We’re delighted to introduce Edmondton Canada wedding photography studio Photo Junkies! We interviewed the “dynamic duo” Andrew Brown and Kelty Coburn who own and run Photo Junkies to learn more about them, here’s what we found:
Tell us a bit about yourself:
Dynamic duo is a nickname that clients have given us and liking the note of truth it struck in describing our relationship, we decided to run with it. We both have such a different eye and style but the way we integrate our ideas together works really well. Working as a team is great because it allows both of us to step out of our own comfort zone and create really unique work. When we shoot together we are constantly pushing each other as artists and expanding our ideas – which works out really well for our clients.
Why did you chose to be a photographer?
While our individual answers will vary, the common thread that connects them is simple: we both have a strong passion for and love of art. Photography gives us freedom to be creative, to bring our visions and the visions of our clients to life – the possibilities are endless – and photography offers so much to learn and master. Photography also gives us the opportunity to meet many different people, hear their stories, and help them create pictures that they will want to keep and show off for a lifetime.
How long have you been a photographer?
We both have always loved photography. Andrew says he has been always been infatuated with photos and the art of taking them – the beauty of nature, sunrises and sunsets in particular, captured his eye at a young age. You could often see Andrew on his way to work in the morning, stopping to take a few shots of the sunrise. It was a number of years ago, however, that Andrew started to put more serious thought into his hobby. He was asked by a DJ friend to swing by the club he was spinning at and take some photos. A seemingly random series of events threw Andrew headfirst into club photography. That night Andrew met his mentor and just weeks later was shooting clubs with him and using an external flash, something he had never used before.
Kelty on the other hand – had the pleasure of experiencing the other side of things before she turned the lens the other way. As a good friend of Andrew’s, she began her modeling “career” in the back alleys of Edmonton, doing street shoot after street shoot. Modeling, though never a favourite pastime, taught her many valuable lessons, especially when it comes to lighting: if you move the tiniest bit you can completely change the lighting! New knowledge fuelling her confidence, Kelty decided to step on the other side and test her skills. Even as a kid, a camera was never far from her hands. Often, to her parents dismay, there would be rolls and rolls of film waiting to be developed, even after a single day. Growing up on an acreage with horses, she spent the days roaming the country side, camera in hand. Remembering this and itching to try new acquired skills, she re-fell in love with the magic of photography.
What’s your preferred type of camera equipment?
We are both Canon shooters. Andrew shoots mostly wide so he loves his wide angle lenses. Kelty usually shoots with a 50mm. Further, we love our flashes – Andrew, the 580 EXII speedlite in particular.
How would you classify your style of photography?
Unique. Both of us like to break the rules, stretch the boundaries, shake the status-quo. That being said, Kelty has a softer style – she likes to use emotion in her shots, to show it is the smallest things that tell the whole story. A single glance, quirk of the lip, fingers on a horse’s reins, etc. She likes to pay attention to the little “picture”, the little things in life, that seem so insignificant, but have the power to create a moment.
The other half of the duo loves the big picture and often shoots wide. The interaction between the environment and the subject are where his fascination lie. Andrew loves to place his subjects in really interesting environments and highlighting the contrasts and metaphors that are created by their interaction: the lines of a bell tower compared to the lines of a women’s body, the contrast that is created by placing a beautiful model in a dirty and grungy back alley, etc.
The juxtapositions created by meshing the two styles together show a very unique story.
Who or what are some of your influences on either a personal or professional level?
Some of Andrew’s influences would be Jacob Bos from itsyourphoto and Hugo V from Hugo V Photography. Jacob was Andrew’s first mentor and taught Andrew all he knows about flash photography and photography in general. Before he met Jacob, Andrew was shooting dark city clubs with no flash, relying on lasers and ambient light to light his subjects – he was able to capture some really interesting photos. Jacob gave Andrew the push into photography that he needed and armed him with knowledge, the ability to connect the dots, how to “hustle”, and a desire to improve his skills.
Hugo V has amazing work. His ability to sculpt light is incredible. He also has some of the most interesting angles in his shots that really draw the viewer in and intrigue the eye.
One of Kelty’s influences would definitely be Andrew. Kelty acquired most (though not all, she does teach Andrew a few tricks) of her knowledge from Andrew. Kelty also admires the work of Amanda Diaz and Hugo V. Amanda’s work is really soft but she also works really well with light and creating shadow. Amanda also shows a lot of emotion in her work, however, in such a subtle and natural way, you almost miss it.
Other influences on Kelty’s work include many sociologists. A degree in sociology has shifted the lens through which she views the world and she loves to integrate some of this “shift” into her work. Ask her about it, she will gladly go in to more depth.
Do you have any good wedding stories?
At the ceremony of the one of the weddings we did recently, Kelty was looking around and said, “I know some of these guests – they went to my high school!” Unbeknownst to us, Kelty had graduated from the same SMALL SMALL town (think population 250) as the bride. We both looked so different from high school, that it wasn’t until we all put two and two together that we realized we went to the same school, though different grades. It brought us all closer together and made for a extra special and fun day!
What would you recommend for a couple starting their search for a wedding photographer?
Do your research!
Know what you like. You want a photographer that matches your theme/style. The worst thing to hear as a photographer is “I really like this style” and then find out that is the exact opposite of how you shoot. Make sure you are familiar with the photographers work. Photography is art and all art is subjective.
Make sure the photographer you chose is personable and works well under stress. Wedding days are stressful and time is tight. You want to make sure they can think on their feet while still capturing the moments you want. Sometimes improvisation is the name of the game and you really want someone who will stay calm and collected; a problem solver, not a maker.
What is next for Photo Junkies?
We have some really exciting themed shoots coming up… one with Italian Renaissance masks in particular that we are thrilled to be shooting. We always try and keep things interesting and are always willing to try new things. Kelty is particularly interested in heading on some trips to find some wild horses, first here in Alberta, and then beyond. We are excited to see where photography takes us, each day is a new adventure!
Photo Junkies would would like to offer a special discount to the brides (and grooms) from SnapKnot! Contact them from their profile for more details.no comments