SGI Photography Interviewed
By Wedding Photography Select.com
After years of ‘interviewing’ our clients by asking them questions about how they met, how the proposal went down, who made their wedding cakes, flowers, the wedding gown, etc., why they chose their venue, and any advice they had for future brides, it was SGI Photography’s turn to be in the hot seat! Wedding Photography Select.com interviewed us and we found it to be a fun, introspective challenge! Once the results of the interview are posted on Wedding Photography Select.com, we’ll share the link on our website.
For now, we’ll give you a little sneak peak at our answers to some of the questions!
If you’re still searching for your wedding photographer or if you are SGI Photography’s current client, you’ll find some helpful tips and get to know Slava even better!
I was born and raised in Russia, married my wife in 1993, became an American citizen 5 years later, and founded SGI Photography in 1999.
I have worked as a waiter, Russian interpreter and NASA engineer, but found my niche in wedding photography.
Who or what inspires you?
I am the son of a Russian photographer. He was the first to teach me about photography. He was my best friend and my mentor, and although he’s in Heaven now he still inspires me. I’m also moved by good art, movies and music. I listen to music while I’m editing photos and designing albums. My family knows when I’m ‘in the zone’!
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?
I wouldn’t mind being a chef! I make a pretty mean pot of borscht!
Why do you think people hire you?
Clients say they are moved by my imagery, and love the way I connect with them on a personal level. Also, my clients hire me because they like the quick turnaround of the results of photo sessions. I treat them as if they are the only clients I have.
What do you think a bride or groom should be looking for and not looking for in terms of wedding photography packages?
Make sure it includes a photo session prior to the wedding day – either engagement or bridal, this ensures getting comfortable w/ the photographer so the wedding day photography goes even smoother. A package that includes an album – getting your portraits in hand as a final product is so much more satisfying and enjoyable than just a CD of images that you still have to go out and make prints from.
Can you share how you’ve made your wedding photography business a success?
Early on, I had great mentors that were gracious enough to allow me to assist them, being observant of marketing in general. I constantly educate myself and never stop reading about others who are successful. Being honest & open with people, answering emails and contacts w/in 24 hrs, delivering products on time or prior to the expected time. Treating people the way you would want to be treated as a client.
Whose wedding would you love to shoot?
I would love to be able to photography my daughters’ future weddings, but that’s going to be tricky as the father of the bride!
Do you have an approach to a wedding?
I approach each wedding as if it were the first time I was photographing a wedding. I never get tired of it. I build a relationship with my client that is sincere, and end up being treated like family! I stay on my toes, and react calmly to the unexpected.
Can you share a favorite wedding photo of yours? Maybe there is a story behind it or a reason it’s your favorite?
“The dancing bride” was actually a bridal portrait done at Rice University. At the end of the session, I asked the bride to do a couple more spins before she left. It helped that she was a dance instructor and could spin gracefully and remain poised I took three consecutive shots! The result was a dynamic, fun portrait of a dancing bride! I love how the light fell on her dress, and the joyful expressions on her face.
If you shoot any other types of photography, can you share one of your favorite personal images for us and tell us why it’s your favorite?
I took my oldest daughter to Russia with me and on the way back to the States, we stayed in Paris. We did a lot of sight-seeing and I photographed the Eiffel Tower at night. It is special because I remember the quality time my daughter and I had together.
Do you have any goals for the future photography related or otherwise?
I plan to travel more and photograph destination, international and celebrity weddings. Prince Harry, give me a call when you’re ready. I’ll clear my schedule!
Are there any other wedding photographers whose work inspires you, can be a well known photographer or somebody you’ve stumbled across?
Jerry Ghionis’ ability to walk into the most ordinary environment and create extraordinary imagery from it; I like his simplistic approach to light. I’m also a big fan of Doug Gordon’s “flow posing”. His system transformed the way I work with people today.
Proudest moments so far? Photography or otherwise.
When I became a father to my four children, the day I became an American Citizen and that I truly have the opportunity to do what I love.
Call one of the best Houston Wedding Photographers about your wedding TODAY!