To celebrate Women’s History Month, we are featuring some of Westchester’s wonderful women!
We were recently introduced to the talented photographic skills of Aida Krgin. Her artistry with a camera is amazing, but we were most struck by her intuitive and inner beauty as a woman, a mom, a wife…and a professional living here in Westchester. We asked her several questions to learn more about her and her craft. We were struck by the flowing nature of her answers, so we decided to do away with the typical “question and answer” format of an interview, and just let her weave her tale for us. Below is her wonderful story.
“I was born with a tremendous love for images. Before I was able to take pictures, I collected magazine images. There was
something about them that I found captivating. The composition, the colors, the expressions…it all brought me to them. I guess in a way you can say that I was always drawn to photography, that photos have always been part of my life. I learned the basics of photography in college where I studied photojournalism. I was fascinated by capturing the unspoken. Watching film develop was like unwrapping a gift where I knew what was in the box but the excitement was all the same. I continued to travel and photograph for several years after college but never went after a career in photography. Then, life got in the way, so to speak. I worked in the corporate world for a while, got married and had 2 beautiful children.
When my youngest started kindergarten, I began to shoot again. I joined the Mamaroneck Artist Guild where I showed and sold my Fine Art Photography. That very quickly developed to the point where I had clients. I began to photograph people and loved it. Then I opened a portrait studio in Rye. I photographed families, infants and pets.
Before I began to contemplate the idea of doing wedding photography, I decided that the best thing to do was to educate myself by taking some wedding seminars and workshops to learn as much as I could about the wedding industry and how to shoot for it. Knowing your equipment, what every menu and every button is for, is essential. Having the right equipment is
essential. The meaning of the word photography is “writing with light” so knowing the quality of light is also essential. I can go on and on about this but I won’t. I just want to say that a professional photographer knows all the technical aspects such as the equipment, posing, lighting, composition, etc.
In the studio I worked with strobes and the lighting was always controlled. Weddings are completely different. You have to be quick in the constantly changing lighting conditions. Going from inside the church to the bright sunlight and back inside into tungsten light is a huge challenge. You have to know everything about your camera. You need to know what shutter speed to use with what aperture with what ISO, where are all the buttons on the camera, on the flash, what they are for. I quickly discovered that weddings allowed me to utilize some of my Fine Art and photojournalistic background. I love to photograph people and I can use a journalistic and artistic approach.
I love all my brides, past and present. I have been so blessed with some amazing clients that totally get me and my work. When I meet with potential clients I want us to feel a connection on an emotional level. They want to feel comfortable with the person who is going to be documenting their entire wedding day. I’m intimately involved with all aspects of the wedding day so I feel it’s important to have that connection with the bride from the beginning. I believe that when you love what you do and do what you love your passion will attract clients who share very similar feelings. I never worry or stress about how the bride will be on the day of the wedding because by the time the wedding day comes around we have spent enough time together and we truly enjoy each other’s company.
I love to travel and I love to shoot weddings. Leaving my kiddos for any length time has always been very difficult for me. When I started shooting weddings I told myself that I would only shoot 2 weddings a month and if I had a destination wedding then I may only take one wedding that month. I still try to do that and it’s working fine. My kids are older now and they are fine when I have to work. Last year I shot a wedding in Puerto Rico and because it was during the Thanksgiving weekend I was able to bring my family along and make a vacation out of it. We are always chasing that elusive “balance.” Every time we feel we have got it all together, the “balance” seems to get away from us again. I try my best to be home when my kids get home from school. I make them dinner every night even if I have to go out after. Because I now have a home office, I get to spend more time with the kids. I spend a lot of time with them on a daily basis, so that when I’m gone it doesn’t feel so bad.
Being properly prepared before the wedding day allows me to focus on capturing the story of this amazing day in my client’s life. Capturing every detail, every emotion, every laugh, and every tear is part of the process that goes into storytelling photography. My style of photography is a beautiful combination of journalistic and traditional. The perfect marriage. I capture the moments as they happen in addition to providing the formal portraits every couple wants.
I draw from life experiences to help guide my couples from the very beginning. I believe in always being prepared and organized to reduce as much stress as possible. I urge my brides to allow the maid of honor to do as much as possible to take some of the pressure off the bride. It’s a privilege to be a maid of honor and with that privilege comes some responsibility. As soon as I book a bride I start communication via email and phone. A timeline is prepared based on the information I’ve been provided with that is constantly updated. I want to know what time the bride is getting hair and makeup, what time the car will arrive to pick her up, what time she’ll get into the dress and who will be there to help her into the dress. I make sure I have phone numbers, addresses, names, special requests, things to remember, things to avoid – the more information we share the better for everyone. Basically, having open and constant communication with clients, having a positive attitude and making sure the bride feels more like a friend than a client ensures that on the day of the wedding they are happy to see me and things goes smoothly. I always see my brides exhale when I walk in the door.
The subject of gratitude, giving back and paying it forward could very well take me a long time to write. I’ll just say that I believe, with all of my heart that being thankful (saying it out loud every day) for what we already have will draw into our lives more of the wonderful things we enjoy. Giving back has always been a big part of my life and my business. I try to incorporate an element of gratitude into everything I do every single day.
Photographs are priceless treasures that we are all entitled to have. I recently saw a report on the anniversary of the tsunami in Japan where an auditorium has been transformed into an enormous library of family photographs that have been found throughout the devastation. It is an amazing sight to witness thousands of photos cleaned and organized in the hopes that they will be found by their owners.
I know first hand the joy a photograph can bring. I have photographed children who had hours to live. I have photographed grandparents that soon after pass on. I have photographed pets that unexpectedly fall ill and die. I’ve seen the comfort and the joy that my images have provided to people and I’m happy to give those images away as gifts. I’ve seen the gratitude and I’ve seen it paid forward.
Anything is possible when you work hard, ( I know that’s corny). But you are successful when you’re determined and when your passion drives you. Finding the right support system may be a challenge but it can be done. Surround yourself with people who lift your spirits and people who are happy for you. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t. And, don’t be afraid to ask for help.”
To get in touch with Aida, and see more of her work, visit her on her website, www.krginphoto.com.