It’s about time we introduced you to our friend and Charleston wedding photographer, Priscilla, of Priscilla Thomas Photography. Time and time again, Priscilla delivers beautiful imagery to Lowcountry brides but she always goes a step further to truly create a memorable experience for the Bride and Groom. She says, “If you just want a pretty picture, then we may not be a fit. But if you want an experience, a visual story crafted with your unique moments, then let me grab my camera and we can see where the journey takes us…” Um, yes please! We are so proud to have her as part of the A Lowcountry Wedding family and are excited to share her story with all of you today! Give a big ol’ welcome to Priscilla Thomas Photography…
Tell us a little bit about yourself…and by a little, we mean a lot :)
- I was born on a U.S. Air Force base in Keflavik, Iceland, to parents native to Mississippi and Louisiana. My early childhood was spent in Alamogordo, NM, before my family returned to some southern comfort in Charleston, SC.
- Photography has been a part of my life since adolescence when I worked on the school newspaper and yearbook. During college, I contributed editorial op-ed pieces to The George Street Observer at the College of Charleston and continued to embrace photographic ventures. After college, I started freelancing in photography and writing in Charleston, SC.
- My passion for photography, visual storytelling, and culture has also fueled a love of travel. Since my junior year in college, I’ve traveled to India, Turkey, Greece, Mexico, Germany, and Jordan.
- I received a B.A. in Religious Studies from the College of Charleston. Recently, I completed the coursework for a M.A. in Visual Communication with a concentration in Photojournalism and cognate in Multimedia at one of the top programs in the nation at Ohio University.
- When I’m not photographing, I enjoy reading, short story writing, and such guilty pleasure as This American Life, Samoa Girl Scout Cookies, and indie films.
My childhood was spent in two places. Alamogordo, NM and Charleston, SC.
College of Charleston/B.A. in Religious Studies
Ohio University/M.A. in Visual Communication with a concentration in Photojournalism (still have to defend a master's project...maybe in 2014?)
One crazy fun fact we wouldn't know about you...
I was born in Iceland...and still loathe snow nonetheless.
Give us a little background on how your business came to life...
The business definitely wasn't planned. After graduating from College of Charleston in 2007, I had originally planned to go abroad and teach English. But like a lot of things in life, the plan changed. Instead of traveling, I found myself working full time in an accounting office. Though I enjoyed my coworkers and was fortunate to have great bosses, that professional field just wasn't for me. I considered it cubicle servitude and couldn't imagine doing that for forty years. What eventually led me to photography was going back to my media roots. In high school, I had been on the yearbook and newspaper staffs. During college, I contributed a few op-ed pieces to the George Street Observer. So, I wanted to go back that field, but I wanted to give proper attention to the photos as well. Usually the photographs were just afterthoughts or something to go with the words. But I always love a great story, and a visual one can be more captivating than a 10,000 word novel. So, in 2008 I picked up a camera with a new purpose. It wasn't going to be a mere hobby anymore. I started seeing my mentor, Mikayla Mackaness, and photographing every chance I could. In 2010, I found myself moving to Athens, Ohio, to attend a graduate program in visual communication for photojournalism at Ohio University. And then last June, I moved back to Charleston. I honestly don't consider what I do a business. It's a service. It's a privilege. To be chosen to document a moment in someone's life, whether it's a wedding or just daily life, is an honor and a great responsibility that I do not take lightly. The business stuff just comes with making this a career, but the people I meet and telling visual stories is the reason I stay in this business.
What is the one tip you wish you could tell every bride?
I can only tell one?! I'm working on a welcome packet to tell them a lot of tips! I think one of the most important tips is to never forget what your wedding day is about - the love each of you have for one another. Planning a wedding can definitely be overwhelming. And I think in some ways social media has amplified that. Brides are inundated with wedding related information - example: Pinterest. So don't get too wrapped up in the burlap runners and coral stained ribbon. Plan a wedding that reflects your fiance and you and focus on enjoying your special day.
How can a bride come prepared to her first appointment with you?
The first appointment is really where we determine if we're a good fit. Out of all the wedding vendors, brides need to be most comfortable with their photographer. This is because the photographer is with you the majority of the day. If a bride isn't relaxed around the photographer then it will show in the images. So, the first purpose of the initial meeting is to get to know each other a little better. The other reason is to discuss what they're envisioning for wedding photography. I always like to discuss photo ideas for the wedding and I also make sure that the bride understands my style and aesthetic approach. It's up to the couple to decide if my style and personality is a fit for them. As for being prepared, I think the most difficult part for a bride is determining the style of photography she likes and being able to distinguish styles in wedding photographs. Looking at wedding photos and finding images she likes is a step in the right direction. However, often times it takes a consultation with a photographer to help a couple figure out which style best suits them and their wedding.
In three words, sum up your style...
Candid & stylized portraiture
Favorite wedding image you've ever snapped.
There's one per wedding. This would take too long to tell you about all of them. ;)
What blogs provide you daily inspiration to keep your creative juices flowing (non-wedding related)
Since I come from a photojournalism background, I often look at blogs in that field. New York Time's Lens Blog is excellent. Time's Lightbox. I also enjoy the Image Deconstructed which interviews photographers on how they captured a particular photograph. To hear the photographer's voice, which often times never accompanies the picture, offers greater insight in the photography process as well as what photographers internalize from the people they meet and the experiences they have when image making.
Top Five All-time favorite TV Shows…
This is a tough question...
1. Arrested Development
3. Saved by the Bell
5. American Dad
What the most rewarding thing about your line of work?
Knowing that I'm also a visual historian. That I'm photographing fleeting moments of life and preserving that for people to have and to share with others for years to come.
It’s Friday and you just cashed your paycheck….what’s your first splurge?
A nap. Chased with putting 20% away for tax accrual and then internet window shopping on BH Photo Video's website.
Favorite Item of Clothing...
Tie: pajamas and flip flops
If you were a major league baseball player, what would be your ‘at-bat’ song?
Cliche, but "Eye of the Tiger."
Favorite Summer beverage...
Water, but sometimes a rum and Coke will have to do.
Current favorite color palette...
Right now I'm all about a smokey purple.
"You were once wild here. Don't let them tame you." - Isadora Duncan
Must have Lowcountry wedding detail….
I'm partial to a mason jar filled with sweet tea, but if need be, I'll settle for some poured in a Dixie Cup.
Need some more Priscilla Thomas Photography in life? We thought so....