In this week's Artist Spotlight, we sit down with Carly Romeo of Two Spoons Photography located in Richmond, VA for a refreshing take on a long-standing tradition.
Why wedding photography?
My favorite weddings are the ones that celebrate more than just a couple's love, but also celebrate their communities, their cultures, and their families. Photographing occasions like that are very life-affirming and remind me about all the good in the world. Especially when you have couples who are very partnership-focused--and not as focused on creating The Best Day Of Our Lives (TM)--which is the type of couple I tend to work with.
How long have you been shooting weddings? How did it all start?
This is my third year shooting weddings. I am actually a self-taught photographer, so when I lived in NYC I used to rent gear on the weekends and practice with friends and coworkers, learning how to use a camera and honing my artistic voice. After a year of that, I did a few weddings on the cheap for some very kind friends who trusted me to try it out. After that, I was hooked!
What did you do before you started shooting weddings? How were you able to make the transition into this career?
I was working as an assistant to [feminist author] Gloria Steinem for several years after college, but although I loved my job I felt I needed to grow into something that was mine. I'm a natural networker and a very determined person, so I think just through practice and telling everyone I met that I was a photographer, I started to get gigs! After that, if your work is good it speaks for itself!
Can you share your favorite shot(s) and tell us about the moment? I think my fave moment is the one below. It was my first full year of shooting weddings. I was nervous as hell, but the light was beautiful and the couple was really enthusiastic. I knew I wanted to get a shot of her jumping (esp because she had amazing wedding sandals) across the water but I wasn't sure if she would be up to it and I was afraid to ask. Finally, I did, and she was so excited. I love this shot because it represents following your heart and your vision. It's not perfectly in focus, it's not technically perfect at all (you can see the groom's foot in the lower left). But I took a leap of faith asking her to jump and she took a leap of faith (literally) by
What is the hardest part about working in this profession? Working on Saturdays!! Every year I try to limit my workload to 20 Saturday weddings, but every year that number creeps higher and higher. It's especially a challenge when your partner works normal 9-5/ Monday - Friday hours.
What other photographers (wedding or otherwise) do you look to for inspiration? I honestly try not to look at too many other wedding photographers' work, because I worry that it will influence me too much. But some of my favorite photographers right now are Oriana Koren, Michelle Terris, and Cassie Rosch.
What sets your work apart in this enormous industry? I think the fact that I'm open about being a feminist and coming from a feminist background tends to attract a lot of attention--for couples who are looking for that, I'm like a breath of fresh air. That said, I know it's not for everyone, but it's been a useful tool for helping me connect with couples whose weddings really speak to me. I also try to focus heavily on emotions and natural documentation vs. contrived details and posing.
What advice would you offer to someone considering this profession? Practice, practice, practice! And remember that there is way more to wedding photography beyond just taking photos -- like printing and framing (YAY ART TO FRAMES), file storage, client interaction, contracts, gear maintenance, accounting, and more.
See more of Carly's amazing work here