Tell me about yourself--why are you a wedding photographer?

I’m a believer, a wife, a mom, and an artist. I’ve been a full-time photographer since 2012, but I’ve loved photography my whole life. 

I’ve chosen to focus on weddings because I love capturing the day and the exact moment when two people join their lives together. Like all great beginnings, it is incredibly hopeful and inspiring and it brings out some of the best conversations, speeches, gestures, and emotions we can express.

What's your favorite part of your job?

While I love the big moments, it’s the small ones that mean the most to me. As a photographer, I get to witness and record the intimate gatherings, private conversations, and subtle emotions that no one else sees, and I am incredibly grateful for that privilege.

There are so many wedding photographers. What sets you apart?

As a wedding photographer, I take a long-term approach that looks past your wedding day to your years of marriage. My goal is to create photos that nurture and beautify your marriage over a lifetime of love. I’m less into trends and blogs than I am into getting to know my couples so I can capture their true personalities. 

While many other photographers highlight pretty details in their portfolios, mine is a mix of authentic portraiture and candid, emotion-packed moments with a few thoughtful details sprinkled in. I've chosen these photos because I believe people are the most important part of a wedding. 

No matter how lovely the venue, the dress, or the details, my favorite subject will always be beautiful relationships.

Since this approach is not the standard in my industry, I’ve found advertising and publishing my work is usually not the best way to find my clients. Most of my couples are referred to me by friends or family who’ve worked with me in the past. For this reason, I currently have no paid advertising. 

For more about why I’m a wedding photographer, and how I do things differently than many others in my industry, see this post

Do you specialize in a particular style of photography? 

I employ a variety of settings and techniques during a wedding. My goal throughout the day is to capture each moment as beautifully and authentically as possible—and this can mean shooting my lenses wide open for soft bridal portraits or using a higher aperture to capture a whole group of people clearly. 

I don't approach every wedding the same way, and I don't force any particular style or trend onto my clients. I am shooting first and foremost for you--I want you to love your photos from the first moment you see them to the day fifty years later when you show them to your grandkids.

While photos that all have the same “look” tend to be very popular for editorial features in blogs and magazines, I want my photos to do more than look pretty together on a page. I want them to bring back the memories and emotions of your wedding day over a lifetime.

That being said, if you enjoy (or dislike) a particular photography style, please let me know, as I’m more than happy to tailor my approach. My photos are for my clients first and foremost—not for my portfolio or publications. To see how I've captured weddings for my past clients, please view my wedding portfolio.

Who is your ideal client?

I work best with people who are excited to get married and want timeless, authentic photos to remember their wedding day over a lifetime. My clients aren't necessarily concerned with planning the "perfect day" or having the most unique wedding favors. They value their relationships with family and friends and want everyone to enjoy their wedding day with them. 

While they may be nervous about some aspects of their wedding, they are ultimately excited to have all the people they love help them celebrate the start of their marriage, and they want the day to be as low-stress as possible. When it comes to photography, they are happy to share their vision and trust me to capture their wedding the way they want it. 

What are your rates and how do I book you?

As an artist, I do my best work when I can get to know and work with just a few couples who share my values. Typically, this means shooting only one wedding per weekend and no more than two per month. For this reason, I don’t encourage every couple who inquires about a wedding date to work with me. It’s much better for me to work with a few people who really share my vision than to book the maximum number of weddings I can handle.

I believe the relationship between the photographer and the couple is one of the most important factors in creating beautiful images, and I book a limited number of weddings per year so I can give my clients the time, attention, and creative energy they need.  Before booking a wedding date, I require a consultation so we can both decide if we are the right fit. To schedule your consultation, please email me.

Wedding packages start at $4,200 and all packages include my editing time and the final digital files for you to keep. A full list of packages and other options will be provided at your consultation.

If I’m already booked for your date, or if one of us determines we aren’t the right fit, I still want you to find an incredible photographer! For my top tips on choosing the right wedding photographer, see this post.

What is a “First Look” and should I have one?

The concept is actually very simple: the couple chooses a time and location to see each other before the ceremony, usually with only the photographer present to capture their emotions (though they can also include parents or friend if they like). It's a great way to settle nerves, enjoy a private moment together, and get some photos before all the wedding day events begin. Sometimes it’s the only way to allow enough time for portraits of the couple, their wedding party, and families.

A First Look can definitely make it easier to capture all the photos you want, and many people prefer to have a private moment together, but it’s ultimately up to you whether it’s the right fit for your wedding. I can talk you through all the important factors you should consider at our consultation, but I will always leave the choice up to you. I happily photograph weddings with and without First Looks.

May I contact some of your former clients to see what it’s like to work with you?

Definitely! My couples and their families have become huge fans of my work and love to talk with other couples about their experience with me. View some of their testimonials here and here and let me know if there is someone in particular you'd like to email.

Wedding planning is stressful. Do you have any advice for me?

Everyone has their own priorities and processes for wedding planning. There are tons of websites with long checklists and how-to's out there, but I've found these can sometimes add to your stress level. From my experience, you shouldn’t feel the need to follow anyone’s checklist or best practices unless it’s actually helpful for you. The best thing I did for my own wedding was to hire vendors I trusted and decide in advance not to worry about all the details on the day of my wedding. 

If you'd like a wedding resource that includes more substantive information than Pinterest, I've heard good things about A Practical Wedding

I have a few more questions--what should I do next?

I would be happy to answer every last question you have during our consultation. Send me an email to get the conversation started or schedule a time for our first meeting.

In the meantime, congratulations on your engagement! I can’t wait to meet you!

Best,

Rachael