"The client usually chooses the new service Pictage offers, which is creating their own folder of favorites from their wedding," says Triplett. "From there, my production manager, Susan Gardner, composes the album in a storybook manner."
Since a large number of her weddings are out of state or out of the area, she and Gardner make most of the final decisions, and clients are fine with that. "We have several phone calls and emails back and forth and when clients are in town we meet with them, review their needs, and get to know them to establish that comfort zone."
Triplett is also a master at keeping her couples calm on their wedding day, since her experience as a stylist, a model, and commercial photographer's assistant have prepared her for most eventualities. "Brides see me as an older sister or wise aunt they trust and laugh with." And it doesn't hurt that she loads her fanny pack with tissues for tears, makeup for touch-ups, mints for breath, safety pins, and even a cork screw . . . just in case.
Triplett's quite familiar with the hot local wedding spots, but for out-of-state affairs, she scouts out the site and, whenever possible, attends rehearsal dinners to work out lighting and logistics and to get to know the couple, their family and friends.
"It's all about trust," she says. "Going to the rehearsal and meeting people close to the bride and groom creates much more comfort the next day, which pays off in the images I'll get at the wedding."
THEN AND NOW Pictage has played a pivotal role in helping Triplett share her art with her couples. Whereas in her pre-Pictage days, she was often frustrated that family, friends, and guests would likely never see the proofs, now she can actually layout an album online. "It's fantastic! I always mention this service in my initial interview and I'm sure it's one of the reasons that couples choose me as their wedding photographer."
For years, the premier large studio in her region-with six photographers and four full-time staff-recently she's come full circle to a less hectic schedule.
"I've learned an invaluable lesson that works best for me: Keep it simple. I truly prefer this approach because it gives me more time with my clients. Volume is no longer a business goal."
Similarly, while she used to invest lots of time and money in advertising, today she relies on
THE JOURNEY Triplett's journey has been guided by a handful of wise or soulful creatives. In addition to her friend Bobby Bean, who taught her the value of approaching things photographic without fear, she's been inspired by David Seidner, whose color portraits reflect the nobility of the human soul; and Wallace Nutting, who takes hand- and digitally colored landscapes to another dimension . . . "a softer time and place that I think most humans would choose if they let their guard down," she says.
Over the years, Triplett has mentored local competitors as well as a steady stream of up-and-comers. Short-term plans call for devoting more time to landscapes, garden shots, and fine art portraits. She's entertaining the idea of doing bridal designer work over the next year. In the long-term, a book and a line of cards are on the drawing board.
"People don't remember what you did, or what you said, but how you made them feel," Triplett says. Embracing this concept, she even wears a bracelet that reads, 'Heart: the most noble organ of them all.' "Photography is my way of expressing this. Knowing I made someone feel beautiful or special for a moment is a gift I don't take for granted."
Nor, apparently, do her clients.
For more Triplett images, visit www.deborahtriplett.com
DEBORAH TRIPLETT's GEAR BOX
Nikon N90 with Nikkor lenses (17-35mm through 80-200mm)
Hasselblad ELZ with 120 and 220 backs and Carl Zeiss lenses Polaroid back Fujifilm GA645Zi AF Mamiya 645AF with portrait lens and zoom