We’re honored to share this artist feature with wedding photographer Belinda Philleo, out of Orange County, California. You can find Belinda online via her website, Wedding Maps profile, and Instagram.
How long have you been a photographer? What got you started?
I’ve been a photographer for about 13 years now. I was always interested in different art forms growing up (everything from music, drawing, and creative writing), but I didn’t give much thought or attention to photography until later on. When I got married in 2006, I found myself wanting more from my wedding photos, and it left me curious about how photography worked. Several years later, some of my friends were hobbyist photographers and I started asking questions, bought a DLSR, and started shooting, too. Once I realized I could take control of the camera settings and use that to tell a story, I was hooked.
How did you establish and define your shooting and editing style?
I feel like style will always be a work in progress because as we grow and change, our form of expression will evolve, too. So that being said, my overall style is very much based around wanting the viewer to feel like they’re in the moment. So, I lean on the side of true skin tones and vibrant colors and shoot for the experience of the viewer.
What is the most challenging part of being a photographer?
I think one of the biggest challenges that photographers face is not getting caught up in comparison. Imposter syndrome is real in our industry and it’s too easy to look at some of the other incredible artists around you and start to discredit your own work or strengths. We have to recognize that each of us brings something unique to the table and be able to appreciate others’ strengths and learn from them, but not take for granted what we offer or how far we’ve come. When I’ve gotten tangled up in that, I’ve had to just realign with what got me excited in the first place and take a beat to remember how far I’ve come in my own journey.
What advice would you give someone wanting to learn how to edit in Lightroom?
First off, finding a great educational resource. I’ve really enjoyed learning from SLR Lounge Premium courses, but YouTube is also super helpful if you’re looking for a quick guide to a one-off technique! Also, give yourself permission to play! Push all the buttons and move all the sliders, and learn what they do so that you can use those tools to your advantage. Presets can be super helpful for workflow and consistency, but don’t neglect to learn the pieces behind the presets you use. Having that knowledge will help you finetune better, especially if you are using a preset, and take your edits to the next level.
How has the Visual Flow Preset system changed your workflow?
I love my visual flow presets! The fact that they are lighting based is so helpful to me because I photograph weddings and on any given wedding day you’re encountering a huge range of lighting scenarios. The Visual Flow system helps me to keep a certain level of consistency across those lighting scenarios so that it still feels like it’s all the same event.
I find myself using the Modern pack most often because it’s closest to what real life looks like and gets me most of the way there in one click. Then I can just make a few minor tweaks to my own tastes. Visual Flow Presets save me time because they allow me to focus more on the refinements and worry less about the tedious basics.
More Images: Before and After
Check out these side-by-side before and after images (including some of the photos from this article) as edited by Belinda Philleo using Visual Flow Presets.
How to Find Belinda Philleo Online:
Wedding Maps: https://weddingmaps.com/photographer/belinda-philleo/