Now that weddings are back in action, it’s time to start thinking about what type of photography will best capture your Big Day. Of course, every photographer has their own eye, with a perspective that may or may not align with your ideas. Since the photographs will last long after you say, “I do,” it’s important to thoroughly research photographers prior to booking. Here, three local photographers reflect on why this is so important, plus other tips and trends to keep an eye out for this year.
Heather Schneider started Dark Roux with her husband Jamie 12 years ago after a friend from high school saw their work on social media. Since then, the duo has shot nearly 600 weddings. Heather describes Dark Roux’s photography as being more real than perfect. “We would rather take a photo of the flower girl or ring bearer with their shoes off than ask them to ‘get ready, look at the camera and say cheese,’” she says. “We don’t interfere with anything. We sincerely want the photographs to look like a paused movie from the wedding day.”
By taking a cinematic approach with a focus on using available light in the best way possible, Dark Roux produces photos that reflect the moment. “If your ceremony was dark and sexy with candlelight, or if you got ready in a room with 30 bright windows, it should look that way in the photos,” Heather says.
When it comes to wedding photography trends, Heather says that couples are gravitating to either really bright and slightly over-exposed photos or something that is a bit more dark and moody. Regardless of which style they choose, she says that couples should understand their timeline and to make sure they have thought about what they want to achieve on the wedding day.
“Look for a style you love, which should be very very obvious on the photographer’s website and social media, and examples of weddings that look like what they have planned,” Heather says. “Photographers all have different strengths, so you want to make sure you don’t hire someone who mostly shoots outside in available light without any additional lighting to shoot in a cave for a nighttime reception.” darkroux.com
Erika Parker Photography
Erika Parker, owner of Erika Parker Photography, shot her first wedding when she was 19 years old, and she has never looked back. She started her photography company in 2011, and, since then, she has shot about 20 weddings per year. She says that it is her eye — and her personality — that makes her unique in the world of wedding photography. “There are so many excellent photographers in New Orleans, but each one of us is different,” she says. “I’m fun; I’m laid-back; I’m really easy going.”
Parker approaches wedding photography with an eye for candid, colorful and punchy images. “While I definitely pose couples and give them direction, I want them to interact as their natural selves so when they look back on their images, it feels like them,” she says. “I shoot both film and digital, but this doesn’t mean my images are all light and airy. I like them to be strong but romantic and typically with a lot of color.”
While micro weddings have been popular through the pandemic, Parker expects that couples will start to lean more toward medium-sized weddings that provide the intimacy of a small wedding but with a lively reception. “I think everyone is looking forward to the big party with a band and dancing, but I also think most people have become more acutely aware of what’s really important on the day,” she says.
Parker agrees that couples should look for a photographer with whom they feel comfortable. “After all, their photographer will be with them for at least eight hours on that day,” she says. “I recommend picking someone they get along well with who makes them feel relaxed and confident. Also, talk your timeline through with your photographer and your planner to make sure you have enough time for everything you want to do, and for the pictures you’re hoping to have.” erikaparkerphotography.com
Julia Bailey Photography
Julia Bailey, owner at Julia Bailey Photography, first began working as a photographer in 1987 after she landed a newspaper photographer job. She shot her first wedding in 2003 and formed her company in 2004. One thing led to another, and she was soon booked solid with requests for wedding photography. “Weddings incorporate my training as a photojournalist, my love of lighting and creative posing when working with models, my joy of observing the flow of life and human interaction, and the opportunity to practice the concept of perfect timing,” she says.
Since starting her company, Bailey has shot nearly 700 weddings, but she likes to book only 20 to 24 weddings per year. While she he approaches each wedding with a fresh perspective, she describes her aesthetic as creative, artistic and photojournalistic. “I want them to see my appreciation for their existence, for their love, for their families and for simply being who they are,” she says.
And when hiring a photographer, she says to dig deeper than just looking at their photos online. “Ask to explore entire wedding galleries of final images and from more than one wedding,” she says. “I honestly believe this is the only way you can get a true idea of what to expect of a photographer’s style and consistency.” juliabailey.com