Some people just have a gift for capturing love and life on-camera. As a lover of all-things still-life, I have a deep admiration for those who so effortlessly shoot with the not-so-still, evoking mood and memory and freezing time, creating snippets to be reminisced over for years and decades to come. Kinsey Mhire is one of those supremely talented photographers who just seems to get it, in each and every image she captures, you can feel the warmth and love spilling forth, unabashed. On the day you marry the one you love, arguably one of the most important milestones in your life, this is what you want in a wedding photographer, someone who captures the natural emotion of the day.
But before you get there, you have to find that perfect wedding photographer, which is arguably one of the most difficult and at times frustrating milestones in your wedding-planning process. The wedding photographer’s job isn’t quite so cut and dry as showing up with camera in tow, they’re there to capture your day, and at times may even end up acting as referee (maybe Aunt June’s jumped into a few too many couple’s pics), so you’ll want to find a photographer who you can trust and rely on, who is not only talented and vision-filled but understands your vision as well. To get the scoop on finding and choosing a talented photographer, I asked Kinsey for her tips and tricks and to share a little bit about herself:
Could you tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from and when did you discover photography as your calling?
Hi there! My name is Kinsey Mhire. I’m currently rooted in Kansas City, Missouri. I discovered my love for photography as a teenager when I purchased my first camera, constantly taking photos of everything and everyone. It wasn’t until college that that love and passion became a career. While there were bumps in the road, it was something that really happened so naturally and organically. One day I realized this doesn’t just have to be a passionate hobby. This can really be my career.
Was wedding photography always something you were drawn to specifically? How long have you been shooting weddings?
Absolutely. I’d like to think I’m drawn to people, and what other way to better capture people than on their wedding day, surrounded by those they love most? I’ve been photographing weddings since I was 19, so almost five years.
How would you describe your photographic style?
I would describe my style as emotion-driven documentation. I want to capture those real moments. That raw emotion. When photographing weddings, my focus is to capture my client’s story. The moment when your future spouse sees you in your wedding dress for the first time. Your dad crying as he walks you down the aisle. Or laughing with your best friends while telling stories about “the good old days”. Those are the photos, the memories, you’ll keep forever.
You’ve shot in some incredible locations – any particular favorites?
Most definitely the wedding I photographed in India. It was the most magical, surreal experience I’ve ever had.
One thing you wish every couple knew before their wedding day?
From a photographer’s perspective, lighting is going to either be your best friend or your worst enemy on your wedding day. Find venues and bridal suites with great natural light. Big windows and bright walls. A lot of brides are inspired by wedding photos they see floating around the web and expect their photos to look just like those. It definitely takes a great photographer, but we’re not magicians. Take into account what the backdrop will be in your photos. Do you want bright photos but have a venue with no windows and red wallpaper? Do you want moody photos but are in a room with florescent lights? Once you’ve booked your photographer, talk with them about your vision and what type of lighting/venue space will work best for your day.
And from the hopeless romantic in my perspective, focus on enjoying every second. There are going to be flaws and mistakes. It’s bound to happen. But when you get your wedding photos back, you aren’t going to be thinking of how the ceremony started five minutes late, or the centerpieces didn’t match the table cloths perfectly. You’re going to be thinking about the love you shared and the people that celebrated such a special day with you. If you’re overwhelmed and stressed on your wedding day, not only will it affect how you remember the day, but it will translate that way in photos as well.
Could you offer some tips and tricks for brides-to-be who may be searching for the perfect photographer? Questions couples should ask, words of wisdom, sage advice…
The most important advice I can give is to find a photographer you feel you can trust. By this point you’ve seen their work already and know you like their style. So now it’s important that you know you can trust them and feel comfortable being in front of their camera. If you’re not comfortable with your photographer, it will really show in the photos.
Another thing that is really important to me is to protect my clients’ time on their wedding day. I always allot extra time for delays and mishaps. I don’t want to sacrifice photo time or have a stressed-out bride and for that to translate in her wedding photos. When creating a photo timeline with my couples, I make sure we have extra time for bumps in the road.
What is your favorite thing about photographing couples?
I love how each couple is so uniquely different, yet all brought together for the same reason. Love.
How has witnessing so many ceremonies impacted your own outlook?
I truly am a die-hard romantic. I cry at almost every wedding I photograph. Each ceremony is such a beautiful reminder of how love brings people together. No matter who you are, where you live, how big or small your wedding is, it’s going to be beautiful. Because love is such a beautiful thing.
All time favorite shot you’ve taken?
Oh, such a tough question! I feel like this answer is consistently changing, and I like that. I want to constantly strive to take my best photo ever. The photos that tend to be my favorite are the ones that make you feel connected to the subject. Whether it be people or landscape, a good photo is all about making you feel connected to something bigger than yourself.
What keeps you feeling inspired?
The people around me and the places I’ve traveled. Nothing gets me going like photographing two people in love in a beautiful location.
What does it mean to be ‘free’?
To me, to be free is to live an authentic life. Travel often, and love well. To live life passionately, peacefully, and adventurously.
Thank you Kinsey!