480-369-2761 jtarrzek@gmail.com

Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit Down and Talk Wedding Photography

Guest Blog by John Tarr

I am a retired wedding photographer myself with over 1,300 weddings under my belt in the last 45 plus years.  

I understand this type of photography and I know what it takes to come away from this wonderful family event with images people will cherish for years to come.  

Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography
Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography

I have trained a number of photographers to shoot weddings over the years and I know photography talent.

Two photographers with this talent are my daughter-in-law Candace Gier and my son Jason Tarr. I may be a bit prejudice because they are family but I realized early on that these two had something special.

In the beginning, they accompanied me to weddings as an assistant and then later as a second shooter.

Now they both have their own photography business but frequently team up to shoot weddings together. When they do, look out.

The bride, groom and family are in for a real treat of stunning images. We also get to share in this treat.

Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography
Painting with Color a Photoshop Technique for Photographers and Graphic Artist
Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography
Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography

I had a chance to site down with these two amazing wedding photographers and ask them some questions on this business called wedding photography.

I also had a chance to shadow the two of them on a wedding and took still and video images of them at work so we could get a peek at what they do.

Their relationship with each other, spoken and unspoken as they worked through the day was unique.

The images on this blog are the result of that day’s work. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did following them.

Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography
Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography
Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography

Question #1:  Why are two photographers important when photographing a wedding.

Candace: I feel two photographers can cover a wedding more completely than one can.  Not only can two photographers be in two different places at one time, but each one offers a unique perspective of the wedding.    

Jason: Well my first reason is two heads is always better than one. You can feed off each other’s creativity. The second reason would be that as a photographer, you get to relax and consecrate on what is going on right in front of you, and not worry that you are missing something out of your view because you know that the other photography is around and capturing something else that is important.

Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography
Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography

 Question #2: When you two photograph a wedding together, what is generally your role and why?

Candace: Typically, when photographing with Jason, I work with the bride prior to the ceremony, capturing her getting ready and taking all or most pre-ceremony portraits.  During the ceremony, I document the ceremony from the back of the ceremony site, while Jason is up front.  After the ceremony, I focus on all of the formal portraits, setting up the lighting and posing – from the big groups down to the bride and groom portraits.  Once the reception hits, Jason and I are both, again, documenting the evening.  We always help each other out, offer ideas, and collaborate on trying new – fun techniques.  

Jason: Usually the person who signs up the wedding is the main portrait photographer, as this is their wedding and the couple is most comfortable with them and makes the portrait a lot easier right off the bat. 

Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography
Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography

Question #3: Is the photography equipment different depending on the role you are taking on and why?

Candace: When doing portraits, you need to have extra lighting equipment ready to go, usually a light stand with a second off camera flash and soft box. I need a lens with a good range; I prefer my 18-200.  When photographing as the second – I prefer to have 2 cameras, with a wide angle, a long lens, and a fast lens available at all times.  An on-camera flash is on one camera. 

Jason: As the photojournalist I will shoot with two of the same type of camera bodies but with two very different lenses attached to each. One camera will have a very fast, long 70-200mm lens that enable’s me to reach out from a long way off and touch someone. I love the compression this lens gives. I also like the shallow depth of field. Much of the background goes out of focus while the main element is nice and sharp. The second camera body has a super wide angle 20mm lens attached. The feeling it gives is much different. Everything comes out in focus without really trying unlike the BIG lens. It will show everything that is going on and the slight wide angle distortion is amazing. I live in both worlds when shooting a wedding and it helps me to make a complete story with my photography.  

Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography
Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography

Question #4:  Does that role change throughout the course of the wedding and why?   

Candace: I will usually shoot portraits, but Jason almost always has some things he wants to set up, so I’ll let him take lead and then I’ll take over looking for different angles from another perspective.

Jason: Yes, it can, but usually during the portraits of the bride and groom, as one photographer might have an idea for a shot and need to take control of the subject, as to how they want them to pose.

Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography
Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography
Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography

Question #5: At what point in photographic career did you realize what role you liked better and why?

Candace: I’ve always enjoyed documenting events, looking for unique perspectives, but it was probably after I had quite a bit experience creating portraits that I realized I liked wedding portraiture.  Once I was effectively able to pose and light my subjects in many different situations, I found that portraits can be fun and creative.

Jason: Right from the start I loved the more candid, photojournalistic approach. I loved capturing people as they truly are.   

Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography
Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography

Question #6: What type of communication do you have about the wedding with each other before the wedding starts and does it change after the wedding has begun?

Candace: All of the basics are discussed – timeline, bride and groom info, family info, any special surprises, lighting issues that may come up (direct sunset on ceremony, dark reception area etc. . )  We usually choose portrait locations, and any special ideas we have.  If problems arise during the ceremony, or unexpected events or obstacles, we just signal each other and adapt to the situation.

Jason: We talk together about a week before the wedding. Then in more detail on the way to the wedding. We try and get to the location early and get a lay of the land and discuss what we have before us. As the wedding goes on we may make some changes.

Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography
Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography
Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography

One final question for you two: Do you each share an interesting shot that was taken?

They both answered the same on this question. When possible and if time allows, we share our images with each other. We are big fans of each others photography.

I hope you find this blog interesting on what it takes to photograph a wedding from inside the head of two very good and seasoned wedding photographers.

Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit down and Talk Wedding Photography

They both have their own website with many beautiful images to look at.  You can find them here:

Candace Gier at C G Photo and Design

Jason Tarr at Behind The Shutter Photography

I may not shoot wedding anymore but I keep my hands full by being a graphic artist and building websites for people and businesses. I designed both of their websites to show off their photography skills.

You can find John Tarr at Best Website Solutions

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Two Exceptional Local Photographers Sit Down and Talk Wedding Photography