Marina Goktas Photography
The whole wedding photography process is fairly straight forward and often will happen over the course of several months. All my clients come in for a consultation in my office, or if distance is not permitting, we have a phone or Skype consultation. I like to get to know all my clients before hand to make sure we are a good fit for each other, as I am spending almost the entire day with them. We then discuss their needs in a wedding photographer, such as how many hours are needed and if they want to travel to a different location for their formal portraits. Often they pick one of my wedding packages, but if it's not quite what they need, I tailor a package for them. Once everything is picked out, we book their wedding and engagement session. I find the engagement session to be the perfect opportunity to learn how the couple interacts with each other and it gives them an opportunity to warm up in front of the camera as most have never had their professional photos taken before. A couple weeks after, we choose their photos for the engagement album they'll have on display at the wedding. Then comes the wedding itself! I typically help with the timeline with my clients prior to, so each wedding is unique and different in that aspect. The hours I spend also vary for each client, with the average being 8 hours of shoot time. I'll then go home, cull and edit the photos of the day, then have the reveal in my office 6-8 weeks after their wedding. I design a wedding album before the consultation, which they will then finalize and they will have in their hands 6 weeks from that finalization. It's a long process, but a lot of fun and you really develop a close relationship with your clients from it.
While I have gone to the New York Institute of Photography for my technical skills, my artist background stems from childhood. I've always enjoyed creating and making things with my hands. I am often inspired by experiences in my life. I like changes in scenery and becoming absorbed by the vibes from different cities, so often my work will reflect a recent culture I have learned about or city I have visited.
I've had the opportunity to work a few jobs in an office and retail setting that educated me on what it truly means to do an outstanding job for every client that walks in your door. Every job I've had has taught me a particular skill that I now apply in my own business. From that, I knew I needed to educate my self more in the art and business of photography, so I enrolled in the New York Institute of Photography in February 2014. I graduated in January 2016, earning my certificate in Professional Photography. I'm now part of Business Network International and am constantly refining myself and my business by learning from like minded professionals.
I fit into the couples story be being the one to tell it once the day is over. I have a very unique opportunity as a wedding photographer to see all of the moments in between all of the hustle and bustle of the wedding day. From the tear in the mothers eye as she catches a glimpse of her daughter as she is getting ready to the groom when he first sees his bride during their first look. These moments are only witnessed by a select few, if any, and I am fortunate enough to be the one able to capture them. They're fleeting and rarely remembered until the memory is sparked by flipping through that gorgeous wedding album years later. Those photos that I take throughout the day bring back those strong emotions once again and it's magical. Photography is all that is left at the end of the wedding and I am so happy I am the one to provide clients with this amazing service.
One of the biggest challenges I face as a wedding photographer is finding a balance between work and personal life. I really love what I do, but if I don't set time for my friends and family, I would never see them as most weddings fall on Friday's and Saturdays. Also, The wedding day can be physically and mentally exhausting. Some days are upwards of 12 hours that I will be working and I often play many more roles other than the wedding photographer. I carry an emergency kit with some items that may be needed throughout the day, like stain remover, hair spray and a sewing kit. I once had to whip out my sewing kit right before the ceremony to help fix the brides wedding dress as a strap came undone! It can be stressful, but it's all worth it at the end of the night.
A vital technique I have developed is being able to anticipate a moment before it happens. Learning to pick up on subtle cues helps me to capture those moments exactly as they happen. I also use personal tweaks to my portraits in the editing stage that showcase my signature style. I keep it clean, vibrant, and timeless.
I'm passionate about wedding photography because I believe there is no greater thing in life than finding that one that makes you so happy. The fact that two people commit to live the rest of their lives to each other and build a beautiful life together is amazing to me. I feel fulfilled knowing that I contribute to the start of that by documenting it all and giving them their first family heirloom, the wedding album, and that it will be show to everyone important to them.