Just wanted to share this with you guys as it gives some pretty good insight into how I work with San Diego brides and grooms on their weddings and engagement sessions.
Bridal Insider Featured Vendor Interview with James Moro Photography.
The full interview can be found right here:
Name: James Moro
Company Name: James Moro Photography
In 2-3 sentences, please describe the services that you offer:
We offer local and destination wedding photography services, engagement sessions, bridal fashion shoots, as well as portrait services for san diego and beyond. We also offer custom designed wedding albums through Finao Albums, as well as a huge range of professional print services through Simply Color Lab.
What is unique about your business? (i.e., special knowledge or
training, special services, affiliations to local organizations,
charitable donations, etc.)
I specialize in creative collaboration with my clients and tailor their engagement shoots and wedding coverage to match their specific vision of their day. You’ll find a number of weddings, bridal fashion shoots and e-sessions in my portfolio shot under diverse lighting conditions–some exclusively using natural lighting and others involving the use of studio lighting to enhance and create a dramatic mood. What this means for my clients is that I know how to adapt to different lighting conditions, and I’m as perfectly comfortable shooting in natural lighting as I am using portable studio lighting to control the light to create flattering and stunning photos of my clients. I believe a strong ability to creatively control lighting is a hugely important and often overlooked talent in wedding photographers these days. I come from a heavily fashion photography influenced background shooting portraits and modeling portfolios, and creative lighting has always been a huge part of my style. As such, you’ll often find me using light modifiers typically used in fashion photography. On any given day, you could find me using a ring flash for flattering, shadowless light, softboxes or a beauty dish to create stunning portraits and editorial fashion-styled images, my giant parabolic light modifier ( PLM ) as an artificial sun, or simply using natural light diffusing through a cloud or bouncing off a building to make a bride literally glow through the dreamy, ethereal daylight. Great lighting can utterly transform what is already a beautiful moment into something that’s simply sublime. What it all comes down to is creative control over contrast. For me, contrast is everything in an image and lets me control exactly where the focus is for a particular wedding or engagement photo. It also helps create a sense of depth and dimensionality in my work, and contrast is a very powerful tool I use to create a mood and feeling to my photos. Sometimes I’m all about maximum contrast and making my subjects pop out from the background via contrasty lighting and vivid colors. Other times, I’m going for a more romantic, dreamy mood and want reduced contrast. So i’ll balance my light to the daylight and work with more muted, soft colors.
Before I shot modeling portfolios, I shot shooting pro cycling races–some of which I shot from the back of a motorcycle! So i’m no stranger to working with what the conditions give me to capture the intensity and action in any given situation. I absolutely love being right up in the thick of the action at a wedding with my canon 24-70 2.8L lens or my 50mm 1.4 prime lens. I often find that it puts my clients more at ease and allows me to shoot them more relaxed and lost in the moment than if I were to hide in the distance and snipe at them with a super long telephoto lens. It almost seems contradictory that people tend to forget about your presence the closer you are to them, but that’s exactly what happens. They simply get used to your close proximity and expand their comfort zone. In a paradoxical way, it really does let you fly under the radar and capture some beautiful photojournalistic moments. If you remain at a distance to your clients, then you never become part of their comfort zone and your presence is constantly on their minds as you remain an object darting in and out of their periphery toward their personal space. The effect of being closer to the action is that my clients will often make a point to tell me that they really didn’t even know I was there. The result is simple: breath-taking photos of heart-felt moments that literally transport the viewer into a scene that be re-lived over and over–that’s the importance of creating a visual legacy.
In addition to lighting and photographic intimacy, post-production is a very important part of my creative process. I’ve been using photoshop since I picked up my very first professional digital SLR camera 10 years ago in my sophomore year of college. With the way everything’s become digitized, it’s so utterly easy to click a button and apply automatic processing to your photos. The result, however, is that your photos will end up looking unnatural and like every other photographer’s that purchased the same photoshop actions. I’m a traditionalist in this regard, as I believe in putting in the time to treat each and every photo on an individual basis like they did back in the film darkroom days. It’s what they do for magazine-quality work and what they do for fashion and commercial work; so it’s only fitting that my clients receive the same treatment for what is effectively the most photographically important day of their lives. The best way to describe my post-production work is to say that it is intensive, but subtle–for the most part! When it comes to weddings, I want my clients to look their absolute best. So blemishes-be-damned, I got your back! For my bridal fashion shoots and my engagement sessions, creative collaboration is a more active force. As such, you’ll find my processing lends to a more dynamic or cinematic style. I’m always in search of that one shot that sums up the emotional connection of my clients–the photo that could make the movie poster to the story of their romance.
What is your favorite part about what you do?
My favorite part of being a wedding photographer is taking to the streets and combating cheesy wedding photos with wicked roundhouse kicks to the head and swift knees to the groin! LOL….
All joking aside, the most rewarding part of being a wedding photographer is seeing all of the dynamic elements at play in a moment come together to create a photo that holds onto you and stops you in your tracks. We all know the feeling of browsing a photographer’s portfolio or looking at a magazine and skimming the pages until something grabs hold of you and commands you to its presence. Great photography grabs hold of you and slows you down and allows you to lose yourself in the moment of viewing.
My goal is to make those moments possible for my clients so that they have a visual legacy to look back on that they can lose themselves in.
What do you like most about working with Brides & Grooms?
I love how my clients’ personalities and nuances come into play during a wedding. You never know what to expect, and the spontaneity that some people exhibit makes for some great photos. It’s all about the unguarded moments when my brides & grooms let themselves shine with reckless abandon. By far, my best photos are the result of being privy to these moments that not even the best movie director could predict or carry out.
I’m a bit of a romantic too, and I love getting to meet with couples and hear their stories about how they met and got engaged. I feel privileged be invited to be such an intimate witness to my clients’ weddings. It’s so true that no one spends more time with a bride on her wedding day than her photographer.
Now let’s play 20 questions to find out a little bit more about you.
What is your favorite thing to do in San Diego?
snorkeling at La Jolla Cove
Coffee or Tea?
What are you most excited about right now?
A wedding that I have this sunday at the Coronado Cays Yacht Club. I’m super stoked because the groom loves photography and made a point to set aside two hours on their wedding day specifically for group photos and creative bride and groom portraits. Not only that, but the couple will be arriving at the yacht club later by gondola and will definitely be a sight to see!
Where was the last place that you traveled?
What do you wish that you did better?
Snowboarding. I watch those crazy videos of the pros flying through the air, but then ride up to the jumps and go ZOMG THAT’S HIGH!!!
What is your secret skill?
I can ride a sportbike really fast at racetracks and drag knee. I’m also really good at crashing sportbikes at triple digit speeds and walking away unscathed 😛
Belgian Waffles with whipped cream and strawberries, followed by several rounds of fresh-squeezed OJ.
Describe your ideal day.
Wake up in Bora-Bora next to my beautiful girlfriend. Go snorkeling and swim with the fish, then go hiking in the mountains with my dog, Chopper.
Are you a cat person or a dog person?
Both. I grew up with cats but have adopted my gf’s giant anatolian shepherd as one of the family.
Favorite sports team?
Steelers (i’m from pittsburgh). I also root for any motorcycle team riding a Suzuki.
Favorite flavor of ice cream?
If you won the lottery jackpot, what would you do with the money?
Buy a large stock in Google and Apple. Buy a rediculously expensive 80MP medium format digital camera. After purchasing more photography gear and studio space than I know what to do with, i’d also purchase several properties, build my own motoGP racetrack in east county SD, and spend my time shooting destination weddings in the Mexican Riviera, the Island of Santorini and the French Riviera.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
a professional skateboarder/snowboarder and a world-class adventurer and outdoorsman.
What is your favorite color?
blue,black and white
What was the last song that was stuck in your head?
It changes on a nightly basis–pretty much whatever song the penny cab drivers are blasting outside of my loft in the Gaslamp Quarter. Rhianna’s ‘Only Girl in the world’ haunted me for several weeks…lol.
What is one item that it always in your refrigerator?
What makes you angry?
bad wedding photos
What makes you happy?
good wedding photos
What is your favorite dessert?
Gelato: lemon, lime or mojito-flavored.
What is the best concert that you have seen?
I saw Richard Marx for free at the Pittsburgh Arts Festival years ago…. The Weezer concert at the Del Mar fairgrounds last year was pretty killer too.