Zachary Drucker’s survey of photography class had 9 students delve into the various industries photographers can partake in. Each week Zachary would invite a different photographer from different industries and have them speak to us. Slowly our minds were growing fond of certain industries where we could see ourselves in the future. Pen in hand, I slowly narrowed my sights to one specific industry. From war photography to commercial photography, or editorial to art photography, I was able to experience a little bit of each type. Our final in the class was to choose one industry, contact someone we admire in that industry, and interview them. Here is the editorial article regarding that choice I made in reference to KrisD Mauga, Lifestyle Wedding Photographer:
This morning, weatherman, Mark Kriski, reported there would be a likely chance of showers with a high of sixty-eight degrees in the greater Los Angeles area. Mom never told me weathermen lie. Yellow umbrella in hand, I strolled into the 2nd street Starbucks in Long Beach, expecting a torrential on pour of rain. Little did I know, a sunny KrisD Mauga was prepped and ready to go.
KrisD Mauga, born Kristi Dickson, is an accomplished professional lifestyle photographer. After she wed Donovan Mauga and gave birth to her daughter, Kruiz, she took the pseudonym KrisD in order to retain her maiden name. Within the last three years, KrisD opened her lifestyle wedding photography business under the name of KrashingMotions; inspired by her nickname Kristi Krash and “capturing life’s emotions”. In this short time she has ascended the ladders, striving to reach success every day. I was privileged to meet KrisD, as she was a guest speaker at the Art Institute of California – Orange County, which opened the door to a dialogue between KrisD and I. This brings us to the rainy yet sunny day in Starbucks…
After discovering that Starbucks did not offer wireless Internet, KrisD and I collected our essentials and hauled ass to the nearest free wireless Internet provider: the Magic Lamp Lebanese Mediterranean Grill. After ordering two Turkish cappuccinos, KrisD and I began a two-hour conversation before our interview even started. KrisD and I share many similar ideas regarding technique and passion. Most people, who look at wedding photography as a tedious, repetitive, and abysmal task, do not see the intimacy and emotion we do. From cropping in-camera, to discovering the easiest workflow, KrisD and I were able to concur on multiple levels of the art of photography. KrisD’s work is mainly categorized as lifestyle photography: families, kids, maternity, and boudoir, but primarily focuses on engagement and wedding photography. Although she tries to capture the earthly and serene colors, she has taken a visceral approach to most of her photos by popping them with intense color, which makes her work lively, as is her personality. KrisD’s work is a mix of editorial and photojournalistic styles. Like photojournalists, she documents the wedding, but she also sets up shots in an editorial style. She takes pride in her work because it is focused in the moment, full of real emotion.
Following the bombardment of photo jargon and the sharing of experience, I was able to know the real KrisD Mauga. KrisD Mauga is a self-taught wedding photographer, who has been in the industry for a short time, but has wisdom beyond her years. She has taken from the inspiration of Jules Bianchi, a very vivid wedding portrait photographer; Laffler, a colorful wedding photographer; Melissa Boutwell, A warm and rich photographer, and business minded wedding photographers, David Jay and Becker, just to name a few. The most difficult obstacle KrisD had to overcome was teaching herself. The business aspect of wedding photography seemed to prove the most difficult: funding the gear, marketing herself properly, and setting rates. To solve these problems, KrisD put herself out there, submerged herself into the wedding photography community, and continually increased her network. She researched photographers, created marketing tactics for herself, attended various workshops, and joined the WPPI and PPA.
One of the greatest pieces of advice KrisD shared with me was that wedding photographers, “sell themselves, sell their brand, sell their name, and not their photos”. “People buy you, not your work”, KrisD explained about her efforts to book clients. Whenever she would meet with clients, KrisD would buy wine and give them a marketing book that she made herself to help to book the job. If I could have taken anything else away from our conversation, it is that it is important to be very personable and amiable with the clients. The more comfortable they are, the better photos you get. KrisD was always easy going, cracking jokes, and sarcastic with her clients to break the ice. The best photos were always the ones where everyone was the most comfortable. KrisD’s best works were the ones when she created the scene, but captured the real emotion.
My path may be entirely different from the self taught KrisD Mauga, but I’m sure our goals are very similar in the end. I have a lot to learn from KrisD, from the basics of wedding photography, the business and the blogging. KrisD’s dedication to blogging and increasing her SEO is something that I can follow. The wedding photographer community is very connected to the Internet and this may be the beginning of my dive into a new world. I plan to continue my education and intern for KrisD to learn the ropes and eventually become a successful wedding photographer. In five years, I hope to be somewhere that I cannot even imagine.