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Inspiration » outdoor proposal » Vendor Spotlight: Michaela Kessler Photography

Vendor Spotlight: Michaela Kessler Photography

by Kelsey Vickers
Vendor Spotlight: Michaela Kessler Photography

How did you get into photography? Are you self-taught or formally trained?

I got into photography the summer after my freshman year in high school. I was so inspired seeing other photographers around the area create a business from scratch. So, I decided one day I would try it out. I taught myself off my dad’s old Canon Rebel. I’m not kidding when I say I decided in one day, I literally picked up a camera, called a friend, and took pictures. From there on, I never stopped. I didn’t realize how much I loved how rewarding this passion is!

Describe your style in one sentence.

I am a moody, warm, and candid photographer capturing the feels.

What’s been your favorite experience as a wedding photographer?

My favorite experience was the one time a bride’s uncle danced with me at her wedding. It wasn’t even awkward either! It’s one of my favorites because I got to know her and her family so well that I felt a part of it. I felt like I was treated like a guest, even though I was one of their vendors!

What do you love most about photographing weddings? Why do you photograph weddings in particular?

I love the moment the bride’s mother sees her in her dress, when the groom’s grandma sees him all suited up, the first time the bride and groom see each other, the celebration and the speeches that make everyone (even me ) tear up. I can’t pick one part out because a wedding day is so much more than one specific moment. I photograph weddings because I get to witness these moments and better yet, capture them.

Where is the most interesting or unique place you’ve photographed a wedding? Was there anything especially challenging about it?

The most unique place I’ve photographed a wedding was a local college church that I never really knew about. It was unique because the couple was hardcore fans of the school’s football team and they went there. I really enjoyed the challenge it gave me forcing me to move around and find the right spot for certain images. It was low light, harsh light, all of the things you would imagine.

Do you have a favorite, must-capture moment for every wedding?

My must-have moment is definitely the faces of the couple seeing each other for the first time that day AND the dance floor faces!

As a photographer, what has been your biggest wedding day challenge?

The biggest challenge is getting people to be present. I feel like everyone is just waiting for the next thing to check off the timeline. This is the big day! Don’t rush the process, be present, and enjoy all parts of the day.

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.)

My five tips for brides and grooms that will ensure beautiful images:

  1. Make time in your timeline for a golden hour session. When the light it just right and you’ve just become husband and wife, it really lets you have some time to soak it all in. It could be as quick as 15 minutes or as long as 40. We will take what you will give us!
  2. Have details ready! This is commonly forgotten. Getting that simple shot of your details that you worked so hard to put together… you’re going to want photos of it!
  3. Get ready where there is a good amount of natural light! This will allow for beautiful getting ready shots.
  4. Chose a photographer you connect with. This means, could you see yourself talking to this person and being friends if they weren’t someone you were trying to hire? I feel the better the connection is between a couple and the photographer… the better the images are. Because then the person behind the lens is someone who you feel confident enough to talk to about the details and important things about you and your day. The images will be more personable as well!
  5. Shorten that family formals list! I know we all love our families, but instead of spending 40 minutes getting family pictures, let’s spend less time doing that and more time mingling with your guests! We can always get those pictures at the reception!

What are your favorite wedding trends to photograph right now?

A few trends I am loving are bringing more nature into weddings, the more floral the better! Unplugged weddings, I think, have every photographer’s heart. Overall, I love unique weddings that aren’t the typical cookie cutter wedding. This doesn’t mean a huge expensive wedding, but one that is very personalized to the couple and who they are.

How do you think an app like Joy can help make weddings better?

Joy gives people a place to go for tips, finding vendors, telling their story, and browsing around. I am loving the amount of information given on Joy to help couples out!

If you weren’t a wedding photographer, what would you be doing?

If I wasn’t a wedding photographer I would most likely be in another creative field helping and serving others.

At Joy we believe that even though a wedding lasts a day, joy lasts forever. What does that mean to you?

I believe a wedding day showcases the start of something, but the happiness between two people stretches further. It’s about those moments where he watches a chick flick because he knows you’re feeling down. The times when she makes your favorite meal. Or the moments when the two of you are in your sweatpants having a cozy lazy day. I believe joy is choosing someone who makes the little things matter.


You can contact Michaela Kessler Photography here, or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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