Is it Josh or Joshua?
I prefer Joshua :)
Who are you?
You can tell a lot about who I am and what I love by looking at my personal Instagram feed (spoiler, dogs and nature). http://instagram.com/joshuabrown. I'm originally from TN, went to photojournalism school near Nashville, worked for Apple for 5 years, lived and worked in NYC for 9 years, moved to the Hudson Valley after buying an old house in 2014. Weddings make up about 95 percent of my income and I still love it.
Why do people hire you?
There are typically three things I tell people they need to look for in a photographer. You need someone you are going to get along with, someone who consistently and quickly produces beautiful images in challenging light, and someone who is going to create images that align with your personal aesthetic.
There are a lot of photographers who can put together a great website, or who can shoot beautiful photos at sunset. Great cameras are ubiquitous at this point. But weddings are some of the most challenging situations a photographer can put themselves into. Not only do they need to be investing in modern camera gear constantly, they need to understand how to use it. They need to know where to BE to get the right moments. There are certainly geeks that have the right camera, but they might lack the interpersonal skills, aesthetic, or intuition that only comes with experience.
I hope you can see my style in my portfolio, but here are some of the things that define my work. My compositions are very simple. You're not going to see me use many exposure tricks, strange lenses, or photoshop filters. I don't need to turn your wedding into an art project for my portfolio. What I hope you will get are timeless, beautiful moments captured as unobtrusively as possible.
What makes your portfolio different?
If you look closely at a large majority of wedding photography sites, you are going to see some themes. If you look at a full gallery of a wedding or their portfolio, you are likely going to see about 70-90 percent of the photos are photos of the couple or photos of the couples stuff. What is usually missing are the other 99 percent of people that were there at the wedding. Thats the 99 percent I'm focused on. Sure, I'm going to take a lot of photos of you (probably 30-40 percent of the total images) and I will definitely take some beautiful photos of your stuff, but I'm there to tell the whole story and your family and friends are a huge part of that story of the day.
The other thing you will likely see, particularly with less experienced photographers, is a lack of images shot at night. And if you do see night images, they are likely to be lit up with a flash. Its not an aesthetic I prefer.
The truth is that cameras have really evolved over the years. At this point an iPhone could technically get some of the same shots. But what cannot be replicated is the intuition I have to be in the right places at the right times to get the right moments from the right angles. I intuitively understand when I need to back off. I understand when I have enough photos of the couple. The truth is that most photographers you are going to look at have great cameras and great filters they can use, but what separates the good ones is WHAT they are choosing to photograph.
How long have you been doing weddings?
I started 18 years ago in college while I was pursing a degree in photojournalism down south, WAY before it was cool to shoot weddings and even before pro digital cameras really existed. Although I studied photojournalism I realized quickly that newspapers were not for me. Weddings give me an amazing opportunity to get to know some really interesting people (some of which I count as lifelong friends now), see some amazing places, and document some out of control wedding guests.
How many weddings have you shot?
Hundreds. I've seen pretty much everything at this point. I started out shooting VERY simple weddings in the south and that's where I really defined my style of focusing on people and moments, because the venue and the stuff wasn't very visually compelling. I've shot virtually every type of religious ceremony and everything from million dollar celebrity weddings to backyard parties. I've traveled to Rio, Switzerland, Paris, etc, but I'm just as happy to shoot down the road here in the Hudson Valley. No wedding is too big or too small. Its all about the right fit.
Your pricing is out of our range!
We still have a few options. One, my associates might be available to shoot the wedding on their own without me at a lower price point. Two, I might be able to refer you to someone. Or three, we could talk about bartering for some of the things like prints, albums, or the photo booth.
How many images do we get?
From a typical 8-10 hour day, your final selection of images is going to be in the neighborhood of 800-1000 images. Rarely less, sometimes more. No matter what package or options you choose, you're going to get all of those images in full resolution and not watermarked. I try to deliver them within a couple weeks after the wedding.
Do we have rights to those images?
Yes. You have a full personal use license to print any file that I send you. You also have the ability to share low res watermarked copies on your personal social networks
Are those final images color corrected or retouched?
Yes, of the 800-1000 final images, I will individually adjust them so that they all look consistent and good. Of the images you have seen on my website, 98 percent of them have only gone through that first stage. For retouching, I typically do that extra work for images that are chosen for the album or large prints. If its just skin retouching, I will do that myself. If you want to cut out a bridesmaid because you're mad at her, or liquify your arms to make them skinny, I have a guy that I outsource to who will give you an additional quote for that.
How does travel work?
I'm based in Newburgh, NY about an hour north of NYC. So generally there are no travel costs for weddings within an hour or so. We sometimes need to stay overnight for weddings, depending on the situation. If the wedding ends late, I might need to stay overnight to avoid falling asleep at the wheel with your photos in my car. But every wedding is a little different, so we will just have to talk it over.
How many weddings do you shoot in a year?
Typically around 25-30. I am not a wedding factory and I don't have much interest in becoming one. The advantage is that when you email or call, I'll probably be the one you talk to. I'm the one doing the bulk of the post production. I also don't have the overhead of a studio so I can keep my prices somewhat reasonable.
What cameras do you use?
I currently primarily use the Sony A7RII for stills and the Canon C100 or C300 for video. It's a much better camera than what most wedding videographers are using. If you are interviewing other studios, make sure you ask them about this. You don't want them to be using a DSLR. If you know what 4K is, we have an option to rent a REALLY high end camera in NYC. That is typically a $500 or so charge.
Will you shoot our rehearsal dinner and or post wedding brunch?
I would love to! Some of my favorite weddings are the ones I can really spend some time getting to know you and your family. If I'm there for 2-3 days I'll need a place to stay overnight, and if someone wants to book me for a full wedding on that Friday or Sunday, I might need to send an associate in my place, but I love to shoot these when I can work it out.
Wedding videos are terrible and cheesy, why would we want that?
Wedding videos have been really terrible for a really long time. So I understand when couples say they aren't interested. But I can say that of the couples who eventually hire me to do video, the majority of them initially told me they didn't want it. The best thing to do is watch a few of my short films and let me know what you think. It's a huge advantage to hire the same studio to do both the photography and video so we aren't fighting for the same shots and interfering with each other. It's also one less person to email back and forth with. I do everything I can to make the video as unobtrusive as the photography.
So what all is included with the video package?
You get a 4-6 minute highlight film on Youtube and a downloaded copy you can play on your TV. We will also record anything else you want in long form from a single angle. For most people the long form recording they want is the ceremony and the speeches. What we don't do is deliver a traditional 30-45 min highlight film. This requires a very different approach and we don't feel like the results are very good. We also feel like 4-6 min is about the maximum length for a video you're expecting a friend to watch.
Do you personally shoot photography and video at the same time?
No. If you order video in your package, I will bring an associate filmmaker with me to shoot alongside me. I function as the director telling them the shots I want. In general it's a great advantage to have us doing both your photography and video.
Do you recommend 2nd photographers and 2nd filmmakers?
It really depends on a lot of factors. In some cases I can get what I need on my own, but if you are getting ready in two places, or the wedding in particularly large, we might need to bring some help. It also just frees me up to be a little more creative when I know the second shooter is getting all the safe shots. The general rule of thumb I use is this...weddings under 100, we don't recommend it, 100-175 guests we recommend it, over 200 we require it.
Tell me about your albums?
I use a company called Red Tree Albums. Here is what they look like. http://www.redtreealbums.com/products/albums/ Most of the cost of albums is actually wrapped up in all the time it takes to design them. Usually at least two full days.
I love all of your candid photos, but will you shoot posed photos for my mom?
Absolutely. Although the posed shots are not part of my marketing, every wedding needs a few of them shot, or a lot. They are some of the most important of the day. We typically shoot around 30-40 combinations. The best way for you to make it go as smoothly as possible is to create a list of the ones you want and assign a friend or family member to help me wrangle them.
Will you shoot my dress hanging in the doorway, my shoes under my dress, the rings, cake, etc?
I'll tell you a little secret about the wedding industrial complex. The reason there are so many photographers obsessed with those things is because that's what the wedding blogs want to see. Photos of stuff makes more money than photos of people.
It's very likely that I will shoot a bunch of photos of your stuff, but these are not the types of shots I naturally focus on. There certainly are photographers who specialize in "pinteresty" shots, but I'm not really that guy. My priority is people and moments. I also prioritize getting a wide variety of shots so that you don't end up with 80 percent of the photos being of you, and 20 percent being your stuff. I'm hoping that 65 percent will be your family and friends, 30 percent will be you, and 5 percent will be your stuff. Unless you have some REALLY cool stuff or you ask me specifically to change those percentages.
Our reception is going to be very dark. Are you ok with that?
If I have any specialities, shooting in near darkness is one of them. I do everything I can not to use a flash (partly so it isn't popping in your video), but I also enjoy the challenge of finding beautiful light and angles in any situation
If you've made it this far, congratulations! Hopefully we can work something out for you.