Sunshine & Reign Photography, a rad duo out of Arizona
As part of our ongoing effort to seek out the finest wedding photographers around, I recently flew out to the Scottsdale area where I met with a lot of great people. I was simply amazed at the amount of talent and entrepreneurial activity in this area. One of my meetings really stood apart from the others: My visit with Amii and Andy Kauth, of Sunshine & Reign Photography.
Andy and Amii are really wonderful people. They are so kind and easy to talk to, that when paired with their professionalism and obvious talent, it’s clear that they are one of the area’s finest wedding photographers. In addition, they have written content for SLR Lounge, Arizona Weddings Magazine, and they even present at industry conferences.
We met at a rather kitschy place called The Duce. It’s a 1928 warehouse turned boxing ring / yoga studio and part-restaurant / part-old-fashioned jazz club. Yes, you should visit. It was over a meal of brisket sliders (eaten very carefully in my BE suit, I should add) that I picked their brain on a handful of topics…
[Ryan] I know that the two of you have some eclectic backgrounds in Education. How has this experience shaped your photography style or process?
[Andy and Amii] Between the two of us, we have three master’s degrees in education-related fields and spent well over ten years in education (K-12 plus a bit of graduate student work at the university level). Then we cashed it all in to run our own wedding photography business. Education is really customer-service oriented. You interact with children and their families daily. You have to care about people and communicate well. That translates so well into wedding photography. We are in constant communication with our couples, and on a wedding day, in particular, our job is to capture epic images, which involves a lot of communication (directing posing when necessary, getting everyone comfortable in front of the camera, etc.).
We also do quite a bit of writing and teaching, photography-wise, and are currently authors with SLR Lounge. Our backgrounds in education lead us to feel confident in our abilities to write on any number of photography-related topics and also allow us to be comfortable speaking in front of other professionals.
When shooting, where do you draw your inspiration from?
We love each other. We love life. We love people. You could say we love . . . love! Ha! We really focus in on the love that the couple shares when we photograph engagements, anniversaries, elopements, and weddings. And we always say that our couples are the raddest of rad lovers! Just like us! Yeah! Beyond that, we are inspired by good wedding photography, which is why we are involved in the Fearless Photographers community. They are a group of international wedding photographers, and they not only put out some of the best wedding photography and wedding photography education on the planet, but also do a lot to help the world be a better place by promoting donations to worthy causes among the community.
You seem to use a lot of different gear including prisms and copper pipes, what’s the motivation behind this?
We are always stoked to create images that wow our couples–images that they can display in their homes and that will stand as pieces of modern art for generations. We style ourselves as both modern and artistic. All our effects are in camera, and we strive to stay up on the edgiest and freshest techniques in digital photography.
If there is one thing you want people to remember your photographs for, what would it be?
We want our clients to look at their photographs and be able to relive their session with us, whether it’s a 4-hour elopement, 5-hour engagement adventure, or a 15+-hour wedding day. We want them to use those images as a talking point to reflect upon their love for each other. And we want other photographers, and really whoever comes across our work, to be drawn in to the images and to be inspired to go out into the world. To adventure. To create. To become love as they enjoy this awesome planet and its amazing people!
Be sure to check out Sunshine & Reign Photography at their website here. And their instagram is amazing! @SunshineandReign. Also, here’s a behind the scenes look at their process via Resource Magazine.
In the Arizona area? Here’s another interview we did with “auctiontainer” Letitia Frye.