Member James Sebesta of God’s Glories Photography‘s passion for photography began the day he took a photo of the day lilies in his yard. The photo came out so nice it inspired him to begin God’s Glories Photography. A few years later he began shooting weddings and fell in love with it. “It’s like watching your friends get married every week.”
Learn more about his photography style, what he recommends for photographers just starting out, the equipment he can’t live without, and more in this edition of Behind The Lens.
1. How and when did you get started?
A career as a photographer was the last thing I ever thought I would be doing.. I never thought about it nor had an interest in it. To be honest, of the few pictures that I had ever taken, most of them where horrid! The passion for the art entered my soul in such a subdued way I never saw it coming. In early 2000, my parents had retired and were traveling through the Canadian Rockies and Alaska. Being an avid nature and wildlife fan, I decided to fly up to Alaska and join them for a week. I was so excited. My parents and I are very close and I knew we would have a great time. About a week prior to the trip, my wife Lisa and I went out and purchased a point and shoot camera. I had no idea this was going to be the beginning of my photography career. When I returned from the trip the photos turned out nice. Not spectacular but just nice. The passion for photography still did not hit me until, one day while walking in the yard I saw how pretty the day lilies were so I took a picture. I have to say, it turned out really nice. I had an inspiration, it had to have been from God, I added a verse from the bible to the photo. That was the beginning of God’s Glories photography. I was hooked. After that I hit the books, studying, practicing, research, technique practice some more; to this day it is not uncommon to see me outside or at different locations working on new ideas to help create the perfect photos. I did some traveling to many beautiful places writing Christian poetry and adding them and biblical verses to all my work. A few years later I began doing weddings and just fell in love with it. The joy, the excitement having a front row seat through it all is fantastic. What makes it so unique for me is that I meet with the bride and groom several times prior to their wedding, so on their wedding day it’s like watching your friends get married every week.
2. What’s your style of photography?
My style of photographing is based upon the particular bride and groom I am working with. Every couple is different and unique. To get locked into a particular style I feel is a mistake. You can take many beautiful photos, however, if they don’t capture the bride and grooms personality or are the photos they dreamed about all their lives you will have an unhappy couple. If it were my choice, I love doing the Romantic, heart throbbing photos where you can feel the emotion protrude from the image. But ultimately it is the bride and grooms wedding and they will make the decision on how they would like me to capture their memories.
3. Any books or courses you would recommend to new photographers?
For a person who is just starting out in photography, the absolute best book you can read is the cameras manual! You have to understand the camera and how it works. It is a must for you to understand the relationship between shutter speed aperture and iso. They all work together to create the final exposure. I strongly recommend purchasing a light meter and use manual mode on your camera vs. the program modes. Sometimes program modes will get you a very nice photo, however, the way the camera meters light cause the exposure to be very unpredictable and you have far greater control over how your image will look using manual. Also by working in manual mode it is much easier to see how the camera react to every change you make in the settings.
4. What piece of equipment would you say is most important to you?
As a wedding photographer I work in such extreme lighting conditions from bright sunlight to cave-like churches and halls, everything I take is so important. I use only the best Nikon equipment including the D3 with spectacular high iso capability. However, if I had to choose only one thing that I could not give up, it would be my 28-70 f2.8 lens. It is my work horse. No matter which camera I put it on it produces stellar images in bright light as well as low light conditions.
5. What do you offer that is special or unique?
I am just a small company with no urge to become large which gives me a huge advantage. I limit how many weddings a year I do, in order to have adequate time to spend with each couple to get to know them as a friend rather than $. I have complete control of the quality of the finished image from the photographing, editing, design and printing. All of our packages are complete including unlimited time, location, all high resolution proofs on DVD with copyright release, private web galleries, print credit and a beautiful album, at affordable prices. I don’t believe in hidden charges. I think what is really unique about God’s Glories is that we truly care. I am just as excited about photographing your wedding as you are about getting married. I just love what I do!
6. What do you love most about your job?
I don’t know what it is that I love about my job. Maybe, because I don’t see it as a job. It’s a passion that I live and breath, I even dream about it. A drive to be the best. To capture that absolute perfect photo if there is such a thing. To see the smile radiate off the couple as they come back down the isle after just being married in front of all their friends and family it’s just so special. I feel so honored to be chosen to capture all their once in a life time memories. It’s just awesome!
7. Is there anything you would have done differently during your career that could be advice for others?
Like I mentioned earlier I never had any intention of becoming a photographer, It just seems like this is what God wanted me to do. I don’t know why, but this is where His path has lead me. At times I wish the path would have been a little smoother and straighter. However, I don’t believe I would change anything. It seems that everything I have learned along the way was required to get me to where I am. So the best advice I could give is to persevere through the tough times and have faith they are preparing you for your future.
God’s Glories Photography
Washington Township, Michigan