Kristin Cheatwood is not your average wedding photographer, even though she photographs weddings full-time out of Atlanta, Georgia and throughout the South East. Unlike many other wedding photographers, Kristin didn’t follow the traditional path into photographing weddings. Rather than segue into weddings from family or couples portraits, she originally focused her lens on professional motocross and supercross. After being begged to photograph a wedding in 2008, however, she took the gig and in three years transitioned to photographing weddings full time. Kristin excels at capturing intricate details, candid moments, and the emotion that fills the day. We recently interviewed Kristen to get more insight into her background and how she approaches wedding photography. You can find more of Kristen’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 Kristin’s Gear Bag?
- Canon R5
- Canon 5D MkIV
- Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8
- Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 (find the RF 85mm f/1.2 version here)
- Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.2
- Canon EF 24mm f/1.4
- Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro
- Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8
And now, onto the interview!
What is your favorite camera lens and why?
My 85mm f/1.2. Nothing is better than the butter smooth images this produces while maintaining a crisp image.
How long have you been a photographer? What got you started?
I have been a photographer for 16 years. What got me started was traveling the world with my Dad as a kid photographing professional supercross racers. I ended up on the floor, was the only woman on the floor and the guys taught me everything about light, motion, composition.
How did you establish and define your shooting and editing style?
I established my shooting style by always having a mind that wants to stop motion to remember a moment. I don’t remember much about my school-age days, and so ever since I have been trying to document everything to preserve memories. I want the same for my clients on their most important days with their most important people. My favorite colors are blue and green. I love the ocean and love the rich colors you typically find in architecture around an ocean town. I love bold colors and have tuned my editing style based on that.
How do you differentiate yourself from the photographer down the street?
I’m introverted. Always have been. I’m not bubbly or outgoing. I’m an observer and analytical thinker. Im methodical about how I approach things. When I have a camera in my hand, I have a different persona. I am able to confidentially lead others into groups or talk them through motion. I think my laid-back introverted personality helps keep a bride at ease, I definitely don’t add any anxiety to the room!
What is the best part about being a photographer?
As I touched on before, I don’t remember much about growing up. I can’t remember what my Mom was like or who my friends were. I am so grateful that I’m able to share my gift of photography with others. To capture those moments that come and go in an instant, so that they may be remembered forever.
What is the most challenging part of being a photographer?
Culling images!! My mentor, Hillary Maybery, used to give me such a hard time when she observed me culling a wedding. I was SO SLOOWWW. I have a hard time narrowing down images because I feel such a connection with the couple and the day, that it is hard for me to delete images. I now have a folder named “rejects” that I drag the images to, so it’s not goodbye forever, it’s see you soon :)
Who are some of your favorite photographers?
What advice would you give someone wanting to learn photography?
Apprentice! Don’t expect to be paid while you are learning (ie, 2nd shooting when you’ve never 2nd shot before). Practice, practice and practice some more. Really learn light…keep in mind if you are wanting to be a wedding photographer, sometimes you have to photograph some key moments in the harsh mid-day sun. Become comfortable with that.