One week ago Traina Photography offered an April Fool’s Special featuring Anthony & Adelynn as the primary wedding photographers. We received a request from Alli Gaulin of Pixel Chicks to interview Anthony & Adelynn about their persona & take on photography. Here is their interview:
Pixel Chicks: Hi guys, thanks for accepting this interview with Pixel Chicks. You’ve developed a following with photographers who are looking to you as the face of our evolving industry. We wanted to take this opportunity to get to know you, and answer some questions your followers have. First how old are you, and how long have you been shooting weddings?
Anthony: I’m nine and a half, and Ady (Adelynn) is six, but me mum & dad have been doing this since I was four. I mean when you think about it, I’ve been part of this industry since before I could properly dress myself. That’s the brilliant thing really… this is about art defining you, you defining art… there’s really no limit as to the potential we have for self discovery, while at the same time showing your clients who they really are to each other.
Adelynn: We haven’t shot any weddings yet.
Pixel Chicks: Are you both from Oklahoma City, because Anthony your accent…
Anthony: (interrupting) Right, so the thing is, I’ve been watching a lot of Jerry Ghionis lately, and I’m quite taken by him. I can’t say his style is exactly where I want to be in say five to ten years, but right now I’m just doing my thing love.
Pixel Chicks: OK, so what exactly made you choose the wedding industry? Why not pets, or kids, or flowers?
Anthony: …I think really, when you asking yourself what’s this thing all about… my life, my passions yea? It just clicked. I love me two pups, but you gotta remember I’m from the old school. Have you ever tried shooting a pug in your kitchen with a kit lens? There’s no future in that. Kids are lovely, mum works with kids, but I find them impossible. They don’t listen to instruction, they have no vision… they really don’t respect you as an artist. When I was younger I used to take pics of babies, but they go poop or wee on literally everything. Flowers? C’mon, next question.
Adelynn: I’m not really into photography, more in capitalizing on selling myself to other people, which in this industry works for both my clients & my competition. Win win.
Pixel Chicks: Have you ever heard of film?
Anthony: (laughter) Yea, I get that a lot. The truth is I think it’s brilliant really. Five years ago people would look at me and say “is that a digital”? Now people say “where’s your LCD”, or “Holga, that’s so cool”! Those are the people who get it.
Adelynn: Isn’t that what people used to watch before YouTube?
Pixel Chicks: What is the one piece of equipment you can’t live without?
Anthony: You know, I don’t think it’s so much the equipment. You give some new kid a fresh 5D MK2 with a 50 1.2 or 135 f2 and what are they going to do with it? Tools for the artist I say. I guess I would have to say I’m a painter of light, driven from my soul. Does that make sense?
Pixel Chicks: Absolutely, I think we all…
Anthony: (interrupting) I mean I have no idea what brush Van Gogh used to paint Starry Night, but I don’t think that’s the question we ask ourselves when we see it yea? When people see my work I don’t want them to say was that Nikon or Canon? Hasselblad or Leica? Film or Digital? I want them to say “that was captured with brilliance”! But yea, the D70 is killing me, & I’m hoping my parents upgrade soon so I can snag one of their D300′s.
Adelynn: I’ve noticed there’s been no answer in my search for a camera bag that is beautiful & stylish in design, yet built for today’s photographer with a six year old frame. There’s a market for that, and I’m excited to announce I’m scheduled to launch a new bag that is more expressive than it is functional.
Pixel Chicks: How would you describe your success with the $99 special you offered?
Anthony: You know, I think we learned a lot from that whole experience. We researched the whole Groupon thing, but I didn’t want to get stuck selling 200+ weddings at 99 quid. That’s just insane. We just wanted to get out there and shake things up a bit, and make a name for ourselves in our market. I think at this point we’ve really started to settle into things, and looked more towards the bigger picture like WPPI, mentoring & what not.
Adelynn: We haven’t booked any yet.
Anthony: (responding to Adelynn) Wait, it’s not fair to just put it out there like that. To start the entire model was all off. You can’t do the kind of work we do & give it away at $99. We were priced way to low, and I really think we had to take a step back & ask ourselves “how do we do this, and remain true to ourselves”. Ultimately we got a lot of people buzzing about us, but when it came down to it we really couldn’t find anyone who was willing to pick us up & have us back in bed by 9:00. We’ve run our pricing by some people on photography forums, and I think we’ll really start seeing more success starting at $4,500 instead of $99.
Adelynn: When I showed him what I cost he realized he had to raise some prices.
Pixel Chicks: So if I understand what you’re saying, you haven’t shot any weddings yet, you didn’t book any weddings at $99 but think you will have success at $4,500, and you’re looking at mentoring in your future.
Adelynn: No question.
Pixel Chicks: What do you say to brides when they tell you they love your work but you are just too expensive?
Anthony: You know, this hasn’t come up in any of our client meetings, but I’m certainly anticipating it as we begin to have client meetings.
Adelynn: I truly believe if you want to make a name for yourself you have to price yourself in a way that is going to demand attention. If I have a bride say “$4,500 for 4 hours of photography with no disc, and no prints… that’s crazy”… I know I have them.
Anthony: Brides usually don’t realize how much photos are worth, and when you can chat it up a bit with them as to why you command such high prices I think they begin to realize “Hey, this is what I’ve always wanted and I never even saw it. Thank you for showing me all this Anthony, you are a true artist”.
Adelynn: (rolls eyes)
Pixel Chicks: How do you handle it when the bride asks why the guests’ snapshots are better than yours?
Anthony: Is a guest going to tell you “I got a blink in that shot, can we redo”? No. Is a guest going to say “I need to get a shot of your rings dangling from a chandelier, or a shot the whole bridal party jumping”? No. You know why? Professionalism. Anyone can snap good photo, but does a guest know how to handle a Vicar who won’t allow photography during the service? Or how bout requests to remove all the color from an image except for the flowers?
Anthony: I’ve read about them on the forums… I feel I’m ready to handle the situation.
Pixel Chicks: Adelynn, what drew you to this brother & sister team?
Adelynn: I wanted to watch WALL-E, and I couldn’t reach the DVD player. Anthony said he would put the DVD in if I helped him… he still hasn’t put the DVD in.
Pixel Chicks: Final thoughts, what are your goals, and what would you like to accomplish with your photography?
Anthony: I have some large goals, actually. I’m trying to become the youngest photographer to have a print featured at WPPI. I would like to break out some new styles I’ve been researching, some things that will hopefully have a huge influence on the wedding photography landscape. I’m hoping to revolutionize this amazing form of art & expression the same way the people before me have shaped it. It will help tremendously once I am able to book some clients to make this happen.
Adelynn: Honestly, I’m trying to keep this simple. My model is to go to the west coast blogs, copy the trendy shots, and sell it to my local market. It looks fresh & original, and brides think you’re the greatest. That gives me more time to live a fabulous life so people will want to hire me. My goal… 1,000 followers on my Traina_Rockstar twitter account this month.
Anthony: Mom let you on twitter?
You can also follow the Pixel Chicks on their Facebook Group.