Jei and Gaile are an LA-based wedding and engagement photography duo. (And by duo, we mean duo in sickness and in health.) We interview the husband and wife team and get the scoop on their stunning style, how they got into wedding photography, and what joy really means to them.
How did you get into photography? Are you self taught or formally trained?
We are, for the most part, self-taught, although Jei did take photography (mostly film) classes. It started as a hobby for both of us (we didn’t know each other back then), with Jei already using a film SLR when he was in grade school (given to him by his grandpa) and Gaile enjoying personal portrait and fashion shoots when she was in college. After meeting each other, we found a common interest in art, culture, fashion, and photography. In LA, a lot of our artists and musician friends needed headshot portraits and this is how we started photography professionally. While planning our wedding in early 2014, we grew more interested in wedding photography and that’s when Wanderlust Creatives was founded.
Describe your style in one sentence.
Our style is mainly editorial, with a documentary photojournalistic approach, focusing on capturing scenes and emotions that are mostly unexpected but surprisingly beautiful.
What’s been your favorite experience as a wedding photographer?
We can’t deny that we love traveling and exploring new places, even here in Los Angles, for weddings and engagement shoots. It’s amazing how we’ve discovered more about SoCal within the last two years compared to all the years we’ve lived here.
What do you love most about photographing weddings? Why do you photograph weddings in particular?
What really drew us to documenting weddings is how it is always a happy occasion—a celebration. It’s an event that brings together a couple and their closest family and friends. Getting to capture in photo the myriad of emotions (mostly LOVE) and happenings in one wedding day is a challenge that we welcome. The different family and cultural traditions in weddings also inspire us so much as creatives, not to mention the beautiful details in the couple’s wedding attire, florals, ceremony and reception location, and even the food! All of which show their style and personality.
Where is the most interesting or unique place you’ve photographed a wedding? Was there anything especially challenging about it?
It would have to be Silver Falls Park in Silverton, Oregon. It was our first destination wedding and our first super outdoorsy location. We literally had to hike to get to one of the falls where we photographed the newlyweds in their alone time. The most challenging thing about it was the lack of cellphone reception. Communication with the coordinator and wedding party was quite difficult. Luckily we were able to think ahead by getting a pair of radio walkie-talkies so that Jei and I could still easily communicate!
Do you have a favorite, must-capture moment for every wedding?
Gaile: My favorite wedding moment is definitely that moment when the couple walks down the aisle as newlyweds. I always ask them to stop at the end and do another newlywed kiss, with their loved ones looking and cheering on at the background. To me, it’s the happiest moment in a wedding ceremony!
Jei: When the couple opts to do a first look, it is usually my favorite moment to capture in photo. It’s intimate, it’s a few minutes full of excitement and affection, and it’s the best time, in my opinion, to take couple portraits.
As a photographer, what has been your biggest wedding day challenge?
We both agree that our biggest wedding day challenge is always the occasional “Uncle Bob, the photographer.” You know, that person who always blocks your shot with their equipment, ranging from an iPad to their very own DSLR. After encountering him (or her) several times, we’ve learned how to grab that prime spot before they do and assert ourselves in the nicest way possible. If none of those work, we make the coordinator play bad cop!
What piece of advice would you give brides and grooms to ensure that they get wedding photos they love forever?
Be honest in communicating what you want. We find that through the years, we work best with couples who really know what they want and will not settle for less than that. We know that budget plays a major part in deciding for a photographer, but we believe that when a couple’s idea of how their wedding day would look like is clear, they would easily find a photographer that both fits their style and aesthetic.
What are your favorite wedding trends to photograph right now?
Jei: The trend on wild, over-the-top florals is so inspiring! I love photographing their details as well as incorporating them in as many photos as possible!
Gaile: It’s not a trend per se, but I am obsessed with getting a super symmetrical, super wide, landscape photo with the couple as the subject. These always make for gorgeous art pieces that one would want to print and hang in their home.
How do you think an app like Joy can help make weddings better?
Technology has made so many things in life easier. Having an app that takes care of both the wedding website and the wedding planning, including communication with guests, just makes everything so efficient! Instead of worrying about being organized with wedding planning, a couple can actually focus on the wedding planning itself! That in itself can make weddings better.
If you weren’t a wedding photographer, what would you be doing?
Jei: I would still be a photographer, but most likely be in fashion photography.
Gaile: I would be Jei’s agent and manager (haha) and/or a travel and lifestyle blogger.
At Joy we believe that even though a wedding lasts a day, joy lasts forever. What does that mean to you?
To us, it simply means that getting married on your wedding day is simply the start of something amazing that will last forever. Truly, “there is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.”