Photo of the Day

30 Rising Star Randi Kreckman Focuses on Interactions

November 24, 2019

By Jacqueline Tobin

© Randi Kreckman

Throughout the month of November, our Photo of the Day series will be taken over by each of Rangefinder‘s newly minted 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography in 2019. The 30 honorees are featured in our November issue, and each of their full, 30-photo submissions, reviewed by the competition judges, can be found in our online gallery. For more behind-the-scenes insights, follow us on Instagram.

Randi Kreckman says she’s very drawn to human connection and that is the primary focus of her wedding photography. “I look for the intricacy in small interactions and focus more strongly on them in my images than on getting detail shots,” says Kreckman, who’s based in Kailua, Hawaii.

She also loves to play with unique elements, such as balancing light and shadow or slowing down her shutter speed, to create interest. Her self-described style—”intricate, authentic and meaningful with a dash of nostalgia”—includes doing minimal post-production aimed at keeping “truth in colors and enhancing, not taking away, from what my couples remember.”

Below are her behind-the-scenes insights on three of the photos from her submission this year.

This photo was taken at Queen’s Beach in Waikiki under the bright morning sun. Internally, I was a little worried about the harsh light that island mornings often bring, but I was more concerned that there was park maintenance going on with weed whackers and mowers, plus tourists on the beach and a sidewalk behind us. Since this is the place my couple had chosen for a first look and to read private vows, I wanted to reduce distractions as much as I could for them. I chose a spot up above the beach between palm trees and asked the park maintenance workers if they minded taking a short break (I didn’t have to ask twice).

Any nerves I had about the location floated away as the bride began walking toward her groom. When I asked her to peek back, I knew immediately this would forever be one of my favorite photos. The way the shadows from her Haku Lei play on her face with the warm Hawaiian sun, the aqua water in the backdrop, the peacefulness in an otherwise chaotic space—it just felt right.

If you ever find yourself in a space that feels chaotic but you need to work within it, take a quiet moment to observe. You might just be able to go from chaos to a moment of tranquility in the most unexpected of places.

This day brings back such fond memories as I felt so free to create and experiment.

It is vital that we as photographers learn to care for our couples as if they were dear friends (and sometimes they become just that). Building a relationship allows us to see the unique traits that strangers aren’t given access to. It means when we get to the group shots, we get to feel comfortable to be silly and create fun memories for our brides with their best girls, like this. It allows us to create our most authentic art and share vulnerabilities we’d otherwise be likely to hide. I love being able to feel myself around couples and love even more when they can feel themselves around me.

Some tips that helped me get to this place: Speak to couples as if you are speaking to a friend, professionalism has a time and place but we are building a relationship first. Being yourself allows them freedom to be themselves as well. Learn about their favorite stories, hobbies, and find common ground to connect on. Ask them about how they express love to one another and incorporate that into the way you photograph them. There are endless ways to create connections that will lead to honest moments which are the best moments.

On this day, we’d ventured out into the fields for sunset and were just wrapping up as a couple of horses wandered over, enticed by the possibility of a tasty bouquet. As I watched this scene unfold, I was drawn to the way the groom and horse balanced. The lines of their faces flow so interestingly together, as if the horse is a shadow of the man. Both are gazing at this beautiful bride. I was so glad we stayed a little longer to snag this photo. I know it’s easy to worry about timelines, but sometimes the moments when things begin to wind down end up being the most unique. It’s always worth taking a minute to look for the beauty in balance, to pause and see the way things blend.