Behind the Lens: Q&A With Dawn

Thank you to everyone who wrote in with questions! It was fun!

Q: If you could photograph one famous person, who would it be, and why?
A: The first thing I wanted to say was Adam Levine, because I have a mad crush on him, but I need to think a little deeper than that… This is the hardest question I received. Good one, Violet!
I don’t know if Annie Leibovitz is a famous person to anyone who’s not in the photography field, but I would want to photograph her, because then I could ask her questions the whole time, and have her give me tips. Plus, I really want to hear about when she put Whoopie Goldberg in that bathtub of milk.

Q: What are your two “can’t live without” items?
A: Anti-aging eye cream, and Jelly Belly jelly beans!

Q: What is the craziest shoot you’ve ever done?
A: I could answer that in two different ways, so I shall.
Coming at it from the angle of plain ‘ol crazy, I’d have to say the bird couture shoot with Ashley. When you’re building a giant bird’s nest, you realize you’d doing something pretty crazy. (You can find some photos here: Into the Wild)

As far as the craziest wedding I’ve ever shot, I’d say the one where a fist fight broke out at the reception. The police weren’t responding to the 911 calls, and I was watching the brawl get bigger… and bigger… and bigger… So I ran 4 blocks to where I had seen police cars at a Christmas parade and told them someone needed to come NOW. That was a fairly interesting evening.  No, I didn’t take any photos.  I was too busy saving the day.  Thankfully, someone whisked the bride into the kitchen so she was safe.  After the police took care of the situation, I told the bride to NOT let someone like that take her joy.  She had been crying, so I wrangled up the makeup artist (thank goodness she was still there, or I would’ve had to MacGyver that touch-up myself).  She had her first dance with her groom, then her daddy, and she was all smiles.  I was very proud of her.

Q: What’s the craziest thing you did as a kid?
A: There are SO many things, it’s hard to even narrow it down. A lot of the crazy things I did had to do with our cats. I used to marry them to each other, and I’d make little wedding cakes out of canned cat food. I also used to set up a mini photo studio, with a pillow case as a back drop. I remember photographing my kitten, Boots, with cotton balls all around him. My mom was saying, “Dawn?! What are you doing?” “I’m taking pictures of Boots.” The pictures were terrible, and I didn’t understand why.

Q: What’s your favorite wedding location you’ve worked at?
A: That is a tough, tough question, because I love so many of the venues I’ve worked at (Galletto, The Reata, Roberson Ranch), but I think my favorite was where Lauren and Josh were married, and that was his family’s land. There was so much variety, it was beautiful, and had some great, old structures. (See Lauren and Josh’s wedding here: Lauren & Josh) A close second is The River’s Edge at Knights Ferry.

Q: What is your favorite TYPE of wedding to shoot?
A: My favorite, hands down, is an outdoor, garden wedding, or a wedding held in a field or some outdoor venue with trees. I love an afternoon wedding in the fall, because the lighting is fabulous for photos, and the leaves are turning brilliant colors.

Q: Why did you choose to specialize in wedding photography?
A: I am in LOVE with wedding photography, for many reasons: I love to photograph people, I love emotion, and there’s a lot going on all the time. It’s so special, and each wedding is one-of-a-kind, so that’s another draw for me. When I show up, no matter how prepared I am, regardless of if I’ve shot at that venue before, I never know what to expect. There’s always a surprise. I chose to “specialize” because I want to be the very best I can possibly be at shooting weddings, Bridal Couture and Trash the Dress, so I decided to stop taking other commissions, unless the person is very special to me, such as a good friend or a previous wedding photo client.

Q: What’s it like working with your husband?
A: It’s great, actually. We are so in sync, it’s like we can read each other’s minds. He knows my hand signals, how I work, and what I need. And if he doesn’t, I tell him and he’s quick to respond. He does make mistakes, though, and when he does, I fire him. Then about fifteen minutes later, I need him for something, and I rehire him. We have a lot of fun on shoots, and that’s really important to me.

Q: Chocolate chip, or Oreos?
A: OREOS!!! Which is why I’m so sad I’m gluten-free now due to stupid food allergies.

Please feel free to write in with any questions in the future! I’ll do more Q&As and I’m going to be starting a series of FAQs soon.

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Mark Kelly
July 3, 2012

Yeah, I fired you as a navigator when you got us lost on the way to one of the weddings. We ended up in the middle of no where.... No, the far other edge of no where. Had me going 90+ in a 40 zone. (It was still in the middle of nothing, I mean nothing, with only squirrrels around, otherwise I would never of done that.)

July 3, 2012

And that is why one of your jobs is navigation. Because I'm terrible at it!

July 3, 2012

Haha, I loved the bit about Boots! And the wedding cake cat foods!

July 3, 2012

Yeah..... I was an odd kid. lol

July 17, 2012

Though I did just find out when she fires someone that doesn't mean they stop working. I joked saying Mark would love getting fired since he could take a break. I was then corrected that firing did not include breaks. :D I love you two! hahaha

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