JRP: Adam Houseman is a Colorado based wedding photographer I first became aware of while viewing the Wedding Photojournalist Association website. A talented photographer, Adam has taken time to share his thoughts and images with JRP Blog readers.
Thanks Adam for taking time to do our interview.
Adam Houseman: Thank you. It’s an honor to be associated with such talented photographers.
JRP: Where do you call home Adam?
Adam Houseman: My wife, 3-year-old daughter and I make our home in Westminster, CO. It’s a suburb just north of Denver.
JRP: How did you get started in photography, and do you have any formal training?
Adam Houseman: I have always been interested in photography. My first classes were in high school. I shot my first wedding at the ripe age of 15 with a Canon AE1 and a 50mm 1.4. It was fun, scary and rewarding.
I went to college at Metro State College of Denver and received a degree in photojournalism. I also attended the Lorenzo De Medici Instituto De Arte in Florence, Italy for a year.
JRP: Who and what has been a major influence on your photography?
Adam Houseman: Wow, that list could get long. Eugene Smith, Sabastio Salgado, Henri Cartier Bresson, Edward Weston, Dennis Reggie, Mike Colon, Brett Butterstein, David Beckstead, and Otto Schulze. My wife Imthiaz, turned me onto Annie Leibovitz, Richard Avedon, Jasmine Starr and Jessica Claire.
JRP: Do you work solo or do you prefer working as a team?
Adam Houseman: I mostly work with my wife Imthiaz. On occasion I will work with other budding professionals trying to break into the industry or my good friend Otto Schulze.
JRP: What would I find in your camera bag for a typical assignment?
Adam Houseman: 2 Nikon D700’s, 17-35mm 2.8, 50 mm 2.8, 85 mm 1.8, 80-200 2.8, 3 SB 800 Speedlights, 2 Gary Fong Lightspheres, 16 gigs of CF cards, Reflectors, and of course, a Stepladder.
JRP: Describe your digital workflow and the software you use.
Adam Houseman: We typically select 400-1000 images from every wedding for post processing. We open each image in Photoshop CS2 and process using a series of plugins and actions such as: Parker J’s Borders, Alien Skin Exposure 2, Nik Colors Efex and Nik Silver Efex. We believe that this is the only way to truly achieve our desired results. No batch automation here.
JRP: How do you handle image printing?
Adam Houseman: We outsource everything. We photograph anywhere between 45-60 weddings a year. There is no way we would be able to handle printing ourselves.
JRP: How do you approach your personal work as opposed to your wedding work or is there a difference?
Adam Houseman: That’s a great question. I got my start in newspaper, so most of my personal work was found when I was out on daily assignments and it wasn’t very challenging to me. Now when I approach my work whether it’s personal or wedding it’s all about the competition with my wife. Both of us are very competitive, and always have to outdo each other. It’s great because we’re always pushing each other to get better, and it’s challenging to both of us; which we love.
JRP: How do you scout and select locations for assignments?
Adam Houseman: We are always on the prowl for fresh locations for engagement and portrait sessions. Whenever we see a cool old barn, brightly colored wall, or something that catches our eye we make a mental note to go back. We look for locations that are urban and classic in style to fit all of our couples or families personalities.
JRP: What is your philosophy on lighting?
Adam Houseman: We prefer to work with available light when possible. For journalistic work available light is always better. When there is no light available (which is not often) we will use a few SB 800’s with Lightspheres.
JRP: How do you handle the most critical moment(s) in a wedding?
Adam Houseman: Honestly, we fly by the seat of our pants. The great part about working with my wife is that we don’t have to worry about what the other person is doing, we just have to worry about getting great moments. I know that if I’m going wide then my wife is going tight and it works well for us and that’s why we get good moments.
JRP: What has been the best advice given to you by another photographer?
Adam Houseman: Raise your prices! The folks just getting started and coming out of school that offer high-res discs for $500 do get a lot of work. However, they seem to be most of the reason a lot of people are weary of shopping for photographers because they don’t know what they’re going to get.
JRP: What advice would you share with photographers starting out?
Adam Houseman: Work hard … Answer emails and phone calls immediately. Clients will call or email until someone responds. Whom ever does respond first will book the client in most cases.
JRP: Thank you Adam for sharing your thoughts and images with us. It has been a real pleasure talking with you. I wish you continued success.
Adam Houseman: Thank you. It has been an honor and a privilege to share our perspectives today. Happy shooting.
JRP: To view more of Adam Houseman’s fine photography please go to his website at this link: www.ahpphotos.com