McCallister Photo featured on myKPW

Friday, January 15, 2010

I am very excited to be a part of the new This online service for brides and grooms is "revolutionizing how weddings are planned," as Kate Parker puts it. Kate and her team have built the ultimate wedding resource and vendor directory, one that was developed and designed by a wedding planner. I am listed in the site under Maine and Massachusetts photographers, and am thrilled to be part of this community of professionals on the ground floor.

As part of the launch, and ongoing media around the service, I was the featured vendor yesterday on the myKPW Blog. Check out the post and interview here. I have also included the text of the interview beneath the image below.

Maine and Massachusetts Wedding Photographer: McCallister Photography, Vendor Spotlight

Maine and Massachusetts wedding photographer, McCallister Photography, is featured this week in the vendor spotlight on my Kate Parker Wedding. Eric McCallister, of McCallister Photography, started off his business with an adventurous edge; photographing rock climbers! Now doing wedding photography, McCallister Photography shares a bit about themselves, their work, and their business. Check them out below!

Number of years in business?
I began my professional photography career in 2001 shooting rock climbers. It was by no means a way to make a living, but I was getting published in several of the niche climbing magazines and selling work commercially within the industry. I eventually found myself doing studio product work and location shoots, particularly within the climbing and fire rescue and rope access arenas. I photographed my first wedding as a second shooter in 2002 or 2003 in Salem, MA, and had the great pleasure of shooting several wedding here and there in the following years. In 2008 my daughter was due. This amazingly good life change was, however, going to negatively affect my travel, so I really wasn’t going to be able to keep up with the climbing and location shoots. So, with baby on the way I started looking seriously at wedding photography and jumped in during 2008. Noticeably less risky (i.e. not hanging from a building or cliff hundreds of feet off the ground), weddings have proven just as challenging and exciting for me. In my commercial work I had significant control over location, lighting, etc., and in weddings I don’t. I try to approach each event with the same attention to the environment around me though, but instead of hours I often only have seconds to create my image. It can be intense, and I love it!

What makes you stand out?
There are so many super-talented photographers, with so many unique and interesting shooting styles, working in New England that it takes more than quality images to make your work stand out. I believe then, that you also need to provide top-shelf service in all aspects of your offering, including:

  • client relations, communications and general responsiveness
  • on-site professionalism (of not only myself but the other photographer(s) I may bring to an event)
  • being easy to work with (not only with my clients but the other professionals at the event)
  • consistency of work
  • album design and materials
Because all of my engagements to-date have come either from client referrals or other photographers or vendors I have worked with, I like to believe that I am providing all of the above. I tell my clients that from the moment I receive a retainer deposit I am available to help answer any questions, give opinions, and generally help in whatever way I can as they prepare for their big day.

What’s the favorite part of your work?
To me, the favorite part of what I do is the fact that every day is completely unique. Sure there are particular shots I personally like a lot and try to capture, and ones I “have” to capture, but the fact that every person, every place, every image is unique means this work never gets stale. Also, as an artist, and having a graphic design and advertising background, it is ingrained in me to try and tell a story with my images. During the wedding day I record that story as it unfolds and then truly enjoy retelling that story to my clients through slide shows and albums. Beyond that, I love having that “ah ha” moment when I find one image from the day that in my opinion encapsulates the entire event all by itself. I love that.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I spend as much of my free time as I can with my 18 month-old daughter and my wife. Outside of that, what’s left revolves almost exclusively around rock and ice climbing. My wife says I am singularly focused, and I guess I am. If I have an entirely free day you’ll probably find me climbing. Otherwise, I have a climbing gym in the basement and use it religiously. I also try to squeeze in Spring and Fall climbing trips out West, with Fall being the most challenging time for me to get away. Winter is great because I can get in a ton of days ice climbing since this is New England’s typical wedding “off season.”

Preferred wedding locations or venues:
Picking a favorite locations is tough because I’ve yet to meet a venue or location I didn’t like. From private lake-side homes to large downtown Boston hotels, each venue offers unique opportunities and challenges. And, most venues that I have been to on multiple occasions have always been arranged, decorated or lit differently on each occasion. From elegant churches to rustic farm fields, downtown sidewalks to rocky coast lines, I like them all. I suppose if pressed to pick one standout location, it would have to be a wedding I shot on a ranch in the foothills of the Wind River mountains in Wyoming. The location was totally unique coming from the East and utterly breathtaking.

Which charity(s) are you supporting and why?
I believe that it is very important to give back, and especially within your local community. To that end, I volunteer with several charities and organizations in the NH seacoast region. These include, acting as a member of the planning committee for the American Cancer Society’s Portsmouth Relay for Life event for the past three years, participating in the United Way’s Day of Caring a couple of times each year, and providing pro bono services for Community Child Care Center of Portsmouth for their annual Dance for the Stars fundraiser event. For this event, I’ve designed their invitation package and procured donated printing from the fantastic local printer RAM Printing in East Hampstead, NH. More broadly, and as a climber, I also believe strongly in the need to protect our outdoor spaces, and have been a long-time supporter of the Access Fund and the New River Alliance of Climbers (NRAC). For the latter, I designed and self-published with a good friend a climbers’ guidebook to a section of the New River Gorge in West Virginia, and we donated all profits to NRAC to help seed the organization and launch their stewardship efforts.