Meet Brooke of Brooke Schultz Photography, one of our most recent Salt Lake City, Utah wedding photographers. Striving to capture candid, romantic wedding images, Brooke loves getting past the poses and seeing the real, raw humanness in people. She believes this is when the magic happens and when she can really tell a story. To get more of these inspiring tidbits, enjoy the rest of our interview with Brooke.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Brooke Schultz and I’m a Salt Lake City, Utah based wedding photographer who believes in capturing authentic love in a way that will never be cookie cutter but will always be timeless. I’m a wild-hearted free spirit crazy for scrumptious perfume, baking, the ocean, and gospel music. As a fairly newly-wedded lady myself, I come at photography having recently been in your shoes, and I love seeing couples make their weddings wonderful reflections of themselves instead the same things purely for the sake of tradition.
Why did you choose to become a photographer?
I don’t feel like it was ever a conscious choice–it felt like the natural course of things, even though I had gone through an intense college degree studying music. The art of making photographs enchants me, and being part of the most heavenly day of people’s lives in documenting their love is amazing. There’s a voracious artistic element, too–for me, the desire to create is insatiable–and that makes photography a perfect fit!
How long have you been a photographer?
I’ve been a photographer since I was 17, when I started doing editing for another photographer. I saw what she was doing and I thought, “I could do this!”
How would you classify your style of photography?
My style is candid, romantic, and soulful. I find incredible beauty in imperfection, and I’m always finding ways to capture people in between. When we can get past poses and I see the real, raw humanness in people, that’s when the magic happens; that’s when I can really tell a story.
Who or what are some of your influences on either a personal or professional level?
Because my roots are in music, I’ll always be inspired by my favorite artists in that realm–Aretha Franklin and Bon Iver are two very different but complete geniuses who always leave me lifted. I’ve been influenced by the philosophies of people like Arnold Shoenberg and John Cage because they were the epitome of innovators and did incredible things to move their art forward.
I also love reading and writing and feel those practices have nourished and grown my photographs; Natalie Goldberg’s writings always send my creative wheels spinning. Influences are a funny thing, because while I love and admire the work of many photographers, I always want to be producing art from within myself, and not from the influence of someone else’s greatness. I really believe we all have something beautiful and completely our own to say, and that our task is to keep trying to say it in the best way we know how.
Do you have any good wedding stories?
I always love bouquet tosses gone wrong–once, a bouquet hit the fan and it went EVERYWHERE, just totally shredded and destroyed the bouquet. Made for some killer photos of everyone laughing like crazy, though!
What’s your preferred type of camera equipment?
Nikon! I shoot with the D700 and the 50mm is my favorite lens. I’m also starting to experiment with film, and can’t wait to get my hands on more and more of it.
What would you recommend for a couple just starting their search for a wedding photographer?
Hire someone you trust completely. I made the mistake of hiring someone for my wedding whose work I mostly liked, but there were some elements I wasn’t crazy about. Because I didn’t trust her I was constantly worried about what kind of shots she was getting and trying to force her into the side of her style I liked. It was terrible. Luckily we ended up mutually deciding it wasn’t a good fit before the wedding, and I was able to find someone else I loved and trusted.
You also need to find someone you love personally, not just because they will be heavily involved on the most important day of your life, but also because your photographer will be more creative when he/she feels a positive energy and connection from you. The wonderful thing about there being so many photographers is that you can be picky! You should be able to find someone whose work you love wholeheartedly AND whose personality meshes with yours.
Invest some time looking through your photographer’s website and blog–not just at photos, but also at any personal or philosophical tidbits they share. Do you agree with the way they approach photography?
Don’t feel obligated to book a photographer because you’ve had a consultation, or because you feel like you’re running out of time, or because they have 17 lenses, or for any other reason than your undying love for their photographs, style, and personality.
Also, don’t ask your photographer for a discount. We understand that you’re on a budget, but asking for a discount just shows a photographer that you don’t think his/her work is good enough to pay X for it. Even if you get a discount, I guarantee your photographer will be resentful, less creative, and way less willing to give you a fabulous experience.
If photos are important to you, you’ll find a way. I spent half of my total wedding budget on my photographer. It’s not a matter of what you can afford–it’s a matter of what you value.
Whew! Off the soapbox there! :)
It’s so lovely to “meet” you–I do hope you’ll stop by my site and find something beautiful!