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On this week’s YouTube episode, I walk you through exactly what I have in my bag! I use a Kamrette Mina Daypack bag that I absolutely love – you can see it here!
On this week’s YouTube episode, I walk you through exactly what I have in my bag! I use a Kamrette Mina Daypack bag that I absolutely love – you can see it here! In the video I walk through exactly which lenses and gear I bring to every:
Be sure to watch the video to see how I pack my Kamrette bag and DM on Instagram @manalisontakke or comment on the YouTube video with any questions that you have!
New episodes come out every Monday on YouTube! If you love Behind the Business, be sure to leave a comment and share the show with a friend in the industry!
Cheers to showing up imperfectly & making an impact!
If you’re wondering what the inside of a successful & streamlined photography business looks like, the masterclass is for you! Tune in to this free masterclass to learn how I grew from $600 to $5k weddings and went full-time in less than 1 year without sacrificing my time!
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If you can’t already tell from the very first picture, these two absolutely love being engaged!! Jolene & Peter both went to Virginia Tech and then moved to the area after college! They were family friends growing up, both having been raised in Buffalo, NY, and had always kept in touch throughout the years. As […]
If you can’t already tell from the very first picture, these two absolutely love being engaged!! Jolene & Peter both went to Virginia Tech and then moved to the area after college! They were family friends growing up, both having been raised in Buffalo, NY, and had always kept in touch throughout the years. As they started living the post-grad life in the area, Peter would always ask Jolene to come to DC to hang out. But Jolene was NOT a city girl. After some convincing, he got her to come out to the Court House area for a slice at Fire Works Pizza and let’s just say, there may have not been fireworks but definitely some sparks and they hit it off! Fast forward over two years later, Jolene had a bit of a hunch that Peter MIGHT propose on their trip to Portugal! After all, it’s such a beautiful and gorgeous place that they’d be going to. But sensing that, Peter threw Jolene off track asking her if she would be ok waiting for a couple of years down the road to be engaged. And it totally worked! Jolene went along with it and was surprised when, at the top of a mountain overlooking the Duoro River in Quinta de Santa Eufémia, Peter got down on one knee!!! She came back with a ring and her fiancé!!!
I remember the nerves starting to creep in a couple of days right before I went full-time with photography. I started getting feelings of “wow THIS is IT.” And on a day where I started to question myself a little, I walked into Compass Coffee in Rosslyn and met Jolene & Peter. They were both so excited to be engaged, excited for ME who they had literally just met, and we happened to just click! And for me, it was such a firm reminder of WHY I was choosing this path for myself. To be able to work and serve people like Jolene & Peter throughout one of the most exciting times of their life!! Their enthusiasm for their winery wedding at District Winery was infectious. And although District Winery is in the city, Jolene wanted to make sure that they got pictures with the gorgeous scenery!
These guys love their vineyards and we decided to do their engagement session at Stone Tower Winery! We lucked out with such a beautiful sunny December day and had all of Stone Tower to ourselves!! The grounds, the patio and even the wine cellar, it was a DREAM for me! And these two are simply the BEST because you could not tell from these photos just how COLD it got that day! Taking their photos got me SO excited for their wedding day this upcoming fall! I know it’s going to be such a heartwarming, joyful and fun-filled day and I absolutely CAN NOT wait!!!
Such a CLASSIC shot!!!
Casually in LOVE with Jolene’s ring!
Favorite shot, these guys are such NATURALS!!!
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This proposal is super special because this one has been in the works for MONTHS! Pallavi, Surabhi’s sister, reached out to me SUPER excited back in the summer. Her and Anish have been planning out every detail for months and months it was amazing to finally see it come to life! Anish had decided to propose […]
This proposal is super special because this one has been in the works for MONTHS! Pallavi, Surabhi’s sister, reached out to me SUPER excited back in the summer. Her and Anish have been planning out every detail for months and months it was amazing to finally see it come to life! Anish had decided to propose to Surabhi the day of the Virginia Tech vs. UVA football game. He convinced her that it would be worth going to after just having spent one day with her family for Thanksgiving. He told her that they had a hotel booked and she totally bought it!
When I met Anish over Facetime he walked me through the whole campus map and the walk he would take Surabhi on before coming to the end spot to propose. They would start out at a dining hall they used to eat at often, stop by a cafe where they would share milkshakes, walk past their freshman dorms where he would drop her off after hanging out each night. They would then cross the Drillfield, which definitely provided complications for me and Pallavi, because the VT Drillfield although MASSIVE, is very, very open. Surabhi deciding to look over her shoulder would give away the entire thing!! You should have seen Pallavi and me ducking behind a police car that started MOVING and we kept hunch trailing it trying not to blow our cover!! There was also a fair share of hiding behind trees (and definitely getting some weird looks for it), pretending to photograph leaves, Pallavi trying to duck behind me (I am tiny, this doesn’t work too well hahaha), and even having conversations with other game-going fans to try and keep our cover.
They walked past Burruss Hall and ducked behind to Randolph where they had always had their dance practices. This gave me and Pallavi the chance to cut across the Drillfield to our hiding spots behind and across from the Pylons where Anish would bring Surabhi to. Pallavi was in charge of hiding in a bush and sending the rest of the crew a signal when she saw Anish & Surabhi reach the end wall of the Pylons overlooking the entire Drillfield. Now this timing was SUPER important because little to Surabhi’s knowledge, all of her friends AND family were actually gathered in the Chapel below the Pylons! As they walked up through the Pylons as she looked out across the Drillfield, when she looked down, she saw four very familiar looking heads turned facing away. All four of them were wearing red jerseys with the words spelled out “Will You Marry Me?” And at that point SHE KNEW!!!! After 7 years, Anish got down on one knee and asked her to marry her!!!
Everyone surrounding them at the Pylons burst out clapping and cheering as she said yes after wiping away tears. Minutes later all her friends and family came up and gave her the biggest hugs! It was the happiest thing that happened on campus that day, I’ll dare to say, even happier than the VT win over UVA (not that I’m biased or anything)! There were so many tears, hugs, photos, LOTS of staring at the beautiful ring (good job Anish!), and Facetiming relatives that couldn’t be there! And the surprise didn’t end there for Surabhi, Anish had booked out a log cabin for their families and friends to all stay at for the entire rest of the weekend to celebrate together! Safe to say, it was a pretty amazing weekend
Surabhi & Anish, congratulations to you both again!! Driving to and back from VT all in a day was SO definitely worth it to capture the moment for you both! I can’t wait for your formal engagement pictures in D.C. coming up soon! 🙂
She looked out and then turned back to THIS!!
When you get found hahaha!
All the tears!! I was tearing up behind my camera!!
Is that ring gorgeous or what?!
Their pupper Leo was about the only one that was “chill” throughout the whole thing! Hahaha
Facetiming all the relatives with the good news!
This is a VT thing hahaha I was so surprised when they heard the speakers from Lane Stadium and started jumping up and down 😀
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Karan & Urvee’s Georgetown Waterfront Flash Mob Proposal
My last session STARTED over a bottle of wine but this one ended with Maya & Darian GIFTING me a bottle of their favorite kind of white wine! Maya heard about me through her mom who knows Nakul’s mom, Arathi Aunty, which is so classic! If you’ve read through the blog you probably recognize Nakul […]
My last session STARTED over a bottle of wine but this one ended with Maya & Darian GIFTING me a bottle of their favorite kind of white wine! Maya heard about me through her mom who knows Nakul’s mom, Arathi Aunty, which is so classic! If you’ve read through the blog you probably recognize Nakul because not only did I get to capture Nakul’s proposal to Lakshmi at Georgetown but I also got to capture their beautiful vibrant Harbour View engagement ceremony back in April! It literally feels like yesterday and these two just officially tied the knot (the phrase still stands with Indian weddings!!) this past weekend in Florida!! I’m so fortunate to have been able to capture parts of their engagement story and I’m SO lucky to have had Maya and Darian referred my way by these guys!!
I met Maya & Darian over FaceTime a couple of months ago when they reached out about having their Indian ceremony and American wedding captured next April! I generally will get to meet my couples in person when talking to them for the first time but for some reason we had decided video chat from the get go. Five minutes into talking with them I realized that not only did they live in Arlington, they also lived in Ballston (aka where I was living at the time!) and were like five minutes down the street from me!! We all totally wish we could have met in person that first time!! It was such a funny coincidence but it only made me even more excited to meet them in person for their engagement session. We debated doing their engagement session around Ballston since so many of their first dates had been around the area but ended up going with Old Town Alexandria which still ties in to their story well since they’ll be getting married in Old Town Alexandria at the GW Masonic Memorial in April next year!! The venue is GORGEOUS and I’m so excited but more than that I already know that Maya and Darian are going to be SO incredibly joyful and radiant on their wedding day! Maya has a patented Maya laugh that literally puts a smile on your face the second you see it and the two of them made me feel like such an old friend within five minutes of hanging out with them at their engagement session!! They were such troopers dealing with the onset October chill and stuck it out with me when I said “just a couple more!!” to get some fall colors in their images!!
As I was finishing up the session with some ring shots they were SO great and encouraging me as I set up some leaves for the ring shot! I was on the ground in probably the least flattering position you can imagine and they were SO supportive and cheering me on through the whole thing! Definitely made it worth lying on the cold pavement, anything for the shot am I right?! And MAN did their ring deserve it!!! Darian custom designed the ring for Maya and it’s INCREDIBLE!!! It’s unlike any other ring I’ve seen, you have to scroll to the end to check it out!!
Maya & Darian, I’m SO excited for your wedding day!!! I’m counting down the days that I get to see you guys again and capture your joyful love and soon enough it’ll be with your family and friends as well!! I know from talking to you guys that you each have so much respect for each other’s families and I know that it’s going to be such a big part of your wedding day story. I love the connection you guys have with each other and I can’t wait to capture it on your wedding day!! Until then, here’s a sneak at your BEAUTIFUL engagement session!!! I hope you guys love it as much as I do!
OK FAVORITES RIGHT HERE!!! The Maya laugh should patented!!
Look at this CUSTOM ring that Darian designed!
Ok seriously, her laugh!! She’s going to be the most radiant bride 2019 ever does see!
If I can find one or two fall trees, I can make it work!!
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You know an engagement session that starts off with sharing a bottle of wine is going to be a good one! I usually will either meet my couples in person or over video chat but I met Ky and Tatiana over the phone so I’ll admit that as an introvert I was a little nervous […]
You know an engagement session that starts off with sharing a bottle of wine is going to be a good one! I usually will either meet my couples in person or over video chat but I met Ky and Tatiana over the phone so I’ll admit that as an introvert I was a little nervous to be officially meeting them for the first time at their session! I had driven down to Charlottesville that morning and then to Afton Mountain Vineyard which is nestled right at the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. During the drive down I got even more nervous but within two minutes of meeting them in person, the nervousness melted away!! It was Tatiana and my first time at this particular vineyard in Charlottesville despite all being vineyard people and we definitely loved it!
The vineyard was a smaller one and nestled right at the foot of the mountains which made for some pretty epic views!! We joked that we were old friends sharing a bottle of wine and honestly that’s what it felt like from when we started talking at their session!! And when I got them in front of the camera it felt even more like we were just friends taking pictures in the vineyards!! These two are SO much fun to photograph, they were joking with each other the entire time and just naturally fell into every single pose making it look so freaking effortless!!! They’re so fun and easy to be around and incredibly photogenic as well! I loved the outfit they had picked out and Tatiana’s makeup was on point!!
Also, these two were willing to entertain me stopping at random points to get images with the gorgeous backdrop of the mountains that I never fully appreciated while I went to UVA! They had said that they wanted mountain views for their session since it was a big part of why they loved Charlottesville and they sure got their views!!!
Then we drove up to the top of Skyline and got the cutest shots overlooking the soft sunset! It was the perfect end to their session and when I said goodbye I couldn’t believe we’d spent almost two hours together!!! They asked to take a selfie with me and I was SO happy because I always forget to get a picture with my couples and I’m not sure if you can tell but they BOTH had to bend down a foot! I can’t wait for their wedding in May in Charlottesville!!!! Angelica & Co Weddings from the Capitol Hill blush & rose gold styled shoot back in April is planning it so I already know its going to be THE most perfect day and a definite highlight of 2019!!!! Until then enjoy all the cuteness below!
Is this not the most unique ring you’ve ever seen?!
The views up on skyline at dusk were incredible!!
Fall favorites, fall favorites!
Cute human being alerts!
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Adam & Suniah celebrated the beginning of their marriage at the stunning Meadowlark Gardens in Vienna this past Sunday and it was such an honor to capture their day!! I met with these two almost a whole year ago at Cafein in Chantilly over coffee! I had lucked out since they were in town from […]
Adam & Suniah celebrated the beginning of their marriage at the stunning Meadowlark Gardens in Vienna this past Sunday and it was such an honor to capture their day!! I met with these two almost a whole year ago at Cafein in Chantilly over coffee! I had lucked out since they were in town from Florida and Suniah’s sister Rimsha had mentioned that I photograph weddings. We sat down for coffee and got talking about their story and I knew as I was sitting there listening to them both talk about how Adam had proposed to Suniah, that these two were incredibly sweet people, they were my KIND of people (I mean Suniah’s a HOO so how could they not be?!) and that their wedding was going to be such a beautiful day! And such a beautiful day it was!
On their wedding day Suniah spiraled up to the top of the hill to the gazebo with her mom on one side and her sister on the other, it was starting to drizzle ever so slightly but nothing could bring down that huge smile on her face. She looked up and among all the people huddled around the gazebo. All her family and friends in one place on the top of the hill overlooking the beautiful Meadowlark Gardens. And there was one person on the top of the hill that had an equally large smile on his face as he watched his bride walk towards him. Adam and Suniah had one of the most heartfelt and inspiring ceremonies I’ve had the honor of capturing. They were asked to look around at the biggest supporters of their marriage (huge huge smiles broke out on both their faces, you’ll see it below!!), imagine not just time together now but what it would look like to grow old with each other and were told to always remember how they felt in this moment.
Both Adam and Suniah had asked the officiant to especially thank their parents which had been such an integral part of shaping both of them as individuals before they came together. As the ceremony went on it started raining a little at first and then a lot as they exchanged the rings and were officially married!! It was perfect timing and of course, good luck!! What stood out the most to me was watching these two signing their marriage licenses, it had sunk in that they were OFFICIALLY married!! These might be some of my favorite pictures from their entire day!
Suniah and Adam, I hope your wedding day was everything you had imagined and more. I know from watching you greet each others’ families throughout the day and how you welcomed each person at your reception and took the time to really talk with them, skipping out on your own wedding lunch and cake, that you really deeply care for everyone around you. You’re both incredibly smart and caring doctors and it shows even in how you treat people outside of the hospital. I wish you guys the very best on this new adventure and I hope Asheville is a wonderful start to it!! Thank you for letting me capture your day!
Vendors that made the day possible:
SO emotional!! Was trying not to tear up behind my camera!!
When they were asked to look around at everyone! Ok, this is my best friend Sachi’s shot below, love this one!!!
Signing the papers to make it OFFICIAL!!!
It stopped raining right after this and so we got some gorgeous portraits in the gardens just like Suniah had imagined!
Below, ALSO Sachi!! Killing itt with these gorgeous layers!!
Just mildly obsessed with her henna & ring! Was so lucky to get some fall colors in!!
THESE ARE EVERYTHING!!! Entering into their reception, I mean look at how happy they are!!
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Jill and Nelson’s wedding this past weekend at the Oatlands Historic House and Gardens was such a beautiful day! After 10 years their wedding day tied together the origins of their love story very beautifully. Nelson and Jillian met 10 years ago in high school starting out the cross country team together. Nelson’s first words […]
Jill and Nelson’s wedding this past weekend at the Oatlands Historic House and Gardens was such a beautiful day! After 10 years their wedding day tied together the origins of their love story very beautifully. Nelson and Jillian met 10 years ago in high school starting out the cross country team together. Nelson’s first words to Jill were “Hey beautiful” and although he probably had no idea they would be married 10 years later, it’s only fitting that his first words were so confirm and assured which is very indicative of them as a couple. You can five minutes with these two and instantly sense the connection between them which was apparent during their engagement session. So imagine a wedding day where this love is only further exemplified and not only by these two as a couple but by everyone else that was there to witness their day!
They decided to do a first look and right before Nelson admitted that he was so so ready to see Jill and be able to spend the rest of the day with her. It was the most emotional first look I’ve ever witnessed and you could tell how happy they were to simply be able to share the day and time together. This still circles back to how when after years of flirting back and forth, when it was finally the right timing, it was the right timing!! After Nelson came back to the Leesburg area after time spent in the Navy, him and Jill started hanging out constantly! They only continued as Jill moved closer to Arlington for work and from there on it was always them together. Their first date was at the Kennedy Center (which they got their engagement session pictures at which I thought was so cute!!) and after dating for a while they moved in together. It was simple, they knew they were the one for each other. I loved being able to capture the start of their forever and their commitment to experience life together from here to forever!
Jill and Nelson I wish you all the happiness in the world, I can’t think of two people more deserving of it than you two! Thank you for giving me the honor of capturing your wedding day, I hope that you’ll be able to show your family years from now the very special day that was August 25th, 2018!
There are a LOT of photos but I had the hardest time narrowing everything down!!
Vendors that helped put together this incredible day!
x When you see your best friend looking BEAUTIFUL!!!
Is her dress GORGEOUS OR WHAT!!
The guys were getting ready at the same Inn and spent the morning hanging out before getting ready!
Bro moments are cute too!!
If you find a more dapper groom, let me know!!
Time for the most emotional and heartfelt first look I’ve EVER captured!! These were able to spend time to talk, shed a few tears, laugh, and hug during their first look and it was the most heartwarming thing in the world. You can tell just HOW in love these two are and how much they enjoy being together!!
I’m not crying, you’re crying!! These two are so cute that when we went into their portraits they were hugging each other and giving each other little kisses, I hardly had to pose these shots! They are so affectionate and it is adorable :’)
A total favorite!! Sorry not sorry for ALL the portraits, I couldn’t help myself!!
And then they got to celebrate with all their friends and take bridal party portraits up in front of the house! Definitely worth the trek!!
Hahaha Nelson pulled this out of NOWHERE and it was perfect!!
Not sure who pulled off the shots with the Cadillac better, the guys or the girls!!
We snuck in some more portraits in front of the house! I love that first looks give you so much time and flexibility throughout the day and give you so much time for such a variety in portraits!! Plus, this way Jill & Nelson got to hang out together throughout the majority of their wedding day 🙂
Oatlands is simply BEAUTIFUL!! I loved that Jill & Nelson were able to bring their love story full circle with getting married where they used to have races together during high school!
Erica from Creations in Bloom knocked it out of the park with the ceremony set up!!
Time for the ceremony and I may or may not have been sniffling/tearing up behind my camera trying to do it as quietly as possible!!
AND THEY’RE MARRIED!!!!
SO SO HAPPY!!
After their cocktail hour, we snuck away from the guests for a couple of shots at sunset! The first stop though was taking a few portraits inside the historic mansion!
So classic! More shots with the Cadillac!
Caity’s shot below and it was SO GOOD!!!
We got a couple of portraits of Jill with her tiara & veil which had been something new for Nelson to see her in during the ceremony!!
Jill, you’re beautiful!!!
Is that not the cutest cake topper ever!!
I’m a total sucker for first dances!!
ALL THE FEELS!!
And there were so, so many good times on the dance floor and throughout the reception!! I have entirely too many shots from everyone breaking it DOWN!!
They even broke out Hindi songs and I was singing and dancing along to every single word!!
Her old roommate and bridesmaid, Bhargavi caught it!! And then THESE THINGS HAPPENED!! How cute is Jill dancing with Nelson’s grandfather!! This went on for five minutes and it was one of my favorite moments throughout the reception!
Closely rivaled to when THIS happened!!!!
And then the couple finally exited their reception and drove off into the night in the Cadillac!!!
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After months of planning out her senior session and having to reschedule due to, you guessed it, D.C. thunderstorms, we finally got to do Tanvi’s senior session! She had mentioned to me when she first emailed me that she wished she had gotten more pictures in her prom dress and so I knew she was […]
After months of planning out her senior session and having to reschedule due to, you guessed it, D.C. thunderstorms, we finally got to do Tanvi’s senior session! She had mentioned to me when she first emailed me that she wished she had gotten more pictures in her prom dress and so I knew she was going to bring it as an outfit but I did not expect it to be as stunning as it was!! I gave her a BIG hug and immediately told her how absolutely INCREDIBLE it was and she couldn’t have chosen a better location (not that I’m biased or anything) to showcase her style 🙂 Her dress popped off of the marble of the Capitol and looked absolutely gorgeous, especially with the sun & glow that we got during sunset!! It was supposed to be a steamy 90 degrees but we lucked out with one of those perfect summer nights! This shoot was definitely one of my favorite senior sessions and definitely a favorite from the Capitol, and I’ve been here A LOT!!
Tanvi is so incredibly fun to be around and this comes from someone who only spent an hour with her during her portraits! She has the most beautiful and contagious smile and laugh, you’ll see it in the pictures and I couldn’t stop grinning from ear to ear, and freaking out over how beautiful her portraits were! She was so relaxed throughout the whole thing and had such a bright yet calm personality that really shows in her pictures. It’s crazy because her mom actually knows my mom through our Indian community of people since my mom is choreographing a dance for Tanvi’s little brother! Connections like that always remind me of what a small world it is! She spent a majority of her life studying Japanese through school and loves being able to stay in touch with the culture which so reminds me of my best friend! Pair that with a love of sushi, and of course we were going to get along hahaha! She described her style as being pretty casual and cute with jewel tones and blush as an accent and I think her prom dress was a super dressed up version of her normal style!
This girl is going on to do BIG things at Virginia Tech and we actually had her shoot the NIGHT before went off to start her first day at VT!! I’m so thankful and honored that despite all the packing she had to be doing before heading off the next day, she was so present and in the moment during the ENTIRE time with me 🙂 I can’t wait to cheer her on as she studies CS at Virginia Tech! Tanvi, thank you so much for letting me capture your senior portraits, they were simply EPIC!! You’re such a sweet soul and you should be SO proud of everything you’ve accomplished so far in high school and beyond! I know your hard work and smile is going to take you places in the future! I hope to see you in your cap & gown four years down the road beaming with that same smile!
See what I mean about having a contagious laugh?!
SO MUCH GLOW!! FAVORITE ALERT BELOW!!
OK OK get ready for my favorite sets of photos from the WHOLE thing!!
And topping off with some family photos of course!!
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Over the course of the past couple of weeks, whenever I mentioned to my friends and family that I was preparing for a fall themed styled shoot with Jontell I got a bunch of funny looks. Such happens when you start throwing out wedding industry jargon and then realize that it’s not a common term. […]
Over the course of the past couple of weeks, whenever I mentioned to my friends and family that I was preparing for a fall themed styled shoot with Jontell I got a bunch of funny looks. Such happens when you start throwing out wedding industry jargon and then realize that it’s not a common term. I found myself trying to explain what a styled shoot was in a couple of sentences and then realizing how specific of a thing it was to the wedding industry. When you explain a styled shoot, it almost seems a little weird. A whole mock wedding set up only to take pictures? How does that work and why do you do it in the first place? I tried to break down the answer to these questions below for anyone that’s curious!
A styled shoot is essentially a gathering of wedding vendors’ resources & talents to create a staged wedding or event with a certain vision in mind that would appeal to an ideal client. They range from simple to more elaborate affairs. Ours involved a wedding venue, a florist, a cake and sweets, models to act as a bride and groom, a calligrapher and sign designer, a videographer which was pretty cool, a bridal boutique, and a hair and makeup artist to help bring our fall themed & sweet obsessed vision to life. We set up a sweetheart table where the couple would sit as well as a dessert table with the cake as the main focus along with a few other fall themed desserts. So WHY do people go to such lengths, volunteer their time, efforts and skills to put together a mock event if you’re already in the wedding industry space and have REAL clients?
Getting a styled shoot that you have put together published in a creditable online magazine is a great way to earn credibility! Not only are you able to show off beautiful images from the day, but a publication is able to recognize the quality of your work and wants to showcase it to their viewers and brides. It not only provides a sense of inspiration on the blog where it is published, but it also attracts your ideal clients. For photographers and other wedding vendors, it’s important to showcase the kind of work that you would LIKE and your ideal style in your portfolio. For example, if I’m looking to attract more brides interested in having a vineyard wedding, they are more likely to identify me as someone they’d like to work with if they have seen that I have photographed vineyard weddings before rather than if I showcased a lot of weddings photographed in an urban city. Also, photographers always have high quality images of their work to post online, but this isn’t necessarily true for all other wedding vendors. When they receive images from the shoot, it gives them a chance to showcase their hard work and dedication beautifully online.
When you are working with paid clients you are providing them a service to help bring together their vision for their wedding day come to life. Although every professional is given some sort of artistic control to make this happen, as someone putting together a styled shoot, you have full control over the starting vision or theme for the day AND more control over the details as well! As a photographer this is huge since you scarcely have the opportunity to choose exactly which venue or general aesthetic you’ll be working with until you’re established enough to only take weddings that are “on brand” or align with your aesthetic preferences. As someone who has second shot a lot of weddings, not each wedding aligns to the kind of wedding I would want to showcase in my portfolio simply due to the fact that I have a different personal style than that of the bride. It’s not to say that these weddings weren’t gorgeous (they totally were!), but not all of their details were necessarily ones that I would have had at my dream wedding and that’s ok! Being able to photograph every detail and have it be something that I would want to showcase in my portfolio to attract ideal clients with similar details on their wedding day is a huge advantage of photographing a styled shoot! This is not to say that Jontell and I nitpicked and gave our vendors no control, we just communicated a very specific vision to our vendors to bring about details that would match this vision.
3. I think one of the most under-looked, but most important aspects of putting together a styled shoot is developing relationships with the vendors you are working with. A styled shoot gives you the chance to work with wedding vendors across the industry that you may have admired and to appreciate the hard work that each and every one brings to a wedding. You get a chance to get a feel for what it’s like to work alongside them and to connect with them in person! It’s important to have these relationships with vendors so that if you have a bride or client looking for a specific vendor, you can refer someone amazing with confidence to them that you would absolutely love to work with again! It helps strengthen your relationships and is a great way to network within the industry when you’re getting started! I knew that I worked well with Jontell, which is why we decided to put this shoot on together, but it was so cool to meet some vendors that I had followed online in person finally!
4. And the last reason is the most important of all: TO HAVE FUN!! A styled shoot is arguably less stressful than a wedding day and gives you more of a chance to be creative and practice your passion! It also was my excuse to drive down early to YAR and buy some fall decorations and sweets! 😉 I think the fact that styled shoots are so common in the wedding industry and people who may not have even met each other will so kindly offer up a whole day as well as their work for a collective vision is really, really cool!
I can’t share TOO many pictures from Jontell and my styled shoot since we’re trying to get it published, but here’s a little teaser for anyone that read through this entire post!!
I mean, could they BE more adorable?!! That is Marla, she’s also an incredible photographer & a pretty cool human being so you should go check her out as well as the rest of our vendors featured below!
Venue: Delfosse Vineyards & Winery
Photography: Jontell Vanessa Photography & Manali Photography
Videography: Mckenzie, Travel House Collective
Cake & Desserts: Tiffany of Commonwealth Cake
Florals: The Faded Poppy
Hair & Makeup: Nicole Laughlin
Bridal Boutique: Sealed With a Kiss, Charlottesville
Signs: Desiree, Reciprocated Designs
Invitation Suite: Becky J, Becky J Invitations
Maggie and William have actually been engaged for two years and they finally had their engagement pictures taken last week in Georgetown! They chose the location due to the Key Bridge looking much like the one in Fredericksburg where they will be getting married next June! They met back in 2011 and started off dating […]