Business Name: Zoe Litaker Photography
Where are you based out of? Durham NC and Seattle WA
Are you currently a part-time or full-time photographer? Full-Time
What is your predominant photographic specialization? Dance and Weddings
What camera(s) do you currently shoot with? 5D MKIII – two at a time!
How would you define your style?
I would define my style as a blend of fine art and photojournalism. I love the challenge of capturing an incredible split-second moment in a gorgeous composition.
What motivated you to become a photographer?
I fell in love with photography when I was 13. Some people are best with words or other forms of communication, but I am best with images. When I picked up the camera, I felt like I could finally really share how I experienced the world with other people! I still love capturing the beauty of the world and sharing it with others.
What is it that you try to convey with your work?
My work is about creating and sharing a story. Whether I am working with a wedding couple or dancers, I am always asking, what’s the story here? Is it an urban dancer exploring a crazy location? Is it the shared laughter right after a couple gets married? In every case, I focus on the narrative.
How do you accomplish that?
I accomplish this through a variety of ways. The first is to know what story I am telling. For weddings, it’s the story of the whole day! But within each part of the day, getting ready, the ceremony, the reception, there are hundreds of smaller stories happening. I use composition and framing to tell those stories. Of course, who and what is in the image is the most important thing. However, almost as important is the lighting and composition. I use the rule of thirds, leading lines, depth of field, reflections, shutter speed, and location of lights to shape my composition so that it immediately draws your eye to the most important part of the photograph.
Have you had a photographer inspire your work, and if so, who and why?
Absolutely! Some of my favorites are Jodi Cobb (National Geographic photographer), Sebastião Salgado, Stephen Klein, and Jonas Bendiksen (especially his satellites series). Most of the photographers I am really drawn to are documentary photographers. They are incredible at creating visual series that are not only stunning but tell powerful stories. For fine art and compositional ideas, I often go back into art history to look at El Greco, Rembrandt, Crivelli and other painters.
What is your most memorable accomplishment so far in your photography career?
One of my most memorable accomplishments so far has been to photograph a 14 hour wedding day that included gorgeous Zimbabwean traditions as well as American traditions. Making sure I created perfect images throughout the whole day was tiring, but completely worth it! They were thrilled with their photographs.
What is one thing you have learned during your career?
It’s so hard to pick just one! But a very important lesson is that you need a team to create the best work possible. Assistants, second photographers, makeup artists, florists, caterers, and of course, lovely clients are what make for amazing photographs.
Which Photographer Supply Company products do you currently use?
I currently use the Cork & Bottle USB Flash Drive, the wooden USB’s, the Slim Book Cloth Linen 4×6 Print + USB Box Holder, the Rough Cut Fabric Matboards and the Wooden 3.5×3.5 USB Flash Drive Box.
How have Photographer Supply Company products helped your business?
Photography Supply & Co has definitely allowed me to provide more beautiful and fun products to my clients. In this business, as in many others, providing the best service and most beautiful products is really important! I love giving my clients perfectly packaged presents. I also now send matted prints with their USB, which they love.