It’s pretty rare to find a photographer who both has a fantastic eye (that’s enviably bright blue, as her logo aptly depicts) and an incredibly fun personality to boot. Rare, that is, until you meet Wendy Hickok of Hickok Photography! Wendy’s someone you’d not only want to capture your wedding day, but someone you’d want to spend that entire day with – she’s positive, down-to-earth, and so easy to be around. And it doesn’t hurt that her images are fresh, colorful and downright stunning! Ready to hear Wendy’s thoughts on all things wedding? Here we go!
How did you get started in the wedding business? The majority of my life I had a camera attached to me. In 2003 I was in college and a professor of mine asked me to photograph his wedding. I decided a formal education in photography was important so I went to Hallmark Institute of Photography and have been shooting weddings ever since.
What do you do when you are not working? I spend lot of time watching independent films, traveling, and doing yoga. I turned my hobby of photography into a job so I still take a lot of photos for myself.
How would you describe your approach to weddings? Stress free. My goal is to not add any extra drama on the wedding day because there are already so many other emotions flying around. My approach is the same as when I worked back stage in theater productions, keep everything moving along, keep everyone happy, and do a great job.
What inspires you in your work? Light is always a photographer's inspiration. I love the way it curves around the body of a bride or makes a groom look dramatic, and how I can use that light to illuminate the story of the wedding day. Stories always inspire me and because of my theater background, every couple's love story inspires me.
What do you find the most rewarding about your job? I become really close with my clients and one of the most rewarding things about my job is the friendships that I have with them. When my couples start a family, I am one of the first people to know when that new baby is born. When I get that call from the hospital I can't help thinking how awesome my job is! It is so special to be with my clients on some of the happiest days of their lives.
What's the one thing you wish everyone knew about you or your business? I am a lot more social then some photographers. Throughout the wedding process I also have location scouting with my clients, dinner/drinks with my clients before their weddings, and an image release party when their photos are ready. I also try to get my clients together more often for happy hours, client parties, and group date nights. My couples are all very similar so I like the idea of possibly creating some friendships through my business as well.
What do you think sets your company apart from other photographers? Anyone can take a photo, but not everyone is a professional photographer. I can artistically and correctly photograph a wedding, while keeping the bride calm, the flower girl smiling with finger puppets, reminding the bridesmaids to put deodorant on, giving a tissue to crying mom, telling the groom to breath, catching Dad the first time he sees his daughter, keeping the groomsmen from drinking too much before the ceremony, and making sure we stay on schedule for the whole day. I have been to hundreds of weddings so I have seen it all and I love being there to help move the day along while photographing the story of the day.
What do you love about weddings? Every one of them is unique! I never know exactly what is going to happen so to me it is like going to the theater every weekend! The characters are usually the same, but there are variations on each of them. I am always looking for that client who will surprise me or go out of the wedding box.
What do you hate about weddings? Guests with cameras and camera phones get in my way all the time. My clients invest in me to be there to capture everything, but a guest with an iPhone in the aisle blocking the first kiss is almost impossible to get around. It is unfortunate that guests have lost their ability to just be at an event and enjoy it so we can do our jobs.
What is the coolest thing you've ever seen at a wedding? A streaker!
What's the best piece of advice you can give to couples planning a wedding? Be yourselves. It is really easy to get lost in all the wants and desires of everyone around you at a wedding, but the truth is this is your day no matter how much money people are putting into it. You should be able to look back on it and know it was the day you wanted it to be. If you want a small wedding...have a small wedding. If you want to elope..ELOPE! I have heard so many stories from couples who are basically having the wedding their parents wanted, but that is because their parents didn't do the wedding they wanted to when they had the chance.
Who is your favorite artist or band? Jonatha Brooke and Scissor Sisters...totally different, but both have amazing melodies and lyrics.
What is the worst song of all time? Anything heavy metal
Open mic, final thoughts: 2012 is one of my biggest years so far and I am so excited to meet and fall in love with my couples for 2013! MyDeejay is fantastic for asking me to do a Q and A and I HIGHLY recommend them for your wedding day! My clients rave about their professionalism and they always help create a great reception on your wedding day!
Well thank you for those sweet closing words, Wendy, and extra thank you for taking the time to talk with us!