When and how did you ‘fall into’ the photography business?
I have been obsessed with photography for as long as I can remember. From high school yearbook to interning at the Miami Herald during college I then moved to Chicago and started a non-profit small arts organization, Filter Photo, that promotes professional development practices for fine art and documentary photographers. For the past 5 years I have been documenting weddings in Chicago and found that my past experiences have helped define a unique perspective when photographing weddings.
What do you believe wedding photography should be about?
I truly believe it’s my goal to capture each wedding with honesty and sincerity. You choose your photographer based on their style but ultimately you should feel like yourself in a photo and it should take you back to that day and the way it felt.
When did you decide to do weddings – and was there ever a question not to shoot weddings?
About 5 years ago I decided to photograph weddings. It did feel pretty seamless as I think couples were really looking for that documentary feel. With my past experience working at newspapers and galleries, I was always on the pulse of contemporary photography and I feel my aesthetic really spoke to my clients.
What do you love about weddings?
Each wedding is so unique to the couple. I really love how a couple’s personality comes through all of the details.
What is your favorite moment during a wedding?
I know I’m biased but…portraits! I also really love a packed dance floor
Which moment do you think is the most ‘valuable moment’ to capture during a wedding day?
When the couple sees each other for the first time. Whether it’s a first look or down the aisle to me that moment is what it’s all about.
Do you ever get emotional shooting a wedding?
Of course! Weddings are so highly charged with contagious energy…I can’t imagine not getting swept up in it.
What is your strength, both in photography, and in life?
I think it’s really important to keep a good balance. I don’t over schedule myself and build time in to connect with friends and family.
What makes your heart skip a beat – both professionally and private?
Growth. I live in Chicago and there is a natural low season during the winter where I can reflect on the previous season and look forward to the next. I use this time to learn new practices and automate my workflow for the coming year. It really is great to look back and realize you really are growing as an artist and businesswoman.
What is your ambition and your goals for your business in the long run?
To continue growing and defining my business by working on my brand and marketing. The more direct you can speak to your ideal client the more enjoyable your work can be. I also want to book more destination weddings and focusing my business in that direction.
Where did you learn to take photos?
I learned under some of the best photojournalists in the world while I interned at the Miami Herald during college.
What advice would give to someone new in the business?
Take the time to learn from the best. Don’t be in a rush. I worked in studios and second shot for years before taking the leap to run my own studio. Integrity is everything in this business. I’m certainly not a “fake it till you make it” photographer.
Who or what makes you laugh really hard?
What do you take away from the weddings you shoot?
No two weddings are the same and you can certainly learn from every wedding you shoot. Push yourself. I never regretted staying an extra hour or setting up a second light. Don’t be lazy.
What is your inspiration in life – professionally and private?
Working for myself. Setting goals for yourself and seeing the growth from year to year. Knowing I am planning for my future makes me work even harder.
How important is marketing in photography and how do you do it?
Super important! Being able to speak to and attract your ideal client only makes your life more enjoyable! Knowing you are a good match with your client is everything.