Here at Joy, we love weddings because of the way that they bring families together. So when we heard about this team of sisters taking some truly beautiful wedding photos in Arizona, we jumped at the chance to get to know them. Jen Driesbach of kreatid photogrpahy in Gilbert, Arizona works with her sister, Elizabeth, to capture the stunning images you see on this blog post. Keep reading to find out how she went from graphic designer to wedding photographer, what she loves most about weddings and what her biggest challenges are, as well as why she’s so excited about Joy the App’s upcoming launch.
Describe your style in one sentence.
Emotional, modern, bold fine art wedding and senior photography.
How did you become a wedding photographer?
I’m self-taught. I first became interested in photography as an afterthought. I had been working on some graphic design projects and had hit a wall with not finding the right stock images to use. I was having lunch with a good friend and excellent wedding/senior photographer and she asked why I didn’t try and shoot my own stock images for my designs I was working on.
That simple conversation back in 2007 was the official start of my photography career. And even though I am self-taught, I am a firm believer in learning and mastering your craft through as many means as possible.
What’s been your favorite experience as a wedding photographer?
My experience has been a little unique in the sense that I get to do this thing called wedding photography with my little sister Elizabeth. Ninety-nine percent of the weddings we do are photographed together. I think that if I had to have a “favorite experience” it’s getting to do it with her.
What do you love most about photographing weddings? Why do you photograph weddings in particular?
I think the thing I love most about photographing weddings is knowing that at some point the couples I am photographing are going to be 80 years old and still looking at their photographs, reliving their memories. I don’t take that fact lightly. I want them to have the best images that evoke the most colorful memories when memories want to fade. Photographs are powerful things.
Do you have a favorite, must-capture moment for every wedding?
It’s hard to choose just one! I love the moment that a special someone (typically a mom/best friend/grandma) zips up/buttons up the bride in her dress – it symbolizes a rite of passage in my mind.
Oh, and you can’t miss the partner’s face when their future spouse walks down the aisle. f\First-look or not, it’s priceless every single time.
But overall, the mother/son or father/daughter dance…it’s a treasure to that parent and I know it. I tear up almost every single time thinking about my own kids getting married one day.
What’s the most unique wedding photo you’ve ever taken?
the most unique wedding photo I’ve ever taken was mostly because of the scenery…literally breathtaking. The bride and groom chose to have a destination wedding in Breckingridge, Colorado and wanted to depict the scenery as best as Elizabeth and I could. She found this open cut-down tree field that overlooked the snowcapped mountains — it seriously could have been one of the most picturesque moments in my career. And it photographed beautifully, but is even more incredible in my mind’s eye.
What’s been your biggest wedding day challenge?
In my mind there are two that we always go head-to-head with in the challenge department:establishing a timeline and guests using good etiquette when taking photos.
Timeline doesn’t rear its ugly head so much anymore these over past two or so years because couples have been seeking us out for our use of natural lighting specifically, particularly right before sunset. So in the planning meetings before a wedding we want to make sure to suggest a timeline centered around getting the best images that not only enhance the romance of their wedding, but also depict our photography style.
The other challenge is getting around guests that are so determined to capture key moments of the wedding ceremony (like the bride walking down the aisle and seeing her groom, or the first kiss, etc.) that they get in the way of the professional wedding photographer. I am fully aware that we live in a digital era (which is why for our wedding packages we offer digital images and not just prints), but as a guest, it’s important to remember that the couple has invested in their wedding photography and are entrusting us to capture those key moments for them. It’s a major challenge when that friend, aunt or uncle jump out the last second, completely unaware (at least I hope) that doing so could ruin (we always scramble and have been lucky so far!) the shot that the couple has paid us to get. It happens most often during the ceremony.
So what advice would you give to wedding guests who want to take better pictures at weddings they attend, but not get in the way of professional wedding photographers?
I would say the best advice to taking better pictures at the weddings is to remember that you were asked to be a guest at their celebration, so be sensitive. I think selfies with the bride and groom while they are getting ready, or candid photos of Aunt Mildred getting her groove on on the dancefloor, or catching the sunset in a photograph with other guests you don’t get to see that often are PERFECT moments and SHOULD be photographed by you. Just use good judgement, especially during the ceremony. Save the “money shots” for the professionals that your friend invested in so thoughtfully and carefully. Plus, if you’re hiring Elizabeth and I, we always give the couple a link to the images from those moments so you can have and share the best photographs while still being present in those memories.
At Joy, we believe that even though a wedding lasts a day, joy should last forever. What does that mean to you?
I’m a HUGE fan of what Joy The App is bringing to the wedding industry. like I said previously, photographs last a lifetime, and should be taken like they are intended to last a lifetime. People don’t last forever, but in a photograph they do. Also, digital media and social media is here to stay — creating an app for couples to easily see and share their memories and joy is an incredible idea, and one that I think the wedding industry could use!