You may have guessed it already, but I’ll tell you anyway. Photographing couples is one of my favorite things in the world. I love capturing that “zing” between an in-love couple — the adoration for each other that’s written on their faces. Sometimes the electricity is so intense I can’t help but take a moment and just smile. Being surrounded by all that love is just another perk of my job.
In addition to photographing the ardor between a happy couple, I also love photographing all the carefully planned details of a wedding, as well as those unforgettable moments that simply must be captured on camera for posterity. Whether it’s the cascading lace on a bride’s gown, the happy tear in a father’s eye as he’s walking his little girl down the aisle, the breathtaking cake that must’ve taken hours to perfect, or the groomsmen having a dance battle on the dance floor, I love being there to document it all.
My name is Michael Santos and I am a portrait photographer. I remember from a young age being asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I always liked artistic work, but have never been able to draw or paint. When I was a little older I figured why not try photography and from there I fell in love. To me, photography is so much more than taking pictures, it’s capturing moments, moments that won’t happen again. I never had the chance to meet my grandfather on my dads side, unfortunately he passed before I was born but I’ve seen photos of him when my dad and uncles were children, and the photo that stands out the most to me, is the wedding photo that my grandmother has had on her nightstand for decades. To her, it’s more than a simple piece of paper with a picture on it, it’s a cherished memory.
The power of print is such a powerful art form. We live in a digital world, where we are constantly being bombarded with photos and ads, people forget the beauty of a photograph that captures a priceless memory. When a photo is viewed online, you don’t take the time to look at all the details that make it unique, yet when you look at the same photograph in print, whether it’s a desk print, an album, or wall art, time seems to slow down, you take in the littlest of details and notice the beauty of it all. That is what makes portrait photography so great.
I get to wake up everyday and do the thing I love the most. I get to spend one of the happiest days of my clients lives capturing those moments. The smiles, the laughs, the crying, all of these make up your family history, the prints that you’ll keep on your nightstand, in the album that you’ll share with your children, who will share with their children. I get to capture some of the most important moments that can’t be repeated.
I worked in the corporate world, and at first it was great. I was young I was eager, I thought I was going to take on the world. But shortly after I started, I started to feel like I needed to do more, we didn’t do anything that helped people, it was all about sales and numbers. So I quit, I left without an end goal in mind, I just knew I wanted to do something fulfilling. If my photography can create a timeless memory for a client and their loved ones, then I know I have succeeded. I invest the time in my clients to get to know them personally, who they are as individuals. I treat each client not only as if they were my only client, but as if they were my personal friend.
I don’t want to measure success by the number of likes a photo gets, if it gets published, or by winning some meaningless award. I know I’m successful, because I am capturing memories today, that will end up on somebody’s night stand. It’s not only about what is captured today, but what remains for years.