Mike Freeland, an accomplished wedding photographer, didn’t even know such a thing existed.
Freeland, owner of Freeland Photography in downtown Lee’s Summit, was more than honored his company was inducted Oct. 1 into The Knot Wedding Network’s Hall of Fame. The winners were announced at the 10th annual Wedding MBA, a trade event in Las Vegas of 10,000 professionals from around the world.
The Knot Wedding Magazine and the Wedding Channel make up The Knot Wedding Network. Comprised of winners of the annual Best of Weddings, a by-brides-for-brides guide to the top wedding vendors in 80-plus cities across the U.S., the Hall of Fame inducted wedding vendors who have won four or more Best of Weddings awards.
The list of 331 inductees, which also included Longview Mansion, makes up less than two percent of wedding professionals in the country.
Freeland Photography qualified based on its Best of Weddings designations six of the past seven years.
“It was a great honor,” Freeland said Oct. 23. “I got a phone call saying we’ve been inducted; I didn’t even know there was a wedding hall of fame. It kind of sounds like a retirement party, but I’m not ready to retire. But, yeah, it was definitely a big honor.”
Freeland Photography began in Independence in 1997, but relocated in 2011 to 320 S.E. Douglas St. in downtown Lee’s Summit. During their first year in Lee’s Summit they were selected by KC Magazine as one of the area’s top-five photographers. Specializing in wedding photography, Freeland’s work has also been published in The Kansas City Star, KC Magazine, Jewish Life, Ea Bride, KC Weddings and Spaces Magazine.
Cindy King, co-owner with husband Bryan and their children of the Stanley Historic Event Space and its adjoining Aspen Room, said Freeland’s expertise and skills are well-sought after. The Kings have repeatedly recommended Freeland to clients using their downtown Lee’s Summit wedding space.
“I think he is very creative,” King said of Freeland. “He also has an eye behind the camera. He knows what he’s looking for and it doesn’t take him several shots to get it. His photos speak for themselves. He sets himself apart from other photographers. We recommend him a lot. I think he does a very good job and we like the fact that he is here in downtown Lee’s Summit.”
Freeland employs a staff of three-full-time workers, four part-time staff members and a variety of contractors. The studio offers an array of photography options including offering photography classes for the general public.
“I’ve photographed at least 52 weddings a year for 18 years now,” Freeland said. “Some people ask me if weddings are stressful and I guess they could be, but I think flying an airplane would be stressful. If you do it enough and you go through the training, it probably isn’t. I love weddings. There is always a challenge to figure out what the right recipe is to be in the right place at the right time.”