Worth a Thousand Words
SEVEN LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHERS TAKE US BEHIND THE LENS TO SEE WHAT THEY DO
written by Jennifer Colosimo
As a writer, I should probably scoff at this admittance, but regardless of how beautifully I can tell a story, an illustration will always get the first glance. Oftentimes, even the last. As an artist, I know that the effect each photograph has is as unique as its composer. Stuck on the fridge or framed over the mantel, sometimes the most valuable treasures in our home only measure 4-by-6. When it comes to capturing the memories we most want to remember and share, we tipped our writing hats to a handful of local individuals whose inimitable styles inspire us to look beyond trends and appreciate the understated, beautiful moments in life. It makes me want to dust off the ole SLR myself.
Photographer Kelle McEntegart has been taking pictures since the eighth grade. Back then, it was with a Kodak Instamatic.
Regardless of the tool, she has always called herself a bona fide “light chaser.” Inspired by beautiful, natural light, she aims to snap the intimate picture that presents itself between poses. And while this candid photo-loving shooter claims not to pay attention to trends, she has produced portfolios packed with some of the most artistic, stunning photos we have ever seen.
“My work is what I see, feel and experience,” McEntegart said, noting that she loves sitting back and just watching the moment happen. In fact, her love for those unplanned moments is how she got her business started. “My goal is to truly catch those moments that define a day in the life of a family.”
Kelle Mac Photography is a lifestyle photography company. kellemacphotography.com
Alan Brooks has been a photographer for 40 years, always for his personal enjoyment. Despite his longstanding love for the art, Brooks is still honing his craft and with the onset of digital tools, has tapped into a new level of creativity.
“My joy is in landscape and nature photography,” Brooks said recalling his return from the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion National Parks. “I also do portraits … I like the artistic level where I take something simple and make it significant. That’s one of my passions.”
Still on his bucket list are Paris and Egypt, but when asked about his favorite so far, he didn’t hesitate.
“Zion National Park … it took my breath away. Creating a representation of what it felt like when you’re there is a difficult thing,” Brooks said, adding, “The challenge is to try to get the same impact in the photograph as you did while you were experiencing it.”
Alan Brooks is primarily a landscape and nature photographer, but also specializes in portraits. Member of the Booth Photographers Guild at the Booth Western Museum of Art in Cartersville. 404-368-5037
Derek Wintermute is known for bringing an unmatched level of dramatic detail to a bride’s wedding photos, but he said that’s the only place you’ll find drama during any event he shoots. His combination of interpersonal skill and an eye for the artistic make him a highly sought-after wedding photographer whose work many can spot before they even see the credits.
“I truly enjoy crafting dramatic, artistically posed portraits,” Wintermute said, citing movies like “Titanic,” “The English Patient” and “Blade Runner” as a few of his filmstrip inspirations. “When setting up a shot, you have artistic control of the location, poses and camera settings. The creativity with candids comes from the angle you take, focal length of the lens, camera setting and clicking the shutter at exactly the right moment. A little early or a little late might be the difference between an amazing photo and an average photo.”
Derek Wintermute is primarily a wedding photographer. derekwintermute.com
You won’t find trendy props or Pantone’s color of the year in any of Corey Johnson’s images. That is unless the color of the year is from a rainbow of nudes. Johnson spent the first several years of her career as a photographer discovering the importance of less frill, more natural beauty. In fact, she quotes her favorite spot to shoot as a simple white bed against a window, or in a field of overgrown grass.
“By using natural light, a soft and neutral color palette and natural textures, my images capture the beauty of a sweet newborn’s tiny features or the glow of an expectant mother in her season of waiting,” Johnson said. “My journey as a photographer has definitely evolved over time and after having a daughter of my own, I’ve found my organic style in shooting what I love.”
Corey Johnson Photography shoots families, newborns and maternity portraits. coreyjohnsonphotography.com
With a decade of getting paid to do what she loves under her belt, Northside photographer Melissa Prosser is one of the city’s go-to gals for weddings. Prosser has developed a style that’s timeless and documentary-like, delivering unexpected moments to her clients — ones they treasure, but barely remember happening and didn’t expect to see caught on camera.
Most often, Prosser is found in the elements in search of creative inspiration. “One of the things I love to do is use the materials around my subjects as a filter to make an artistic image,” Prosser said. “I would put my subjects behind a flower or tree and have them look through the foliage to create a gorgeous natural image without having to put any filters in later.”
The best part about those filters is that they’re aiming to be a timeless shot that will never go out of style.
Melissa Prosser Photography focuses on weddings, families and the like. melissaprosser.com
Most likely, Adam Linke’s edge on the industry stems from his start on the stage, acting in soap operas and commercials. He said that a decade of studying human behavior and emotion – as well as how each is expressed – provided an intimate perspective behind the lens. The result is a portfolio of work that is rich with emotion — and in the art world, that’s priceless.
“I love real moments, real emotion and the interactions between people,” Linke said. “There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing the powerful effect an image can have on someone. A recent bride burst into tears as a picture hit the screen of her and her father embracing before their walk down the aisle. She had never seen what her father’s face looked like when he hugged her, and the emotion floored her.”
Adam Linke is a part of The Decisive Moment, a team of talented photojournalists who shoot weddings in and around Atlanta. thedecisivemoment.com
Gregg Willett has always possessed a knack for finding creative ways to shoot lines and use light when immortalizing a space. Since he now shoots alongside the creative flair and contagious sense of humor of his wife Caroline, together, they’re making waves in the Atlanta lens industry.
“I like starting with a blank slate and building upon it,” Willett said. “I turn all of the lights off and see what the natural light is doing. A good photographer uses these tools to add a mood and a signature to their images. The viewer of the image should have no question as to what the intent of the photo is. We strive for simple, but that’s a lot harder to do than you’d think.”
The Willetts shoot weddings, Atlanta personalities and new construction in and around Atlanta. willettphoto.com