Give us a little background. When did you discover photography, when did you know it would be a career?
Photography has been a passion of mine since seventh grade all thanks to a tragic accident I was in. I got hit in the face with a golf club and it was exactly as awful as you are thinking it is. During the five years and 25 surgeries it took to mend my bones and teeth back together, all of my friends always wanted photos taken when we were out (thanks MySpace and Facebook) and because I didn’t want to smile, I would always volunteer to take them!
Well, insecurity turned into a passion for taking photos. Junior year of high school I got my first real DSLR and started taking more “professional” photos for friends and people started wanting to book me! I couldn’t believe it. Fast forward to junior year of college and I felt completely called to pursue photography full time as a career.
I have been shooting professionally for 5 years now and have had my own business for three years. My job is my passion, one I don’t like to call work, but what fuels my creative soul. Community is my heart, and being apart of the most important day of people’s lives feels a lot like becoming family. My job is about connecting with people and having them become more than just clients, but lifelong friends. Telling stories has always been my favorite, but words tend to get lost or forgotten so I tell them the best way I know how, through my lens.
Your posing is so effortless. Do you tend to let their stances come naturally, or do you give suggestions?
Posing has quickly become my strong suit and although can seem terrifying at first, or awkward, it is so much fun! I absolutely let my clients fall into each other naturally, I don’t believe in being too “poesy” or making my clients feel uncomfortable and well, not natural. I always guide my clients into a position but without it being stiff. I tell them to talk to each other, snuggle together, make each other laugh, tell secrets or jokes, etc.
I always start off my sessions with telling my clients to just smile at me like they would be getting their picture taken anywhere, and then I will have them walk towards me hand in hand. I like to start with an action (walking and talking to each other) in the beginning to make them feel more comfortable and loosen up! It works, I promise. I will always ask them if they have a preference as to which side they like photographed or anything they want me to be aware of just so I can be conscious of what makes them feel most comfortable.
I 100% always make jokes or just embarrass myself naturally (I’m somehow always tripping over things ha!) that I tend to make them laugh and that always helps lighten the mood when things are feeling stiff! I think it is so important to direct your clients into poses and to tell them to relax their shoulder, or move their hand, or turn their face a certain way, or take a deep breath. It’s the little things like that that make them feel like you are in control and that they don’t have to worry about “not knowing what to do”. Before we even go on our engagement shoot, I send out a questionnaire that just lets me get to know them better and what they like to do and what their hobbies are. This helps in picking out a specific location and wardrobe that will make them feel in their element and even more comfortable. THIS IS KEY!
Stiff, uncomfortable, awkward, and not enough direction towards your client’s shows in photos and that is something no one wants! Communication and building a relationship with my client before hand, has changed the game for me when it comes to photos. When your clients feel comfortable with you, everything falls perfectly into place!
What are 5-10 things that you are never caught without when you’re photographing a wedding?
Five things I am never caught without while shooting a wedding would have to be: my 50mm1.2, my Burts Bees chapstick, my cell phone (I don’t wear a watch, but probably should start, lol), water and my Holdfast gear! Wearing two cameras at once has been the greatest and most convenient thing EVER. Seriously, you should get a Holdfast strap.
If you could go back to the beginning of your photography career, what are 3 things you wish you had known or done differently?
Emily Magers is a natural light wedding and lifestyle photographer based out of Los Angeles who has a passion for telling stories and documenting love.She wishes Baby Animal Cuddler was a career choice and chocolate had no calories, she loves meeting new people, talking over coffee dates, and is always down for an adventure.
To see more of Emily's work, visit her at emilymagers.com.
From a very early age I loved taking pictures and looking at them in magazines and books, but the art of photography captured my heart when I was a teenager, on my first overseas trip to Wales. From that point, I began shooting with a little film SLR and having my friend model for me. In college I took some digital photography and visual communication courses as part of my communication studies major, and decided to pursue a career in photography. I became a legal business and took my first paid client at age 20, and it's been quite a journey and adventure over the past nine years.
I secretly bought a mail-order 35mm camera when I was 15, and took lots of ordinary photos of animals and nature for several years. Although I majored in art and studied photography in college, my career started in marketing and advertising, from the client service end. Then I had the most beautiful baby, found my old camera and realized how much I love photographing people.