How did you get into photography? Are you self-taught or formally trained?
I’ve had a camera in hand since even before my parents gifted me my very own izone pocket instant camera. I immediately became fascinated by the film with the sticky back, I posted those little suckers everywhere! And now, about two decades later, I’m making a career out of my adoration for photography. That izone camera followed by my bright pink digital point and shoot and countless other cameras I managed to get my hands on over the years, was the start of my fascination and self-teaching of documenting via imagery. I eventually found myself taking some college courses “for fun” while I tried to figure out what I was really going to do. Well, jokes on me because here I am, totally in love with photography.
Describe your style in one sentence.
I aim to have a timeless style that speaks to the story while being bold, just moody enough, and truthful.
What’s been your favorite experience as a wedding photographer?
Hands down my best experience was the honor that overwhelms me when I realize that these couples choose me. They place a colossal amount of trust into my craft and so graciously grant me a backstage pass to this day they’ve dreamed about since they first fell for one another.
What do you love most about photographing weddings? Why do you photograph weddings in particular?
For me, photographing a wedding means being charged with the task of making it immortal. I know everyone hears about wedding days becoming a blur for the couple because of how much is going on, so to me I see it as my job to commemorate the day in a way that shows them all the little moments they may not have picked up on. I’m looking for their loved ones blotting tears from their eyes, the sneaky looks of affection passed unnoticed from the groom to the bride, the hiccups that cause for laughter from the deepest parts of your belly, and all the in-betweens! I love creating evidence of all these fleeting moments – and being able to gift those back to the couple.
Where is the most interesting or unique place you’ve photographed a wedding? Was there anything especially challenging about it?
I’d have to say the most interesting location I’ve experienced for a wedding would be a backyard wedding on a hidden farm in the middle of the city. It was a bit of an environment shock when I pulled up and saw horses galloping across the ceremony space that was created by the bride’s family + friends. They were gorgeous and I become obsessed, but who could blame me. As pretty as this intimate setup was, we definitely were faced with obstacles. I had to be very cautious of where I was stepping and although beautiful, being so close to these massive creatures was very new for me. You know those unplanned things that always pop up? Well for this wedding it was the horse taking a surprise bite straight out of the bride’s bouquet. And boy can they take a hefty mouthful! All the bridesmaids promptly donated flowers from their own bouquet to fill back out the brides – so all was well!
Do you have a favorite, must-capture moment for every wedding?
My go-to shot is always reactions, reactions, reactions. I think a big reason that drives us to make this day so special and done up is for those who we decide to surround ourselves with during this merriment. So I can’t help but gravitate towards capturing the expressions from parents as they see their kiddos walking down aisles, promising forever, and dancing the night away.
As a photographer, what has been your biggest wedding day challenge?
The biggest challenge is always the constant change in conditions. Oftentimes as a wedding photographer you are battling shifts in lighting, locations, and just about anything else you can imagine. It’s always a challenge (but in the best of ways) to stay on your toes and adapt!
What piece of advice would you give brides and grooms to ensure that they get wedding photos they love forever? (This can include tips about preparation, choosing a photographer, or anything else.)
I always say an important part of picking a photographer is getting to know them. Especially if photography is at the top of your priority as a planning couple – take the time to reach out and learn about your potential picks. You are opening up your heart and most intimate moments to this person that will be documenting your celebration of love. Coffee dates + having an engagement shoot beforehand is always a good start!
What are your favorite wedding trends to photograph right now?
I’m so awful at keeping up with the trends. I feel like following them too closely causes my work to be muddy. I admire so many wonderful photographers but I feel that chasing trends can become dangerous to an artist of any kind. One thing that I do seem to be seeing more of currently is the daringness of being edgier with lighting choices. I love to see photographers playing with obscure highlights and shadows.
How do you think an app like Joy can help make weddings better?
Planning seems to be the most overwhelming part for a planning couple, and planning goes hand in hand with the organization. I think Joy flawlessly takes that stress away from the couple with their services. And HUGE bonus – their design is always so clean and aesthetically pleasing. As a photographer, I have to say my favorite feature is that your guests can contribute their own photos. What a gift to be able to see a collection of other perspectives all in one place!
If you weren’t a wedding photographer, what would you be doing?
This is sort of a tough one to answer. If I weren’t a wedding photographer I would probably be doing something very technical and business related. I have two very different sides to my personality/skills makeup. I have a very creative + daring side but I also have a side that loves numbers, figures, and strategy. I get my fix with both of these sides with running my own photography business but in another life, I could see myself trying my hand at something in the real-estate world.
At Joy we believe that even though a wedding lasts a day, joy lasts forever. What does that mean to you?
Ah, this one hits home! For me, this just flows right into my idea of what your wedding day means on a bigger picture. I think that day perfectly encompasses the promise that you’re making to one another. You are telling your partner that you plan to concentrate on the joy that you know they add into your life. There will be hard times along with the good ones, but you can always count on the joy that weaves your souls together.