After leaving the military, Courtland Wilson took a photojournalism class in college and discovered a passion for wedding photography. Now, as an award-winning photographer based out of Sacramento, Courtland uses his skills behind the camera to document human connection and capture real moments for his clients. We interviewed Courtland to get his take on the wedding photography industry and share his unique insight with our community.
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 Courtland’s Gear Bag?
- Sony Alpha a9 II
- 16-28mm f/2.8
- 35mm f/1.4
- 50mm f/1.8
- 85mm f/1.4
- Godox AD200 (similar to Flashpoint Version)
- Godox V1c (similar to Flashpoint Version)
And now on to the interview!
Interview with Courtland Wilson
What is your favorite camera lens and why?
I love the 35mm focal length because of its versatility. I’ve used it for landscapes, macro shots, portraits, and general story telling.
How long have you been a photographer? What got you started?
I’ve been a photography since 2013, and have been shooting weddings since 2014. I always had a point and shoot during my time in the Army, taking snapshots of my experiences in Germany and Iraq. However, it wasn’t until I attended college where I took photography more seriously. I had aspirations to be a war photographer after seeing a documentary called “War Photographer” about James Nachtwey. I majored in Journalism, but discovered wedding photographer shortly after and have been hooked ever since. I rather document people’s best days of their lives instead of their worst.
How did you establish and define your shooting and editing style?
I wanted to be able to produce work you couldn’t re-create using a cell phone. Off camera flash is a key component to my work, and watching MagMod’s YouTube channel helped my get started with flash.
How do you differentiate yourself from the photographer down the street?
I prefer to have a personal relationship with my clients. On their wedding day, I want to be considered a friend with a camera instead of “the photographer”. From the first moment of contact, I provide a fun and personable experience. My editing style is also different than most photographers’ in Northern California.
Who are some of your favorite photographers?
Victor Lax, Two Mann, Chad Winstead, Megan Allan, Christian Cardona, Jesse and Moira LaPlante, Jorge Romero, Jorge Satre, James Nachtwey, Chris Hondros. Tim Hetherington.
What do you think your keys to success are in this industry?
Online and in-person education, reading business and self help books, taking action, and focus.
Other than your wedding work, what type of photography is your favorite and why?
War photography. I served in Iraq in 2006/07 and 2009. It grips me just as strongly as wedding photography.