A wedding photographer worthy of note

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5 October 2009

You may not know this about me, but I have investigated wedding photography pretty heavily. As an amateur photographer, my primary interest is in photographing people, but I’m less interested in portraiture and more in showing emotion and reaction, so wedding photography is a perfect specialty for me. It turns out that wedding photography is also one of the harder photographic specialties – the subjects don’t pose, the family is hard to manage, the lighting and weather are out of your control, you only get one chance to get the pictures, you need really expensive equipment to get good shots from a distance in a dark church without a flash, you have to have a backup person and backup equipment, you have very high contrasts (black/white) to deal with, and the profit margins are usually small. And there are many, many wedding photographers, so competition is fierce.

So I didn’t give up my day job to pursue this interest :)

But nonetheless I have read about it a bunch, and I always try new techniques when I attend weddings, and I am always interested to watch wedding photographers at work. I can pretty quickly judge the great ones from the so-so ones, based largely on their equipment and their approach. It’s not how you might think, though: the best photographers have the less-flashy equipment, and the least-noticeable approach. The so-so ones have flashy equipment and big gear bags and are usually either pushy or timid.

So we were at a wedding this past Saturday, and the wedding photographer caught my attention, and then held it. He had a good camera, a minimal gear setup, a good flash (with modest attachments), a good assistant, and nice clothes. He knew how to use his equipment to best effect. He focused more on composing the shot and giving it some creative attention than on “being in charge” or “showing his skill.” He dealt with people naturally. He knew how to quickly handle problems (like the memory card filling up) with minimal fuss. It just seemed like he had all the right elements, and I’ve never seen a wedding photographer before who I really thought had everything right.

At the reception, I asked him for a business card. It turns out he actually had a Mac laptop set up, showing a slideshow of pictures from earlier that day, taken during and after the wedding. The pictures were amazing! I couldn’t believe he had such a good show assembled with little or no time between events to get it ready. So I watched the show, grabbed a card, and made a note to myself to look him up later on.

So yesterday I went to his website and it looks like my intuition was correct. He has a degree in photography, and his focus (per his bio) is similar to mine – to “capture the essence of individual moments and make them memories to last a lifetime”. His sample pictures are great. He has a sample slideshow posted, and it looks great. I always assume those slideshows are assembled from a wedding where the photographer worked extra-hard, but in this case I’ve already seen his work from a “real” wedding and I can attest those pictures were just as good. So it seems that he consistently produces great work.

I didn’t want to pass by something great without encouraging it, so I took the time to post here about him. His name is Chad Moon and the business is named Chad Moon Photography. Check him out, especially if you are looking for a good wedding photographer in the Columbus/Cincinnati/Dayton area.

P.S. – I’ve posted my pictures from the wedding – some of them turned out really well (after a few touch-ups).

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