PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE MONTH | Katie Moeller

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CONGRATULATIONS! We are pleased to announce Katie Moeller – katherinenicolephotography.com as July Photographer of the Month. Check her blog and don’t forget to follow on Facebook and Instagram @katherinenicole_photo

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What inspired you to use Forbeyon?

My good friend and mentor, Jessica Stout, introduced me to Forbeyon at the very beginning of my career. I have since looked at many other album companies, trying to stay on top of what is out there and provide the best product to my couples and I have always come back to Forbeyon. They really provide the absolute best product and I feel good about giving them to my couples.

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What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you think of Forbeyon?

Quality!! Wedding albums should last generations. I love looking at old photographs of my loved ones, because it allows me to get to know who they were long before I was around. I encourage my couples to think about that when deciding whether or not to purchase an album. But it doesn’t do any good if the album doesn’t stand the test of time!! I am confident that Forbeyon albums will.

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Share with us your favorite Forbeyon album and why. What materials/ options do you choose?

Flushmount for sure. I love these with the G3 leather covers in classic colors, such as Matte Black, Cocoa or Navy. I like to keep my albums simple and timeless, adding imprinting and cameos to personalize them,  and these albums do the trick nicely.  

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What advice would you give to the first time buyers of Forbeyon albums?

Get the cover samples first and foremost! This will help you see the difference in textures and color which can be hard to see on a computer screen. Also, play around with the cover cameos. You can customize these beyond what is shown on the ordering page and the options are really endless!! That is one of my favorite parts of the album design process.

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Any suggestions for Forbeyon?

I really can’t think of anything.

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What inspired you to be a photographer?

I was so unhappy in my job at the time, not really sure how to make it better. I felt like I had done everything I was told to do my whole life, and I still wasn’t fulfilled. Having always found joy and comfort in art, I decided I needed a hobby to bring a little beauty back into my life. I picked up a camera and it just grew from there. It was the best decision I ever made.

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How long have you been a photographer?

I just started my sixth wedding season.

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Are you formally taught or self taught?

A little of both. I did a lot of research online on how to work a camera. I knew how to technically take a photo but I knew I needed more direction. That is when I contacted my friend turned mentor, Jessica Stout, and asked if she wouldn’t mind showing me a few things. Before I knew it I was her second shooter and learning SO much. I will be forever grateful to her for taking a chance on me :)

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How do you define your style?

I don’t know if I have a specific style but there are two main elements that I strive to have in every photo I take. I want my work to be artistic and organic. I don’t want my couples to feel posed so I encourage them to interact with each other rather than think about the fact that their photo is being taken. I will give suggestions to them but usually, after awhile, they get the hang of it, forget their photo is being taken and just focus on each other. Meanwhile I am looking for beautiful light. I bring my clients into that light and build as artistic an image as I can.

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What would we find in your camera bag for a typical shoot?

Nikon cameras and lenses (all prime), Nikon flashes, and a bunch of Phottix transmitters for off camera flash.

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Your favorite lens?

Right now I would say the Nikon 105mm f2.8. I love everything about that lens, and it is what I use for the majority of my portraits.

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Share with us your favorite image and why.

This was my very last portrait of the year in 2014. It was a December wedding and the light was not ideal for me most of the day (gray and cloudy). The venue had lots of Christmas lights up because it was December. I knew I wanted to incorporate them into a photo somehow, since the typical sunset photos were not going to happen. As I was setting up the lighting and testing on my assistant I realized there was so much moisture in the air that the flash was illuminating it and creating this really amazing fog that I just loved. I did a little happy dance and went to get my couple for the photo. They both got huge smiles when I showed it to them and said “THAT is why we hired you!!”. It was a fantastic end to that wedding season. I recently ran into this couple at another wedding and this is the photo they both talked about. How they both have it displayed at their respective work places and get compliments on it all the time. That made me feel amazing and like I am doing something right.

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What is your most important objective when shooting?

To capture as many moments as I can in the most artistic way possible. Wedding days only happen once so I want to make sure I cover as much as I possibly can.

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When you are shooting—how much of it is instinctual versus planned?

I am not sure how to answer this, because I feel like a wedding day is naturally a combination of both. I have strategies for every part of a wedding day, from the getting ready photos, to the ceremony to the reception, but I try not to plan any specific photos. My goal is to capture the day as it happens, without posing or staging anything. However, I do have certain photos that I make sure to capture, such as family photos, bridal party photos, and portraits. My best guess would be 70/30 instinctual vs. planned.

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Where do you get your ideas and inspiration?

From my surroundings and my couple. I look for where the light is and where the light will be throughout the day and I plan where I think would be best for photos. Once I bring my couple into that light I let their personalities direct the type of photos I take.  

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What has been the best advice given to you by another photographer?

Never stop learning. Always be looking for ways to improve and challenge yourself.

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What’s the best part of being a photographer?

Probably just how happy it makes me. I was recently having a pretty terrible week and I had an engagement session towards the end of it. I arrived and as soon as I started shooting and interacting with my couple I felt my mood lift, like a huge cloud just vanished from around me. I realized that if just doing my job can make me feel that much better about life, I am incredibly lucky and grateful to do what I do.

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If you weren’t a photographer what would you be?

A doula. After weddings, births are my favorite thing to photograph. It is such a magical moment for all involved and I think that I would enjoy being involved and helping people through it.

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