I have always enjoyed sharing the work of other small businesses, particularly wedding professionals. Today’s guest has actually been mentioned here before, though at that time Lisa Rodgers was photographing her bath and body creations instead of weddings. (You may remember posts about Cactus & Ivy soaps and soap donations to help Haiti. Lisa is also a co-founder of Personal Care Truth.) An injury forced Lisa to change careers, and she turned a long interest in photography into a new vocation.
I’m thrilled that Lisa has agreed to answer my questions today, and I invite you to read as she shares her thoughts about how to choose a photographer, the challenges of photographing weddings, and how she has reframed wedding photos to include 4-legged family members. She’s also generously shared examples from her portfolio; enjoy!
Shoot Y’all‘s Lisa M. Rodgers and “Grey Mini”


Tell me a bit about your background…how did you get into photography and how long have you been doing it?

I’ve had a love affair with photography since I was in high school. Four years ago this September, I injured my hand playing volleyball. As you know, I manufactured bath and body products under the name Cactus & Ivy. I had to make the decision to close my business because I could no longer perform specific duties. It was the hardest decision I ever made. Cabin fever, due to a snow storm in 2011, was the beginning of my new journey. I never considered photography as a full time gig until I had to carve out a new path for my life.


What special skills or qualities do you bring to your work that make you unique? Is there a technique or style of event that you’re known for?

I think what makes me unique is that I strive to bring out a subject’s personality so when their images are viewed by others, they feel their story. Every session I do is indigenous to the individual from the location to “props.” I encourage people to include their 4-legged family member(s) since they are a part of their lives. As you can see from the photo of the Bride and Groom on horseback (see below), their loyal companion is right there with them. Including your beloved animals can be incorporated into wedding pictures too! When people are comfortable in their environment, surrounded by “props” that have meaning, they tend to forget they are being photographed and let loose. I love candid, not posed. Flowing, not stiff.

“Hitched” – Marc & Mindy with Spook, September 2012
More photos from this barn wedding

I recently joined ViewBug, as another avenue to share my work. Within weeks of joining, I received two image awards. What’s Shakin’ Bacon won Staff Favorite and Reflection of Baby won a Thumbs Up. What is ViewBug? The site describes it the best: ViewBug “is a community where you can participate in photo contests with the coolest brands and awesomest judges, gain recognition and exposure.”

“Man’s Best Man” – Spook at the altar, September 2012

Last year, a restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina, was looking for black & white images that represented people, places and things in the South. I was beyond thrilled when Southern Culture Kitchen & Bar chose my images. Over the Memorial Day weekend, I stopped by Southern Culture to taste drive the food and, of course, get a glimpse of my images. When I saw my pictures adorning the walls of this fabulous establishment, I was like a proud mama. It’s a great feeling when others see my work as an inspiration. I’m blessed and humbled beyond measure! Here is the blog post I wrote about my visit.

What’s the best part about taking photos in South Carolina? How far do you travel to do weddings?

The best part about taking photos in South Carolina is there are a great many unique places that offer a plethora of eye candy for a photographer. I’m quite sure my response would fit every state. Everything I do revolves around my photography. I never leave the house without my camera. Never! I am not bound to South Carolina. I am willing to travel any and everywhere!

“Shell Island” – See more of Lyndsey’s bridal session

What’s the most challenging thing about photographing weddings?

To me, the most challenging thing about photographing weddings is making sure I capture images that you haven’t seen before. Pinterest has provided clients with a wealth of images they would like to re-create for themselves. My job is to create images that want to be re-created. Having as much background information about the bride and groom fuels my creativity. Since I am a natural light photographer, I only shoot outdoor weddings. Working with natural light can always be a challenge and a huge reward, especially while shooting a wedding.

Do you think there are some common mistakes that people make with their wedding pictures?

I don’t necessarily see a common mistake people make with their wedding pictures. I can only add the advice that the bride and groom research photographers and find one that will represent their big day the way they want. Personally, I would want a photographer that understands that candid shots are sometimes more important than the standard posed. The photographer should request a shot list to make sure they capture the images desired by the couple. Shooting a wedding is more than capturing the images of the day. Most photographers shoot 1,000’s of pictures during a wedding. After the couple is married and the big day comes to a close, the photographer still has hours of work ahead of them by viewing and editing the images.

“The Bride” – April 2012 bridal session under crepe myrtles


How do you help make things run more smoothly on a wedding day? Any tips?

To make things run smoothly on a wedding day, I meet with the bride and groom, separately. I congratulate them and tell them not to worry, that I’ve got things under control. I also shoot with a second shooter who has my “eye” for photography. We begin a wedding with me shooting the bride as she is getting ready while my second shooter is capturing the groom. Then we switch. Having two perspectives guarantees that we won’t overlook anything. Throughout the wedding, while I am taking care of the standard posed shots, my second shooter is taking candid shots. I have a shot list provided by the bride and groom while my second shooter has a shot list provided by me, which covers the unique things I am looking for, based on my meetings with the bride and groom.

What are some important things to consider before hiring a photographer?

A bride and groom should consider a variety of things when hiring a photographer. First, look at the photographer’s portfolio. Does their style fit with the couple’s desires? How about the photographer–do they have glowing reviews from other couples? Does the photographer offer the ability to customize a quote based on the couple’s needs or do they just offer standard wedding packages? Choosing a photographer that matches the personality of the bride and groom is of great importance. Having a connection reduces the anxiety of the couple and their pictures will reflect that.

When I created Shoot Y’all Photography, I decided to become a member of the PPA (Professional Photographers of America). The PPA offers me a wealth of information to help grow my business and make me a better photographer. It also sends a message that I am a professional and I take photography seriously.

“Sun Kissed Daisy”


Are you noticing any trends in wedding photography?

The trend in photography I am noticing is personalization. Clients are wanting more of themselves to be represented in their images. Take portraits, for instance. Olan Mills used to be the place to go to get a portrait taken. That’s not the case anymore. Clients want more. They want the “WOW” factor. They want their images to be creative. When I decided to shoot professionally, I chose to be a natural light photographer. Indoor pictures bore me. Posed pictures bore me. While there are a great many posed, indoor pictures that are beautiful, I don’t have the passion to shoot indoors. Therefore, I knew my creativity would be limited and that would not benefit my clients.

Fast forward 5 years: where are Lisa Rodgers and Shoot Y’all Photography?

Five years from now, Lisa Rodgers and Shoot Y’all Photography will be a household name. I always strive for the lofty goals. Betty White and Ellen DeGeneres will be in my portfolio. Why do I say this? Well, both of these remarkable women have a ginormous sense of humor, and they love animals and truly enjoy people. They fit my personality to a “T” and I know they would be an absolute blast to photograph!

“Home is Where the Heart Is”


Where can people find you?

People can find Shoot Y’all Photography via my Website, Facebook, Twitter, SmugMug, ViewBug, Pinterest and Instagram. You may reach me via the contact form on Shoot Y’all Photography or call 864.214.5011

“Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” ~ Harvey MacKay  –  I absolutely love what I do!

Thank you, Lisa, for allowing us to share Shoot Y’all Photography‘s story and some examples of your work! I love Lisa’s photos of the bride and groom on horseback, and standing at the altar with their dog. Which photos did you like best? Do you have any questions for Lisa? Please let us know in the comments!

We love featuring wedding professionals and sharing information about the wedding planning process. Read more of our previous features here:
Bridal Makeup and Skin Care with Kelley Maddison
Have Spa, Will Travel: And Interview with I Do Spas
How to Be a Drama-Free Bridesmaid with Hannah Curtis, LCSW