I have some VERY exciting news to share with you, my dear clients and friends. The most common question I hear from my clients is, “Who will your second shooter be at our wedding?” The answer to that question is Jon Lemon, and I think you’re going to adore him.
I met Jon in March at Justin & Mary’s Walk Through a Wedding workshop. He mentioned on the Facebook page for the workshop that he was looking to second shoot for a while. I just happened to be looking for a more permanent second shooter to bring on, so I asked him to second shoot Lizzy & Jesse’s wedding with me in June to see how our styles meshed and if we would work well together. I was really thrilled with his work on their wedding – he sees things very differently than I do, and that’s exactly what you want in a second shooter, I think. I don’t want photographs of the same thing I’m capturing – I want new and unique angles, and that’s what Jon brought to the wedding. Jon will be shooting the rest of my weddings this year with me, so I want you get to know him a little bit. I took some time to ask him a few questions…
Where did your interest in wedding photography come from?
“Before 2010, my photography focused pretty exclusively on travel and street scenes. I was so uncomfortable with shooting portraits (especially of strangers) that I pretty much avoided it outright. I’m a very outgoing guy, but back then I would never know what to say to the subject or how to pose them and the whole thing would degrade into this awkward semi-silent dance.
At the beginning of 2010 I started a Project 365 (taking a photo a day for 1 year) and I quickly realized that I needed to start shooting portraits to keep myself interested and produce better work. I slowly but surely started to take more portraits and as I got better at it, I became more comfortable having people in front of my camera. Then I eventually realized…I love shooting portraits!
I honestly had never considered wedding photography, but in February of 2010 I got engaged and started to get curious about the industry. A few months later I met some people involved with FStoppers.com, who are mostly wedding photographers, and started to network with them. I got married in August — which only increased my desire to give weddings a try — and finally in October I second shoot my first wedding with Lee Morris, one of the founders of the website. It was an amazing experience that solidified my desire to be a wedding photographer.”
Who or what inspires you as an artist?
“I’m a very visual learner, so I’m always ingesting ideas and concepts to file away. I’ve always been a big movie watcher, so I draw a lot of ideas from the visual styles of films (both the classics and the odd cult favorite). Television has even offered up some really good visual inspiration lately, with shows like Lost and Mad Men being some of my recent favorites.
Living in New York is a great source of inspiration on its own, especially when biking around the city at night through the canyons of skyscrapers or over the East River bridges with Manhattan emerging from the water. I also love to escape it all and go on a good hike, turning off my phone and leaving civilization behind. I think we all have a lot of overload in our lives and it’s really refreshing to get away, even if it’s just for a day.”
Tell me a little bit about your approach to wedding photography.
“I love floating between being a fly on the wall and being highly visible and instructive. My earlier years in photography gave me a keen eye for detail shots, so I tend to produce a lot of those on a wedding day. When shooting the wedding party and guests, I like to get candid shots where I’m concentrating more on a moment rather than a person and I also like to get posed shots where I have a bit more control over the look and feel of the image. I also love the look that off-camera flash provides to a portrait, so I usually drag out a studio strobe to get some dramatic shots.”
Why do you like second shooting?
“Although I’ve been a photographer for a long time, wedding photography is a completely different animal than any other field. Second shooting allows me to learn the ropes around the workflow of the day, how to create and deliver final products to the clients, and how to successfully manage a smattering of different personalities on a high-stress day. Second shooting also provides me with the luxury of being able to experiment with my shots if I have a crazy new idea I want to try out, without risk to the client’s end product.
Naturally, second shooting also lets me build up my portfolio so I can work towards booking my own clients in the future.”
Other than an awesome photographer, who are you?
“I’m a pretty active guy, so when I don’t have the camera up to my face, I’m usually biking around the city, rock climbing, playing ultimate frisbee, or hopping on a plane to go explore the world. My wife is definitely the chef of the family, but I have a few all-star recipes that I whip up to let her know I still got it.
I’m originally from Texas, so “y’all” is not an infrequent word to hear coming out of my mouth. This also means that I’m mandated by law to take charge of any BBQ that I’m a part of and drink delicious Shiner Bock beer whenever possible.”
Jon brings so much creativity and energy to every shoot and wedding. I am absolutely thrilled to have him as part of my wedding day team, and I think you all will really enjoy working with him as well.