Lisa Redfern runs a “one woman show” focusing on wedding photography and portraits. She lives in Kelovna by the beautiful Okanakan lake. Right between Vancouver and Calgary. Easy to find stunning scenery there to use in her photos I guess
Tell us a little about yourself and your photography.
Hey there! My name is Lisa, I’m a Canadian photographer and graphic
designer, and I like taking pictures of people. I’ve been doing
photography for a long time, it got more serious when I was in
university and took photography. It was all film back then and there
were a lot of long nights spent in the darkroom. I worked full time
as a graphic designer for most of a decade, and I started my own
photography business in 2008 and also made the conversion to digital around the same time. This year I’ve just taken on a position
instructing photography students in design and marketing.
Why did you start taking photos?
The thing that really motivates me with photography is helping
people to have nice photos of themselves. That’s the main draw for
meÉ there’s nothing like the feeling of contributing to someone’s
family history with photos, or giving someone the gift of a great
photo of themselves. So wanting to do that drove me to take pictures
of peopleÉ rather than making art, which is why I’m a portrait
photographer rather than a fine art or nature photographer.
What inspired you to turn it into a business?
I guess I kind of have that entrepreneurial spirit — the idea of
being my own boss and setting my own hours has always been extremely appealing to me.
Creativity can be kind of manic – some days you just
need to rest and fill those creative tanks, and other days you’re
working feverishly and efficiently for 12-16 hours. A typical day
job doesn’t work with that too well.
What is your secret when photographing weddings?
Hmm, secret? Well, I have a few, I guess. One is to wear quiet shoes
so you don’t make noise while moving around during the ceremony.
It’s also really important to talk to the wedding officiant
beforehand and make sure you’re on the same page. A lot of my
secrets to making things run smoothly is just communication and
organization. As far as technical tricks, multiple off-camera
flashes at a reception, remotely triggered are the way to go!
How do you capture the love and feeling of a wedding?
Sometimes you have to step backÉ and just quietly photograph what is already there. One of the many fantastic things about weddings is
that people are so happy, and celebrating, and in love. What a
perfect time to take their photo. I might direct posing, but the
love between the couple is all their own.
You do some truly revealing shots – like when you put the
wedding ring in an unusual place – tell me more about your style.
Thanks! When I borrow the couples’ rings, it’s a good time for them
to take a few minutes’ break from their portraits, and I love the
challenge of finding somewhere visually interesting to stage the
rings. It’s one of the most fun parts of the day, and I do it at
every engagement session or wedding.
What are some other photographic projects you enjoy working
I’m completely fascinated with botanical and insect macro
photography. I’m really no good at it, but getting a macro lens is
going to be one of my next major purchases for sure. I’m also
continuously working on achieving more accreditations from the
Professional Photographers of Canada, which is challenging but gives
me something to work towards.
What kind of a camera and lenses do you primarily use and
how do you select your equipment?
Ever since my first 35mm SLR, I’ve been a Canon shooter. My main
camera is the 5D Mark II, and I love all of the L-series lenses. My
go-to are the 35mm and the 70-200mm, but I also really like the
50mm. I learned on prime lenses when I was first learning
photography, so I feel comfortable without the ability to zoom. As
far as selecting my equipment, professional quality, reliability,
and availability are big factors. With lenses I don’t want to have
too much overlap, so I try to ensure that all of my lenses are
unique. I think all I really need is a wide angle, a portrait/longer
lens around 100mm+, and a macro lens.
Can you name some tips for those who want to start a
Honing your skills before you hang that shingle is important. Seek
education, join a camera club, association, or an active online
forum and soak up all you can. I also think a solid business
knowledge/background is going to be the absolute best thing someone could do. Just being a capable photographer is not enough these days!
Thanks Lisa for sharing your love for people and your photopraphy!
Check out Lisa’s photography website