I have enjoyed working with Siegel’s Portrait Design for many years. I am excited to tell you about Rick and Lee’s Wedding Photography Business. I sent them a list of questions, and Rick quickly responded.
Let’s get to know them!
Tell Me About You
Where are you from?
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, I have lived in California since I was 14.
Who is your family?
My wife, Lee, my sister, Barbara, and our beloved Maggie who is about to turn 16!
What are your non-wedding-related interests?
Family of course! I love to travel, especially to Brazil to visit Lee’s (and my) family. I also love to exercise (to keep myself young!)
What do you do to maintain work-life balance?
First thing in the morning, before I do anything else, I head to the gym and put myself though a series of challenging exercise classes to ensure I am prepared to tackle the rigors of wedding photography on the weekends.
On the rare days that we don’t have a wedding, we like to spend time with our girl Maggie and enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.
Going Jet Skiing has always been a favorite passion of ours as we love the local lakes!
In one or two words how would you describe yourself?
The best friend you would ever want to have. (More than 1 or 2 words; sorry!)
What Inspired You to Become a Wedding Photographer?
This is a tough question as it has a lot of components to it but I will be as brief as possible.
I always loved photography, as early as high school as the official Yearbook photographer where I developed my own film in a darkroom. My classmates at school thought that my favorite cologne was the scent of darkroom chemicals!
I was fortunate to meet one of the best wedding and portrait photographers in the United States named George Delgado, and he took me under his wing and taught me all about the industry.
I worked as his assistant for 3 years before opening my own business. I went with him on photo shoots and assisted him during weddings gaining valuable experience that I never would have learned on my own.
To be candid, I hated weddings as a guest. Sitting around and waiting for something to happen. But as a photographer? That was totally different! We had tons of stuff to do. The action was infectious!
We met all kinds of people and we were making them happy! I knew early on that this was the path for me.
How long have you been in business?
We just celebrated our 29th year in business!
What is your favorite part of your job?
The people. Creating special memories ranks up there for the couple and their families but for me, meeting new people every weekend is what keeps us going.
Knowing that we are doing something very special for them that they will carry through life with is pretty cool too!
Who is your ideal client?
One that values our service and knows that these memories will be theirs for the rest of their lives. We recently had a bride tell us that they were looking forward to sharing their photos with their children – that were not even born yet!
Which Other Wedding Professional Team Members Do You Work Especially Closely With?
Our part of the wedding gives us the opportunity to work with just about everyone:
- The venue to understand the boundaries of where we can and can’t go to take photos;
- The wedding planners to know exactly what and when the events are going to take place;
- The catering staff to know when the dinner will be ready (so we bring the couple back on time):
- The DJ to help make the reception run smoothly;
- And, of course, the Officiant during the ceremony to learn the cues of when anything special takes place.
Can you tell me about a favorite wedding experience, or a major calamity that’s now a great story!
We have photographed over 1200 events during our career. I can’t say that I have a favorite story or experience to share that stands out amongst the rest.
But I can say that we have been blessed to have had the trust of so many people to do something so important on the best day of their lives!
What One Piece of Advice Would You Give Couples Who Are Planning Their Wedding?
Hire a professional. Be willing to invest in someone that will follow thorough with their promise.
Just because a vendor is cheaper doesn’t make them a better value. Don’t take my word for it, read the thousands of horror stories on the internet of budget vendors, (Photographers, DJ’s and yes, ahem, officiants) and how they ruined their day with poor planning or worse yet, just that they didn’t care about the clients!
Someone very wise once said, “If you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur!”
How Can People Learn More About You and See Your Work?
Check out our website, and follow us at Siegel’s Portrait Design on Facebook and Instagram!