BRETT DENFELD PHOTOGRAPHY | VIRGINIA WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
I’m about a month late in this post but I thought it was important to write about it anyways!! Last month I celebrated being 3 years full-time… whaaaat! I shot my first wedding in 2012 and it’s wild to think that only 3 years later I would go on to being full-time!!! It’s not an EASY journey but it IS very rewarding. To be honest, this year has felt like the hardest, (I’m sure 2015 Brett would disagree) but I started out the year a little slower than years past and really had to dig deep and remind myself that building years are part of the job! I’m happy that the work I’ve been putting in is starting to show and THAT feels good. As usual, I’m so happy to be working with some really amazing couples this year.
When I show up to meet a couple on their wedding day, I’m back in the groove! I’m glad that I’ve been able to form relationships with my couples at their engagement session and then keep up with each other on social media and honestly feel EXCITED for their wedding days! It’s a pretty crazy job. People who don’t photograph weddings are always asking how I don’t absolutely stress out on a wedding day. Honestly, I used to, it’s only human! But, I’ve shot over 100 weddings so I know what I have to do AND I prep my couples and they’re awesome and we have a great time versus showing up on the wedding day and having never spoken to them – they know what’s up! I believe in being yourself and couples will choose you to photograph their day after they feel a connection. A connection to your work (obviously) and then they stay for the connection to you. Because honestly, can you imagine hiring someone whose personality blows? You have to spend ALL DAY with them. Keep it fun, keep it real, and you’ll capture authentic moments.
Being a Virginia wedding photographer (who travels! don’t forget that!) is by far my favorite job that I’ve ever had. I didn’t know that when I picked up my first DSLR at 18 that I’d ever spend my life photographing weddings, traveling around the world, and owning my OWN business. W H A T! Thank you to ALL of you who have supported me, hired me, followed me on instagram, stalked me on Facebook, read my blog, and/or told me in person that you like what I’m doing – seriously, thank you! This job wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for you, for real. I’d just be a girl with a camera and that’s it. My images are brought to life through the stories that I can remember while capturing some of your most treasured memories and days.
Scroll through some photos taken in year 3 of full-time and read some frequently asked questions that are scattered throughout!
How did you get into photography? Oh boy. This question is always asked and always the longest! The short and sweet is: I always wanted to take photos as a kid because my parents were always taking photos of us. I always wanted to try it too. When I was 15 I got my first point and shoot and it was the BEST. DAY. EVER! I took photos of EVERYTHING. Mostly still life and landscapes. I took my first film photography class in high school and that’s when my world was changed. I learned all of the basics and couldn’t drive anywhere without imagining the picture I wanted to take. My freshman year of college, my grandma gifted me with my very first DSLR and, you guessed it, I couldn’t put it down. I took as many photography classes in college that I could, and while I wasn’t an art major, I still took photos for fun on the side. I had two short internships in college with wedding photographer in the DC area and I shot my very first family session in 2010 for $50. After that, I started taking photos of friends and families that I knew. Towards the end of college, I was torn on whether or not I should go to art school to keep learning… but I decided not to. Instead, I kept practicing ALL THE TIME. I would research things I didn’t know on YouTube and read photo blogs from all over the internet. I really wanted to break into the wedding scene because the photographer I interned for had the COOLEST JOB EVER. But I was like “who is going to hire someone who has never photographed a wedding…” well, the office manager at the office I was working for hired me for her daughter’s wedding in Jacksonville, FL. YES. My first wedding was a destination wedding!!! When I look back on those images, I’m reminding of how far I’ve come… how every single step and learning experience makes me better. I’m always growing, educating myself, and pushing myself to try new things. Fast forward, I started a part-time job of second shooting weddings for a company and after 2 years of that, I stopped because I was booking enough on my own that I didn’t need that stepping stone anymore, which was a great feeling! (This story was longer than “the short and sweet” – you’ll learn that I’m chatty.) Anyways, photography has always been my favorite creative outlet and I’m so happy that it’s been something I’m great at – thank goodness – my job would be hard if it wasn’t! Do you travel? Dude, hellsss yes I do! I’ve photographed weddings/portrait sessions in 13 states and London! I am SO down to travel. I love it! Plus I love capturing YOU in a place that has meaning to you or is just overall a dream destination! Do you only photograph weddings? Nope! While I photograph engagements and weddings the most, I do also take portraits! I do senior portraits, family sessions, and lifestyle headshots! What’s your editing style? I wouldn’t necessarily call myself light and airy because I also love color. I like my work to be authentic looking to the moment captured. I keep my greens green and choose to make images bright but also full of natural color! I want my images to be timeless to any year you look at them! What’s the craziest thing that has ever happened at a wedding? Well? I’ve shot a wedding through a power outage. I’ve shot a wedding through a snowstorm, hurricane, and torrential downpour. I’ve shot a wedding on probably the hottest AND coldest days of the year. I’ve shot weddings that have been on time and weddings that have run late by an hour. Literally nothing can really scare me at this point!!! Practice makes perfect and shooting through crazy weather or late timelines is sometimes part of it! I’m really good at hiding a stressful situation through a calm exterior because if there’s nothing I can do then I need to “control” the scenario by making my wedding couple feel GOOD and that we’ll work it out! What equipment do you use? I’m a Canon girl! I have two 5D Mark 3s and 6 lenses : 100mm, 50mm 1.2L, 24-70mm 2.8L, 70-200 2.8, 85mm 1.2L, and sigma 35 1.4. Also, 3 canon 600ex flashes and 2 different sets of light stands! Yes… it’s heavy to carry all of it at the same time… which is why I have a Think Tank that I can wheel around and my ONA camera bag! But I don’t always use every lens at every session! I only bring 3 lenses to portrait sessions and most of the time end up using my 50mm the whole time! Fave lens alert!
How many weddings have you shot? Well – I’ve photographed somewhere over 100 weddings! This includes weddings I’ve photographed for my own clients and second shooting opportunities!
CHEERS TO 3 YEARS!
I would love to hear from you! Whether you’re a photographer or not – what would you like to know? Leave me a message in the comments or send me an email! Did you know I also offer mentoring? Send me an email at email@example.com!