At FOTO, we are committed to helping our fellow creatives flourish. In our new Q&A style blog series, Coffee with Creatives, we are highlighting the unique expertise of some of our favorite professionals, sharing tips and information on relevant topics to bring you some practical insight and inspiration for the important work you do.
Today, we are uncovering how to keep a fresh perspective in your work with professional family and wedding photographer, Misty Rodda.
Tell us a bit about why you started your photography business?
Misty: I have always loved photos, and have scrapbooks going back to my high school days! But my real passion for photography was born with the birth of our first child! I wanted to be able to take great photos of him, so I studied every blog, and online course I could get my hands on. Over the next 8 years (and two more kids) I learned so much, and fell in love with the art of photography. In 2010 we moved from the Midwest to the East coast. This was such a huge change for me, and, with a big nudge from my husband, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to pursue a new, creative career! When I began, I genuinely thought I would just be doing some family photos on the side, to supplement my income as a preschool teacher. Instead, within two years I was able to become a full-time photographer. This business has been an incredible blessing to me, and my family. Photography has filled my need for a creative outlet, and given me a flexible way to contribute to our family financially. But best of all, my photography business has helped me to foster many lasting relationships with clients who I adore.
You shoot a lot of weddings. How do you bring a fresh perspective to every ceremony and reception?
Misty: It’s really important for me to know my couples before their wedding day. All my wedding packages come with an engagement session, in part because I want to spend time with a bride and groom before their wedding day. Knowing a couple well, and understanding their love story, enables me to create more authentic portraits of them. When a couple feels comfortable with me, they’ll let down their guard and can be themselves in front of the camera! I also have a fun goal of capturing one photo at each wedding that is different than anything I’ve done before. Whether it’s a new pose or prompt for the couple, a different detail than I’ve featured before, or something creative and fun, I like to challenge myself at each wedding.
How do you uniquely capture your brides?
Misty: Although I want to be present and helpful on a wedding day, I also like to do a lot of hanging back, capturing the day as it unfolds. Many of the most unique and authentic photos of a bride, are the images from the bridal suite as everyone is getting ready for the day! After all, a bride is most herself when she’s surrounded by her very best friends! I also absolutely love portrait time with the bride and groom. I like to give some posing guidance, but my favorite portraits are those that capture the love and joy the couple feels in those first hours of being husband and wife. And since each relationship is unique, those portraits are always unique as well!
Any traditions or routines you have before a long day of shooting?
Misty: Other than checking, and double checking all my gear, I love to grab a coffee on my way to a wedding! I’m fairly diligent about drinking enough water on a wedding day, because being dehydrated the day after is the worst! But a coffee to start a busy workday is a must! My favorite is a Venti Americano, 3 pumps of classic syrup and a splash of half and half!
When you're not working, what brings you a fresh perspective? Any hobbies or interests?
Misty: I love the outdoors, so anytime I’m in a creative rut, or just need perspective, taking a walk is my go to! I have a sweet Goldendoodle, Gwenny, who is always happy to go along. Music has also always been an important part of my life, and I draw a lot of inspiration from what I listen to. Putting on some headphones and cleaning, or working on decorating my home, is one of my favorite things to do! (Yes, I love to clean!) I also help lead worship at our church, and love singing. My newest hobby is caring for my plants. My grandma was an incredible gardener, and after she passed away last winter I made a pledge that I would overcome my black thumb. I’m far from being a true plant lady (although I wear the shirt), but I’m happy to report all my indoor and outdoor plants are thriving right now. Next summer I hope to grow something we can eat!
And for fun, what Fotostrap do you wear?
Misty: My James Fotostrap is my favorite photography accessory! I love how my logo is displayed on the strap, and it’s so comfortable and sturdy. When I’m meeting with a client for the first time, they can easily recognize me because of the personalization!
Looking for more inspiration from industry creatives? Check out this Q&A with professional photographer and twin-mom, Katie Lamb: