"I'm telling you, dude. You are never gonna go back to shooting without that after today."
It's January and I'm standing outside in a dress shirt with short sleeves, counting the seconds until I can walk into a hotel where I'd first met Michael and Samantha as they were getting ready for their exciting day in Shokapee. I'm greeted by several rooms filled with laid back folks covered in tons of bad-ass tattoos and thick beards, so I know right away this is gonna be a good day.
Michael is a great guy with an amazing voice for radio and a bartender at Dangerous Man, which would eventually lead to a pleasant surprise of true craft beer later on. Samantha is also very sweet, and after shaking some early day nerves is looking absolutely stunning in her gorgeous dress, tasteful fur scarf, and a rockin' shoe choice of Chuck Taylor's. The venue, Turtle's 1890 Social Centre, is rich with character and a classic vibe that seems to accentuated the personality of these two fittingly.
Rewind to earlier last fall, and I am in the midst of another casual day at work when my old head chef passes by and stops me. "Hey Anthony, I hired this new guy," Nate says to me, "he's a photographer. He's got a bunch of tattoos, too. You should talk to him, it may behoove you to get to know him." After a few days of crossing path's with Richard J. Fisher, or 'Rockin' Rick' as we called him, the topic of photography came up. After telling him that I was just starting my career, he seemed ecstatic to have someone to talk shop with and gracious enough to give me ample tips and tricks that would drastically changed my workflow from just six months prior.
Rick is a very eccentric and out there cat, who basically lives and breaths photography. His body of work is phenomenal, ranging from breath-taking landscapes to gorgeous portraits and everything in between. With more than 16 years under his belt, almost all shot with film until a few years back, he's seen and done it all. Rick had talked with me numerous times about wanting to get me out to a shoot with him. Luckily after months of chatting, he was kind enough to let me tag along for a day with him and get the cobwebs off my wedding day shoot skills.
Any opportunity that I get to be on a wedding shoot is an exciting time for me, but on this day what I was most curious about was to see how Rick shot and ran his show. I quickly found out that he was a real master at mixing up his styles of shots throughout the day, switching from very dramatically lit, staged shots to fun fisheye type group portraits and everything in between. The constant change of pace kept my on my toes and every new technique I saw him bust out with such ease made it hard to keep up. Although I may not have picked up on everything he did that day, he unintentionally was able to drastically change the way that I'd shoot forever.
Up until this point, I had considered myself a natural light shooter and didn't see flash working into my arsenal. All this time I had thought that fast lenses and higher ISO were the only way to go, but I think it's just because I had never attempted to get the use of flash down and make it look right.
I quickly noticed that Rick, however, was all about his strobes and the use of on and off camera flash. With just a few hours of Rick showing me how a strobe can take any shot to the next level, he converted me. He opened my eyes to the real versatility and almost necessity of using speedlights and flash to enhance my images.
You never know what your gonna see and get out of a wedding day, and there is only one chance to get the best looking and most creative, beautiful shots that you can. Rick is an extremely talented photographer that opened up my eyes to a whole different style of shooting that I had never seen or thought of. Both himself and the couple were very kind to let me tag along on their once-in-a-lifetime day and I'm thrilled I was able to be apart of it.
The 'fast paced, roll with whatever happens, challenge yourself to create beautiful images on the fly' feeling that goes into a wedding day is what keeps me wanting to come back for more and more of them. Featured below is how I witnessed Mike & Samantha's wedding day through my lens.
To keep up with Richard J. Fisher, check his work out at: https://www.facebook.com/Rick-Fisher-Photography-140389245981579/?fref=ts