Stacia is the owner and lead wedding photographer for Dear Olive Photography. We sat down for a #CoffeeTable chat to get real life advice for choosing, and working with a photographer on your big day.
“I feel incredibly blessed to have this job. It is humbling to be a part of such an intimate and meaningful day in people’s lives and to be trusted to capture and document it. I enjoy art and I enjoy creating, but at the very center of my business is my love for people and celebrating the love that makes them “them.” The goal for my business is to capture genuine and authentic photos that will reflect who you are as a couple, and bring you back to all of the best emotions from one of the very best days of your life.”
-Stacia, Dear Olive Photography
What is your stylistic approach when shooting weddings?
I want to always represent who the couple truly is. I want natural, I want movement, I want emotion, and really genuine photos. The most important thing is capturing who that couple is together, and the love that they have on that day. Being able to transform that into a photo helps to bring those emotions back.
What would you tell a couple that feels awkward?
Everyone says they’re that awkward couple! I’m awkward too! Before you shoot, it’s good to have that rapport with your photographer. You’re going to build a relationship and get to be comfortable with different personalities. I think it’s okay to warm up. If you feel awkward, it will probably look awkward. I will help you! Movement is key. I’ll be moving around you and moving with you.
I always tell couples to look at each other and talk to each other. This lightens the mood and gets them to relax so by the end of the session, the couple feels the shoot went way better than they originally thought.
What is your favorite part of a wedding to shoot?
I am a huge fan of first looks. They are so intimate and so raw, and full of all the best emotions. There are so many benefits to a first look. I encourage couples to also incorporate parent first looks, such as a Dad first look.
The timeline flows so much better and you’re not trying to rush through the day to get things done. Also, you get to share that moment with your one person. Without a first look, you’re going to spend over ½ your day without the person that’s there to make it so great.
What piece of advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer?
Don’t pick a photographer solely on the fact that they fit in your budget. Budgets are important, and you can stick within your budget, but it’s important to gel with your vendors, and especially your photographer. The photos are for life!
That may mean re-prioritizing your budget for someone you think is a good fit, or maybe talking with your vendor and explaining your budget, they may compromise if it’s a good working relationship.
Communication is really important. From the first emails, it’s important for you to be just as transparent with your photographer as you expect them to be with you. Hire vendors that you trust and that reflect the style that you envision for your wedding day.
I really care about my brides and grooms, and that means doing the best job that I can for them, and that means having that creative freedom and for them to trust me with that. Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty! You’re wearing that dress once, but the photos are forever.
What should a couple NOT forget in their shot list?
I’m very thorough on my end so we have our shot list that’s broken down throughout the day. If there is any shot that HAS to happen, put it at the top of your list.
Family photos can sometimes be tricky, and couples should be prepared. It can be stressful just because there can be so many people in the family that need to photos taken, which takes a long time. Talk with your photographer early about the timeline and what photos you will need.
I am a bright, high contrast, genuine emotions photographer. Photographers have a specific style, and if that reflects the vibe you’re going for then book them, and trust them to do it right!