To start the week off, I am honored to share with you an interview with Gene Pease; Minnesota based wedding photographer of Geneoh Photography. Gene’s unique style is finely tuned and unique; candid and clean, raw yet pretty. And with his trained eye for good design and a romantic’s heart for the sweet moments, he has all the details of your wedding day covered and his lucky couples are gifted with photos that show the most beautiful version of their truest self.
First off, tell me something that has inspired you recently? Film and everything about it. The cameras, lenses, film types, mediums, etc. It’s really taken a hold of me.
So do you shoot film exclusively? Or digital as well? I’m a hybrid shooter. I started on digital and, during the past wedding season, have started to incorporate film into my process. Both of the mediums excel in certain situations and I try to use whatever medium is best for the current situation. For example, if I’m in controlled lighting, I’ll use film. The colors and depth it creates can’t be matched. If it’s later in the evening and I’m in a less than ideal lighting situation, I’m using digital. You can practically shoot in pitch black on digital and still get a image. Digital also allows me to capture important moments with the fast lenses.
How did you get into wedding photography? I went to college for graphic design. While in school, I purchased my first DSLR so I could shoot my own stock photography to use in my design work. I didn’t know anything about photography so I took to Google to learn the basics and would do photo shoots with my friends for practice. I quickly fell in love with the medium and felt I could express my creativity more freely, so I pursued photography throughout the rest of my time in college. My wife had friends getting married and they asked if I would be interested in shooting the wedding, so I documented the day with the equipment I had (my Canon XTI and a kit lens). I enjoyed telling a story with my images and it sparked a passion of which I’ve yet to stop pursuing.
Do you have a favorite camera? lens? I have a lot of favorites, and they all have their own purpose, so I’m not going to list just one but instead a few. My workhorse film camera is a Contax 645. This camera is extremely popular right now, but rightfully so. It just feels right when you shoot with it. It fits in your hands well and is easy to use with the Zeiss 80mm F2. This lens is incredible. The Pentax 67ii is probably the camera I get most excited about. You feel like a man’s man when you use it. In fact, I’m pretty sure my beard grows at a quicker pace when I hold the camera. I like using the 105mm F2.4 with the Pentax. It has a 3D look that’s hard to replicate. Lastly, for my personal work, I love shooting with a Hasselblad 500cm. It’s a totally different experience, I use a waist level view finder with it so using the camera is a slow and rewarding process. The images you get with it feel so real. Maybe its because everything I shoot with it is for myself, but I absolutely love using it and the results I achieve.
Do you have any favorite moment or traditions at weddings? It doesn’t happen at all weddings, but it would be the 5 minutes after the ceremony when the couple is announced and walks down the aisle to then shortly after be greeted by their best friends. There is so much emotion in the room, you can feel the joy.
Anything that make you get emotional? Oh man, when a couple writes their own vows and they’re an emotional mess when they read them. Also, when someone gives a meaningful toast. The more weddings I shot, the more soft I became to what was actually happening. I think that helps me connect to the moments I’m capturing.
What gets you up in the morning, both literally and figuratively? My dogs and iced coffee. Literally, those are the reasons why I get up and how I stay up. No matter how cliche it is, its totally true, I still have moments in the day when I stop and think about how unbelievably amazing it is that I get to do this for a living. Capturing love and creating memories that my couples will cherish for the rest of their lives is an incredible feeling.
Favorite wedding location? I don’t think I have a favorite. I absolutely love shooting outdoor weddings though. We have a lot of really great outdoor options here in Minnesota/Wisconsin, so if it’s taking place outdoors, I’m a happy camper.
Where would you like to shoot next? I want to shoot somewhere in Europe. I don’t have a preference to where, I just can’t wait until I get the opportunity.
What makes you give yourself a mental high five? When I capture a moment that I know my couple will cherish and will bring them back to the moment of their wedding day every time they look at it.
Any suggestions for couples on how to look amazing and feel comfortable in their photographs? TRUST YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER! They know what they are doing and do it everyday. Even if it feels weird and in your mind you can’t imagine the image turning out, just go with it. Don’t be afraid to get close with your partner. It makes for great images. And lastly, try to have fun. The more fun you have with your significant other during the shoot, the more joy you’ll see in the final images.
What’s the best thank you that you’ve ever received? Hands down, Jeni’s Ice Cream.
How has being a wedding photographer made you a stronger photographer over all? How has it not?! You shoot everything during a wedding day and you have to be quick and efficient while doing it. Documenting, portraits, and technique are all areas that you work on at every wedding and grow as an artist.
Best advice you’ve ever received about being a happy human? Here comes another cliche, but I don’t care. Do what you love and surround yourself with uplifting people. I’m lucky in that I started in this profession relatively young and have a great core of friends and family that love me and support me.
What gets your heart racing – both personally and professionally? Sports, mountain biking, and my beautiful wife. Also, when I’ve had an image in my head for a long time and I’m finally able to capture it.
What’s your favorite reaction from a client when you deliver their images? I just love it when my couples can’t wait to share the images with family and friends. That means they are proud of what we captured and are truly in love with the images.
How has witnessing so many weddings impacted you? I’m such a softy now. It doesn’t even have to be wedding related, if it’s something I have marginal interest in and an amazing story happens, I’ll probably be a mess. It’s actually kind of ridiculous.