Sarah Hodzic of Blink Photography is amazing. She captures every little detail in a way that’s completely natural, yet somehow turns these details into something beautifully artistic. Just as importantly, she’s incredible to work with, and her clients adore her. Considering how in demand she is, we’re so happy Sarah agreed to submit to our barrage of questions. So, without further ado, meet Sarah!
How did you get started in the wedding business? That’s a very long story, but the edited down version: in 2003 I was gifted my first new SLR after a 10 year hiatus from photography. It was a total surprise, I was excited and nervous to be shooting again.
Shortly after receiving the camera, an old friend from high school contacted me out of the blue asking if I would shoot photographs for his girlfriend’s new album cover. I asked him if he was crazy, because, well… I hadn’t picked up a camera in 10 years. He had complete confidence in me, and convinced me that I was, in fact, the one they wanted to do the shoot. So I said, “OK” and thought, here goes nothing…” Upon getting the contact sheets back from that shoot, (yes, this was back in the film days) I was in total shock. The photos were good!
From there it was a non-stop shooting frenzy and I began to wonder how I could turn this into a paying job. I decided I would call up one of the wedding photographers that I had interviewed (whose work just blew me away) when planning my own wedding. It was my hope that just maybe she’d be open to having me tag along. I was excited just to schlep her gear, I wanted to learn. I was fortunate that this photographer was open to sharing all her secrets with me, which was unheard of in those days. From there she took me under her wing and taught me everything she knew. It was a remarkable gift. I was lucky to shoot with her for 18 months and here I am eight years later.
What do you do when you are not working? When I am not shooting weddings you will find me either in my encaustic studio creating new ways to push my photography by using different mediums, or possibly on a day trip searching out new and funky locations to shoot with my Holgas.
Photography for me is about creation and exploration. I find that my work -- wedding and non-wedding -- grows when I am committed to other collaborative projects that are directly or indirectly related to photography. I’ve been very lucky to have met some truly gifted artists over the last few years who’ve pushed me to become a better photographer. In this small group of people, I found my photography soul mates. We all need community to help us grow and in meeting these artists I’ve had the great fortune to be a co-creator of Rebirth Retreats. Rebirth is a week-long retreat where we encourage photographers to step out of their comfort zones and explore alternative photography techniques as well as ask the question, “Why do I want to be a photographer, and what is the intrinsic message I want to convey as an artist?” Rebirth happens every spring in Mississippi, and I would say it’s one of the things I’m most proud of that I’ve done with my photography career.
How would you describe your approach to weddings? My approach to shooting weddings, I would say is documentary in nature. My photography tends to be about creating a story in every frame. I prefer to step back and take in the events of the day, rather than orchestrating. However, I have a very clear vision of what I want to try and capture during the day. So I would say, I have a firm, “hands on approach” with a laid back energy.
What inspires you in your work? Other artists who are pushing themselves, whether it’s photographers, musicians, painters, writers, dancers… anyone who is willing to take a risk within their genre question the rules, and risks looking silly or getting criticism, that’s inspiring to me.
What do you find the most rewarding about your job? Hands down, the most rewarding part of my job is, meeting and forming strong bonds with my clients or other artists. I’m in a unique position as a wedding photographer where I get the chance to share a very important day with people, and that significance is never lost on me. Along with being a part of my client’s weddings, I also have the chance and very unique opportunity to nurture and foster growth in other photographers at our retreat, that is extremely humbling.
What's the one thing you wish everyone knew about you or your business? One goal that I have at every event that I am photographing is not just to capture the day, but to make something artful from what I see and experience, which will hopefully continue to invoke emotion over the years.
What do you think sets your company apart from other photographers? I think in some ways that’s a hard question to answer. We are all so different in our personalities, styles of shooting, and approach… But, if there one thing, I would say it might be product. My Holga photography and my encaustic work set me apart in the DC Metro area. I love having the opportunity to create pieces of artwork for my clients. Using these two processes are a unique way to showcase their wedding images.
What do you love about weddings? The hopefulness.
What do you hate about weddings? Seeing people consumed with worry of perfection.
What is the coolest thing you've ever seen at a wedding? It was a small wedding in DC, the groom is a singer and not only did he sing to his bride during the ceremony, he orchestrated that all of the guests and the wedding party were part of the ceremony and they all sang a Beatles tune as they all circled around the couple.
What's the best piece of advice you can give to couples planning a wedding? The age-old adage of “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. Everything gets done in the end, there is a time to let go of trying to make everything just right. The more you can delegate the more fun you’ll have.
Who is your favorite artist or band? Oh, very hard question, not sure I could pick one. On the top of my iTunes play list right now, Band of Horses and Florence + The Machine
What is the worst song of all time? Chicken Dance!
Thanks, Sarah, for taking a moment to speak with us and give us your perspective on the wonderful work you do!