Sara Rogers is a wedding photographer based in Vancoucer, BC. She captures love like nobody else and her romantic images have been featured on our Instagram account many times. She is a lover of love, a storyteller and a traveler.
Tribe Collective: Tell us about yourself. What is your background, and how did you get into photography?
Sara Rogers: I started photographing weddings full time in 2016, before that I was an Interior Designer working at an Architectural firm, shooting weddings on the weekends. As soon as I bought myself a digital camera in 2012 I knew that this was something I was really passionate about and I tried to learn as much as possible about shooting, editing and business. This meant a lot of late nights watching videos on You-Tube, experimenting and investing in education.
I found my niche in Weddings because I love all of the joy, and I like to work under pressure. Being able to freeze a moment in time fascinates me and I'm so grateful that I can now make a living doing what I love.
TC: Please provide us with a list of the gear you use on a regular basis:
SR: Here is a list of the most used items in my bag:
- 2 x Nikon D750s
- Nikon 105mm f/2.8
- Nikon 85mm f/1.4
- Nikon 58mm f/1.4
- Nikon 35mm f/1.8
- Sigma 24mm f/1.4
- 2 x SB 700 Speedlights
- 2 x Lumecube LED lights
TC: What does your post-production process look like?
SR: I do probably 95% of my post-processing in Lightroom and only use Photoshop for really complex or detailed touch-ups.
I had always really struggled with getting my edits to look the way I wanted but a few years ago I started using LXC and I found it really streamlined the process for me because I wasn't fussing as much with the presets. I made a version of the LXC02 preset with a few changes and for a year or so I was using that on all of my work with just small tweaks to white balance and exposure.
A few months ago, I was asked by Tribe to test out the new Summit Presets and I was really blown away by how much I liked them. I switched all my editing over to a version of Summit 02 which I find is versatile in all different lighting conditions and has the warmth I really like.
All my black and white images are based on the Flint and Steel 06 preset and I find, again, that this is almost a one-click solution for me with a few small tweaks, generally to the exposure and orange sliders.
My post-production process is super simple. I basically just apply my preset on import and then play with white balance, exposure and straightening (super obsessive about straight lines!) I clean up the skin a little bit and then use radial filters and HSL sliders to finish off the image.
TC: How has your photography style evolved over time?
SR: I don't think my editing style has changed too much, I have always favoured a slightly darker, moody edit and I often underexpose a few stops to achieve this look.
I have noticed a big difference in my shooting style changing over time though. I have become a lot more experimental over the past few years, especially with light. I've started paying a lot more attention to little in-between moments and up-close details like hands. My style has also started incorporating more architectural elements like stairs, repetition in pattern and texture, and leading lines. Recently, playing around with angles has become part of my style, I'm always trying out shots from above or lying down on the ground to see if the perspective looks more interesting.
I know my style will continue to change and I'm so excited to see where that takes me! Growing as an artist means constant evolution which is a rewarding and interesting part of the process that I'm trying to embrace.
TC: What are your favourite tools for capturing, editing, and enhancing your photographs?
SR: I absolutely love my Nikon D750s! They've been such a game changer for me, because of the amazing low light performance and fast AF. My favourite lenses are definitely the 58mm (such beautiful bokeh and a slightly soft quality that I love) and the 35mm (I really like the documentary look that this lens produces).
As for favourite editing tools, all of the Tribe presets have been really helpful in getting the look and consistency that I want in my images.
TC: What is your greatest piece of advice for emerging photographers?
SR: I think the best piece of advice is to try to not play the comparison game. In this social media-centric world it can be really easy to get down on yourself because you are looking at other people's work all the time, but everyone has their own path and experiences and I believe the best course of action is to just focus on creating beautiful images for your clients, and try and not focus on 'likes.' Try and push yourself creatively and experiment a lot and you will grow as an artist.
TC: What type of photography do you most enjoy?
SR: The majority of my work is focused on Weddings, Elopements and Couples Sessions. Occasionally I'll do Portraits as a way to do something different creatively but I really feel like my best work is with couples.
TC: What are you discouraged about in your work/business? What encourages you?
SR: I am constantly encouraged by the photography community both locally and internationally. I don't think my business would be where it is today without all of the amazing people I have met through photography, who constantly inspire me and are my support system. Another big thing for me is travel and being out in nature. This helps to reset my brain and gives me so much creative inspiration.
I am discouraged by trying to maintain a reasonable work/life balance; it's a constant struggle. I pour so much of my energy into my business that I sometimes feel like I'm neglecting other important parts of my life. I hate the feeling of being burnt out because it makes me less creative, so this year I'm really trying to focus on prioritizing my health, family and personal time.
TC: When was a time you thought you would/had failed? How did you overcome it?
SR: I honestly try and never have negative thoughts about failure. I've always been the type of person who sets their mind on something and then busts their ass to achieve it. Of course, I occasionally doubt myself and things sometimes don't go as planned but I take those experiences and try and learn from them.
TC: What defines success for you as a photographer? If you never achieve that, will you still be satisfied with what you do?
SR: Most successes for me personally, just come from my clients loving their images. As wedding photographers, our number one job is to produce quality work for our clients and I think sometimes we lose sight of that. I want to create a visual legacy for couples to pass down through generations. If I stopped working to please my clients then I definitely wouldn't be satisfied with what I do, because at the end of the day the clients are the most important part of my business.