right after the “I do’s” when a helicopter flew in to dump 3 gallons of flower petals on the new couple.  It was a surprise orchestrated by the bride’s parents, and the wedding planner was amazing at getting the timing just perfect.  The look on the couple’s faces was priceless – I’m sure they were wondering what a helicopter was doing at their wedding ceremony!

outdoor, wedding
What’s your preferred type of camera equipment? I’m a gadget junkie!  I love testing out new equipment and seeing what will push me to try new things.  Right now, I’m a Canon shooter, but I used to work exclusively with Mamiya medium format film cameras.  I still have three Pentax K-1000 35 mm cameras as well.  Those things are indestructible!  I’ve also been known to bring along a Nikon that’s converted to an IR camera, underwater housings for trash the dress sessions on the beach, etc.  I’ll use whatever suits the event the best!  One of the benefits of teaching for so long was that I had to get accustomed to all sorts of different cameras so that I could teach students how to use the camera they bought.  It also forced me to stay on top of new developments in software technology, camera technology, printing methods, and new products.
outdoor, wedding party
What would you recommend for a couple just starting their search for a wedding photographer? Sit down with your fiance and rank the wedding day services you need in order of importance to you.  This will help you as you work on the investment you will make in your wedding day.  For instance, if you highly value having lots of friends and family surrounding you on wedding day, you can expect to spend more on your venue and catering to accommodate a large guest list.  If you two love to party, make sure you hire a DJ or band that will get your crowd excited.

If you love taking pictures yourself and you have tons of photographs or scrapbooks decorating your home, you’re probably going to place a high value on your wedding photography.  Remember, this is one service that’s going to last far beyond your wedding day, and it’s the way you will remember all the details, emotions and moments of your day.  Long after the flowers wilt, the cake has been eaten and the guests have gone home, all that will remain of your special day are the photographs!  I advise my brides to meet with the actual photographer who is going to capture your day.  Make sure your personalities are a good match and the style of photography they do resonates with your vision for the day.  I offer couples a complimentary engagement session so they can test out my personality and service before they sign a contract.  We have a chance to get to know each other and I get to learn more about their wedding plans.  Also important, the couple sees themselves through my lens, rather than just looking at a bunch of images of people they don’t know!  If we’re a good fit, we look at customizing a wedding photography package.  If we’re not a match, the images stay posted in an online gallery for a few months and there’s no obligation or charge to the couple.  You test drive a car and visit a home before you purchase.  Why trust the memories of your first day of your new lives together to a stranger?

To view more of Kristin Griffin’s fine art wedding photography, visit her at her website: http://kristingriffinphotography.com/site/.

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