How did Ignited Photography get started? I (Heather) really began my obsession with photography back in High School with the encouragement and support of an amazing photography teacher (Diane Ledesma) and photography mentor (Marvin Booth).
When Kevin and I first started dating during my senior year of High School, he often accompanied and assisted me on my photography ventures, but he rarely picked up a camera to shoot. Eventually, I started trying to learn more of the technical aspects of photography and wanted to talk it through with him. He grasped the concepts faster than me and very quickly he was teaching me all sorts of things I didn’t know!
In 2006 I officially photographed my first wedding as the primary photographer. Kevin and I joined forces officially and started ignited Photography in 2009. It’s been an absolutely amazing 4 years together so far, and we feel absolutely blessed to be doing something that we are both passionate about as a team.
Where did you come up with the name? When Kevin and I started our new business in 2009 we really wanted to focus on fashion-inspired photography, with a emphasis on off-camera flash (studio lighting) used in various, on-location settings. After much brainstorming and many long discussions, we settled on “ignited Photography”. Not only does it reflect our style of photography, it also reflects our passion for what we do. We aspire to ignite a love for it in our clients and those around us.
Has it always been a team effort? That’s a good question, and I’d have to say yes! Kevin was with me through photography classes and assignments through High School and College. He is the technical brains, the lighting expert and is extremely creative, and its so amazing how we balance and compliment each other in various ways throughout our business.
Why do you like shooting as a team? Kevin and I dated for 3 years, have been married for 13 years, and have 4 beautiful kiddos. With that much time and life experience together, our level of communication goes beyond spoken word. We communicate volumes through a simple glance, through our body language and through our tone of voice – that’s something that you just can’t get from an assistant, business partner or second shooter.
What is one question you wish couples would ask when searching for a photographer? There are a lot of important questions out there to ask, but we really think one of the most important questions would be one they ask themselves – is the photographer someone that is looking out for their best interest and is the photographer someone that they would truly enjoy spending their entire wedding day with? This is an important question to ask because, along with the wedding coordinator, the photographer is the only vendor that is with them throughout the entire day – ideally, start to finish.
What is your take on the first look? The development of the first look is truly a gift to weddings in general and is a scheduling lifesaver! Although they are not new to the wedding scene (Kevin and I did a first look at our wedding 13 years ago, and it wasn’t a new concept then), they are steadily gaining popularity; about 50% of our couples opt for a first look.
What is your favorite moment at a wedding? Both Kevin and I agree that our favorite moment of every wedding is the time that we get to sneak away with the newlywed bride and groom for their couple portraits. The moment is beautiful and we love to allow our couples the time to enjoy it as we capture the genuine emotion that is exchanged.
What are a few of your favorite wedding venues?
- Oak Pointe Country Club in Brighton, MI – not only is the venue beautiful and versatile, the staff there is amazing!
- Meadowbrook Hall in Rochester, MI – you really cannot compare to the beauty and historic detail of Meadowbrook.
- Planterra in West Bloomfield, MI – for an intimate, unique and exotic wedding, Planterra is our favorite. Plus, we love that with Planterra, even a winter wedding can have a tropical feel.
- Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite, CA – absolutely breathtaking!!!
What do you love about weddings where a planner is involved? Weddings with a planner are simply a world apart from those without. A wedding planner provides so much support, knowledge and organization ability that simply cannot be overstated. We know that the wedding will truly be much more stress and worry-free for ALL of those involved.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? Believe it or not, photography wasn’t always Kevin’s career of choice. Before Operation Treadstone and before Jason Bourne, Kevin had plans to become an undercover military assassin.
My life isn’t nearly as exciting as Kevin’s. Most people would be surprised to know that I have NEVER eaten a blue M&M. A friend and I made a vow when the blue M&M first came out that we would never eat one.