Deborah Triplett's Timeless Wedding Keepsakes
TEXT BY ALICE B. MILLER * IMAGES BY DEBORAH TRIPLETT
Whether she's exploring new hand-coloring techniques, tinkering with her new Nikon D100, or transforming a wedding day image into a legacy, Deborah Triplett embraces each new adventure with a spirit and curiosity that captivates clients from coast to coast.
Fourteen years have passed since she captured her first Big Day, and she's still the biggest self-confessed romantic around. Motivated by heart and emotion, and powered by skill and experience, Triplett has a flourishing business with devoted clients who love her for warmth and wisdom as much as her artistic vision. To Triplett, it's all part of creating timeless wedding keepsakes.
"A stunning bride . . . a museful child . . . or an idyllic countryside-it's my vision to create a legacy, a photograph that some time in the future someone will look at and feel something in their heart," says Triplett.
COLOR HER CREATIVE Perhaps more than her eye for dramatic compositions and flair for hand-coloring and Photoshop, Triplett's open-mindedness has made her a priceless resource to her clients.
"A dear friend of mine who has 'grown wings' taught me the value of being open-minded and approaching everything without fear," explains Triplett. As a result, she's toyed with everything from film to digital to old vintage cameras, and approached new techniques, papers, and equipment with boundless enthusiasm.
Her penchant for variety and experimentation hits you in a flash when you see her equipment inventory. At weddings, she'll typically have four to five cameras slung around her neck-two Nikon F100s (one color, one B&W, both with zoom lenses), her Sony Mavica 500D, Nikon N90 with 50mm f/1.8 lens and 3200 B&W film, and her Fujifilm medium-format autofocus.
"The Sony Mavica 500D is great for low-light shots and macro detail shots," says Triplett, who's been grabbing "art" shots with Yashica-A and miscellaneous old, old cameras as of late. "I lust for a 4x5 hand-holdable camera by William Littman. It's at the top of my wish list."
For studio shoots, Triplett has traditionally chosen a Sinar, although lately she's primarily into her Hasselblad and her newly purchased Mamiya 645AF. For closeups and quick-action shots she reaches for her Nikon. As she explains, "Sometimes when a bride is extremely camera shy, I use my Nikon exclusively to capture her personality and her subtle movements because if I'm stuck on the tripod, I'll lost the spontaneity."
BRIDES OF DISTINCTION
Our cover girl, Emily, Triplett's first assistant, posed in this headdress of silken flowers even when her own wedding was cancelled. Shot with a Sinar 4x5 in B&W, Triplett hand-colored this image to emphasize the lushness of the flora. Says Triplett, "This is my favorite photograph of all time and has become my trademark."
The B&W series of five brides that begins this article (pp. 10-11) features her client Kiran Dodeja Smith, who works for Carolina Bride magazine. "Out of all the photographers she knows from the magazine, she chose me," says Triplett. The shot is on the cover of Carolina Bride and is featured in their advertising.
Triplett photographed Claire Lovell on a red couch (below) in her studio about a year ago. She found the couch in a Salvation Army store and had the red velvet backdrop made. "Claire was married last fall in Wilmington, North Carolina. This setting looked great against her skin tones and dress, and set off her regal beauty."
If Triplett uses a prop it must have significance. Courtney Dansey (p. 14) wears the hat her betrothed gave to her when he proposed in Colorado. "She wanted to give something special back to him in her portrait-this was it," Triplett recalls. "I thought the digital removal of color and hand-coloring were best suited for this image."
COMFORT ZONE While most of Triplett's clients find her via her website or referrals, she finds pleasure in helping prospects become totally comfortable with their final choice of photographer and service package. "I don't want clients feeling pressured, so I often suggest they review my options list overnight before making their final decision."
She also dazzles them with an array of wedding albums made in Italy, New Zealand, and the U.S. Recently, brides have been choosing colorful soft suede albums with storybook pages over the more traditional black covers.