Vendor Spotlight: Craig Dirkes Photography

Are you still searching for an amazing photographer for your upcoming wedding?! Look no further... introducing Craig with Craig Dirkes Photography! We came across Craig while working a recent wedding at StoneRidge Golf Course in Stillwater. We were really impressed with his work so we decided to do a little Q&A with him and find out what makes his wedding photography just so amazing.

What do you love most about being a wedding photographer?
Creating. I love to dream up photo ideas that have never been shot before. To that end, I try to outdo myself every time I pick up a camera. By creating photos that are totally original, my clients end up with eye-popping photos they can be proud of. Basically, the day I start shooting the same kinds of photos from wedding to wedding is the day I stop photographing weddings.

What led you to the wedding industry, specifically? 
I stumbled into wedding photography in 2004 as I had just returned home to Minnesota after four years of living in Alaska where I learned photography while working as a journalist. That year, several of my Minnesota friends on tight budgets asked me to photographer their weddings. I fell in love with wedding photography immediately and it grew from there.

What are your favorite wedding trends right now?
Fancy desserts. While I appreciate big beautiful wedding cakes, I particularly enjoy custom cheesecakes, cupcake towers, old-fashioned ice cream stands, and the like. It seems like every other wedding I shoot, there's a new dessert idea I've never seen before. Second place goes to Satellite Bars. I've shot several barn weddings that featured little stands offering a variety of indulgences, everything from craft beers to cigars, to scotches and whiskeys. Super cool.

Tell us about your most memorable and fun wedding/event.
Every wedding I've ever shot in the vacation town of Okoboji, Iowa. For some reason, that place brings out the best in me. The area features everything a wedding photographer could ask for: a big body of water, a variety of flora, an amusement park, rustic architecture.... the list goes on. Two of the featured weddings on my website were shot in Okoboji -- "Jeff + Rachel" and "Dan + Carmen."

What makes you unique from other wedding photographers?
My ability to capture moments. I am constantly on the hunt for them. I believe the greatest wedding photos are those with the perfect combination of lighting, emotion and composition. I am obsessed with discovering these moments and capturing them during the split-second they happen.

Tell us one thing we might not otherwise know about you.
I am an author. My debut novel, SUCKTOWN, ALASKA, will be released May 1, 2017 by Switch Press. The book is a young adult novel loosely based on my time living in rural Alaska. It is available for preorder online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Melody Hall