August 31, 2018
Photography Vendor Spotlight: Jeff Kolodny Photography
One of the most important vendors you’ll hire for your wedding is your photographer. Once your wedding day is said and done, it’s your pictures that will remain to tell the story for years to come, so, not just any photographer will do. You have to choose the one who is the best fit for your personality and style.
Today I’m excited to share with you a recent interview I did with South Florida based wedding photographer, Jeff Kolodny. I find his images to be creative, unique, and emotional. Pair that with Jeff’s friendly, outgoing personality and you get images that are simply BEAUTIFUL. Read on to learn about Jeff’s perspective and why he loves photographing weddings, and enjoy a sampling of his images shown throughout this article.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE BUSINESS OF WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY?
It all started when I was 13 years old and our family took a cruise. Of course, 13 year olds were not allowed in the casino. However, I had a quarter and no one was watching so I took my chances. I was surprised and scared when the slot machine hit 777! I got in trouble and they gave the money to my father who was an amateur photographer. He allowed me to purchase my first camera.
By the time I started college, my photography path had developed into additional skills that included video, electronics and motion picture production. I attended Adelphi University as a Communications/ Photography major. By my senior year I was working as an assistant on movies and commercial photo projects. Once I graduated, I saved my pennies, worked on my portfolio and drove out to LA.
While in LA, I quickly (and very painfully) realized that my photography and other media skills were far below professional standards and I wasn’t going to be taking Los Angeles by storm as I had hoped. I got a job at a small photo lab printing black and white photos. I also realized that my photo lab job was never going to earn me enough money to live, and my photography skills were ok for a just graduated college student but no one was going to hire me. I maintained a strong drive to become a successful photographer. This prompted me to seek out the best wedding photographer in town and beg him to teach me. He decided to give me a shot. For no pay, I went on weddings with him every weekend, fixing the dress, taking light meter readings and gathering groups of family members together for family portraits.
Slowly, my shooting skills improved. My lab skills also got better and so did my commercial photography skills. Fast forward another 5 years and I became a top notch photo lab tech. I was also photographing weddings almost every weekend. In addition, since I had this great commercial photo lab job, I was shooting commercial assignments as well. Over the next few years my list of assignments grew to include clients such as Universal Studios, 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, The Jay Leno Show, Redkin, Sebastian Hair and many other well know companies. That photographer whom I worked for “for free” did start paying me. Then he retired and I bought his business.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE?
My style is a mix of wedding photo-journalism and casual posed portraits. My photo-journalistic images are focused on the emotional element of wedding photography. A wedding day is a whirlwind of emotions and special moments. Some of these special moments include the bride’s father seeing her for the first time and the bride’s mother helping her get ready. Even photos of the bride hanging with her girls in robes are even considered special memorable moments. It’s up to me as a skilled photographer to be aware and anticipate when and where these moments will happen.
Wedding portraits today are taken using a much more “casual” method. It’s this type of “casual portrait” that I prefer. Because I love the excitement of thinking fast and capturing emotional moments, I’ve always been drawn to the photo-journalistic aspect of wedding photography. However, I realize that in order to be successful as a wedding photographer, portraits are required. By combining both photo-journalism with casual portraiture I’m able to produce a style that results in beautiful photographs while keeping my brides, grooms, family members and wedding guests at ease.
WHAT ARE COUPLES TYPICALLY LOOKING FOR WHEN THEY CHOOSE YOU FOR THEIR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY?
I find that most couples who hire my company are looking for experience, reputation and above all high quality artistic images. We like to present to prospective couples a wide variety of work to demonstrate our ability to capture all the various aspects of a wedding or particular event. Our clients like to see photojournalistic shots, B/W photography, posed portraits, photo shop enhanced photos as well as more natural looking photos.
The photos need to look uniquely artistic and enhanced in a professional and eye catching manner. The shots need to be unusual enough that it grabs their attention. This is really what prompts most couples to hire us.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?
My favorite aspect of being a wedding photographer is the constant opportunity I have to be creative. With each new couple I photograph, and the many different venues I work at, there is an unlimited chance for me to experiment with my craft. That is the beauty of being a photographer – the ability to be creative and think of new and exciting ways to photograph people and objects. Different ideas come to mind at each wedding, and each couple’s personality also lends itself to various unique photo opportunities. I love working at new venues as well. Each location offers its own unique array of photographic options as far as architecture, backgrounds, and landscape.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE TO TODAY’S WEDDING COUPLES?
When hiring a wedding photographer, couples should do a little research about the people they are considering. Look at online reviews. See that a particular photographer’s company name appears on multiple venue and vendor lists. The amount of experience the photographer has under his/her belt is also key as well as their initial training. You also want to at the very least personally speak to the photographer, especially if you are out of state and cannot meet in person, to see whether you think you will like having him/her at your wedding – whether your personalities click. After all, you are spending a good part of your day with your photographer.
All images in this post are courtesy of Jeff Kolodny Photography. To see more of Jeff’s work, please visit his online gallery at https://www.kolodnyphoto.com/ and his blog http://www.jeffkolodnyphotography.com/
About the author: Christine Terezakis is an award-winning South Florida Master Wedding Planner, Event Designer, and Owner of Dreamday Weddings, with planning studios located in Palm City and West Palm Beach. Specializing in the planning of luxury weddings, Florida Destination Weddings, and social events. For inquiries about wedding planning and design services for your celebration, please contact Christine by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 772-285-9147. www.DreamdayWeddingsFL.com
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