The woman Lloyd Price sang about back in 1959 wowed him with her personality. She walked, talked, smiled, and charmed with personality.
For Victor Sizemore, of VCS Photography in Orange County, California, capturing the emotions and personalities of his brides, has brought a steady stream of future brides who are wowed by his personality, as well as his photos. The key to his popularity: "I try to portray a feeling of 'being' at the wedding, allowing the viewer to visualize the day: the events, lighting, mood, details and design of the location."
While Sizemore shoots primarily artistic, photojournalistic images of the big day, he uses a range of styles to create one-of-a-kind images and distinctive wedding albums.
Up Close and Personal
Sizemore considers the engagement session a prime time to develop a comfortable relationship with the bridal couple. "It's a very relaxed atmosphere, whether we do the session at the beach or at Angel Stadium. We can casually photograph without all the stress of the wedding day. Then we normally grab a cup of coffee or dinner, so we can talk and spend time together."
For destination weddings, Sizemore attends the couple's rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, or both to become familiar with their friends and family.
"When an engagement session and initial consultation aren't possible because of logistics, we get acquainted with the bridal party, as well as the wedding location, at rehearsals."
While 75 percent of his weddings take place in Orange County, he has been covering more destination weddings recently. Since last year, he has traveled to Hawaii, Kentucky, Alabama, Missouri, and Oregon for his bridal couples. He's already scheduled a 2006 wedding in Buffalo, New York. "A bridesmaid from a wedding I did in San Diego lives in Buffalo, so I'm traveling there for her wedding."And so on.
Sizemore networks and relies on traditional word of mouth to get the good vibes going. The Net also plays a pivotal role in his business. "My website helps with the initial qualifying process and also plays a big part in the album-production process.
A photographer who keeps up with his clients evolving needs, Sizemore has created a post-honeymoon DVD. This popular offering is a one-week edit with three sections, usually about 90 photos, including ceremony shots, formals of the bridal party, and a bride-and-groom section.
"The biggest change I'm seeing in brides today is that they want instant gratification. By that I mean they are into same-day edits and slideshows."
On one destination shoot, the bride and groom invited Sizemore back to an after-party at the condo where the family was staying. When he brought a DVD of the wedding images, they were blown away. That DVD earned him a referral and booked another wedding.
"The slideshows have brought more business than usual. When I cut a CD or DVD the night of the wedding, the impact is intense."
L Is For Love
For speed and variety of products, Sizemore shoots with Canon cameras. "The first time I used a Canon 'L series' lens, I fell in love with Canon," he recalls. "Today, I'm equally as pleased with their digital cameras."
"Turn-around time is important in the wedding industry," he says. "Everyone wants to see photos immediately. The digital workflow helps when designing digital albums and publishing to the Web. The quality and consistency of my equipment allows me to push the subject and environment every time I'm out shooting."