As a wedding photographer, Belinda Philleo has spent the last 12 years honing her craft (she is a PPA Certified Professional Photographer) and creating experiences that have built a following that keeps her busy year round. We recently interviewed Belinda learned more about her favorite gear, how she got started in photography, and how she met the challenges of being a professional photographer while also growing her business. Find more of Belinda’s work on her Website, Wedding Maps Profile, and Instagram profile.
Welcome to the Featured Artist Series at The Photo Argus, a place where we feature the stories and work of incredible photographers from around the world. Many of these features are from the best wedding photographers over at Wedding Maps. However, we also feature photographers in other genres as well. If you’re interested in being featured, please contact us.
What’s in Belinda’s Gear Bag?
- Canon 5D Mark 4
- Canon 5D Mark 3
- Canon EF 50mm 1.2L
- Canon EF 70-200mm 2.8L IS III (Updated Version Here)
- Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II (Updated Version Here)
- Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L (Updated Version Here)
- Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II
- Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS
- Godox AD 200 Pros (Flashpoint Version Here)
- Magmod Modifiers
Without any further ado, let’s jump into the interview!
Interview with Belinda Philleo
How long have you been a photographer? What got you started?
I have been a photographer for about 12.5 years. I have always been interested in different creative arts – everything from music, drawing, and creative writing, especially. But up to that point in life I hadn’t really thought much about photography. I had some friends who were into it, and once I realized that I could really take control of the camera settings and use that skill to tell a story, I was hooked.
How did you establish and define your shooting and editing style?
From the very beginning I’ve always wanted my photography to let the viewer feel like they’re there in the moment. I lean towards true color and vibrant edits so that my images will feel lifelike and timeless. That being said, an art style is something that evolves over time, the longer you’re at it, so I feel like it is an on-going development.
What is your favorite camera lens and why?
This is a tough choice! I love all my lenses, but the two I reach for most often are my 50mm and my 70-200mm. I love the versatility of the 50 across a variety of situations. At the same time, I really love the intimate feel you can create using the compression on the 70-200mm (without being up in your subject’s face!)
What is the best part about being a photographer?
For me, I treasure the privilege of documenting important milestones in people’s lives. I was fascinated by my family’s old pictures as a kid, and insisted on hearing all the stories over and over again. I am honored to be able to help create that experience for the next generation of kids like me. Wedding days are so full of connection and meaning, but they’re also fast paced and fleeting. Being able to help not only the couple but also their family as a whole to retain that moment and pass it on to the next generation is something that fires me up!
What is the most challenging part of being a photographer?
That sneaky little devil of comparison. This industry is full of incredible artists who each bring something unique to the table. It can be easy to slip into comparing yourself to someone else and discrediting your work or getting distracted by a trend that’s not really you. At the end of the day you have to realign with what got you passionate about photography in the first place, and appreciate where you are in your own journey. Those things are what will help you grow into your own individual space in the photography world.
Who are some of your favorite photographers?
Another tough question! Right now I’m drawn to and love learning from Vanessa Joy, Lindsay Adler, Pye Jirsa, and Jason Vinson.
What are your sources of photography inspiration?
I draw inspiration from a wide combination of sources. The obvious things, like cinema and other art forms. I also love looking at things like Fearless Photographers because I love the raw photojournalism and unexpected perspectives that many photographers featured there seem to have! Sometimes though, inspiration comes from everyday moments in my own life or from the chemistry that I see between my clients.
What advice would you give someone wanting to learn photography?
Never stop learning. Ever. The moment you think you know it all, your photography will plateau, your passion will fizzle. Keep humble, keep studying and just keep shooting and trying new things.
Other than your wedding work, what type of photography is your favorite and why?
Portraits of both people and pets! It goes back to that same, curious little kid I once was. That feeling of connection with loved ones, both human and animal, past or present. Being able to create that tangible memory of a person is something close to my heart.