Bangor-based Tony Llerena
does it all—and has embarked on an ambitious project in 2012 to capture a portrait a day! We asked him some questions about his wedding photography business, and he put his camera down long enough to give us some great answers.
How did you get started in photography?
I’ve been learning about photography off and on for about 12 years but it wasn’t until about 7 years ago, when I took a college course at UMaine, when I actually began moving forward and developing as a photographer. Since then, my wife has had to tolerate me because it is all I talk about and do.
What do you love about wedding photography?
Wedding photography is very personal and emotional for me. I’ve been to many weddings and I still find myself tearing up at some of them. This day is, for many, one of the happiest moments of their lives and I’m unbelievably lucky to be a part of it.
What is the biggest challenge you face when shooting a wedding?
The biggest challenge would have to be making sure to get all of the shots you want to get. Weddings can be long and complicated events with many moving parts, so there is definitely a lot to capture.
What should clients know about your style of photography?
I’m really easy going and I like to have fun. I’m known to tell really cheesy jokes to lighten the mood and don’t take myself too seriously. I believe my personality comes through in my images, which is why my subjects are typically having a great time.
When you're not behind the camera, what do you like to do?
I enjoy spending time with my wife and my three children. I love to travel and have been fortunate enough to travel to exotic places such as Skiathos, Greece and Tokyo, Japan in the last couple of years.
How can the couple help YOU on their wedding day?
The couple can help me by relaxing and having a great time. I don’t want to have to think on the wedding day. There’s not enough time. That’s why meeting and planning beforehand is vital.
How has your photography style changed over the years?
My photography style has definitely changed as I expand and develop my knowledge technically and grow artistically. I’m not nearly as hesitant to get out of my comfort zone and push my boundaries as I was early on.
What sorts of things inspire you when you pick up your camera?
I look at the works of photographic masters such as Richard Avedon and Henri Cartier-Bresson. I’m a photography nerd and have a great reverence for the masters that came before me. They knew what they were doing. There’s a reason why great art stands the test of time.
Where will your business be in the next 5 years?
I’d like my business to eventually become a household name. One of my goals would be to get published more often and travel more. I’m beginning to develop destination-wedding markets around the country (I recently traveled to Florida) so this goal may actually happen sooner rather than later!