BYRON AND WENDY ROE THE ART OF TOGETHERNESS

Q: What got you started with photography in the first place?

Byron: Looking back, my interest in photography came from my interest in looking at pictures in general. As a kid I can remember going to the public library with my parents and I would immediately run to the magazines (nothing changes with age) and choose one that had lots of photos. One of my favorites was, and still is, National Geographic. I would concentrate on people’s faces and create an image in my head that would help transport me to what I thought they were feeling emotionally and physically. I find that my mind/body connection is a direct and very powerful link through images I see. For Wendy, in college years ago, she was a rower. Her first photography experience was capturing the UNC-rowing team in the height of fall color.

Q: What got you into wedding photojournalism?

I love working with people to create unusual scenes but there is nothing better than being able to stand back and capture absolute raw emotion. You can try to evoke this in a controlled environment but as good as the photographer/model relationship is, the purity of instantaneous emotion can never be achieved to the level that a pure candid photo can display. The idea of showing emotions from anyone and everything occurring during a wedding opens up a huge door of opportunities and the rules of what to photograph are thrown out the window. On the other hand, there are times during a wedding where I can work with the wedding party to create a shot that looks amazing but would be extremely lucky to get if I were shooting in a pure photo-journalistic style. I want to incorporate both of these concepts into my synergistic image creation.

Q: What and/or who has influenced you or helped sculpt your individual shooting style?

I would say that my transition of style has come from years of learning what I don’t like about certain photos. I can’t get out of my head the photo studios that were more cattle call’s than art. I think it’s really easy to dislike photography if all you remember about it is awful school and family portrait sessions with a photographer who needed to understand people more than the equipment.

I would say that my life experiences have influenced my style more than anything else. I have always been the person looking for excitement to stimulate my body in one way or another. Years of dancing at nightclubs and sports have shaped in my head what I find intriguing about life. Part of the stimulating nature of these activities for me has been my love of finding new and interesting ways of using my surroundings. A major part of finding these ways was though the constant pictures developed in my brain. For me, photos of the unusual have always been the most intriguing and I want to offer my viewers those same feelings of wonder, (wondering what a person in a photo is feeling and experiencing, or how it would feel if I or someone else was there).

I also love the world of fashion as another creative outlet of inspiration for me during a wedding. Unusual angles, props,lighting, etc. all go into creating a photograph that shakes the soul. As a wedding photographer, I believe my number one goal is to capture the bride looking more beautiful and amazing than ever before and through a combination of shooting styles from pure photojournalism to a more controlled atmosphere, I know this will occur.

Interview Continued…