- Where did your love for photography begin?I was inspired by a local photography team here in Chattanooga over 11 years ago. I stumbled upon their website one day in 2006 and was blown away. I had never seen photography done like this; with ordinary people being photographed in such a natural, beautiful, and authentic way! All I had known before then was "prom posey, cookie cutter, looking at the camera" photography. To say I was hooked and obsessed is an understatement. I bought a camera solely for the purpose to learn how to do what I do today!
- What is your business niche?
Our focus and passion is definitely for wedding photography. The majority of our time and efforts are spent getting to know our wedding clients, asking them a series of questions to understand their personalities; what defines their relationship, and seeking to document exactly that as authentically as possible. We take a limited number of weddings per year so that we can give the time and attention to each couple that we believe is necessary to develop a fantastic personal and professional working relationship! Whether it’s a traditional church wedding, a destination wedding, or an outdoor wedding at a gorgeous venue, our couples tend to be full of life, excited about their relationship, and place a very high priority on their wedding photography.
(Rich Smith with wife/partner Heather Smith and 2 daughters)Describe a Rich Smith Photography Bride.
She's smart! And sweet and kind. She's confident and feels deeply. She's has close friends and family who love her intensely. Everyone around her can't contain their excitement for her. There will be lots of laughter and tears of joy all around her. She has a beautiful spirit about her. Ultimately, she has an amazing love story to tell and trusts me to share it with care and authenticity!
- How can a bride be prepared for meeting with you?
Other than to be familiar with (and excited about) our work, no prep, whatsoever. I try to convey our personalities as thoroughly as possible on our website so that couples who would be a great fit can find us and feel connected to us online before ever even meeting face to face. I’m casual and friendly but I’ve been doing this for long enough that I can naturally answer any question they may have had during our meeting. Choosing the photographer for your wedding is an intimate thing. My brides ask me (a stranger) to come in and become a part of their family for the day. I’m with the bride all day long, capturing everything to tell the story of her wedding day. It’s a big decision that I want them to feel absolute comfortable with!
(a wedding Rich Smith Photography has done)
- As a photographer, wha is the greatest asset you offer your clients?
I think our strongest asset in running our business is that Heather and I are a team, and we love our clients. We truly have learned to be better together, to complement each other’s strengths and leverage our weaknesses. I photograph many of our wedding solo, but Heather is available as a second shooter for our couples who'd like to hire her by the hour. We work together to create a phenomenal turnaround time, and we love working with so many talented local vendors. Those vendor relationships are at the heart of what we do and mean so much to us as a small business.
|(an engagement session by Rich Smith)|
My favorite way is for the bride go to my website first! (http://richsmithphotography.net) That’s my main gateway. I’m the first to say that I’m not the best photographer for every single bride. Going to my website first allows her to get a really good sense of my personality, my style, and gives her a really good idea whether our personalities would mesh well! Many times the face to face meetings are just a formality because my brides have so connected with us online that they already know they want us to be the ones to document their wedding! Those are the best meetings!
|(a wedding shoot by Rich Smith Photography)|