Abigail Seymour Photography ~ Greensboro, NC

We have been fans of the lovely and talented Abigail Seymour for years. Her work has appeared on Completely Unveiled regularly in our Real Wedding features and in the pages of Weddings Unveiled. Her reactive approach to photography has made her a leading artist in her field with the ability to frame intimate moments through her lens with exquisite composition and style. Abigail is now shooting as an eco-friendly photographer and has combined her photography with an environmentally conscious approach to business in an effort to lessen her carbon footprint and help conserve our natural resources. Read on to learn more about Abigail and her eco-friendly approach to photography, in addition to what inspires the lady behind the lens.

Abigail Seymour Photography is based in Greensboro, NC. To contact Abigail Seymour Photography, visit her website or call 336.681.6421.

Weddings Unveiled: Tell us a little bit about Abigail Seymour Photography.

Abigail Seymour: I have recently revamped everything I do to be more eco-friendly, so I am now a certified "green" photographer. I have always been doing things to try to be more thoughtful about the environment, but had not yet made that same commitment to my business. We now have an in-house environmental policy, are Premier members of greenerphotography.org and are participating in workshops and committees to help educate other photographers (as well as brides and grooms) about what it means to be green in the world of weddings.

WU: How did you become a wedding photographer?

AS: I got my college degree in fine art photography, and worked as a freelancer for magazines and newspapers for a few years. I never even considered shooting weddings until I saw Missy McLamb's work in 2002 and was blown away. I realized that all the principles I had learned about composition, color and storytelling could be beautifully translated to this modern-day narrative tale. Here were these amazing stories that were taking place thousands of times every weekend in churches and temples and fellowship halls all around the world. I was hooked from there.

WU: Digital or film or both? Why?

AS: I LOVE film, and that's how I was trained, but I am 100% digital for a few reasons. It is more efficient as far as natural resources are concerned, because the "darkroom" tools I use are components of my computer which I am able to use over and over again. If I were to shoot film, I would need to ship my rolls to a lab, and have the disk of processed and scanned images shipped back a week or so later. This is one extra step in an already multi-step process, and if I stay digital I can focus on my actual shooting and creativity rather than fuss so much with the post-production details.

WU: Describe your wedding photography style.

AS: I am definitely a RE-active rather than PRO-active photographer. I prefer not to initiate or direct moments, even during the intimate bride and groom portraits. Sometimes when I'm watching a great film, the performances are so good that I completely forget that I'm watching actors and not actual people. I want to have that same effect with my images: I don't want to be seen, either while shooting the image or in its outcome. I don't want people to say "that photographer is really good," I want them to say "that moment is very moving" or "those people are so in love." The reality is powerful enough, I don't need to put my fingerprints all over it.

WU: Show us your favorite wedding image and tell us why it represents who you are as a wedding photographer.

AS: This is one of the first weddings I ever photographed and hopefully it illustrates what I just mentioned. The talent required of me was absolutely minimal. Pay close attention to what was going on, have the right equipment and know how to use it, then wait for the right moment. It was when I realized how magical it was to be in the room when these moments happen.

WU: What inspires you?

AS: Anything from harmony a capella singing (I love the Be Good Tanyas, The Wailing Jennys, Polecat Creek, Gillian Welch), to great writing, to really simple food prepared exquisitely well (I could live on tomatoes and mozzarella). I'm also very inspired by people who give their time and talent to a cause they believe in. I would like to do more of that in the coming years.

WU: What inspires your photography?

AS: 19th-century painters; anything Spanish; the early masters of photography: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lartigue, Dorothea Lange. I am also inspired by light, which sounds kind of obvious, but when I see that late afternoon sun I can't help but compose a shot, whether I have my camera with me or not.

WU: How do you keep your wedding photography fresh?

AS: I really work to connect with each couple so that they feel like a friend is shooting their wedding, and I feel likewise. It allows me to become lost in the emotions of the day and not feel detached or like I'm there just to do a job.

WU: Do you do non-wedding photography work? If so, how does it influence your wedding photography?

AS: Not anymore, but I started out shooting documentary and magazine photography -- if I weren't shooting weddings I might have become a war correspondent. Worlds away from weddings, I know, but stories are what interest me. The story of two people coming together to form a family is very affirming and while I think I would have been challenged intellectually by shooting in a war zone, the inherent bleakness would get to me after awhile. By participating in the first day of a family's life I am saying "yes" to the universe over and over again.

WU: What makes you different from other wedding photographers?

AS: I'm very limited geographically now because I am committed to having a more eco-conscious life and business. I will only shoot weddings that take place within about 60 miles of Greensboro, NC, and am hoping to attract local couples who are a little out of the mainstream, and who are looking to have a wedding with a minimal carbon footprint. I am seeking out lifelong relationships with these same clients. I want to be able to document a family's whole life, not just one day in it.

WU: What would be your ideal wedding assignment?

AS: A farm, homemade desserts, organic food, handmade details, wildflowers, mason jars, grotto lights and two people who can't go another day without being married to one another.

WU: Tell us three things you can't live without.

AS: Just three?? Besides my family, I would say coffee, a steno pad for writing down ideas, and music.

WU: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?

AS: "Bloom where you're planted." When I lived in New York and had my first job right out of college, all I could do was dream about something else "out there" and had a hard time focusing on what was right in front of me. One day my dad quoted me that on the phone and I just got it -- I could make anything work at anytime in my life if I could stand still long enough to breathe and see how blessed I was. I've made the whole trip that way so far and it works for me.

WU: What is the best advice you can give to an engaged couple?

AS: Consider writing a letter to each other the night before the wedding, seal it and don't open it until your first anniversary. Then re-read it to each other on your anniversary each year. And when you have not-so-great days during your marriage, ask yourself, "Can I stay married to him/her, just for today?" The answer will surely be "yes," and then before you know it, you'll be celebrating your 50th anniversary.


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