Derek Jenkins is one of the latest photographers to be added to SnapKnot’s list of Columbia, Missouri photographers! We are excited to welcome Derek and want to share some of his inspirations and stunning wedding photography with you! Check it out:
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Derek Jenkins and I’m a wedding and documentary photographer originally from Kansas City, Missouri. I’ve been happily married for 6 years and my wife and I are ecstatically expecting our first baby in February!
Why did you choose to become a photographer?
My foray into photography began in high school at the behest of a cute girl who let me borrow her camera. That led to the next three years spent mostly in the darkroom shooting nearly every event in the school. The girl is long gone; photography and I are still very happily involved. With a bit of training and a ton of practice, photography came naturally to me. I love how powerful and moving a single still image can be. I love how it makes me look differently at the world around me. I love experiencing events through photographing; catching and keeping the essence of them. I feel like I am more involved in an event if I am taking pictures.
After I got married, I was asked to photograph a friend’s wedding and fell in love with it. I found how much I love being a part of such an important day in people’s lives; the beginning of a thing that is now very much important to me. I know a lot of photographers who hate the stress of shooting weddings, but it doesn’t feel stressful to me. Marriage is a wonderful thing and each time I shoot a wedding I feel like I’m also celebrating my own as well. I hope my love and honor for marriage comes across in my images of a wedding.
How long have you been a photographer?
I’ve been taking photographs for about 17 years.
How would you classify your style of photography?
My work is very natural and emotive. I focus on catching moments that tell the story, rather than staged shots. You would call it more of a photojournalistic style. The body of work that I deliver for a wedding aims not to blankly show every moment that happened during the day, but to tell the real story; to evoke the same emotions, to bring those memories back to life every time you look through your photos.
I work very non-invasively. I am very hands-off, not directing the wedding day, but observing & preserving it. I came from a journalistic background, so I aim to highlight the beauty and drama that is naturally there rather than manufacture it. I like couples to feel like they can focus on having a wedding and make memories with those important to them, while I quietly document. I like to give my clients a lot of time to spend creating memories, rather than just creating pictures.
Do you have any good wedding stories?
I was shooting one wedding in a beautiful outdoor area in a tree grove. There was a small fish pond next to the ceremony location with bridge over it. I had the bridal party line up on the bridge while I went out to get a good angle. Now, I’m very used to being in nature and climbing around ponds and on rocks. But I’m not used to climbing on decorative rocks gently stacked around a decorative pond. Naturally, when I took one step on the rocks to get a good angle, the whole wall began to crumble, taking me waist deep into the pond. So I shot the rest of the wedding in one of the groomsmen’s blue jeans and with the new nickname “Splash”. :)
What’s your preferred type of camera equipment?
I shoot Canon cameras. Two 5D MkII’s with all small prime lenses. I only use a flash if necessary during the reception. This helps me be as unobtrusive as possible during the day.
What would you recommend for a couple just starting their search for a wedding photographer?
Think about what is important to you. Make your wedding yours. Don’t feel pressured into planning your day only according to others. Be intentional about what you do or don’t do. Your wedding is an important day for you and you should think about how you as a couple can best commemorate and celebrate it. Remember that photography is an important element, but don’t let it run your wedding. You write the story, and then find the right photographer to tell it.
SPECIAL OFFER: Mention that you found me through SnapKnot and receive $200 off your 2013 wedding.