Attention Seattle-area couples: there’s a new wedding photography phenom in the Pacific Northwest. Jenna Bechtcholt is a natural light photographer who recently relocated from Southern California to Seattle, Washington. She loves dramatic sun flares, capturing raw and honest expressions of emotion, and is an ace baker. She also takes truly incredible photos — basically, Jenna Bechtholt Photography is the whole package. We recently had the chance to sit down with Jenna and chat about why she became a wedding photographer, what her biggest challenges and rewards are, and what her favorite dessert is. Jenna’s work has been featured on Green Wedding Shoes, Ruffled Blog, 1000 Layer Cake and more, and we were honored to get the chance to learn more about her.
How long have you been a wedding photographer?
I have been a wedding photographer for almost 4 years.
Describe your style in one sentence.
My style is bright, airy and driven by romance and natural light.
What do you love most about photographing weddings? Why do you photograph weddings in particular?
My initial reasoning for selecting weddings over anything else was because I thought I could actually make it into a full time job and a lasting career. But as I continued to photograph weddings, something funny happened. I completely fell in love with the process and all of the beautiful details and emotion-filled moments. It’s an honor to document such a special day for a couple and their family.
What’s your favorite, must-capture moment for every wedding?
My absolute favorite must-capture moment at every wedding is when the bride and groom are announced for the first time as newlyweds to their friends and family. The smiles and pure joy on their faces make for an amazing image filled with so much emotion! Those are the kinds of moments that keep me doing what I’m doing.
What’s the most unique wedding photo you’ve ever taken?
Something about sun flare and a rad backdrop speaks to my soul. I don’t know if this is necessarily the most unique but this image is definitely one of my favorites and probably defines my style — set on a rooftop in downtown LA with amazing golden light, a pinch of sun flare to top it off and a stylish bride and groom.
What’s the best wedding cake you’ve ever had?
Can I say my own? 😉 But really. I’m a sucker for anything with cinnamon therefore a Mexican chocolate cake and a cinnamon frosting will always be my winning combination!
What’s been your biggest wedding day challenge?
Finding the best light throughout the day. This is a challenge but it’s one I enjoy! As a natural light photographer the lighting is what truly makes my images special and during a wedding, which can be anywhere from 6 – 10 hours, the sun is constantly moving and therefore the lighting is always shifting. So on a wedding day I am always watching shadows and checking the direction of the sun so that I can get the look that I want even when it’s not golden hour.
What piece of advice would you give brides and grooms to ensure that they get wedding photos they love forever?
Make sure you love your photographer’s particular style and enjoy your special day! The best photographs are those that are full of happiness, love and honesty. So forget the stress of making everything perfect or worrying that your timeline may be running late and just be in the moment! Trust me, your photos will be so much better if you’re smiling and having fun.
What piece of advice would you give to wedding guests who want to take better pictures at weddings they attend?
That’s a tough one only because I would really encourage guests to put down their cameras and enjoy the celebration. After all, I’m hired to capture all of those moments for you, right?! But since I can’t capture every moment, I always tell people to find the best light and limit distracting elements.
At Joy we believe that even though a wedding lasts a day, joy should last forever. What does that mean to you?
I love that phrase! To me this is a reminder that a wedding celebration is only one day but photographs last a lifetime and beyond. Capturing images full of love and happiness help to prolong the memories of a wedding celebration and the uniting of two families which is sure to bring about a lasting feeling of joy.
If you weren’t a wedding photographer, what would you be doing?
I would probably be a therapist helping people on their darkest of days wishing I were a photographer documenting people’s happiest of days!