As an artist myself, it is always a pleasure to learn about the inspiration that compels fellow creatives. Today I get to share with you a Spotlight Interview with Hiram Trillo, Texas-based wedding photographer. Hiram began his creative journey as a painter and soon fell in love with photography, weddings specifically. Understanding the significance of a couple allowing him to document their important day, Hiram creates photos that are artfully composed and creatively captured. His work exudes a timeless beauty, confirming Hiram’s mantra that “life is worth capturing.”
Tell us a bit about yourself. Born in Mexico, husband, father, studied Anthropology and Linguistics, taught 1st grade for 5 yrs, I’m a lover of art! I started off as a painter and fell into photography after I found a camera at a pawnshop that I bought after saving for a summer. I stayed with it for a bit but painting was always my primary release of self expression. In college I started implementing photos into my paintings.
I would love to see some of those photo-paintings! So what was your photography education? School? Self-taught? Workshops? I am self taught…to a point. I would sneak into Tech’s photo classes and darkrooms to learn the basics. I asked professors a bunch of questions and read a lot because I didn’t want to shoot in automatic.
Why photography? What draws you to it? I’m a collector of memories and love that I can freeze time with the snap of my shutter.
What is your creative vision? What do you desire to express with your photos? Like with my paintings I want to show emotions. I want to give my clients timeless images that they can share and relive every time they see their wedding photos.
Who inspires you? My inspiration comes from my clients. I love getting to know them as much as possible. By doing this I get to really show their personality in their imagery.
What is your favorite moment or tradition at weddings? I love the first real kiss. Not the one at the altar, but the one right after they walk out of the ceremony as husband and wife. Some of my favorite images have been taken of that kiss.
Describe your dream destination wedding? I would love to shoot a wedding in Marrakesh.
How would you describe your photographic style? Emotional, fashionable, photojournalistic.
Favorite trick to capture images of reluctant subjects? (kids, grandparents, nervous-in-front-of-the-camera-types) I will tell my clients that I am changing film during a session (as I am shooting digital) and then they just forget about me for a bit and I start shooting.
Any advice for couples who are looking for their perfect wedding photographer? Trust him/her! Get a photographer that will capture who you truly are. There are a ton of amazing photographers, but not all are your photographer. Get someone who you click with, someone who on your wedding day you will call by name and not introduce him as “this is the photographer.” If you do that then he has earned your trust and that will show in your images. Trust him/her!
One thing you’d like every bride and groom to know before their wedding? Design a wedding that is truly you. Forget the fads, and trends and really put touches of who you are. You want to remember this stuff in twenty years and not so much that you used mason jars because you saw it in a magazine. Be you!
How has witnessing so many weddings impacted your life/outlook? I’m reminded every weekend of how much I love my wife and how blessed I am.
Do you have any advice for beginning photographers? (Wedding or otherwise) Value yourself and don’t go into the industry too soon. Learn your craft, see if you can intern or shadow photographers and build your portfolio.
Who has influenced your photography? I have been a huge fan of Richard Avedon and he is one of the reasons why I picked up a camera, his image “Dovima with Elephants” is still one of my favorites. Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa is still someone who inspires me and I watch his films constantly. Italian photographer Arturo Ghergo was amazing and his lighting was a major influence on my style of lighting.
Describe what gets you up in the morning, literally and/or figuratively. My daughter asking to watch cartoons.
Do you have a favorite first dance song and why? “For the First Time” by Rod Stewart. We used it as our first dance song and have never heard it used before or since.
What is your favorite reaction from a client when you deliver their images? When they cover their mouth and tears start streaming down their cheeks. It’s priceless!
Best thank you that you’ve ever received? I have a few, but last year a couple bought a trophy in the shape of a large format camera and engraved it with my name on it and a little paragraph. The front plaque said “To the World’s Greatest Photographer.” I still have that on display and it’s the only trophy I display.
What really gets to you at weddings? Makes you emotional? Makes you laugh? After my daughter was born I saw a big change in my photography. I could definitely see more emotion in them. But the father/daughter dances are just super emotional for me now.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be? The ability to slow time down. My daughter is growing up too fast, I guess that’s why I’m a photographer.
Do you have a (recent) favorite photo that you have taken? Can you describe how you created it? What do you like about it, whether it be technical, emotional, personal? I have a few, there is an image that I shot during an Indian wedding where the father had never hugged his daughter fully and she was not a crier and I was there when they both melted into each other’s arms for the first time and cried. The emotion in the images is just overwhelming to me and to be able to capture that is the reason why l love what I do. (See below)
Something that has inspired you recently? With so much negativity you see people like 16 year-old Malala Yousafzai who will stand up against all odds and fight for what they believe in.
What gets your heart racing – both personally and professionally? Finishing a tough task. I have been doing Spartan Races lately and they are tough but I will do my trifecta for the year in December and I am really looking forward to it.
Best advice you’ve ever received about being an artist? Some one very close to me who I consider a mentor reminded me before my first wedding “Hiram, remember that they chose you to capture them on the most important day of their lives.” I tell myself that before every wedding.
Best advice you’ve ever received about being a happy human? Life is worth capturing.
What are looking forward to most right now? January 12, 2014, the birth of our second child 😀
So very exciting! We’re looking forward to seeing adorable photos of the newest member of your family. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous work with us, Hiram! See more at Hiram Trillo’s photography blog.