Our next photographer in our spotlight series is Michael Purvis of Purvis Photography, Inc. Purvis Photography is a husband and wife team that specializes in editorial-style photography, which I might add, is one of my absolute favorite styles of wedding photography. After just a few minutes of browsing their wedding gallery, it's quite clear to see that these two have a gift! Michael was kind enough to sit down with us recently and give us a bit more insight into Purvis Photography. Check out his Q + A session with us below:
1. First off, tell us a little about yourself:
Well, we are a husband and wife team (Michael & Sommer) for the ultra wedding which I've been specializing in since 1998. Michael, has two degrees in photography & fine art from both the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1995 and University of Pittsburgh in 2002. Sommer and Michael were married in Mexico in Playa del Carmen on April 8, 2008 on the beach with 20 friends and family around us for a week, it was perfect. We then had 125 guest to our backyard pool area 6 months later for a full reception with the works, another dream come true for both of us. We may have an anniversary party every year! : )
Our studio was located around Pittsburgh a few different places. We started off in a small place in Squirrel Hill, then upgraded to a larger place on South Highland Ave in Shadyside, then found that we needed a lot more space, so we found a very large home about ohhhh .09 miles over the county line in Westmorland on the Allegheny river in a town near my family called Lower Burrell, PA. We love our neighborhood, we love our large 5800 sq foot space to have our business in the home. We have a full studio here, consultation gallery room, proofing theater room for large families to visit during premier night for the week after the honeymoon and have two editing room suites for our editing. Our dog Chile is our team mascot, she loves visitors too! : )
We have photographed in 11 years around 490 weddings, but our latest view on weddings is to only photograph 25 per year now, to offer the very best of quality to only a select ultra group of clients that want the very best of photography for there one very, very important day.
We also have a spin-off company that we created last year that sub-contracts choice photographers that we know and trust to handle the more common types of photography that we feel is higher quality than many other options out there, we have 8 photographers on staff for that venture right now.
2. How did you get started in photography?
I was on a family vacation with my parents and my sister Julie in 1987, I was in the 8th grade and we started in San Franciso, CA and took a three week drive down to San Diego. My dad and mom are amateur photographers and inspired me to invest my allowance money into some Canon cameras and three lenses. Well, let's just say that trip with 29 rolls of film got the gears turning! From there I went to a summer photography camps and built a darkroom in my basement where I spent many evenings printing my artwork. It later progressed to college and so on. I guess you can say I've been living my dream since I was a boy, and never looked back. : )
3. Describe your wedding photography approach and style.
Our work is an open style with an emphasis in candid documentary and candid photojournalism, but our forte is in editorial-style photography, where we can have more control over the lighting and helping out the "typical" bride that doesn't know much about modeling or how to enhance her features.
4. What do you like best about your job?
Freedom to express myself with my vision and design, and the thrill of making others happy with our craft.
5. If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?
I always had a dream to drive a taxi cab... i just love to meet new people and learn about their lives. I find myself jealous of the TV show "Ca$hCab". : )
6. What is one thing you absolutely cannot live without?
My wife Sommer #1, and my cameras #2.
7. If you could photograph a wedding for anyone, who would it be?
Oprah. I'd rock that out.
To view more of Michael + Sommer's amazing work, be sure to head on over to their website.
Thanks for chatting with us Michael! Best of luck this '09 wedding season...we can't wait to see what beautiful images you create this season!
All images courtesy of Purvis Photography, Inc.