#BeyondtheLens: A Conversation with Terri Baskin

Continuing our #BeyondThe series, we sat down with Terri Baskin, a DC-based wedding photographer and member of Delta Sigma Theta, who loves Oreos, community service & fresh flowers, telling authentic love stories through photos, and following in her Dad's footsteps! Read more of what she has to say to brides below!

Tell us about yourself.  Originally from Greensboro, NC, I am a Virginia-based International wedding photographer.  I have been photographing weddings for 5 years now and I love telling each couples’ authentic love story. I am a graduate of NC A&T SU and VCU (MBA) and I have a heart for helping others.  Photography and interacting with families on the wedding day brings me so much joy.

How long have you been doing photography? I have been doing photography for about 6 years total.

When did you know you wanted to be a photographer, and how did you get your start? My dad was a wedding photographer, so growing up I would see him come home from weddings (back in the day the photographer left after the cake cutting) and I would watch him process his film in his dark room and I loved to see what photos came out of his day’s work.

If you could describe your photography style, what words come to mind? What’s your style? I consider my style of photography authentic, fun and romantic.  I love allowing a couple to be themselves while giving them some direction to find the most flattering angles.

I want to be more than just a vendor to them, I wanted to be a trusted advisor and friend that they can discuss their visions, share their concerns and stay in touch after the wedding day!

What’s your favorite place to shoot? I love to shoot anywhere outdoors!  I love nature, when my allergies aren’t driving me crazy, but I love places with gorgeous scenery or anywhere that’s meaningful to the couple that I am photographing.

Why do you think brides choose you over others/whats your key strengths? I get most of my clients from referrals from past clients.  I know that my brides have been looking forward to this day for some time and it’s my goal to make sure I do everything I can to ensure they have the best day ever!  I want to be more than just a vendor to them, I wanted to be a trusted advisor and friend that they can discuss their visions, share their concerns and stay in touch after the wedding day!

What’s your favorite part of working with brides and grooms? My favorite part is seeing what makes them click as a couple.  Watching their chemistry and determining if they are fun, reserved, quirky, or shy and brining out their true personalities during their shoot. 

What’s the most interesting wedding moment you’ve witnessed? The most interesting moment that I have witnessed was a special moment between a father and daughter during a wedding I shot a couple of years ago in Philadelphia.  The bride’s father was a radio DJ when she was younger and what she didn’t know was that he wanted to choose the song for their father-daughter dance.  She was totally cool with it.  When the song started playing it was Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You” and he had recorded her singing the song when she was 2 years old, so she was dancing with her father while hearing her 2 year old voice sing.  The entire room was in tears and so was I!

Any wedding advice to the brides reading this? Hire professionals that you trust.  Figure out what style of photography catches your attention and hire someone with that style (or similar).  Trying to get a photographer to change their style to fit your wedding may result in disappointment in the final product since that is not their specialty.  Also, hire a wedding planner.  That small expense can save brides a ton of headache on the wedding day.  There are so many moving parts to a wedding and I want every bride to be able to enjoy the moment because it passes so quickly!

Hire someone with your style... Trying to get a photographer to change their style to fit your wedding may result in disappointment in the final product since that is not their specialty.

What are the traits of a good photographer?/What should brides look for? I think a good photographer can give direction to help a couple prepare for their engagement photos and wedding day.  They must be able to communicate well and in a timely manor and they should be willing to show a bride a full/complete wedding gallery if asked.  

If married -- when did you get married and what was your wedding like? Any marriage tips? I’m not married yet but I’m dating, so my guy hears about every wedding I photograph!

One of the things broomstick holds dear in everything we do is we try to show brides #beyondthedress, meaning, we celebrate their weddings & marriages as a PART of who they are, instead of other companies who seem to make brides think that their wedding is 100% of their lives at that moment. What do you think about that? What are some of the ways you’ve seen how a couple’s life & goals influences what their wedding looks like? I love that!!!  Life really happens after the wedding is over and I don’t know that all couples prepare for that.  I honestly make sure I connect with a couple when we first meet because that gives me a good indication of the strength of their relationship.  I love when couples incorporate their families or traditions into their wedding day.  I think it shows they respect what each other and their respective families bring to the marriage and it shows their support system is in place. I also love when couples have written their own vows to one another because it means they’ve put some thought into how they are about to profess their love in front of their family and friends!

As you also may know, we give to organizations empowering women & girls. What are some of your favorite female causes right now to get behind? I am an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., so I am active in some of the projects we have for women.  One that is near and dear to my heart is the Little Miss Jabberwocky pageant.  I participated in this pageant when I was a senior in high school.  My chapter focuses on girls, aged 7-9, and what I love most is the activities leading up to the pageant that teach them safety, etiquette, community service and team building.  I think reaching girls when they are young has a lasting effect on them thru adulthood.

With that being said, what are some of your favorite parts of yourself #beyondthelens? When I am not working, I enjoy supporting the community initiatives and projects of my organization. I also love traveling and trying new restaurants!  I used to want to attend culinary school but I realized that I loved to eat more than I loved cooking!  I’m a lover of Oreos and fresh flowers, so one or sometimes both are usually present in my home.