Love Tree Photography
Love Tree Photography
Hi! I’m Kendra Coupland and I’ve been a wedding photographer in Vancouver BC for the last 10 years. I work alongside my husband Brad for a lot of our weddings.
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If you weren’t shooting weddings, what would you be doing for work?
When I’m not shooting weddings I teach trauma informed yoga and meditation to marginalized communities, as well as survivors of sexual violence. So I imagine if it was self-sustaining work to do I would be doing it full time, and using my off time to work on my own spiritual practice.
What do you think makes a photograph good?
A great photograph reads immediately – I don’t have to search for information or work to try to understand what is going on. The composition is clear, and intentional and shows me how it felt to be in a particular space and time.
What is a business mistake you made?
Oh jeez. I think early on in the beginning days of our business we worked with just about anyone who came through our doors, but that put me in a lot of unpleasant working environments. These days I work pretty hard to ensure I’m able to make a heart connection with my client. Since I’m photographing them in potentially vulnerable, emotional situations it’s really important to me that I have their trust and they know they will be respected. For me to deliver great images I also need to feel safe, trusting and respected. I invest more time with my clients now than in the past to ensure we have a two way street of open and honest communication and trust.
What do you think makes an image award winning?
A photograph that gives me a reason to care. I see a lot of award winning photographs which look visually interesting with bold colours and interesting lines, but the couple will just be standing in the frame doing nothing, so the picture falls flat for me. Tell me a story about what it means to be human – to connect and love!
What makes your business unique, different or special?
We’re really eco-conscious and think a lot about the footprint we leave on this planet. We offer a lot of options such as natural fibre albums (linen, cotton, silk) as well as cotton rag prints with plant based inks in reclaimed frames.
Advice for new photographers?
Don’t be afraid to get close to people. There’s this idea that professionalism means being distant and it often gets perceived as cold or stand offish. Invite people into your world and you will find you are invited back into theirs.
What’s something people need to understand about photography?
The camera is a tool that has limitations. Unlike our eyes, cameras only see and process a limited amount of light information. When we’re talking about contrast in photography we’re often referring to the luminance range of an image. This means the range of light between the darkest part of the image to the brightest part of the image. This range is measured in exposure stops. To give you an idea of this, our eyes see roughly 30 stops of light at any given time. A camera can only record somewhere between 8-12 stops in a single frame. No matter what settings I have my camera set to, it will not record what I see with my eyes (and you may notice it when you try to photograph a sunset, and it simply never looks as fabulous as it did with your eyes). I have to take that into consideration with every image I make. Images must have the exposure, contrast and levels balanced in post production, if I wish for the image to reflect what I see. Exposure and contrast affect the mood of an image. It is not uncommon for professional photographers to take creative liberties with this. A skilled editor will manipulate exposure, contrast and levels to enhance images so they don’t appear to be dull compared to what the eye saw. When you invest in a photographer you are investing in more than just their creative eye and ability to press a shutter, their editing skills often are the very thing that brings a photograph back to life, and I dont think people realize how time consuming editing is. For every hour I shoot I invest about eight hours of post production into my images.