We’re thrilled about the return of one of our most popular blog features: “In the Mix With…” We love spotlighting our very favorite wedding professionals, and Lisa and Ian Robinson of SoftBox Media are no exception! They bring an incredible level of talent to all their events, and are absolutely phenomenal to work with – no wonder our couples are always raving! Here’s what Lisa and Ian had to say when we gave them the third degree on weddings…
How did you get started in the wedding business?Lisa: I fell in love with photography in high school and went to college as a photography major. During that time, a friend of a friend of a friend who was a wedding photographer was looking for an assistant. I took the gig and everything “clicked”. Ian: I studied media arts and photojournalism in college. When I met Lisa while we both worked at Apple, I tried weddings with her and enjoyed it just as much as she did.
What do you do when you are not working?Lisa & Ian: What do you mean “when we’re not working”? Ha ha! Being a business owner, it seems you’re never not working. It’s a labor of love, for sure. We do love to hike, kick it with our Boston Terriers “Mac” and “Moo”, and visit local vineyards. We also recently started volunteering at Loudoun Therapeutic Riding where we help physically and mentally challenged children and adults with their equine therapy. We’re long time horse people and it’s really something special to see the clients blossom when they’re around such an amazing animal.
How would you describe your approach to weddings?Lisa & Ian: Our approach is very personal. We don’t book any weddings without having a face to face meeting with our clients. We like to sit down and talk with them, get to know them, get to know what makes them a couple, what makes them individuals. It really helps us personalize the wedding experience for them. We never want our clients to feel like they’re coming to a “factory” that just churns out a standard product. Every couple is different & every wedding is different, which means we need to treat each one special!
What inspires you in your work?Ian: It’s capturing that moment that people don’t know even happened. Those moments go by so fast, it’s amazing to capture that fleeting emotion or event for our clients to look back on forever. Lisa: Storytelling. I love, love, love to look at the wedding as a whole and think “how can I tell their story?” in my photos. That way, when I come back to make their album, it all unfolds for them in their hands as the flip through the pages. I love it.
What do you find the most rewarding about your job?Ian: After the weddings, we have our couples come over for a review session of their photos. It’s awesome to see their faces light up and hear them exclaim “I just LOVE this one!” It’s really nice to know that the images are going to be cherished. Lisa: When clients come back. First comes love (engagements!), then comes marriage (weddings!) then comes baby (family)! We’ve had so many clients return to us for birthdays, anniversaries, maternity, and family photos. It’s pretty awesome to think that we’ve made them that happy, and they feel that comfortable with us to have made us their photographers for life.
What's the one thing you wish everyone knew about you or your business?Lisa & Ian: Our level of dedication. You’ll never catch us “phoning it in”. Ever. This is more than just a job for us. It’s our passion. The work doesn’t stop at 5pm. We’re constantly growing and seeking new ways to make our clients even happier than before and pushing our photography to new limits every time.
What do you think sets your company apart from other photographers?Lisa & Ian: The last answer says it all.
What do you love about weddings?Ian: What’s not to like? It’s a party! Lisa: It’s one of the happiest times in peoples’ lives. It’s an honor to be selected to document it for someone. Sure it can also be a stressful day, but there are always those moments; during the ceremony, in a toast, or the first dance where people let their guard down and their true emotions flow. It’s beautiful.
What do you hate about weddings?Ian: Honestly, there’s nothing that I really hate. The one thing I do dislike is the race to wolf down enough calories and water (in the 5 minute dinner break that we usually get) to eat enough to sustain us through 9, 10, 11+ hour days. Lisa: I hate that I haven’t yet found the perfect shoes to wear! Ha! It seems trite, but being on your feet & dashing here and there with 30 pounds of camera gear on your shoulder for 12 hours can really take a toll. If anyone knows of cute, functional, and supremely supportive shoes out there, please email me!
What is the coolest thing you've ever seen at a wedding?Ian: The 12 piece mariachi band that played the ceremony of a destination wedding we had in Cabo San Lucas. It was so unique and totally awesome. Lisa: The details that really “scream” of the couple are the coolest things to me. For instance, we had a wedding with two police officers. They set up a party favor table with an antique kid’s toy police pedal car, surrounded by Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Pretty hilarious and awesome. On a sentimental note, we also did a wedding that had an “Oathing Stone” ceremony, which I had never seen before. The bride and groom hold a stone for their vows as well as all the guests. All their hopes, well wishes, and silent prayers are said to penetrate the stones. The stones were collected to be given back to the couple so they could have all the well wishes surrounding them forever.
What's the best piece of advice you can give to couples planning a wedding?Lisa & Ian: Pick a location that really speaks to your personalities. There’s so much out there to choose from and it’s the easiest way to infuse your uniqueness into the day. Oh yeah, and booking us to photograph it is a must! ha ha! Who is your favorite artist or band?Ian: FOO FIGHTERS!!!! Dave Grohl is the man! Lisa: The Clarks. They’re a local band to Pittsburgh, PA and I was introduced to them when I lived there for a few years. Awesome folksy/classic rock vibe.
What is the worst song of all time?Ian: Big Yellow Taxi - I have absolutely no idea why, but it gets on my every nerve whenever I hear it from any artist. Lisa: Flo Rida - “Whistle”. Seriously?! I know this guy is laughing all the way to the bank but it’s crass, tasteless, and devoid of any real talent. Total waste of air time.
Open mic, final thoughts:
Weddings are awesome. We’re truly lucky to get to photograph for a living AND help people capture memories that will last forever. We’re not just photographing for them, but also their families, their kids, their grandkids, and generations to come. It’s pretty epic & humbling. Yay, Love! Thanks so much Lisa and Ian for sharing a little bit of yourselves with us!