SnapKnot would like to welcome one of our newest photographers to the Chattanooga, Tennessee area! Amy Armstrong, of Tandem Flight Photography, has a great mixture of photojournalistic photos with an artsy twist, creating traditional wedding photos for her clients to remember their special day by! Get to know what inspires Amy and how she became interested in photography:
Hi. My name is Amy Armstrong, and I’m a Chattanooga-based photographer with a passion for capturing memorable moments, fun details, and unique lighting. I grew up traveling around, because my father was in the military, and pretty much always had a camera around my neck, even as a kid. I’ve always loved photography, but I didn’t get serious about it until college when I went on a trip to Latvia with a team that was making short films with a group of teenagers. It was the first time I got to use more sophisticated equipment, and I had a blast. Europe is full of amazing photo opportunities, so I was constantly keeping my eye out for fun compositions and interesting details. I took pictures of buildings reflected in puddles, pictures of people eating through swinging blinds, and pictures of the city through raindrop-covered windows. I won first place in a photography competition with one of the pictures I took in Latvia, which inspired me even more. So I got a nice DSLR for Christmas along with some accessories, and started growing in my photography skills and my passion for the art of photography itself.
If you got a sneak peak of some my pictures starting from that trip to Latvia until now, you would see a lot of growth and change as I learned more about my camera and how to stretch it to its full potential. But if I had to classify my style (and I find that’s hard to do, because I’m always trying new things), I would say it’s photojournalistic and artsy with a touch of the traditional. I love looking for unique angles and lighting opportunities, but I know that not every picture should be taken through the leaves of a tree or with crazy-cool lighting. There have to be some traditional shots in the mix to keep things from getting out of hand. Especially since your grandma will be looking at these pictures! Things have changed a bit in the photography world since her wedding day. But ultimately, I love to have fun, see the warmth and love that is so visible on a wedding day, and capture all the special moments I can to give you the best possible reminders of that special day.
Some of the people who have really influenced my photography have been the people that encouraged me in it. I have a great aunt who “likes” every single album I put up on Facebook, and as silly as that seems, she really helps me to continue to believe that I have a gift that I need to use. One of my old bosses was also a huge encouragement to me when I was first getting serious about photography. He would look at my pictures and tell me what I did wrong in some of them or how they could have been better, and then he would tell me which ones he really liked and why. He told me I had “the eye,” which is what every photographer really wants and needs, no matter how much technical knowledge they heap on top of it. On a less personal level, I’ve been greatly influenced in my lighting techniques by David Hobby. He’s the author of the blog strobist.com, which was recommended to me by fellow photographer. It’s a hilarious wealth of knowledge made easy for any photographer looking to take their pictures to the next level with off-camera lighting. At the end of the day I tell my husband everything I learned, and he listens patiently as I ramble on about balancing ambient light and flash and how flash is only affected by aperture changes while ambient light is affected by aperture and shutter-speed changes. Yes, I have a wonderful husband. It’s amazing he even takes me seriously sometimes. I also have an amazingly cute toddler who gets coaxed into being my model for many a photo shoot. His grandparents don’t have to worry about not seeing pictures of their grandson. I keep them well supplied through Facebook!
In all my photographic endeavors, there are always unexpected moments. Sometimes all you can do is sit back and hope for the best. For instance, it rained the day of my outdoor wedding. Thankfully, by the time the wedding started the rain was long gone, the chairs were dry thanks to some towels and helping hands, and by the end of the day I was Mrs. Armstrong, as planned. As a photographer, it can be pretty funny, although usually in retrospect, when something like that happens on a wedding day. I was shooting a wedding in Cincinnati, Ohio for a couple that were born on the same day in the same hospital and had been friends ever since. Needless to say, this wedding was long in coming. The bride was beautiful, calm and collected as she got ready alongside her bridesmaids. That is, until the florist showed up with the bouquets. I could feel the tension in the room as the bride looked at her own bouquet in horror and said, “This was supposed to be RED.” The florist’s face changed to the desired color before she replied, “This was the color you showed me in the magazine.” I was actually impressed by how well the bride handled the whole thing, although it was obvious she was pretty upset. The florist returned about an hour later with the spray-painted bridal bouquet. I didn’t even know you could do that! The bridesmaids were worried that the paint would get on the bride’s dress, but after all the drama of the afternoon, everything was just fine, and the bouquet was forgotten in the happiness of the day.
To capture all the memorable, funny, and not-so-funny moments at a wedding I use a Nikon d700 along with several Nikon lenses and SB-800 speed lights. I’ve worked some with Canon as well doing videography, but Nikon is where I’m at home. But no matter what equipment I use, the most important thing is keeping my eyes wide open for great shots, and making sure I have an excellent assistant to get the most out of the day. I’m a very detailed person, so I don’t usually miss much, which is a gift and a curse. It sure helps on wedding days though!
As you prepare for your own wedding day and all its little details, take your time as you select a photographer. It’s really easy to feel rushed as you work out every little thing that needs to be taken care of for your wedding, but the photographer is the one who will capture the whole day for years to come. Don’t just look at one option, even if you have a limited budget, and DO contact photographers who seem out of your price range. Many photographers are willing to work with you, unless they make it very clear on their website that they’d prefer not to work with someone on a limited budget. That mindset is pretty rare, and usually for the big-shots that most of us couldn’t afford. So whether or not you have an astronomical wedding budget, find a photographer you feel comfortable with, whose style you love, and whose price won’t make your parents burst into tears. As for me, I’ll be here waiting to find out if I’m the photographer for you. And I might not be. But if I am, I will do my best to make sure you have beautiful, amazing pictures to show off and to help you remember the day you said, “I do.”
If you do decide to contact me directly, my e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m offering 10% off my basic wedding package for any brides who contact me through SnapKnot. Just let me know that you read my blog on SnapKnot, and tell me why you’re interested in having me as your photographer. I can’t wait to hear from you!