Meet Courtney Frederick of C. Marie’s Photography, one of our newest Dayton, Ohio Wedding Photographers. Courtney was kind enough to answer some questions so you can get to know more about her and the fun, romantic wedding images she creates.
Tell us a bit about yourself. I am the sole photographer and owner of C.Marie’s Photography. I currently live in Dayton Ohio but my favorite place in the entire world is NYC. And I hope to live there someday. I truly have a passion for photography and love to capture moments in time in photographs for you to cherish and share for a lifetime.
Why did you choose to become a photographer? Ever since I was a child I have truly had a passion for photography and I just want to share that passion with the world!
How long have you been a photographer? That’s a hard question. I feel like I have always loved photography and taken photographs throughout my life. I remember having my very 1st camera, I got it as a gift right before our family vacation to New York City, I must have been about 12 years old. It was a camera that printed four tiny pictures on each 4×6 print, I am sure it is in my old toy box still. And also remember going to Washington D.C. with my school and using something like 12 or 13 rolls of film on the four day trip.
By the time I was in high school I got my 1st digital point and shoot camera as a birthday present. I remember it like yesterday, I was wearing a purple sweater and we were eating out at The Olive Garden in Lima, Ohio. That camera is the camera that sort of started it all. My great grandma lived on a large farm in Holmes County, Ohio and we were having a family bon-fire that fall and I got bored so I started taking pictures of the flowers and trees, and the fire and anything I could find around the barns. Once developed, my mom was showing them off at church (what a mom thing to do), and a church member was a photographer at a chain mall portrait studio and offered me a job. I could hardly believe it, I was only 15. (Keep in mind, everyone has to start someplace.)
I continued working there through high school, until I decided to move to Dayton to attend college. At the mall down the road from my dorm was the same studio chain I had worked from back home, so naturally I went and applied for a photographer job to have some spending money.
I very quickly became very bored with the studio photographs that were basically the same 20 shots over and over again with everyone. No offense but there is nothing creative about having a children stand by a big plastic number and begging them to smile. Besides at that point I had a nicer camera then the studio and loved being able to work all the different functions and get creative. That summer I transferred to Ohio Institute of Photography in Dayton and quit working at the mall studio and began working on my own photography more and more and while going to school. I was thrilled I felt like for the first time in my life I was actually enjoying learning and being in school. Maybe I am just a big nerd but I honestly can say I loved everyday of photography school. Well except science class! I just have this passion for photography and I feel like no matter how much I learn about photography I just cannot learn enough. As a student I was always practicing taking pictures of friends and family members, and 2nd shooting weddings with local photographers. And now 23, I can hardly believe it but now I am a full time professional photographer. It is almost like a dream or something. :-)
How would you classify your style of photography? My style, I would say has a clean modern look. I want to create art and family heirlooms with your photographs so keeping images, albums, and artwork timeless and modern at the same time is always my goal. I thrive to capture moments in time instead of posed fake shots. And I do not own any of those big plastic numbers.
Who are some of your influences on a professional level? – Elizabeth O’Neill of Elizabeth O’Neill Photography out of Dayton, Ohio. Libby (as many know her by) was a teacher at OIP&T when I was a student she was my portfolio advisor and she does excellent work. I am always reading her blog and asking her questions and she recently got married herself and I think she shoot pictures at her own wedding even. J She is a great photographer and great teacher! She does workshops now so if anyone cares to know I think she rocks and you should take a workshop with her. – Bambi Cantrell of Cantrell Portraits is out of Orange Country, CA. I met her at a WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International) convention in Las Vegas last year. I had seen her work and read many things about her for a few years now as she very much reminds me of my mother’s best friend Effie, who was a painter. Bambi has an amazing talent of photographing people and making a timeless photograph that is still very artisy. It’s hard to explain you might just have to check her out yourself. I try my best to read and listen to anything she has to say.
I have listened to her mostly at WPPI conventions in Las Vegas where I got the chance to take a two day class with her that I wished could of gone on for a week. – Sal Cincotta is out of St. Louis and I will have to say he reminds me some of myself. Talks all the time, mind is always on and thinking, has a ton of energy and sometimes forgets to filter his thoughts before they come out of his mouth, which I love. He is so funny too! He is from Brooklyn so of course I am totally jealous he got to grow up in my favorite city. He is a great photographer and a wonderful business man. I first listened to him speak in Las Vegas and then again I went to listen to him on tour when he came through to Columbus, Ohio. He captures some awesome shots and I hope to be as good as him someday. He keeps me thinking and I love that. Change is a great thing and I am always glad to hear what he has to say because he likes change too!!
Do you have any good wedding stories? I have a funny one…Last Summer I was photographing a wedding in Botkins, Ohio and was at the back of the church behind the seats running from one side to the other to capture the look on the brides face. When my foot slid under the edge of the isle runner, and I completely face planted. Not to worry I saved the camera and walked away with only a bruse on my knee. And THANK GOD only the wedding planner saw me. (And I still got the shot J )
What is my preferred type of camera equipment? I am a Canon shooter. And I love prime lens, such as 50mm, 28mm, and 100mm Macro. I also love to rent the 70-200mm lens and hope to save up some money to purchase my own soon.
My advice to Brides & Groom’s selecting a photographer….
-I know there are a lot of photographers out there so interview a couple of them, check out their website and maybe even some reviews from other customers. Make sure they have some type of photographs to show you or a sample album etc. Quality does matter. If a deal sounds too good to be true it probably is, just be wise in your investment. -Make sure to remember when picking a photographer you will be hanging out with that person for 8 or 10 hours on the biggest day of your life. So make sure you get along and you think they are fun to be around. As well as he/she will be creating your first family heirlooms, whether it be an album or artwork for your wall; you need to trust him/her to create beautiful work. -Don’t skip your engagement session. It is a great time to get to know each other better, and it is also a great chance to create photographs for your home together that are not in your wedding day attire. It is even fun to do them at a favorite location or a special spot that you have as a couple. Often times I like to go to where the proposal took place if possible – why not it is a place you are going to remember the rest of your life so you might as well have some great pictures taken there.
-Always remember that even though uncle bob or friend Susie has a pretty good camera and gets some pretty good shots, I have found that it is usually best to just let them help the professional photographer that day when they want to and just be the guest at the wedding so that they can just simply enjoy the wedding day with you.
What are my latest adventures? -My newest adventures have been in fine art and food photography. I am must better at expressing myself through photographs than words so fine art photography has been a great creative outlet for me. And lately I have been able to set time aside to just photograph for myself, which I feel is actually helping me in all parts of my photography. I am currently working on creating this huge collage of fine art pictures on the entire wall, seriously from floor to ceiling, of my living room. I will be sure to post it on my blog just as soon as it is complete. – Food Photography kind of been something that happened by chance. First I love food, I love pizza, ice cream, sushi, cupcakes, you name it! Which is possibly why I would not make a very good runway model. I have had the chance to work with a local bakery to photograph many of there delicious desserts and work with them on photographing there brand new line of shippable products for a web based business. I also have been photographing for small restaurants to use on their menus and walls. I am excited to see where this adventure will lead me.
“Holy cow, thank you for reading all about me in this interview and hope to be able to share my passion with you! And to those 15 year olds that are getting A’s in art class and C’s in all your other classes – You will make it because I was you and I made it work! :-) “
To see more romantic wedding images from Courtney Frederick, C. Marie’s Photography at their website: http://www.cmaries-photography.com/ or at their blog: www.cmaries-photography.com http://cmariesphotography.blogspot.com.