Sunday, March 8, 2009

Virtual Martini with Brian Slanger

Let's have a Virtual Martini with Photographer Brian Slanger.

Business Name:  Brian Slanger Photography Inc.
Name: Brian Slanger
Phone Number: 410-262-7604
Email Address:
Website Address: 
Blog Address: www.brianslangerweddings/  

How did you get started in the business?  
I have a fine arts background, and my family are all creative types, and my step brother, who is 
a theatre professor was getting married, and so he asked me to photograph his wedding.  I had never done a wedding before, and that was about 14 years ago. 

How would you describe your style?
The way I like to work is behind the scenes, observing, catching peak expressive and emotional moments.  I like to work to catch personality and essence.  Largely this happens as people interact with each other, but sometimes these peak moments can be in quieter times, when the person is reflecting, thinking, or generally letting their inner self be free. 

How many people are part of your company?
I do have interns help with basic office things, but I have found that I am a bit of a perfectionist, so I often like to have my hands in most things, so often it's just me.

What has been the highlight of your career to date?
I photograph commercially, and artistically as well as weddings, so that's a multi part answer.  For weddings, I don't know that there is a highlight, other than that I like to hear how much people are enjoying the photographs I took for them at their wedding.  I feel good knowing that they can re-live those special moments for years to come, and that in doing so I have in some small way shaped their lives for the better.  Commercially, I have photographed top models in NYC, presidents, senators, famous news anchors, etc, and while at some point that was a rush, what I am focusing on now is refining my artistic vision, and am working on a number of series of fine art projects, and that is great for me, to keep pushing the envelope, and forging ahead. 

Give us your favorite wedding or event planning tip.
I've found over the years, and observing hundreds and hundreds of weddings, that there is really no use in getting upset or worked up, or stressed out the day of the wedding.  In some ways you just have to let go, and sometimes there are minor set backs, but if someone is so worried over little details, they miss the joy of the day, and that's unfortunate, and can reflect in the photographs. 

What is your favorite part of the wedding day?
In general, my favorite part is just when I have lot's of expressions and emotions to catch, when people are having a good time, and the play of things shows in their faces, and I can get those peak moments. 

What is the best compliment you've ever received?
Someone one called me the 'Ninja Photograher' because they felt that they almost never saw me the whole day, yet were overwhelmed by all the photographs of every thing, all the people, emotions, expressions. 

When you travel, what is the one thing you cannot live without?
One thing?  Probably the iPhone with GPS built in.  Or my new mini portable camera, the Lumix LX3.

If you weren't a photographer, what would you be?
A mixed media artist. 

Share a fun fact about your home life.
I currently live on a 26 acre house farm in Hunt Valley.  There are about 8 horses right in my front 'yard', and when they run, it's really something.  

What was the last thing your purchased?
Oh man, I've been quite the shopaholic, as I'm a gadget freak.  I'm also pretty addicted to riding bicyles, so my last big purchase was a carbon fiber Trek Madone bike, with Dura Ace components.  It was a splurge, but then again, it's an investment in my health and well being, and should last for many years, so that's my 'justification.'

Tell us some of your favorite places to shop both local and out-of-town.
Well, I have pretty much everything I need now, so it's just food at Wegmans or Whole Foods, or Amazon.  I'm trying to be a bit less consumer oriented, with the economy, and the need for less consumption in general, given the way things are now. 

And we must know your favorite local restaurant.
If it's day to day, I would say the Flying Avocado deli in Owings Mills - All organic.  And every once in awhile, the Ambassador.

Let's say you have a day off and you are able to do anything at all for 24 hours (money is no object).  What would the day look like and who would you be with?
It would have to be two days.  One day for 'me', and another day for giving back in some way.  The 'me' day might be sleeping in, having a massage, exploring a small village in South East Asia, and photographing the locals.  The second day might be helping someone less fortunate fix a bicyle, or help fix a house.  I've been a volunteer in the Big Brother/Big Sister program for 12 years.

Share some favorite images from 2008: