Phoenix-based photographer, Stephanie Heymann, shares her very own tips, tricks, and favorite moments when photographing weddings.
How did you get into photography? Are you self-taught or formally trained?
I’ve loved photography since I was young. I can remember holding a Canon camera at five years old and loving the way it felt and being enamored with the sound of the shutter. I spent hours in the darkroom working with film in high school and college. Much of the knowledge I have of digital photography is self-taught. I am a bit of a computer nerd so I love learning and figuring things out on my own.
Describe your style in one sentence.
I am a natural light photographer who leans towards the “light and moody” side of photography capturing real emotions and telling the story through images.
What’s been your favorite experience as a wedding photographer?
I’ve been lucky enough to travel to some incredible destinations for weddings. Anytime I get to travel doing what I love is a win in my book.
What do you love most about photographing weddings? Why do you photograph weddings in particular?
I love that I was chosen to document the most important day of my couples’ lives. It’s a huge honor that I do not take lightly. I love that we as photographers are invited to photograph all of the raw emotion that goes into a wedding day. We see more than anyone else does and the trust my couples have in me is very special. We really do create a bond together. I keep in touch will all of my clients!
Where is the most interesting or unique place you’ve photographed a wedding? Was there anything especially challenging about it?
Recently I photographed a very small private ceremony hidden in the woods of Sedona. It was a Native American Ceremony and it was beyond interesting and STUNNING! The Native American traditions were very new to me so I was hyper-conscious about capturing every movement, every word, and every emotion. It was a challenge but I loved it.
Do you have a favorite, must-capture moment for every wedding?
THE kiss is always a favorite…but I really love the moments after when the couple is walking back down the aisle as husband and wife; At that moment they are finally relaxed and the smiles are the most genuine. I also love all of the crazy-fun reception moments on the dance floor.
As a photographer, what has been your biggest wedding day challenge?
If I’m being honest, my only challenges have been when the hair and makeup team is running late. They set the tone and timeline for the whole day. The other issue all photographers run in to lately is the guests whole want to photograph the whole ceremony with their cell phones. It makes our job really hard. I wish they would put down their phones and really be present. I love an unplugged ceremony!
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.)
Sticking to the timeline we’ve created for the day is super important, of course, nothing is perfect but doing your best to follow the guidelines will make the day run much smoother. I want to make sure that everyone is relaxed and having fun…but limiting your adult beverage intake is a good idea too. I want you to remember this day! Most importantly, choose a photographer that you vibe with. You will be spending more time with him/her that day than almost anyone! It’s important to have good chemistry!
What are your favorite wedding trends to photograph right now?
I love succulents, especially because I am an Arizona girl. Pampas Grass is stunning (but messy). I’m loving the return of color, and anything that is elegant and simple makes for amazing images.
How do you think an app like Joy can help make weddings better?
Having all of this incredible information at your fingertips can take the stress out of planning. I wish I had all of this available to me when I got married!
If you weren’t a wedding photographer, what would you be doing?
Oh gosh…Well, I’m a mom first so that will always be my favorite job. I could see myself in fashion or something else in the Arts – but photography really is my passion.
At Joy we believe that even though a wedding lasts a day, joy lasts forever. What does that mean to you?
I think it means that you need to seek out the things in life that bring you joy and make you happy.