Miles Witt Boyer with his beautiful wife, Melissa and their 14-month-old baby boy, Gavin.
You can learn all about Miles Witt Boyer's incredible photography packages and see his great work on his website, but to show you why we think he's so great – and why he'll soon be blogging regularly for us with great tips for brides – we put him up to taking this fun little Q&A. He didn't disappoint!
Q: When and why did you get into photography? The wedding industry?
MWB: I took my first job as a lighting assistant for a commercial photographer in Taos. The job was a bit miserable. We'd spend hours, sometimes days, setting up lights for one shot. It just wasn't me. His wife, however, was a wedding photographer that shot nothing but medium format film (the cool old cameras you had to look in from the top). I had the chance to carry her bag one time and I was hooked.
In college, I thought I'd get into fashion photography and moved to NYC for a bit to try my hand at it, but it wasn't the rush I wanted. For photographers, weddings are like working in the ER for a doctor. Definitely not what every photographer is cut out for, but the pace and pressure is a blast.
In 2006, I started shooting weddings in Northwest Arkansas with a college friend of mine and both of us were surprised at how fun the couples were to work with. Things have changed a lot since then, but the chance to get to know a couple and be a part of their lives still opens up doors to photos that are impossible to fake.
Q: Black-and-white or color?
MWB: You've got to have both. Sadly, since digital photography took over our industry I think people have forgotten just how beautiful a black and white image can be. We're used to seeing these amazing colors edited in but emotional moments sometimes need less color to distract us from what the photographer was trying to show.
Q: Favorite camera you use?
MWB: My camera is the Nikon D4. People argue back and forth Nikon or Canon all the time but it's like asking whether you'd rather have a Bentley or an Aston Martin. They're both amazing machines, they just fit differently in your hand. We prefer the D4 because it's so fast and shoots so well in low light, which is something we're always faced with in this industry. Using a flash is always last resort and this camera gives us a lot of flexibility.
Q: Your go-to piece of advice you give brides about wedding photography:
MWB: I start every shoot by telling my couples not to over think things. We're all bombarded by an industry full of rules and clichés. My advice is: take a breath deep, flirt a lot, and don't fake it. A good photographer should direct you through the motions and bring out the emotions that they're looking for.
Q: Have you ever cried at a wedding you were shooting?
MWB: I'm not really one to tear up at a wedding. I'd hate to ruin my manly image. OK, if I'm honest, I call my wife Melissa after every ceremony I have to shoot without her. I'm not a super emotional person, but weddings really are my life and I'm blessed to be reminded week after week how awesome my wife is. And every time a brides' dad is blown away by how beautiful his little girl looks, I choke up.
Q: Favorite wedding photo you took this past year:
MWB: Hardest question ever! Ask any of our clients and I swear they'll tell you that I said on their shoot that I took my favorite picture ever. I always have couples that we really click with and moments that are more special than average, but I don't think I could pick a single favorite photo out of the 35 amazing couples we were blessed to shoot last year.
Q: First look or no first look?
MWB: FIRST LOOK. When the doors fly open, and all of your guests and your family are fighting for a smile from you, and the man at the end of the aisle is biting his tongue not to cry, all either of you are thinking about is not falling over. A first look let's you savor that emotion a bit. We love to make them special, build up the emotion and give you a few minutes where you can really let the importance of the day sink in. If you're really on the fence, look up the background on the whole "see each other for the first time at the ceremony" tradition. It's far from romantic.
Q: Photography splurge you wish all your brides would add to their package:
MWB: An album. Most photographers sell something they call a "coffee table book" or an "album," and they're all so expensive that they're hard for a lot of brides to justify. In reality, a handmade, custom album is the single best way to display the photos you invested so much money in. Don't settle for something that looks like it came from iPhoto or Target.
Now that you know more about Miles, head to his Facebook page or go to ArkansasBride.com to see some of his photos, including ones we've featured on our blog and in our magazine. You can also shoot him an email at Miles@MilesWittBoyer.com.