June 11th, 2010
A long time ago, in a province far, far away…a girl named Lauren started blog-stalking a guy named Rob. A month later, they found themselves hiking through Europe together. This horrified their parents, of course, but delights those of us who believe in relationships that were meant to be.
Rob & Lauren’s photography business was also meant to be, it seems. They’ve been shooting together for the past four years. Their business, which boasts remarkable branding courtesy of Lauren and extreme geekiness from Rob, has been blossoming ever since.
These two decided to get married after dating for years. But after spending so long in the wedding industry, they knew they couldn’t ‘do a wedding’ in a big, bold, 18-months-of-planning way. So they "bought everything off of Etsy" and ran off to Greece. Lauren didn’t even see her dress beforehand!
When the duo looked into hiring their dream wedding photographer for a super-secret wedding in Santorini, though, the pricetag was over $20,000. So they did what any in-love-and-ambitious-but-slightly-crazy photography couple would: they packed up the tripod, the digital cameras, and a 4x5 monster to shoot their own not-so-Big Fat Greek Wedding photos. They trekked throughout the island on their wedding day, posing and planning. Creating their own images allowed Rob & Lauren to share photography on their big day in a very different way. (A downright rad way, I might add.)
The two of them have been experimenting with 4x5 format cameras and other film goodies for the past year. After learning photography on digital cameras, they found themselves drawn again and again to the timeless qualities of film. Rob shoots Instax polaroids, 4x5" positives, Holga snaps, and 35mm film during the portrait portion of the wedding day. He says, "shooting film has really been a fun way to add something unique to what we offer." He also describes the delight clients have when holding a huge positive piece of processed film. (Rob’s iPad serves as a lightbox for viewing.)
"It [film] slows you down. It really requires you to be thoughtful and careful." - Lauren
As for why they go through the effort of shooting so many kinds of film? Rob & Lauren are drawn to images you can hold. Their clients delight in walking away from an engagement session with a Polaroid or two as well. Film also "looks very timeless," says Rob, and allows the couple to "reconnect with the foundations of great photography."
These two have their film processed locally and then scan it digitally themselves. (Yes, they’re crazy. I thought you got that when we talked about wedding photos.) Once all the film captures have been digitized, they blend seamlessly with the other digital stills from a shoot. Each and every image is then processed using Lightroom, which Rob enjoys teaching here .
So, what’s next for this DIY duo? Rob & Lauren are taking next year off of shooting weddings and are going to "see what happens." Whether that’s travel assignments and commercial work, a boom in personal imagery, or shooting portraits all the live-long day is anyone’s guess. But you can bet they’ll be shooting whatever-it-is with the graceful quirkiness that makes their work sing.