Dirty Boots and Messy Hair is happy to announce the weekly crush as Sara Rogers! Sara is a BC based wedding photographer who has a real talent for documenting connection and emotion. We sat down with Sara to learn about her views on her work, her goals, and her inspiration. Take a look at what she had to say!
Where are you sitting as you are writing this right now? How’s your day going? How are you feeling?
I’m sitting in my home office (which needs a bit of a clean…hoping to get to it before New Year’s so I can start the year off fresh!), beside my dog all snuggled in her bed at my feet. I just took a few days off for Christmas holidays so I’m back at work feeling refreshed after a little much needed break. It’s cold and wet outside (being in the PNW, that’s the norm), but I’m wearing PJs and wool socks and very cozy inside drinking a tea and editing up a storm.
To those that might not know you just yet, please introduce yourself – Who are you? Cat or dog person? What’s your photography style?
Hey there, I’m Sara Rogers, a photographer based out of Vancouver, Canada. I stumbled upon photography after a job as an Interior Designer, and have been shooting weddings for the past three years. I’ve finally found something I’m super passionate about; I love shooting weddings, elopements and adventures and couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else!
As I mentioned before I have a dog (a 15 year old pug name Maddy) and I’m most definitely a dog person. I can’t help myself from petting any dog that I see, and sometimes I feel like I have a better connection with dogs than I do with humans!
My style is constantly influenced by light, I love to play with shadows and harsh light to create visual interest. Some of my best photos have come out of difficult lighting conditions. I love minimalism, symmetry and negative space so I use this a lot in my work. Because of my background in design I am also constantly inspired by architectural details like stairs, repetitive features and different textures so you’ll often see these elements incorporated into my images.
Can you show us 1 or 2 photographs that are particularly meaningful to you and share the story behind them?
I’m really proud of this image from an engagement session I did a couple years ago. This is when I started really using architecture and lines in my work to create a signature ‘urban’ style. I still love shooting in forests and nature but a lot of the work I get hired for now is for shoots in the city and in industrial spaces and that’s really cool because it shows that that type of work is resonating with people. This photo also reminds me to always change angles and shoot from different perspectives so now I move around a lot more to achieve more unique imagery.
Lastly, images like this are incentive to not be scared to ask clients for something you need. I was initially worried the couple wouldn’t want to get dirty and lie down on the stairs but they were totally cool with it and so happy with the results so it was worth it. Clients are paying us a lot of money for our vision so don’t ever be scared to ask them to push their boundaries a bit as well (obviously in a respectful way!).
What role does Instagram play for you as a photographer? Is it important for your business?
Instagram is a great tool but also can be a frustrating platform which I think we have to take with a grain of salt. I love the ability to share images (for free!) with the public, and that is such an awesome thing because we can not only control the message that our brand sends out into the world but we can also use the platform to share our own thoughts and feelings which humanizes us and allows a look at the real person behind the brand. I think people who have really good engagement on Instagram are more often showing their real lives and creating meaningful dialogue not simply sharing beautiful images. It’s also amazing that we have the ability to connect with people all over the World, it has definitely opened up doors for me to meet people from many different places which in turn has led to some really wonderful friendships and also an ability to travel for work. I do think that
Instagram is important for business because it is a current and constantly updated portfolio, compared to a blog, but it also has definite drawbacks, especially since they are trying to monetize it more and more, which means you are not always seeing the content you want to see. The majority of my clients find me through Google and word of mouth, which I think are the most powerful business tools for photographers over social media platforms.
If you had to pick just one thing, what would you say you love the most about being a wedding photographer?
There are so many things I love about being a wedding photographer but probably at the top of the list would be documenting such important memories not just for clients but also their families. I have a lot of family photos from my childhood and although the quality of them isn’t great I love having visual reminders about the different stages of my life. My parents had only a couple photos from their wedding day and none of them were professional, I would have really liked to see more of what their wedding day was like. Photos are such meaningful family heirlooms to pass down through generations!
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced that could be a helpful lesson for other photographers?
One of my biggest challenges is never being able to stop working Since we live in an age where our phones are always with us it’s been hard to take time away from social media and email. I’m trying to work harder on setting client expectations early in the process so that they know that I need time away to create my best work and that sometimes I won’t respond to them immediately. It has been a big help to keep ‘office hours’ so I don’t answer emails after 5pm until the following day. It also helps to leave your phone in another room while you’re relaxing so that it’s not close enough to constantly check it, or turn on screen time to lock down certain distracting apps. We all deserve down time to refresh and to focus on self-care but I think often entrepreneurs feel guilty doing this.
Who or what inspires you?
Lately I’ve been super inspired by movies and films and plan to incorporate some more dramatic cinematic aspects into my work next year. My husband laughs at me because I’m constantly watching the TV screen with my phone up taking pictures of frames and lighting that inspire me. I’m also really inspired by travel and do a lot of it. There is so much to learn from other cultures and people and I try and soak in as much of that as I can when I’m abroad.
What are your dreams for the future of your career?
I am the type of person who is always dreaming up new ways to grow and expand my business. I know that I won’t be able to be a wedding photographer forever and I have lots of future plans that include education (I currently run a camp in Canada for photographers called The Camp Collective), and I would love to eventually open some sort of co-working space for creatives as I believe working side by side with inspiring, like-minded people definitely helps you to grow as an artist.