We so adore David and Molly of Spence Photographics -- they're fun, positive, and seriously one of the cutest couples ever! Not to mention the fact that David's also a stunningly talented photographer. He shot my brother-in-law's wedding a couple of years ago and they were some of the most gorgeous images ever. Imagine how thrilled we were to interview David and his wife and marketing guru Molly for our blog!
(Oh, and just a shameless plug...David and Molly are generously bringing their Silly Station photobooth to my Thursday Therapy DC happy hour tonight, so if you work in the wedding industry and want to come hang out with them and me, please join us!)
Here's what David and Molly had to share with our readers...
How did you get started in the wedding business?David: My first experience as a wedding vendor was when I was still in high school. I was really getting into photography at that point, and so I assisted a local photographer at a wedding he was shooting. He was a very traditional, older photographer who shot in a very old-school way. I wasn’t thrilled with it and didn’t think it was for me. It wasn’t until years later, after working as a photojournalist at newspapers for several years, that I discovered wedding photojournalism and fell in love with capturing couples as they become part of each other’s larger families. This type of wedding photography really speaks to me – I love telling the story of the entire wedding day through images.
What do you do when you are not working? We are very lucky to have two hilarious, energetic, wacky children named Jackson, who is 6, and Phoebe, who just turned 3. They are partners in crime, and keep us very busy building Legos, pretending to be various wild animals, and adventuring through state parks, among other activities. Our “third child” is Brooks the beagle mix. He’s 10, and slowing down a bit, but still keeps us on our toes if we’re not petting him enough or feeding him at 5 p.m., on the dot.
How would you describe your approach to weddings? The tagline we include with our logo is “Capturing life, one image at a time.” And that sums up very well our approach to working with couples from their engagement images through the wedding day and beyond. We see weddings as a day when two families come together to celebrate the creation of a new family. We use a photojournalistic approach (standing back, not intruding on moments, but allowing them to unfold naturally) during weddings, paired with portrait shots of family members and the wedding party to round out the collection of images. We also make sure to take time out to do fun, organic shots with the couple during the wedding day. We would do that all day long, if time allowed!
What inspires you in your work? It’s simple, really. Our inspiration is the people we work with. We get our energy and our enthusiasm from them. Seeing a couple glow on their wedding day, seeing a family grow over the years, watching a new mom or dad with a newborn – that is pure inspiration!
What do you find the most rewarding about your job? A really rewarding moment is when we walk into a client’s home and see an image we captured on their wall. It’s an amazing feeling to know that we helped create a memory for them that they will cherish for a very long time.
What's the one thing you wish everyone knew about you or your business? David conceived and constructed a standalone photobooth that we call the Silly Station. It’s a great add-on for wedding receptions or a fun thing to have at a birthday party, graduation party, or other event. (And Molly has the most fun shopping at the party supply store to find unique and wacky accessories for the booth. Creepy chipmunk mask? Check! Darth Vader mask? Check! Giant Elvis glasses? Check!)
What do you think sets your company apart from other photographers? We consider ourselves a boutique wedding photography business, and we care deeply for each and every one of our clients. For us, it’s not about the “business,” it’s about the people, telling their stories, and providing them with memories via our images, that will last a long, long time.
What do you love about weddings? The fact is that no matter how much you plan, no matter how much you prepare, something is likely to go wrong on your wedding day. A groomsman will forget his formal shoes, a bridesmaid’s car will break down, etc. Wedding days are unpredictable, but that’s also what makes them so much fun, and such a challenge! The two of us have very laid-back personalities – we know how to get the job done, but if something goes awry, we’re not prone to freaking out. We smile, sigh, and keep on keeping on. We love working with couples who have a similar way of looking at the world. Because life is perfectly imperfect sometimes!
What do you hate about weddings? It’s terrible how quickly they fly by! One minute, everyone’s getting dressed and ready, and the next it’s the final song on the dance floor.
What is the coolest thing you've ever seen at a wedding? Molly: I recently attended the wedding of my oldest, dearest friend. We met in kindergarten, and more than 30 years later, we were celebrating his marriage along the Mediterranean Sea in Spain. The coolest thing was watching him pledge his love to the man he will spend the rest of his life with, on the landing of this amazing stone staircase, as we guests literally surrounded them with love.
What's the best piece of advice you can give to couples planning a wedding? Never lose focus on the reason that you are doing this, making this commitment to get married and creating a new family. When all of the flowers are gone, and the music stops, you’ll have the photos to remind you of the beautiful day, but not much else. So nurture your relationship as you choose all of those special details, because it’s the relationship that is the most important part.
Who is your favorite artist or band?Molly: My first concert was Pat Benatar, and she holds a special place in my musical heart. Growing up, I loved Depeche Mode and The Smiths (and still do). During the college years I developed an affinity for Alanis Morissette. More recently, I’ve been totally digging Rilo Kiley, Glen Hansard, and Band of Horses. David: My Morning Jacket. I just recently realized why I love these guys so much, when I stumbled onto some of videos from their live online concert last year at the Palace Theater in Louisville. Watching it live at the time was pure amazingness. In particular their performance of my favorite song of theirs, “Wordless Chorus,” featuring Erykah Badu was out of this world. This sealed the deal for me.
What is the worst song of all time?Molly: The first one that popped into my head is “Who Let the Dogs Out?” by the Baha Men. Our kids recently (unfortunately) discovered it on the boardwalk at Ocean City, New Jersey, when a robot skeleton belted it out repeatedly at the Haunted Mini Golf. It was as horrible as you think it was. David: “Macarena.” No explanation needed.
Open mic, final thoughts: We wanted to express extreme thanks to both Jennifer and Evan for being incredible people and wonderful fellow wedding vendors. We love MyDeejay and are always super psyched when we find out we’ll be working with you all! Much love!
...aww, we love you guys too! Be sure to check out David's and Molly's amazing company, Spence Photographics, LLC!