5 Career-Defining Photos: Greg Finck

In every photographer's career, there are defining moments. The moments that inspire an evolution in their art. The moments that open new opportunities for their business. The moments that remind them of where they have been and where they are going.

In Richard's newest blog series, we ask film photographers to share the stories behind five frames throughout their career that most embody these moments. Today, get the inside scoop on the shots that shaped the path of fine art wedding photographer Greg Finck...

Heather & Sean at the Amalfi Coast, July 2015

This image was photographed during Heather & Sean’s destination wedding in Italy in the summer of 2015. It’s been a very important photo to me because this was my very first wedding on the Amalfi Coast. At the time, I was trying to really break into the destination wedding market. Heather & Sean are a couple from San Francisco, and they fully trusted me with the direction and management of their timeline on their wedding day. We captured this image just a few minutes after sunset, and the dynamic range on film is pretty amazing compared to what we saw at the time (it was almost dark and you can see the car lights being turned on). This image scored really well for me on social media, and clients have been talking to me about it for years. I guess the mix of Italy + Fiat 500 + sunset + this beautiful couple was something people related to. So for me, it marked my break into a new market as well as being a powerful tool for booking future clients.

Rime Arodaky Honeymoon Campaign, February 2016

I love this portrait of model Jess Lee Buchanan, photographed during Rime Arodaky’s Honeymoon Campaign in Brazil in the winter of 2016. The reason why it’s a defining image in my career is because I had Rime Arodaky trust me with shooting her entire campaign on film. Usually, fashion jobs like this are shot on digital, as it’s important for the client to know if we have the right photo for each look during the shoot and to be able to control the results on a computer. Convincing Rime to create the entire campaign on film was not easy—this campaign was a $30,000+ investment for her, and the only thing we came back from Brazil with was the exposed rolls. This is still one of my favorite campaigns to date and I don’t regret having stepped out of my comfort zone here. I love the intensity of this portrait, too.

Ballerina at the Greg Finck Workshop, May 2016

This is one of my favorite portraits ever. This is Calista, a dancer from the Paris Ballet, that I shot during the second Greg Finck Workshop in May of 2016. As wedding photographers, we need to differentiate ourselves from the market by any means. With designer Branco Prata, from Portugal, I wanted to prove that we could organize a workshop and a styled shoot without having a bride, a table, an invitation suite, etc. And we did—it felt like an amazing success. The theme of this workshop was "ballerinas and body movement". It turned out beautifully and led to one my favorite styled shoots. It was a turning point for my workshops—differentiation has been a motto of the Greg Finck Workshop ever since, and we have tried to approach styled shoots differently.

Chaumet Campaign, March 2017

This is undoubtedly the campaign my clients relate to the most, and every single one of them has been asking me the location of this terrace ever since (sorry to disappoint, but this is the terrace of a private apartment, so it's not easily accessible for photoshoots). It was the first time an international company trusted me with a campaign—Chaumet is one of the worldwide leaders for high-end jewelry—so the pressure was quite high. Rime Arodaky styled and designed the photoshoot, and we used some of her clothing designs for the shoot. I guess the appeal of this photo comes from the combination between the amazing couple, the great light, the Parisian architecture, and the Eiffel Tower in the background. It's a major influencer in my business today. I chose this photo as one of the key visuals for my rebranding in early 2018, because I think it perfectly summarizes my brand: modern, elegant, and timeless (an aspect brought by the beauty of the Parisian architecture, softly enhancing the background).

Santa Ynez, California, April 2017

I took this photo at a moment when I kind of felt stuck in my artistic approach. I felt like I was being limited by my equipment and stuck in a ‘fine art’ style, whatever that means. I really wanted to break boundaries and assert myself from a too traditional/classical style to bring something more modern & fashionable to the table. I’m glad this image resonated with my online audience, as I felt I was taking some risks posting it on social media. It’s been a defining moment for me, because I’m now fully confident in always pushing boundaries and bringing exactly what I want to my photography. My clients have connected so much with this image, and I feel like it’s helped me big time in attracting the "right" ones—those that trust my vision and embrace my creativity.