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Christian Ward Photography Loves…[B]ecker

btn-weddingsWe’re back with our second inspirational interview. Once again a big thank you to Jamie Sangar for getting us going on our very first blog interview and it was great to receive nice feedback from readers. But on to the next one. It’s with real excitement that I post our interview with a legend in wedding photography- the one and only Becker, [b], Christopher- call him what you will! Again, this is somebody who I came across by chance; as a regular visitor to Jessica Claire‘s website, I kept reading about this poker-playing photographer who goes by the name ‘Becker.’ Intrigued, I decided to check out his site, and I’m now a regular! Actually, that kind of plays it down a little; discovering Becker was a gateway moment and really opened up the horizons for me on what’s possible in wedding photography and I’ve not looked back.  As a photographer, Becker doesn’t really need an introduction, so suffice it to say that we’re really grateful to him for taking the time in his busy schedule to answer our questions- I’ve really enjoyed hearing your replies- thanks Becker- and I hope you all enjoy it too.

-Hi Becker. How are you feeling today?
I feel great!

-For how long have you been a professional photographer?
About 20 years. I started my business in high school, shooting portraits of my friends

-What first made you want to become a photographer?
Pretty girls!

Why wedding photography in particular?
There’s cake.

-I know you use the Canon 1Ds MkIII but do you have an all time favourite lens? Which one and why.

The 50mm/1.2 has been favourite of mine for a while because i like the shallow depth of field. Lately though i’ve been enjoying the 200mm/2. It’s a great portrait lens.

-What’s your best wedding day tip for the bride and groom?

-And for a wedding photographer?
Be confident.

-You’re a big inspiration for many photographers but whose photography inspires you?
Lots of people. i am addicted to photo blogs. It’s amazing to me how fast people can get really good in this business.

-If there was a collection of photographs by different photographers and I had to guess which photograph was taken by you, I think I could guess successfully as you have a distinctive style. What do you think are the trademarks of your style?
I know I am not the most creative photographer in the world, but I like to think as myself as one of the most consistent. I think my style has an understated simplicity to the images. Nice light on the subjects face, background out of focus, soft light. I try to make people look good in their photos.

-Our wedding photography workflow has taken some figuring out and I’m sure there are still some aspects we can improve upon. Can you give us an overview of your workflow?
Download, back up, back up again, one more backup, cull through the shots in PhotoMechanic and tag the keepers, rename, archive, post online. We proof straight out of the camera and only photoshop the images that are selected.

-What would be your dream shoot across any genre of photography? What type of subject matter, location etc. would it involve?
Nude models in killer locations!… a castle, a tropical island, somewhere with nice light and cool, textured backgrounds.

-If you could photograph any celebrity on their wedding day, who would it be and why?
I think all my brides are celebrities- for that day at least. Although I wouldn’t mind shooting Lindsay Lohan’s wedding. Can you imagine the train wreck that might ensue?

-There’s an increasing drive to return to film photography and abandon the megapixels of digital technology. What’s your opinion on the film/digital debate?
When I switched to digital in 2001, I predicted that in 10 years, it would be cool to shoot film again. Okay, so I was off by a year. I think it’s just a trend and I personally don’t get it. The “look” of film is overrated and I won’t be shooting a roll of film again ever. As far as the debate goes…I tell people to figure out what works for them and go for it.

-Pro cameras nowadays have great low-light capabilities but we still supplement certain situations with either direct flash, off-camera flash, or a video light. How and when do you mix in external artificial light?
I play around. I mostly shoot on-camera flash, but bounce the light off of someone or something. I’ve also been experimenting with pocket wizards and off-camera flash.

-Are you a superstitious person and if so, do you have a specific routine that you follow before big shoots?
I’m not really superstitious, but before each wedding I like to play some loud music to get my pumped up. My routine after the weddings is more regular. Del Taco, hit the hot tub or a long hot shower while the images are downloading, etc…

-What’s your ideal holiday destination, and why?
Vegas. Poker.

-You find yourself with a spare hour. What do you do?
Watch tv, catch up, or facebook & twitter

-We never seem to have enough time to spend ‘on’ the business as there’s so much to do ‘in’ the business – shooting, editing, blogging and so on. How do you feel the balance is for you in this respect?
I have staff that help me take care of the clients. It’s my job to get more clients.

-Have you ever had anything go wrong on a shoot? What happened?
Knock on wood, not that I can think of.

-When you get chance to take photographs for yourself, what do you like to photograph?
See for my personal work. Beautiful nude women- not suitable for those viewing on a work computer!

-A while back when you published on your blog some older wedding photographs you’d taken it was interesting to see the difference between that and what you do now. What do you think will be the difference between the photographs you produce now and what you’ll be producing 5 years from now?
Hopefully they’ll be better, but with an obvious connection to my signature style.

-You can meet up with 3 people (dead or alive) for a Starbucks. Who would you choose?
Bono, Reagan & Steve Jobs

-What’s your favourite film?

-Favourite non-photography website: (I’m a nerd)

-Favourite photography website: duh!

So there we have it- Becker’s interview. Here are just a few photographs he’s taken that he considers his favourites, and I have to say there are two here that are my favourites of his too- love the backlighting in that dance shot- this shot is actually on my list of Favourite Wedding Photographs Ever. (I don’t have a real list as such- just one that I keep track of in my head!). Also take note of the last photo- this was actually captured purely by chance, but I think it’s testament to Becker’s relaxed and friendly style that he considers it one of his favourites. Last note, Becker runs his own online professional photography forum for likeminded photographers- do check out the [b] school and I’ll see you on the inside!


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June 10, 2010 - 5:36 pm

KatieTrujillo - Great interview! :)

June 11, 2010 - 12:17 am

Tira J - Great interview of the [b]school master! He cracks me UP!!!

June 11, 2010 - 4:36 pm

Amanda - The interviews are a great idea. Loved reading this!

June 11, 2010 - 10:53 pm

Erica - Thanks everyone, glad you enjoyed it!

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