Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Spotlight | Dan Stewart Photography


You might remember Dan's work from an earlier Eye Candy post, however I didn't have a chance to share his Q & A with you until now. Dan is a wedding photographer who is quite new on the Michigan wedding scene, however not new to photography. Enjoy!

How long have you been photographing weddings & events?
This is my first official year photographing weddings. Before my wedding and portraiture career you could found me with a camera in my hand at a NASCAR race, a city parade, or better yet, on the side of the road with county inmates picking up deer carcasses. With a photojournalism and art degree from Central Michigan University, I planned on pursuing a photojournalism career. When the journalism industry went belly up I changed my plans to be a wedding and portrait photographer. Currently my soon-to-be wife (July 24th!) Liz and I make up the team at Dan Stewart Photography.

What inspires you as you work with your clients?
I love working with people who have a very genuine love for one another and are not afraid to put it on display. It is also fun to meet a couple who has creative ideas to throw around during an engagement session or wedding. Some of the time, people can be pretty shy in front of the camera, as the session moves on they lighten up a little bit. One time I had a couple who were very comfortable in front of the camera right from the get go; it kind of threw me off a bit! I barely had to give them any direction, they were just being themselves and they weren't afraid to show it.

Why did you choose to photograph weddings?

I started off with photojournalism because I love to meet new people. When newspaper staff photographer jobs were getting scarce, I had to find another area of photography in which I could still connect with people on a personal level. Wedding and portrait photography fit the bill. Wedding photography and photojournalism are usually separate fields, but given the styles of wedding photography available in Northern Michigan, specifically Traverse City, I saw the opportunity to appeal to a different and more creative seeking crowd by combining the two to offer a stylistically journalist take on an event.

If you could shoot a wedding for anyone who would you pick?

Kelly Osbourn for sure! I think it would be fun to photograph the rockstar personality wedding.

Do you have one gotta get it shot at every wedding?
Of course! Before Liz and I leave a wedding at the end of the night, we round up the married couple and get a photo with them. It usually starts off serious, but then we get a little goofy as the series of photos rolls on. When I send my clients their disc of images, we send these photos along with it, as well as a thank you card. This is a little tradition we started at our first wedding and will continue to follow through with it.

What is your favorite way to spend a non-working Saturday in the summer?

It is definitely a toss up between the beach and the movies. I was raised in Northern Michigan and around the water, so whenever Liz and I can make it down to the beach or get out on the boat, that is usually where you will find us. Nothing beats going to the water to put your feet in the sand and to take a dip when you just can't take the sun anymore.

It's also nice to be in a place where a quaint little town accompanies the water where we can take a break, grab a bit to eat and browse around the shops. With all the engagement sessions we have been photographing, Liz and I have been discovering some great new "get-a-way" locations. Typically though, we get to enjoy both; the beach, then the movies, if the sun doesn't drain us out.

2 lovely comment(s):

Kristin @ bridal buzz Jul 21, 2009, 10:14:00 AM  

It's always nice to see some familiar CMU faces! Love Dan's style!

trekerboy Jul 21, 2009, 4:12:00 PM  

Northern Michigan is lucky to have such a "bleeding edge" photographer among the ranks. Glad to see he's getting some press; love his style, although I'm probably a bit bias since he shot the wedding of my wife and I!

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