We’re bringing you our next artist feature from the July winners of SLR Lounge Awards! These articles are meant to give the photography community insight on how our award winners created their business, grew their portfolio, and achieved excellence in the industry.
Miguel Angel, an award-winning wedding photographer based in Philadelphia, entered an award-winning image into our Awards submissions, earning an Apex Award in the Wedding Portraiture category. Let’s take a glimpse into his creative process and learn what tools and ideas have inspired him along the way.
How did you establish and define your style?
I’ve always been drawn to the more edgy, dramatic style images. It definitely comes from my background of studying film before photography. But, I also enjoy capturing moments and creatively looking for the best way to tell the story of the day. So, we consider ourselves a hybrid. We like to be moment hunters but we also enjoy an occasional epic or “hero shot,” as Pye likes to call them. We tell our clients our style is “artistic photojournalism’” because we’d like to think we’re artists, even though people just call us photographers.
Now that you are established, what is the key to your ongoing success?
To continue evolving not only as a photographer, but also a businessman. I think we all go into this looking to create art and to be all around awesome with the camera, but in the end, if you don’t eventually begin treating your business like a business, you may find that you have no business. And that would suck. So, keep pushing yourself to be better, but also understand your worth and make some money, too. Nothing wrong with that.
Is there a type of marketing that you have found more successful than others?
I personally would say all of the above. Haha. No seriously, in this age of doing business you have to use everything in your arsenal. Whether it be Facebook (ads or through organic use), SEO, Instagram, Pinterest, your own website, through other vendors, networking with other photographers, your own clients, or whatever. You have to utilize them all and make them work for you.
If you had to select only one lens to shoot with, what would it be and why?
I’ve always had a love affair with my 35mm f/1.4 L. It’s just how I see things, horizontal at 35mm. It’s always been my storytelling lens, although my 24mm and I have been dating lately, so you never know.
For a typical shoot, how much time do you expect to spend in editing to finalize your imagery?
Ultimately, the least time possible. I mean, time is literally money if you spend it all doing post-processing, so we try to get a full wedding done quickly. Having said that, I have been taking a little extra time to craft the images I show now, but for a full wedding with maybe 5,000 images, we can usually do it in 3 days if we have 3 days straight. Haha.
What are you currently reading (photography or non-photography)?
I’m not gonna lie, I’m more of an audiobook kind of guy, and right now I’m re-listening to Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and Seth Godin’s “All Marketers Are Liars.” It’s where my head’s at at this moment.
See more of Miguel’s work on his Website & Facebook account and view our latest SLR Lounge Award Winners here! Don’t forget to submit your images before September 30th to be considered for our September 2017 Award Winners!