By Katie Murphy
Kathy Thomas has crafted an impressive reputation in the dynamic world of wedding photography. She worked her way up through the fashion retail industry to become a high-level operation and talent acquisition expert for Lucky Brand Jeans and Louis Vuitton. Shortly after Kathy’s own wedding, she invested in a camera and began her self-taught photography quest, which would land her leaving luxury retail to start her next adventure as a solopreneur as she created Kathy Thomas Photography in 2013. Ten years later, Kathy has built KTP into a seven-figure global brand. KTP operates out of studios in both Nashville and Orlando, with a clientele line-up from Music Legends, NFL and NBA players, luxury brands, Olympic athletes, and wedding and lifestyle clients worldwide.
Kathy founded KTP in Orlando, Florida, but the brand developed into its current global company after relocating to Nashville in 2017. Nashville opened the doors to diversify her photography portfolio and is also where Kathy decided to open Tennessee’s first co-working space for women, Collective615. Today, Kathy Thomas Photography is an internationally published brand that has taken her all over the world to capture weddings, corporate events and family portraits. Keep reading to hear from Kathy on how to optimize the photography experience for YOUR wedding day!
What advice do you have for couples who are struggling to pick a photography style?
Great question. I believe it’s easy to get wrapped up in the details in photographs that leave couples swooning over gowns, shoes and venue. They get visually entertained by the things versus the style of the photography. With that observation, I would recommend couples look for a style that they aren’t only attracted to now but will feel proud to have as their final product in five or ten years. With editing and style trends in photography changing monthly, it’s easy for couples to get wrapped up in the now and forget their wedding photography should, in my opinion, be as timeless as their marriage.
What advice do you have for couples on their wedding day regarding photography?Your connection with your photography team is as important as the images they will create for you. I recommend finding someone you trust, feel confident having with you during intimate moments, and, most importantly, a photographer who takes the time to understand your wedding vision.
What questions should couples ask their potential wedding photographers?I believe the questions you should ask your photographer will vary greatly based on the level of talent you choose to hire for your wedding. A great rule of thumb is to adjust expectations based on the investment you are making for the person responsible for documenting all the details, emotions, portraits, chaos, and intimate moments that make up your day. If you plan to make a small investment in photography, you may have to adjust your expectations. A few things that may be important to ask are: How many team members will they bring on the day of? Does the photographer cover welcome parties, rehearsal dinners and other wedding activities? What is the expected post-processing turnaround time to receive your full wedding gallery? Is the photographer insured? What plan does your photographer have to ensure exceptional indoor and outdoor images, and most importantly, do they have a rain plan? How do they plan to manage the day to document all moments and formalities? When selecting a wedding venue, what aspects should brides consider to ensure it complements their photography preferences? If you have more than one photographer, do they plan to split up during the wedding to cover all activities?
How important is the location when choosing a wedding venue for photography?
The most important aspect of the location is your desired wedding photography style and whether your photography team can execute that style in the venue you select. Also, ensure there is space on the property to photograph large wedding parties, family groupings, and newlywed photos that fit your needs. Considering photography style: If you desire dark and moody, light and airy, modern and editorial, that will be greatly affected by the location, venue, and style of photography in that environment. Booking a natural light photographer at a ballroom or church wedding may not yield the desired results you wish.
Are there specific or underrated moments during the wedding day that couples should make sure their photographer captures?
Weddings are unique to every couple; sharing your wedding vision with your photographer will help them be better prepared to document small moments that tell the story of your celebration while also photographing the formal events. One mistake I often find couples make is planning their ceremony time before considering whether they want newlywed and family photos during daylight hours or at night. Another thing to consider for outdoor ceremonies is how the sunlight affects the light on the couple and wedding guests, as this can alter the outcome of images significantly if the sunlight is harsh on certain parts or people during the ceremony.
What are some common mistakes couples make when it comes to wedding photography, and how can they avoid them?
Not properly planning your photography timeline to fulfill all the moments the couple wants documented. Failing to have a candid conversation on how much time photography will take during the wedding day. Not having planned out family group photos and sharing those combinations with your photographer. Trusting your photographer on the decisions they make for the day to ensure you have extraordinary photos. Photographers must take into consideration lighting, background, time to move spaces, and so much more. Trust them!
How can couples incorporate their personal style and preferences into the overall theme of their wedding photography?
By hiring a photographer that fits their style. If you desire dark and moody, research photographers who produce this type of editing. Couples who want candid shots only and want the photographer to be behind the scenes the entire time are a particular niche photography style, so finding someone who does documentary style well would fulfill their needs. My clients hire me for my editorial, candid imagery with my modern style of editing. They want clean images that are dynamic and reflect the colors and emotions of the day in their purest form.
Is there any other advice you’d like to give based on your experience?
TRUST your photographer! You will have your images forever; this will be the only time you are documenting your love story with all your loved one’s present.