Portrait and wedding photographer Jordan Voth began his career shooting high school portraits of friends almost a decade ago. It wasn't until he was asked to shoot his cousin's wedding that he discovered his passion for wedding photography. Jordan has been traveling the world and refining his craft of capturing rare moments ever since. The Seattle-based photographer recently traveled to Greece to shoot the story of newlyweds Emily and Tate with his leather Union Street messenger in tow. The striking and romantic island of Santorini was the perfect backdrop - see some of his shots and learn more about Jordan below:
Jordan carries his Union Street Messenger in Santorini, Greece.
ONA: How did you get in to portrait and wedding photography?
I got into portrait photography about 7 years ago. I had just graduated high school and was starting college. Because of this I knew quite a few people still in high school so naturally senior portraits were one of the first things I began shooting. After shooting that for awhile, I slowly transitioned over into fashion and lifestyle work. At the time, I had no interest in photographing weddings. I felt they were too stressful and I wasn't confident enough that I would do a good job. A couple years later, a good friend of mine and my cousin both had weddings and asked me to photograph them. After shooting those two weddings I moved into wedding photography full-time. I still do the occasional fashion/editorial shoot on the side as personal work but 90% of my work now is with couples.
ONA: What camera do you typically shoot with?
I shoot with two Canon 5d Mark II's. I've been shooting with them for about 6+ years now.
ONA: What equipment do you carry while traveling?
I travel with a Pelican 1510 that holds three 5d Mark II's and the 24L, 35L, 50L, 85L & 135L. I also carry two Canon 580ex II's as well. I bring my Union Street bag with me which carries my laptop, iPad, charges & other misc accessories. It's a great setup to have and has worked really well for me.
ONA: Describe your photography style.
I would definitely say that my style is a mix of editorial and lifestyle. I tend to be the fly on the wall at weddings but incorporate a bit of poses into the portrait sessions. I love the outdoors so I'm always trying to find unique ways to incorporate the scenery into my photos.
ONA: Has your approach changed over the years? If so, how?
I wouldn't say it's changed a ton but I think I've gotten better at being more aware of what's going on on a wedding day and trying to anticipate those really beautiful moments that happen in the blink of an eye.
ONA: What is one of the biggest challenges you face as a wedding photographer?
With how much work goes into photographing a wedding it's really important for me to align myself and my brand with couples who have the same mindset as me and value the idea of my job being more than just a wedding photographer. Finding people who hire me because of who I am and not just because I can push a button is something that is very important to me and one of the challenges. If I didn't do that, I would get burnt out photographing weddings very quickly. It was a bigger challenge for me when I was starting out in weddings but is still something I think about at all times.
ONA: If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring photographers, what would it be?
Take the time to make mistakes and experiment. It's so common these days with how many photographers there are for photographers to want to be really good, really quickly. Part of the journey is experimenting with different post processing methods or different lenses, cameras, etc while shooting. I feel like a lot of people compare where they're at with where others' are at (sometimes with others who have been doing this for 10+ years) and get down on themselves because they're not at that same level. But that's okay. Everyone has their own journey and everyone should embrace that. As long as one is committed to learning and growing, they'll get to wherever they want to be.
ONA: What was the most memorable moment from your trip?
I did three different shoots there with the couple and each one was in a different part of the island. We woke up super early one morning to visit a red rock beach for sunrise. We almost got lost walking over to it because it was still pitch dark out outside. We ended up finding the path and made it down to the beach. Looking out was a beautiful view of the water with land jetting out on both sides. Behind was a cliff of brittle red rock. It's a popular area for beach-goers but because we were there at sunrise, we had the entire place to ourselves. Some photos that I'm really excited about were taken there and was definitely a memorable part of the trip.
ONA: Favorite city you visited?
We stayed in Oía, which was really cool. I enjoyed that spot the most just because there was so much to see and do for sunrise and sunset. I woke up early every morning and would walk around the streets before they became crowded later on in the day.
ONA: Where is your dream shooting location?
Santorini was easily on my top 3 places I would love to shoot. It's just so different than anywhere else in the world. Pretty exciting that I can cross that one off the list. New Zealand would also be another. I'll be there next week so I'm very much looking forward to that.
ONA: What do you enjoy doing aside from photography? Any other hobbies?
Spending time with my girlfriend and our dog is most important to me. We'll often go on hikes in the Cascades or take trips out to the coast. We recently opened up a retail store together as well so it's been really fun to see that finally come to life.