Hi, this is Christen Westcott with Look West Events, and I am SO excited to announce the first installment of “The Wedding Tea” letter series with Randi Michelle Photo & Cinema! Each month I’ll interview a local wedding industry professional, and we’ll spill some real, authentic, wedding tea!
The Wedding Tea: A Cup of Earl Grey, Extra Sugar, with Randi Michelle Photo & Cinema
Christen: Miss Randi Michelle of Randi Michelle Photo & Cinema. First question is – how do you take your tea?
Randi: I absolutely love and ADORE TEA!! I love Earl Grey The more sugar the better. I definitely also put whole milk in my tea. I’ll even make it and throw ice in!
C: Hang on a second, I thought you were all about chai tea?!
R: Oh for sure, but that is more like my coffee, it’s where I get my caffeine. If I need a pick me up, it’s a chai tea from Starbucks. But you can buy the concentrate at the store, so you can save so much and just make it at home!
Spilling the wedding tea: photo & cinema
C: Fair enough! Okay so let’s get to some wedding tea! Let’s say I’m a bride, and I’m reviewing a photographer’s portfolio. I think I like what I see, but how can I tell if a photographer is GOOD at capturing weddings?
R: First, you want a photographer who can shoot in your environment. For example, my style is light and airy, but if you choose a venue that has a lot of dark, wooden tones, it’s not going to translate as well. Additionally, you want to look for their ability to capture emotion. It’s easy to take pictures of someone, but a photographer should be able to anticipate emotional moments. Lastly, you want to make sure they can get portrait style photos. If you look through a gallery and everyone’s arms are straight down, that’s not a great sign. I like to make those adjustments to hands and feet, and squeeze people in closer to create that connection!
Spilling the wedding tea: what inspires you?
C: What makes you come home from a wedding and you say to yourself, “that was really fun!”
R: I have not gotten tired of weddings. Every wedding is a thrill. I don’t stop for 10 or 11 hours, and it takes every emotion, all my physical strength, all of my creative juices. When I come home, my body is physically tired but my mind is racing. I drive home blaring music! I know it sounds cliche but it really is an honor to be part of someone’s day like that. Knowing that I’m making a difference – I’m not saving lives, haha – but I like to feel like I made a difference.
I’m obsessed with white walls because I really want my couples to stand out.
C: If you could dream up the perfect space to shoot a wedding in, what would it look like and why?
R: I love natural light, so something with BIG windows, that’s facing the right direction to let natural light in. I also love white walls! Gimme a white wall and I can work with it! I’m obsessed with white walls because I really want my couples to stand out. I have a hard time with some of the venues that go so deep with the detail. I prefer not to distract from my couples. That being said, I do love a decadent chandelier or different touches on the door handles.
Spilling the wedding tea: tell us about a blooper!
C: Okay so I love your cinema work. But I have to ask – what have your experiences been like with a drone? Do you have any funny stories or like, “whoops” moments?
R: Oh my gosh, yes. My associate Taylor operates the drone, and recently at a wedding at The Nest I was explaining to Taylor the type of shot that I wanted to get, and the drone is flying and all of a sudden I’m like, “what the heck is that thing?!” It was a BIRD and it was dive bombing the drone! And then a second bird even came up on it. I think we might have accidentally gotten too close to a real nest, so I was like, “bring the drone down, bring it down!” The footage is also pretty funny!
I think you can have a super heartfelt southern wedding, but still achieve an editorial feel.
C: When someone is looking at your photo & cinema work, what kind of compliments do you really appreciate? What do you hope people notice and point out about your work?
R: I hope they notice and point out the joyful moments. I also hope that they point out that I have an editorial feel. Coming from California, a lot of my couples were more concerned with an editorial look. But a lot of people here in Texas are really focused on capturing the heartfelt moments – which is the way it’s supposed to be, of course! I like to marry the two perspectives. I think you can have a super heartfelt southern wedding, but still achieve an editorial feel.
Spilling the wedding tea: what does success in photo & cinema look like?
C: Let’s say the wedding is over and you’ve delivered the images and album to the bride and groom. How do you measure your success in photo & cinema?
R: I think the first part would probably be recognition. When I get a review or they tag me and they’re like, “you have to hire her!” That’s like, aw don’t make me cry!! But then there’s my own thought process, too. A client could be super happy, but I am always evaluating what I could have done better or how to improve for next time. I really appreciate positive feedback, but I’m always wanting to grow.
C: Hard hitting question – if you were a wedding cake, what kind would you be and what would you look like?
R: I would be three or four tiers…definitely something with a more modern and narrow shape. I’d have smoothed out frosting, and maybe pearls! All the same size pearls, throughout! As far as flavor, I think I’m a funfetti through and through. Editorial on the outside, but then home grown and funfetti on the inside!!