Welcome back to another installment of Real Weddings Magazine’s Partner Profiles!
This week we highlight Christopher Kight of Christopher Kight Photographers, one of the photographers who has featured real weddings in the just released Summer/Fall 2011 issue of Real Weddings Magazine (check out Chelsey & Kyle Vorst’s wedding)! Take it away Christopher!
Tell us a little about your company? We are the only Wedding photography studio that has been this active for 26 years. We have photographed more than 4,000 (!) weddings since 1984 and have really enjoyed being a part of the evolution of wedding photography that has arrived in 2011 with a very live and fresh look! As the founder of this company, I still photograph more than 45 weddings each year, and we are the only studio in Sacramento with a large staff of eight photographers and 15 assistant photographers. We also have an interesting program called studentweddingphotographers.com which is a program with very low priced wedding photography done by the most recent graduates of Christopher’s teaching program. It’s been successful since 2006 with more than 350 weddings photographed by our “new guys.”
When did you establish your business? 1984!
What sets you apart from your competition?In an era where many wedding photographers are part-time and work from their home, using Starbucks or Panera Bread for meetings, I own a building at 3101 Fulton Avenue which is a professional photography studio. All of our business practices are fully professional with all of the correct licenses and insurance policies, and we are open five days a week so that we have stability and our clients have easy access to us whenever they need something. Rather than promising to return our clients calls tomorrow, we actually answer the phone when it rings!
As far as our photography –- I spend a large amount each year to stay up on the very latest styles and photographic techniques as well as updating to the newest cameras and software so that our photography is always very fresh, exciting and creative.
Where do you find inspiration? We enjoy surfing the Web and looking at the photography of our competitors. There are some very talented photographers in the Sacramento area, and we’re always paying attention to new ideas, new camera angles and things that keep us enjoying what we do by being creative.
When you opened shop, what was your promise to your customers? That we always deliver what we promise, and they will receive no unpleasant surprises from us.
Do you have any hidden talents? I am a musician (guitar, mandolin, piano, violin, blues harmonica, flute and percussion), sculptor, goldsmith, watercolor painter and gardener. Artistic pursuits have always been the joy in my life, and I live an aesthetic life.
What trend do you see coming for weddings in the next year? All businesses in our industry will need to continue to include more for what they charge in order to keep up with the value-conscious bride in 2012. Pricing is lower and service is more important than it ever was.
Do you regularly blog? If so, what’s your blog site? We do some blogging on Facebook.
Can you share a funny/embarrassing/touching story about one of your clients (you don’t have to include their name)? A few years ago, a gal was getting married whose earlier life had been very difficult. She had a daughter with a boyfriend who turned out to be very abusive both to her and to her daughter. She had managed to extricate herself completely from that relationship, struggle to raise this little girl as a single-mom and wade-through a large amount of debt from the earlier relationship. The former boyfriend was finally completely out of her life.
After two or three years, she met a young loving man who was a real gentleman who also loved her then-three-year-old daughter, and they were getting married at a church in Fair Oaks.
All of the relatives knew the story and knew everything that she had been through and were very glad that she had finally found the “right” man. Emotions were running high because it was such a relief to see this really great young lady find a “happily ever-after” life for herself and her sweet little girl.
During the ceremony, lovely vows were exchanged by the two and there was a lot of love in the room. Then, as a complete surprise to everyone, the groom knelt down and gestured to the daughter to come over to him. He pulled a beautiful ring out of his pocket that was on a chain (so she could wear the ring when she got older) and spoke the vows that he’d written to the daughter. “I vow to always take care of you and to be the best daddy in the world. I vow to support you and help you and love you no matter what. I vow that we will always be a family and our life together will be loving and a lot of fun.” The three-year-old jumped up to the kneeling groom, threw her arms around his neck and, while crying, told him that she loved him over and over and over. The 250 people in the church — including the minister and me — were crying and sobbing and laughing together. I kept shooting even though tears were running down my face and, of course, those images of that moment are very special to them and the moment is a highlight in a career full of wonderful moments.
What’s your favorite local restaurant? Mulvaney’s B&L – WOW fine dining
What’s your favorite local charity? The Way To Happiness Foundation
What is your favorite fun thing to do locally? Hike and get out into the woods.
Do you have secret vice or indulgence? What is it? Chocolate and putting my hands on my wife. Not necessarily in that order. She has the softest skin!
What are you most grateful for in life? That I live in a free society that has enabled me to create a business and a wonderfully happy life with no restrictions. It really is a beautiful world, and America is the product of very high ideals.
If you were to plan your own wedding, or re-do your wedding, what elements would be most important to you? Being surrounded by friends and family. Nothing else would really matter much.
What advice would you can give to brides and grooms getting married today? Take the advice of the professionals you meet. We have the experience to be able to assist you with your planning and to help you find other professional vendors too.
Anything else you’d like to share with Real Weddings Magazine’s brides? The main reason that I love weddings so much is that each one is completely different. The wonderful surprises and loving moments are always there but always different and that makes it fun for me.
Find out more about Christopherand the team at Christopher Kight Photographers by visiting their Web site!
Photos courtesy of Christopher Kight Photographers.