Pittsburgh Photography & Videography: Jake Carlson Media


We wanted to start another series here on our blog specifically about Pittsburgh photographers and videographers who work in the wedding and event industry.  We love collaborating and getting the chance to learn from all the wonderful talent Pittsburgh has to offer in the creative space. 

Today, I am excited to share a post about local Pittsburgh photographer and videographer, Jake Carlson. Jake is owner and founder of his own business, Jake Carslon Media.  He is experienced in all areas of his industry - shooting a wide variety of exceptional content. Jake's talent spans from capturing the intricate movement in athletics to the enchantment and raw emotion in engagement and wedding shoots. The beautiful image included in today's post is among many of the moments Jake has caught on camera in his accomplished portfolio.  I recently had a conversation with Jake about his business, what inspires him and more. Definitely worth a read!


L: How did you get started in wedding/engagement videography and photography?

J: I filmed my first wedding at the beginning of my senior year in college.  This was one of my first paid opportunities to use a camera.  Everything until then had been for fun.  I had absolutely no idea what to charge, what equipment would be needed, or really what I was doing.  Before this my experience consisted of making edits with friends at 7 Springs (before being hired to work there) and side projects on my own.  Luckily the job was for a friend, so we agreed for it to be experimental at a very low rate.  Looking back I did so many things incorrectly.  It was incredibly eye opening as to what shooting weddings on a professional level was going to require.  Since then, I have researched and studied multiple techniques behind wedding films and photography.  Weddings for me came at a challenge at first.  I have been filming things since I was a kid and was always influenced by action sports films, music videos, and things of the sort.  In other words, I needed to take my style and slow it way down.  At first this was a challenge.  After years of practice and new experiences I have learned to appreciate art of the event, and to capture accordingly.  So far this year I have shot photo and video content at seven weddings. 


L: What is your favorite part about this business?

J:  No job is ever the exact same.  I love experiencing new things and this industry definitely allows for that.  I’ve personally never wanted to work in an office/cubicle environment.  Fortunately while shooting content I never really know where I’m going to end up.  2/2 – As far as capturing weddings, there’s a sense of satisfaction in being able to capture the biggest day in someone’s life.  Wedding albums are rare in the sense that people may be looking at them sixty plus years down the road.  I like that.


L: What inspires you when shooting engaged or married couples?

J: As an artist other photographers and videographers constantly inspire me.  Today with social media we are constantly exposed to top of the line work from all over the world.  Some times I find myself scrolling through an Instagram or Facebook account that belongs to someone I don’t even know. Although it’s mildly addicting, I think it’s good to step back and observe other work to fuel my own mind with new ideas.  Any time that you think you’re on top in this industry, think again.  There is always someone out there who sees the same scene in a different light and will create images that will make yours obsolete.  I’m constantly trying to stay ahead and discover new things.  


L: What is it you'd like to say with your photographs? And how do you get that message conveyed?

J: A sense of mystery.  I have always been very intrigued by images that leave questions.  “Where was this taken?”  “What settings did you use?” “How did you end up there?”  People with no background in photography or videography so easily fall into an illusion created by the image.  They see it and are struck by it.  I’ve found this to be incredibly true through social media.  The image that people paint around themselves on Instagram blows me away. Yet, there is a level of interest there.  I can expose my work on the Internet to enhance my image while marketing myself as a business, so why not?  I think the most important way to get that message conveyed is to keep expanding my horizons.  I for one am never satisfied, so I am constantly shooting new things in different ways.  For years, my images were focused around the Free-Ski industry and other action sports.  I could tell people were getting bored with it after awhile.  At the time a door opened for me to start shooting EDM shows at clubs in Pittsburgh.  I’m not even a huge EDM fan but it was something different to display.  Since then I’ve shot things from Snoop Dogg performing, to cows posing in a field to be sold on line.  People rarely know what I’m doing which I like, and the sense of mystery creates itself.


L: In the wedding industry, what is the biggest thing you've learned in regards to photography and videography?

J: I’ve learned to overshoot weddings.  It creates more work in post, but it is so much better to be in the position when you’re deciding which images to use rather than coming to terms with the fact that you don’t have enough content. 


L: What is the best thing about the Pittsburgh wedding industry that you've experienced as a photographer and videographer?

J: Work is steady in this industry.  I’m sure that my age helps, but people around me everywhere are getting married and the jobs keep coming.  


L: What is the most important thing to establish in a videographer/photographer relationship with a client?

J: A level of comfort and trust.  I’ve learned that some people get very uncomfortable when a camera is pointed at them.  I try to make shoots as relaxed and fun as possible while ensuring the client that they will be happy with the final product.



If you, or someone you know, is looking for a skilled professional photographer or videographer - A & L Events would highly recommend Jake Carlson Media. We personally know satisfied clients of his and they could not be happier with his work. 

If you would like to contact Jake regarding business inquiries you can do so by clicking here

Until next week,