Bonjour Trulovers! I have been thinking a lot about wedding photography lately, inspired by several conversations with wedding photographers and the upcoming post from our new real Belle Bride Hollie C, where she gives us a brides perspective on choosing a photographer.
I know for me personally, choosing a wedding photographer was a somewhat surreal decision. Most other items and services connected with the wedding such as dress shopping and planning I’d had experience with, but I had no point of reference when choosing a photographer. This is why my Meet the Experts series is such an important feature for me. It is a chance to showcase photographers and for you to get to know them just a little bit more, from the comfort of your own home, before finalising your shortlist.
So it is with great pleasure that I introduce my next photographer in the Meet the Experts series Jessica Maida Photography! I have known Jess for well over a year, following many a discussion about the merits and joint appreciation for all things French wedding.
Jess has always enjoyed photography from an early age and her father was a photojournalist in Vietnam, which provided early influences in photography. But Jess says: “It actually wasn’t until I met my husband several years ago that I developed that interest into more of the passion, artistic outlet and the business that it is today for me.
French Wedding Style – Photography © Jessica Maida Photography
He’s a creative and we began with portraits and eventually after a couple of years of very part time wedding coverage, decided to make the leap to a full time wedding photography business. The business let me more thoroughly explore, develop and learn more about the style and expression I wanted to have as a photographer.
“What does it take to be a great wedding photographer? While I think many factors can come into play, I definitely believe flexibility, artistic perspective, being able to anticipate events/emotions and being one step ahead as well as great communication with your clients all come into play. Personality is more important I believe than it used to be and it’s very helpful to find that great match between photographer and wedding client, so that one on one time with them is smooth, fun and enjoyable.
As a photographer you know that they have just as much value and love for the art of photography as you do and that is especially helpful in telling a couple’s story to the best of your ability. Taking the time to educate your client on what to expect, what you need in order to provide the product/experience they are expecting, I believe is also key.
Choosing a photographer for my wedding day, well I was actually married before the wedding inspiration blogs, Pinterest and Facebook really took off or existed. So there was a definite loss of the voluminous wedding planning education, that is so accessible online these days and that I better understand now from the other side.
I was also not from the city where I married, so without the reliable word of mouth (or insider industry knowledge I have now) it was a simple Google search for wedding photographers and many hours combing through portfolios and packages. It was a bit nerve wracking and time consuming but I did know I was drawn to an artistic, candid photographer who would tell my own wedding story, in the more modern sense that I’m drawn to even more so now. Butt I probably would have given them a bit more interesting details to photograph had I had a Pinterest board 🙂
I’m based in Richmond, Virginia which is eclectic and diverse by nature, featuring everything from ballrooms and grand hotels to the rustic red barns and the plantation farm house weddings and everything in between!
I’ve been so lucky to photograph in a variety of these settings as well as several states on the east coast and this year look forward to gorgeous weddings in the botanical gardens, vineyards and out of country winery wedding in Victoria, British Columbia. As far as future locations, wherever the perfect wedding story takes me is on my list! I’ve enjoyed travel and seeing/being immersed in other cultures ever since college and it’s a joy to combine the two whenever possible.
I find destination couples to be the same in their hopes for great coverage, their story (wedding or engagement) told in a creative and beautiful way. One that captures the most important moments but also those little ones that accent the day/session which can be found in a glance or intimate laugh or simple and telling gesture between the two, that contributes in the end just as much as a first kiss or ring exchange.
There may be more details in the logistics and travel end to consider, but falling back on great communication and having a common bond, personalities and expectations I feel are key regardless of wedding location. My experience with the FWS Belle Bride Cassie was wonderful and even though a bit chilly for all of us, I will say that taking in the majestic and romance of Paris was breathtaking and to have more chances of experiencing the culture and new and amazing venues is certainly a plus and well worth the travel for a destination couple.
Like anything in life, wedding photography is always a learning process due to the unique nature of each couple/wedding/logistics being different from the last. This is one of the aspects I love so much and one that keeps things exciting.
Early on, I remember checking in on my husband and the groomsmen getting ready and on one occasion I walked in and instead of my husband shooting the boutonnieres being put on by a planner or relative, I found him attaching them all for the guys who couldn’t find any help! It’s always little things, especially between the flower girls and ring bearers coming down the isle or couple’s incorporating pets into the ceremony that keeps me enjoying the moments and finding humor in all places during the day. I’m sure if my husband was writing this, he would share a few stories about me, but I’ll save that for a different day 🙂
The absolutely BEST part has always been the creative outlet and being able to share in each of these experiences with my husband along the way. Being able to tell a story through images and know that that story means so much to your couple and their families and future children. Knowing that it will make their day when they see your package on their doorstep, is just so fulfilling and something I hope to be doing so many more years from now (with my little second shooter daughter at some point!).
At Jessica Maida Photography I offer a number of Wedding Collections including Full Day coverage by 2 photographers, Engagement Session, Online Gallery and the digital high resolution images with full print release. Multi Day and Destination Collections are customized on an individual basis due to travel or other specific needs and I’m always excited to hear each couple’s story, wedding ideas and plans to help create the perfect collection just for them!”
To find out more about Jessica and her services for your wedding in France find his contact details below.