Richard Photo Lab

Richard's Photographer Spotlight: Judy Pak

Judy Pak is passionate about telling stories. And as one of Martha Stewart Weddings' Top Photographers of 2014, you can bet she does it beautifully--Judy is inspired by love, whimsy, and daydreams.

Find out why she loves editorials, the super power she thinks all photogs have, and how film changed her approach to shooting, today in Richard Photo Lab's Photog Spotlight!

Richard: What first sparked your passion for photography?

Judy Pak: My grandmother had a deep love for photography. I remember when I was a little girl, she would carry her Kodak Pony camera everywhere she went. She would set up scenes for my cousins and I, style us in matching outfits and take tons of photos. This was a big part of my childhood, and I didn't realize it was so engrained in me until I had my own kids and found myself doing the same thing!

Image by Judy Pak

R: Making the leap from photography as a personal passion to a paying gig is a big one... how did you decide to pursue it as a career?

JP: I've always had a passion for storytelling since college, where I was a journalist and editor for my school newspaper. After college I moved into law, where I represented people and helped tell their own stories better. Photography seemed like a natural transition for me. I just love getting to know my clients and documenting their stories in a genuine way. It made sense for me to pursue it as a career.

R: When you aren't shooting for clients, what do you LOVE to photograph?

JP: Editorials! It's so exciting to see your ideas and vision come to life. Working with other creatives inspires and challenges me.

Image by Judy Pak

R: What is your favorite camera?

JP: Contax 645. I love that the nature of the camera and film forces me to slow down in this fast-paced, crazy world.

R: What's your first memory of shooting film, and why do you continue to shoot it as a pro photographer?

JP: I started noticing that I was always drawn to images taken on film; this piqued my interest to pick up a Contax 645, and I brought it with me to shoot a wedding. I was surprised at how this camera made me more deliberate and thoughtful with my shots.

Image by Judy Pak

R: Why is it important to have continuous communication with your lab(s)?

JP: It's all about developing a relationship! It was only after I established a relationship with Richard that I started to see a lot of growth and consistency in my work. I truly feel that Richard cares and is invested in my success. Moreover, Richard’s service is unparalleled.

R: Do you have any pre-shoot rituals?

JP: I like to drive in quiet... It helps me to get in the zone and think about the wedding day.

R: Let’s play a game of “Either/Or”! Savory or sweet?

JP: Savory.

R: Chocolate or vanilla?

JP: Chocolate.

R: Dogs or cats?

JP: Dogs.

R: Urban or rural?

JP: Rural.

R: Vintage or modern?

JP: Vintage.

R: Biggie or Tupac?

JP: Biggie.

R: Warm weather or cold weather?

JP: Warm weather.

R: Early bird or night owl?

JP: Early bird.

R: Crossword or Sudoku?

JP: Crossword.

R: Breakfast or dinner?

JP: Dinner.

R: Batman or Superman?

JP: Batman.

R: Historical Non-fiction or SciFi/Fantasy?

JP: Historical Non-fiction.

R: Comedy or drama?

JP: Drama.

R: Truth or dare?

JP: Truth.

Image by Judy Pak

R: What song do you listen to to get pumped up?

JP: Depends... if it's a gloomy day, I love jazz. A little Coltrane, Miles Davis, Getz and Gilberto makes me happy. Hip hop is a must for spinning and working out! For shoots, I love a mix of pop like Taylor Swift, Beyonce... and folk rock bands like Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers.

R: If you weren't a photographer, what would you be when you grow up?

JP: I would love to be the designer for all the window displays on Fifth Avenue in New York, especially during Christmas time. Every year during the holiday season, I'm just in awe at the ensembles constructed to the slightest detail; something I never grow tired of year after year.

R: If you were a super hero, what would your super power be?

JP: To be able to freeze time. Imagine your most favorite moment and being able to have even just an hour more to revel in for your own keeping! I think a photographer comes pretty close to having this super power.

R: What is your favorite word, and why?

JP: "Balance". As a wife, mother of three boys, artist and business owner, I feel that it is so essential to have balance in life. Over the years, I've come to learn that it's not necessarily prioritizing that delivers the best results, but rather finding excitement in knowing you've hit that sweet spot of balancing everything in its right time.