In the Spotlight
Truly a destination photographer, Corbin Gurkin has photographed weddings in places as diverse as California’s wine country, the bustling streets of Paris, the beaches of Hawaii and the hillside villages of Tuscany. Along the way, Corbin has won accolades from couples, clients and countless publications. Her work has been regularly featured on the web and in print in Brides, The Knot, Inside Weddings and Martha Stewart Weddings, and she’s captured Photo District News Magazine’s Top Knots Wedding Photography award for the last two years running.
Aside from being so accomplished and well-traveled, she’s gentle, humble, fun, and fresh. Enjoy the below . . .
Gimme those earrings, Corbin. Stat.
So here’s the scoop on Corbin:
Calder: If you could shoot a wedding anywhere in the world, where would it be?
CG: Ireland has been on my list lately! I love the rustic landscape and lush green vistas near the coast. I often vacation there and I’ve always dreamed of photographing a wedding in one of the open-air stone churches that you find off many a winding road in the countryside. A bride in a flowing gown appearing on the horizon to see her groom…gosh, it would be so stunning! I’m always drawn to spectacular natural environments and I think the backdrops in Ireland are hard to beat.
I’m also am constantly considering different seasons and I’ve been dying to photograph another winter wedding. There’s just something so soft and ethereal about winter light. I feel it’s a great season for my photography style.
Calder: What’s the one thing you wish you could say outright to every bride, but you feel like you can’t, out of decorum + propriety?
CG: Just Go With It! : It might rain…the peonies could be a shade of pink that you did not envision, the dress could get some dirt on the hem, the environment isn’t quite as comfortable as you imagined on a hot Charleston summer’s day. Let’s not ruin your memories of the wedding day thinking too much about these things. My favorite bride is one who embraces the things that cannot be controlled and puts her faith in my experience to help make the best photographs. When it’s raining, it’s better to grab some rain boots and an umbrella than forfeit an amazing portrait session. Ultimately, those brides who have just “gone with it” have had the best results.
Calder: What’s your take on the controversial “First Peek”, where the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony?
CG: I do especially love the first peek for an evening wedding. Photographers need beautiful light and the first peek allows us more time to capture portraits in an ideal lighting environment. It can also be a nice way for the couple to share a moment together before the rest of the guests arrive and I find that family members also love to get group shots taken before the event gets underway. Brides tell me all the time that they become so much more relaxed after seeing their fiancé. I also completely understand wanting to wait to see your soon-to-be husband and have many clients who stick with that tradition. Usually the timing works just fine to take portraits following the ceremony, especially during the spring and summer season. We want late afternoon light for the most natural and flattering images – it gives a lovely glow to the portraits. I’m a big fan of getting the family shots finished beforehand though – it just gives us more flexibility and the opportunity for better coverage at the reception.
Calder: Three words (or a phrase) that epitomize your style: fill in the blanks.
CG: Ethereal. Spontaneous. Graceful.
Calder: One of your top favorite images from 2010?
CG: I love this image of the bride and groom leaving the church after some family portraits – it feels so quiet and intimate.
Calder: Best store (online or not) for great reception finds?
CG: I love French General – Not only do the owners have a wonderful sense of design style which always inspires me, but there are plenty of reception finds! …stunning linens and paper ephemera, antique French ribbons for elegant napkin ties, the most charming jewelry made of found objects…the list goes on and on.
Calder: No wedding is complete without . . .
CG: Personal style! Make the event your own by including details that really speak to you and your fiancé as a couple. I love the thoughtful décor elements that really show the personality of a bride and groom. Your wedding will be truly unique if you infuse your own inspired touches to the décor.