Tell us a little about yourselves and where you’re from.
Based in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains (in Calgary, Canada) we’re husband and wife wedding photographers. We primarily shoot intimate weddings and elopements set in nature and are very passionate about what we do. We also really love to travel and it’s possible that we drink too much wine.
How did you two first get interested in photography?
Kendal – I studied Art + Design in University and as soon as I took some film photography courses, I was hooked. I fell in love with the process and started looking at light so differently. It still took a few years before I realized it could be more than a hobby, meeting Kevin really changed that.
Kevin – Growing up, my family and I would often spend our summers hiking in the mountains and I loved how photos would allow me to relive those awesome moments months and even years later. I was working as a Biologist and so I naturally got into wildlife photography. Later, when I met Kendal we starting practicing and expanding into different genres together. I think we both have a little competitive edge that pushed us along as well (we both like to think we’re the boss).
Photographing is a very personal matter, and are often unique because of the photographer, and how he or she sees it – what does Kendal + Kevin Photography believe wedding photography should be about?
Good question! Wedding photography has grown so much recently it’s no longer confined to any one thing or style. A couple’s wedding photos could range from an adventure session on top of a mountain, or an intimate portrait session at home. The one thing that we feel should remain constant, no matter the style… is that it should always be about the couple. Sometimes photographers can get lost in creating the most beautiful ‘work’ and forget who it’s for. We strive to create beautiful memories and make sure that every couple has an amazing experience.
How would you describe your shooting and editing style?
To steal what Junebug Weddings wrote about us ‘nothing over-done, over-processed or overposed’, which is totally true! And to add to that, we are lifestyle photographers, meaning that we’re always aiming to be true to the moment, shooting candidly throughout the day with a few fine art portraits thrown in to the mix. We have a love for rich, natural colors and subtle warm undertones, adding a romantic touch. We are aware of the current trends but at the same time we want our photos to be timeless, so we’re careful to not follow things too closely.
When it comes to client work, has the process of creating your own unique style, been a lot of compromise, or have you always held on to your beliefs in your art?
It’s been a pretty natural process. When we initially sat down to discuss our branding strategies, we realized that our ideal clients were basically anyone who we could see ourselves being friends with outside of work. And so, we got into a space where essentially all of our tastes and preferences were pretty much aligned with our clients. We’re attracting like-minded couples and things seem to unfold from there. We’re definitely not trying to bend and twist to be attractive to everyone (that would just be too exhausting.. haha).
When did you decide to do weddings – and was there ever a question not to shoot weddings?
Our first professional shoots were actually family sessions. Family photography is where we started and it’s still very important to us (we still shoot around 30 sessions a year in addition to our weddings). We got into weddings when a friend’s sister was looking for a wedding photographer. She approached us and we initially thought ‘are you crazy?!’, but after meeting with the couple we chatted and started to get really excited about the opportunity. We ended up having the most wonderful day (thanks Meghan and David). It was hard to believe that it could be considered work… we were just celebrating with an amazing couple on such a happy day. Things have just grown from there and now we couldn’t imagine doing anything else. It’s our love and passion and we feel extremely lucky to be doing it together.
What is your favorite moment during a wedding? Is it the same as when you’re just attending as a guest?
Kendal – I think my favorite part is actually getting ready before the ceremony. It’s a bit more intimate and I really get to know the bride (and all of her important people). Plus, there’s always this restless energy that I enjoy. As a guest, I love vow ceremonies. It’s harder to be ‘present’ when you’re photographing a wedding so when I’m attending, I love to just listen to their words.
Kevin – I’m going to cheat and say two – the couples portraits (for the creativity aspect) and then the late night dance. Absolutely everyone forgets that there’s a camera around and they just go for it. So much fun (that would be my favorite as a guest as well).
Which moment do you think is the most ‘valuable moment’ to capture during a wedding day?
It’s so hard to single out just one moment, it’s all important. Each couple is unique and so we always take notes from our initial talks. That way when the day comes we can give ourselves a refresher on the things that will be particularly important to them.
We all know weddings are such a special occasion. Do you ever get emotional shooting a wedding?
Kendal – Pretty much always! We shoot a lot of intimate weddings/elopements so it’s a pretty tight knit group. Many of our wonderful clients make us feel more like guests than hired vendors as well so it’s hard not to feel it during their wedding.
Kevin – I’m maaaybe a little less emotional than Kendal but since we had a baby boy at the start of the year, the parent’s speeches have been hitting me especially hard.
Everyone brings something unique to the table, what do you think makes you stand out?
It’s true! As we mentioned before, the variety of wedding photographers is endless and there are a lot of unique qualities on offer out there. In our case, we have the benefit of being a husband and wife team where our clients are getting two ‘lead’ shooters (with some obvious chemistry) that have gone through the wedding experience first-hand. Beyond that, we also strive to produce high-quality, artfully crafted images without the pretention that sometimes comes along within this space. We pride ourselves on being approachable and making sure our clients are having the best experience possible during their wedding.
What has been your most memorable shoot to date?
This is maybe a little nerdy but we recently did our own day-in-the-life session. We are typically horrible when it comes to taking any personal photos and with our baby boy Brighton growing up so quickly we thought it would be fun to do this yearly. We documented the entire day and they ended up being some of our favorite photos ever. It reminded us how important photographs can be in capturing memories.
What are your ambition and your goals for Kendal + Kevin Photography in the long run?
Kendal – Oh gosh, who knows! Haha…We do make yearly goals but try not to plan too far ahead. At this point we’re both pretty happy with where we’re at as a company. There are certainly tweaks to be made and we both want to continue to improve as photographers (we’re never really satisfied with our work), but largely we want to continue down this path and see where it takes us.
Kevin – Second what Kendal says. And I think we’re both open to other creative pursuits. We spent some time in Southern France working at an awesome B&B and now we toy around with the idea of moving out of the city, building a custom home and opening a guesthouse. We’ll see how that one goes.
What’s something you pull a lot of inspiration from in both your personal and professional life?
Outside of photography, we both find inspiration all over the place – architecture, food, painting, music, etc. We both really love to walk (if we’re not out on a shoot, we’re probably walking somewhere), and we gain a lot of inspiration/ideas from whatever environment we happen to be in.
In your experience, how important is marketing in photography?
Extremely important! As it is with any business really. It doesn’t matter how strong your work is if clients don’t feel a connection with you and your brand.
Have you ever hosted a workshop? If no, would you? If yes, tell us about the experience.
We haven’t yet but this is something we could see ourselves doing down the road. We both love meeting new people and to teach them what we know about photography sounds like a pretty good time!
Lastly, is there any advice you’d like to give to those looking to get into the photography business?
Understand that it’s more than the art of photography, it’s aboutCo running a small business. If that doesn’t scare you off, then stop wasting time and go for it!
Thanks again to Kendal and Kevin for your time and thoughtful responses! Please check out their website for more incredible photos at http://kendalandkevin.ca/