Photographer Interview: Seattle “Get Published” Workshop Speaker Clane Gessel Photography

We’re excited to announce that the talented Clane Gessel of Clane Gessel Photography will join us at the Seattle Get Published Workshop for professional wedding and lifestyle photographers. He’ll share insight from his experiences in the industry and advice on how to get the shots editors want to feature!

Clane Gessel Photography has been a member of Two Bright Lights since 2011. You may have seen his work featured on The Knot, Borrowed & Blue and Occasions… just to name a few!

We sat down with Clane to get the skinny on his studio, but if you want to learn even more, register today to join us for the complimentary workshop in Seattle on May 19th!  

Groom carries bride wearing veil by Clane Gessel Photography
Photography by: Clane Gessel Photography

TBL: How did you get your start as a wedding photographer?

CG: In 2003 I bought my first camera. I started shooting on my own everyday because I immediately fell in love with the medium. After photographing my first wedding for a friend in 2004, while working for The Seattle Times, I realized quickly this was my passion. I went full-time in 2006 and haven’t looked back!  

TBL: How would you describe your style as a photographer? What inspires your work?

CG: My work and style is an extension of who I am. You can’t take a picture without leaving a piece of yourself in the image. My couple’s love inspires my work. It’s the best job in the world to be with two people on the best day of their lives. I love what I do, and if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.

TBL: How has the industry changed over the past 10 years that you’ve been in the industry?

CG: Over the last 10 years, the industry has exploded with opportunity for those with a distinctive vision and passion for weddings. Access to professional equipment and professional editing tools has never been easier or cheaper, and more people than ever are pursuing a career in wedding photography. Getting published is even more important than before because it helps separate you from the competition, and Two Bright Lights is an integral to that process.

TBL: How do you craft a submission? What types of shots do you make sure to include?

CG: Submissions are the story of your couple’s love. Use Two Bright Lights to get familiar with the different editors and learn what kind of weddings they like to publish. Shoot with a certain publication or style in mind, and you’ll be more successful.

Details are also the key to a good submission. Be sure to capture all of the personal touches that the couple and planner included. Shots I always try to get are centerpieces, aisle (with the room empty), shoes, cake, escort cards, bridal party, bouquet, favors and the exit car.

Bride and groom kiss under floral arbor by Clane Gessel Photography
Photography by: Clane Gessel Photography

TBL: Any top tips on how to get published for those photographers new to submitting?

CG: If you’re new to submitting, Two Bright Lights is an easy way to get started. Figure out which publications have a style that suits your own aesthetic. Submit knowing that you won’t be a fit for everyone, but the more time you spend on Two Bright Lights, the more you’ll get to know the blogs and magazines that are right for you.

TBL: What are common mistakes new photographers make?

CG: The most common mistake new photographers make is shooting each wedding the same way. Each couple is vastly different, and each wedding is its own unique story. If you keep a shot list, use it only as a guide. Build a relationship with your couple in order to showcase their unique personalities through your photography; that takes a wedding album from good to great.

Bride and groom in front of Space Needle by Clane Gessel Photography
Photography by: Clane Gessel Photography

Thanks Clane for sharing such great advice on how to get published. Seattle photographers, hear more from him and our other industry experts this May 19th at the Four Seasons Seattle. Stay tuned for additional  tour dates!

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