We’re excited to share with you this artist feature with wedding photographer Santiago Almada, out of Phoenix, Arizona. You can find Santiago online via his website, Wedding Maps profile, and Instagram.
How long have you been a photographer? What got you started?
I started my photography journey back in high school, where I fell in love with capturing moments, telling stories, and documenting my travels. Landscape photography was my passion at the time. It was all about chasing sunsets. Since then, I have pursued photography as a profession and have been a wedding photographer since 2015. I find great joy in being able to document one of the most special days in a couple’s life and create beautiful memories that they can cherish for years to come.
How did you establish and define your shooting and editing style?
Personally, I like to edit my photos as naturally as possible, so that the real colors and atmosphere of the moment can be experienced by my clients. I don’t want their photos to look outdated or out of trend even when they look back at their photos many years from now. Also, I strive to showcase the genuine emotions and personalities of my couples. Documenting all the in-between candid moments is very important for me.
What is the best part about being a photographer?
What I love about being a photographer is having the opportunity to document important moments in people’s lives while also exploring my creativity and showing it in unique ways. I enjoy the technical challenges, and there is always something new and exciting to learn.
What is the most challenging part of being a photographer?
One of the main challenges for me is maintaining a healthy work-life balance, as photography can be a demanding and time-consuming. It often involves long hours and irregular schedules, especially during weekends. My kids are still pretty young, but I don’t want to miss out on important events that often happen during weekends. It’s important to prioritize self-care and maintain boundaries to avoid burnout and have a fulfilling personal life outside of work.
What do you think your keys to success are in this industry?
You have to love or at least enjoy the business side of photography just as much as photography itself.
What advice would you give someone wanting to learn how to edit in Lightroom?
Keep it simple and ask yourself the question, “What do I want or need to achieve?” Then, learn to use the tools you need to get there efficiently. Lightroom and other editing software can do so much, for example, that sometimes we waste time learning stuff we don’t need. I believe this has its time and purpose (it’s fun to know what you could do with all the different options), but it’s very easy to fall into this trap of information overload. Just keep it simple.
How has the Visual Flow Preset system changed your workflow?
Visual Flow has been the base of my editing pretty much since it came out. For many years, I struggled with consistency. I always looked for inspiration while trying new styles or presets. I’ve been using the Modern Lightroom preset pack for all my projects. To me, it feels like I finally found myself. I stopped wasting time trying to find the “best” preset per photo or project. It helped me achieve consistency.
More Images: Before and After
Check out these before and after images featuring Modern Pack edits from Santiago Almada.