Meet the Photographer: Manuel Trinidad
Next up in our Meet the Photographers series is Manuel Trinidad of Manuel Trinidad Photography. Manuel has been a professional wedding photographer for six years, and before that, he worked in mechanics, construction and technology.
Manuel clearly takes his profession seriously, and he makes a point of focusing on the bride's vision, but he also lives a full life outside of wedding photography with his volunteer work.
Let's take a look inside the life of Manuel.
How would you describe your photography style?
"Vision before style." To me, it's about the bride's vision. That is what will drive the style we end up with. Everything I do is driven by the bride's vision. It's about how she envisions her wedding day and how she wants their story told.
I never define my brides by any specific style. I'm a storyteller, and every story is unique. My job is to tell her story through her eyes, not write it for her. It's to understand who she is, who they are as a couple, to know their story, and then tell that story through unique and amazing images, that are not just of them, but about them.
I have a saying, "I am a master of vision and servant to style." That is why I build relationships with my couples and connect with them on a level that's much deeper than someone with a camera who just shows up and takes a bunch of photos.
That's how I am able to serve each of my brides uniquely, create a style that's all their own, and deliver images that not only capture her story but images that she'll fall in love with both visually and emotionally.
What are the moments you make sure to capture on a wedding day?
It's a great question, and of course, I do everything to make sure I capture all of them. But for me, it's about what's important to the bride. It's one of the first questions I will ask her, what's most important to you? What do you want to remember the most out of this day? Is it the first time her father truly sees his baby girl as a grown woman? Or the first time her new husband sets his eyes on his beautiful bride and is left speechless?
Everything I do revolves around the bride and couple. So for me, it's not what I think are the most important moments, but what are those that are most important to her.
Of course, there are many, many moments that we always make sure to capture: the first kiss, walking down the aisle, first dances, first looks, getting ready shots, etc. But more than anything, it's about making sure I know what's important to her and not missing any of those moments no matter what. If I don't capture that, then nothing else will matter.
What do you love about being a wedding photographer?
The hope it gives me. It's the hope that two people who love each other unconditionally will bring good into this world. It's the hope I see when two people connect on a level so deep, nothing in this world can break them apart. The hope it gives me, knowing that two people will go into this world and face all it's challenges together, and no matter how tough things may get, they will grow stronger individually, stronger as a couple, and grow closer to each other, every single day. What I love most about this career is that it brings me hope.
What price points can brides expect?
$2,650-$4,500 are where most of my [prices] range.
When you're not shooting weddings, what do you like to do with your spare time?
It's about two things: Learning and giving back.
I am a firm believer that no one, no matter how long they've been doing this, will ever know everything there is to know about photography, especially wedding photography. I am constantly striving to learn, practice and build on my skill, and continuously improve. I am constantly reading books written by the best wedding photographers in the world or taking some course or studying some new technology in cameras, lenses or lighting.
I believe if you have the ability to give back, you have the responsibility to do so. I really enjoy giving my time and skills to charitable organizations, capturing great photos of their events, so they can share and spread the word on social media, or creating great content for organizations.
I've created videos for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and I've worked with the Crohn's and Colitis organization here in NWA. I most recently photographed an event for a wonderful organization here in NWA called Brand New Mercies. They provide a safe home and treatment program for women recovering from substance abuse, domestic violence and self-destructive behaviors. This year they brought in LA recording artist Lucine Fyelon, a hip-hop violinist, and performed a two-hour concert at Haxton Road Studios in Bentonville, so I got to spend the entire day with her and capture some amazing images from the concert.
What's your favorite way to unwind after a busy wedding weekend?
Relaxing in my favorite recliner with a cup of coffee and either watching a documentary on Netflix or reading. Then I like to go to one of my favorite coffee shops, 211 Café in Bentonville, and get mentally prepared for the week ahead.