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Check out Judy and Gavin Holt’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Judy and Gavin Holt.

Judy and Gavin, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
We came from completely different walks of life. Gavin was a computer engineer, and Judy was supposed to be a pharmacist. But I (Gavin) believe in choosing a career based on your hobbies, which is how we started this business. It started with video (a side job in college) and expanded to photo. We both have no formal training and learned through the school of hard knocks (and priced accordingly). Through years of innovation and self-improvement, we have gotten to where we are now, and we are still in the midst of a life-long journey to be better artists.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
We document wedding days. We capture our couples during their brightest days together. We capture new moms on their most tired days. It’s an amazingly simple thing that offers such a large canvas to work with. We like to see our couples as they are (not constructed or forced) through our lens.

But couples are amateur models and often shy or awkward, so a session often progresses from photojournalism to “posed-photojournalism” (we set it up, and they take it from there) to just posed photos. As we work with them, we have less and less posed photos and more and more of the couple’s unique chemistry.

Why? We love people and the moments we see in their lives. We get to share unique moments in someone’s life, and that’s a special thing. Weddings are a difficult thing to capture because of the people (there is a high burnout/turnover rate in the wedding industry), but event after event we still have the same energy and attention.

It’s tough being in a place between an artist and a tradesperson. The tradesperson in us says to capture the wedding in a reliable and stable way, to guarantee a safe product. After all, weddings only happen once (ideally). But the artist in us wants to be reckless and rule-breaking, to push the boundaries and limitations of our equipment and our imagination. That’s a scary thing to do on a wedding day. So we have a balance of two-thirds/one-third. Two-thirds of our work consists of “safety shots,” things we have done before. One-third is experimental, where we try to do something new on each shoot. The awesome thing is that after a few times, the experimental shot becomes a safety shot.

Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
Some say that it’s harder than ever to survive as a wedding photographer or videographer. I think it’s easier than ever to get started, which makes it very competitive to stay viable. So as a whole, the industry is doing well. As an individual, it is tough. There is a small dip in overall money spent on weddings (couples choosing non-traditional locations, etc.), but I’d argue that their taste and hunger for hiring talented artists are still strong. One thing is for sure; more money is spent on weddings than 20-30 years ago.

The truth is that people, artists or not, that understand business and marketing will always stay in business. We have seen many “artists” that really do a disservice to their clients, but with aggressive marketing, they still do well. We have a personal problem with the get-rich-quick aspect of the wedding industry. We have even lost friendships when people we know do shady business. No artist should require an NDA from a client just to deliver a late product without a lawsuit (yes, we’ve seen that). No bride should have their memories held hostage. The inverse is watching a truly talented artist not succeed due to poor business practices.

For us, we’d like to see artists get a solid foundation on what you need to know outside of the art itself: marketing, running a business, reputation, time-management, accounting, and money management, ethics, etc. Our ideal is that everyone is on a level playing field and we all get to excel our art as a community and as individuals. I’d like to see, especially in a global and online economy, that all of us can rise and excel; that this industry is not a zero-sum game.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Our work is personal, so it’s often seen on social media between the friends and family of our couples and families. As for our portfolio and recent public work, we can be seen on Insta @judyandgavin, along with:

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Judy + Gavin Wedding Photography

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