In the Spotlight : Susan Dean

{image by Thomas Ford}

A little about you . . .
SD: I have a love affair with the ocean. Although I am a fairly shy and private person I am easy to talk to and usually prefer a phone call to an email. Weddings have taken me to some amazing places and there are still many places I would love to travel to personally. As a photographer I am grateful for and inspired by beautiful surroundings; however, with weddings the people involved are the allure. They create the fabric and texture of the experience and the photographs.

What’s the one thing you wish you could say outright to every bride or couple, but you feel like you can’t, out of propriety?
SD: Every couple is different and so often it’s not what you say but how you say it. A big part of what I do is getting to know my subjects and how to best communicate with them. When people are relaxed and comfortable we get the best images. The one thing that applies to every couple is to hire vendors that you trust and feel comfortable with so that you can focus on enjoying your day.
What’s your take on the controversial “First Peek”, where the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony?
SD: I understand this long-standing tradition and the idea that if you see each other before the ceremony it will somehow take away from that moment when you walk down the isle. However, seeing each other beforehand becomes this intimate private experience between the couple. It calms the nerves and creates the space to revel in the moment.  It allows us to take care of the family and wedding party photos in a relaxed and timely manner while everyone is looking their freshest; and perhaps most importantly you are free to enjoy the festivities immediately following the ceremony. If you are struggling with this decision, I recommend talking to other couples that have chosen to experience this moment privately. I’ve yet to hear of any that regretted it.
Teach us one bit of industry jargon . . . so we can sound cool.
SD: Whether your photographer shoots film, digitally or both most offer a DVD of your wedding images. You may see the terms low, medium or high resolution. These are general terms. Resolution describes the detail an image file holds and translates to a specific printable size. When you see these general terms, be sure to ask your photographer what size the files are printable to.  I have found a DVD of images printable to 5”x7” makes the most sense and provides you with files sufficient for most presentation needs. If you’d like to have larger prints made I recommend ordering these directly from your photographer.
Three words (or a phrase) that epitomize your style. . .
SD: Hmmmm….. the words natural, narrative and perceptive come to mind.
Hollywood calls and they’re going to make a movie of your life. What’s your opening musical score (or the top hit on the soundtrack?)
SD: The opening musical score is Sunset Road by Bela Fleck.

One of your top favorite images from 2010 . . .
SD: My sister, Allison and her husband Josh (taken before the ceremony!)
What’s one (fun/weird/crazy) thing we wouldn’t know about you?
SD: I used to be a SCUBA instructor and was once courted by a Whale Shark.
What’s the most rewarding thing about your business?
SD: Shooting, shooting & shooting!
No wedding is complete without . . .
SD: No wedding is complete without your closest friends and family.