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- Order Summary
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
I bought my first DSLR (Nikon D3000) when I was planning my first trip to Europe. I wanted my photographs to be my souvenirs from my trip. After I came back, I just kept shooting. At the time it was mostly landscapes and sunsets, but my happy place was getting up early or driving somewhere remote to photograph. Shortly after Europe, I was working a full time job, interning part time, and going to school for marketing. I was miserable and getting burnt out at the ripe age of 19. So I began to research trips to New Zealand since it was the number one place in the world I wanted to travel to. I found a US company that was looking for a photographer and blogger and in exchange they would provide free transport around both islands. I submitted my landscape portfolio of Europe and New England and to my surprise they accepted me. I instantly quit my 9-5 job, stopped pursuing my business degree, and bought a plane ticket to New Zealand. When I landed in NZ and told people I had just quit my job, internship, and school, instead of being ridiculed and shamed, it was the first time people were supportive and positive telling me that I did the right thing and that I should find a job that I actually liked instead. After I came back from New Zealand, I was invigorated and inspired to start living life I enjoyed which led me to start pursuing a degree in Marine Biology. One night after studying for midterms and drinking a half a bottle of wine, I put on some music to decompress and thought to myself “I wish I could just travel the world and photograph my favorite bands.” So I randomly decided to email my favorite musician, Frank Turner, and asked if I could photograph him at his next performance. Much to my surprise he replied back to my email and said he’d be happy to have me and there would be a press pass with my name on it at will call. That started my true photography career and I went on to photograph a bunch of different bands and festivals and eventually dipped into photographing the high-end nightclub scene in Boston - which in hindsight I will say was great training for wedding receptions. A few months later, I met a wedding DJ who suggested that I try to photograph weddings. I remember laughing at him and shaking my head “No way!” In spite of my original apprehensions about photographing weddings, I am so happy I took on the first wedding that came my way and had such a strong support system who encouraged me to pursue wedding photography as a full time job. I never in my wildest dreams thought this would be my life and now I cannot imagine living any other way or doing any other job.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
Creative photojournalism. I want my images to be fun and fresh and reflect my couples personalities and style.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN AN IMAGE?
When creating images I look for one of three elements: dope light, symmetry, or emotion and then we go from there. My personal favorite images are ones that have all three. When viewing an image, I want the viewer to feel what was going on in the image. For example, that could be joy from the subjects in the image because they are walking down the aisle after their ceremony or wonder/curiosity because the viewer paused to think how that image was created.
WHAT INSPIRES OR MOTIVATES YOU?
To make better art. I don’t leave a wedding until I “Wow” myself with an image - it is a promise I made to myself a long time ago and helps me not to become complacent in my work.
WHAT CHALLENGES YOU?
Beautiful venues or scenic destinations. I know this seems absurd but throw me in a venue or destination that is less than photogenic and I will thrive by making them look more visually appealing than what they are. But when places are already beautiful and pristine, I know they have been photographed a million times by a million photographers - so I am always looking for a different angle or a way to put my own unique spin on the images so they don’t look like everyone else’s who has been there in the past. This is a huge reason why I love using prisms and other found objects throughout a wedding day.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT OF A WEDDING?
When family formal photos are finished - just kidding, kind of. Honestly, I don’t think I have a favorite moment. I love every part of the wedding day because they all have unique challenges associated with them. Getting ready images force you to get creative in messy tight spaces with way too many people in them. The ceremony can be challenging if it is outdoors at noon or in a church with dingy muddy light and no unique features. Attempting to create unique wedding party portraits (I struggle with this still). Getting the reception space lighting correct or making it look more interesting than it truly is. All of it excites me and keeps me on my toes all day.
OF ALL YOUR IMAGES, DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE ONE?
I have a few favorites for sure. My favorite photos are the ones that are unexpected - either moment wise or just a lighting scenario that came out better than I imagined in my head. My favorite non wedding photo is one I took in Africa with stars and lions that I lit with my iPhone light - I definitely thought I was going to die while taking that image. Worth it.
ANYTHING ELSE WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ALEXSANDRA WICIEL?
I am totally afraid of heights but will gladly jump into the ocean to free dive with over 100 sharks. Lastly, I am huge into conservation - especially ocean conservation and pollution. I was gifted a “Final Straw” for Christmas this year and bring it everywhere I go. I am that person who will pick up the random bits of trash we see when walking on the beach because I really believe every bit of effort counts when it comes to preventing pollution. I am hoping to volunteer this year in either Costa Rica or Sodwana to help out with sea turtle conservation.
TELL US ABOUT DVLOP
DVLOP was a game changer for me. I finally was able to make images look the way I had always envisioned them looking without spending hours on YouTube researching editing videos or going over workshop notes for the thousandth time. I always admired and wanted my images to have the richness and bold colors as Sam Hurd’s or the reception images to pop like Two Mann’s do and now I can do that as a base and then add more features to make the images more unique to fit my style.