Congratulations to our Top Pic of the Week, John Cureton. Read on to learn more about the production of these photos!
It was pouring down rain for this shot . We really wanted to do something epic for our couple here as typically the view from Glassy Chapel is one of the best in South Carolina.
How long have you been a photographer & how did you begin your journey?
I have been taking photos for as long as I can remember. I really got serious about it while working as a web designer about 12 years ago. It started when I was tired of getting less than stellar art from clients, so I started shooting my own. This, in a roundabout way, led to me doing music photography. During that tenure one of my clients was what is now, The Bon Secours Wellness Arena, which is a 16,000 arena in Greenville,SC . While working on a project for them I noticed that they had almost no photos of artists from previous events and mentioned to their marketing team that I would be glad to shoot some of their events if they ever needed it. Days later I received a call with a press pass to my official concert photography gig, Billy Joel! (no pressure right!) With so much of concert photography being anticipating the moment it came pretty natural to me having grown up a performing musician. Little did I know it would be great training for my later career of wedding photography. It wasn’t long after that several friends of mine asked if I would be interested in shooting their wedding. From the frst moment I was hooked. I feel like I finally found what I was really meant to be doing. I guess you could say I found my calling for lack of better words.
Not only are you a wedding photographer, but you’ve gotten pretty close to some of the greatest musicians of all time! Share your experience photographing other musicians?
Music photography will always hold a special place in my heart. I have been very blessed to work with some of the guys that I listened to and looked up to growing up. Interacting with some of these iconic personalities has taught me one very important lesson, that success and longevity has so much to do with attitude as well. Without naming names, I can say that some of the more famous and iconic musicians that I got to work with were really some of the most down to earth and nicest of all. While some of the ones that I worked with that were a ?ash in a pan, not so much. It was really an eye opening experience.
How would you describe your photographic style?
Modern and cinematic; focused on the real moments.
One of my favorite all time wedding exits at The Old Cigar Warehouse in Greenville,SC. Backlit with a single speed light.
How did you get started in wedding photography?
While doing commercial and music photography I was asked by friends to shoot a wedding. A little known fact about me was that my first experience in the wedding business was actually as a dj/mc. I did this during my time as a working musician. Because of this experience once my focus had shifted to photography and I was asked to photograph a wedding, it was all very familiar to me. Also, having done live concert photography where it’s always an ever changing lighting scenario and very fast paced, weddings weren’t intimidating.
What tips do you have for shooting wedding/engagement shoots?
Know your gear to the point that it becomes muscle memory. This way you can be focused on anticipating the next amazing moment or interacting with your subjects to inspire the next moment. Also, get it right in camera. It will save you a ton of time in your workflow. Don’t be afraid to speak up and put people in better light. For example, if you are shooting a bride getting ready and she is buttoning her dress in a tiny bathroom with fluorescent lights, when just a few steps away is gorgeous window light, by all means explain to her why this is better and move to the good light.
That perfect moment when the bride is about to see her groom of the ?
How do you gain inspiration for the photos you take?
Its all about the story. For me its about telling the story in a way visually that make you remember what the moment felt like if you were there. The feeling of excitement in your stomach, the taste of the champagne, the feel of the rain. To bring you back to that exact moment in time.
This was taken on the rooftop of the historic Westin Poinsett Hotel in downtown Greenville,SC. It has one of the most amazing views of sunset in the city.
What advice or tips would you give to other photographers regarding ?nding their style?
Get out and shoot as much as possible. Always carry a camera with you. Use personal work to build the portfolio that YOU want showcasing what you want to shoot, because you will always get hired to shoot what you show. In other words if you want to be a landscape photographer don’t make the first image of your portfolio a pet portrait. If you want to shoot concerts start with local bands and work from there. If you want to shoot weddings reach out to other photographers and offer to second or third shoot. There are always opportunities available to develop your craft.
This was taken at golden hour at Lindsay Plantation in Taylors,SC.
Thank you, John , for allowing us to share these photos! Check out more of his work on Instagram at @johncureton and his website: www.curetonphoto.com.
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