So. I don’t think I’ve ever done this, in the history of the site, but we’re doing it today – I’m letting Kristy, of Moodeous Photography in Denver, talk to you guys in her own words. Normally, before I write a sponsored post, I have new wedding elves write a little something for me about why they do what they do, and why they want to work with APW brides. And then I get writing. But when I asked Kristy to do this, she sent me something so lovely and so thoughtful, that it deserved to stand totally on it’s own.
Things you should know about Kristy (that’s Kristy up there!) She’s in Colorado, but she travels for the cost of transportation and accommodations. She’s been reading APW a long long time, and finally, really shyly, emailed me to say that she loved APW so much, she wanted to get brave and be a sponsor. Since then she and I have had many an email chat, and she rocks. Oh, and she’s affordable. BUT! It actually gets better. Kristy, because she’s generous and awesome, wants to offer an APW LQBTQ couple free wedding photography. The details, and her heartfelt reasons for doing so, are at the bottom of this post. Oh, ANNNNDDDDD, she wants you guys to pick the recipient, via your “exactly” buttons, in the same way you’ve started doing with dress giveaways. So, interested parties, please leave a comment, and everyone else, go read and get weepy and hit exactly again and again, yes? For those of you who don’t remember, here is the last Team Practical couple that got a LGBTQ wedding photography giveaway, during those brief happy days when same sex marriage was legal in California. And now, Kristy:
I shot my first wedding at 17. It was terrifying and I knew I would never ever do it again… until 2005, when a friend asked me to shoot her wedding and I found myself smiling as I looked through the camera. The whole day I grinned ear to ear. Now, at every wedding, I’m be grinning like a fool behind that lens. I can’t help myself. It’s so much goodness all around me, I just get soaked it in. The look in Mom’s eyes as rings are placed and vows are taken. When a couple gazes into one another’s eyes during toasts or a quiet moment. The joy that overwhelms and shows itself in happy tears. A chorus of voices agreeing to support this union for years to come. And somehow I’m invited to share in these moments, capture these precious things for everyone to hold on to for a lifetime. I tear up at most weddings, not always during the ceremony. Sometimes it’s during the first dance, or toasts or the father daughter dance, or the first time a bride puts on her dress. Life has somehow graced me with the good fortune of capturing it’s most emotive bits.
As I’ve started to build my business I’ve been lucky to mostly pair with couples who I can consider friends. Couples who just get it. They’ve chosen to make a deep and abiding commitment to one another. The marriage is what’s important to them and the people who will be there to help them along the way. Many of my clients are in graduate school, on a tight budget and generally focused on a simple celebration with their family and friends. My clients include: brides that have borrowed their dresses from friends, made their invitations by hand, purchased their flowers at the local grocery store, asked friends to make their favors, are gardening the hell out of their yard so their reception can be held there, asked friends to serve as vendors, had their wedding in a lodge at the YMCA…. and generally have the sensibility and smarts I see prevail on APW.
But the wedding industry scares me. As I’ve slowly begun to build my own business I’ve done a lot of “second” shooting with other photographers. At these weddings I’ve seen the bride and groom’s initials intertwined as a logo, projected in beams of light onto the dance floor, swirling around and changing colors. I’ve seen ice sculptures surrounded by raw bars. Vera Wang and Monique Lhuillier dresses with those shoes that I can’t remember the brand name of, but you know. These are the weddings that so many photographers aspire to photograph. Because they’re “pretty”. Because the high cost of silk table linens, uplighting, chandeliers and gilded chairs make “better” photos. The kind one could get printed in a magazine.
I’ve been told that if I raise my prices I’ll get “prettier” weddings. I’ve been told that if I get “prettier” weddings I’ll get more publicity and therefore more (higher paying) clients. Ick. F*ck that Sh*t.
In short (finally), I don’t want to photograph weddings for that reason. I choose to photograph weddings, because of the relationship I establish with my clients. Because of the importance of the day and the individual approach of each couple I meet. Because ultimately grocery store flowers and target shoes are beutiful, when they’re being worn by a glowing bride and groom who know this wedding is about LOVE, COMMITMENT, LIFE, FAMILY, and BIG CHOICES.
So go browse, yes?
And now, the details of the giveaway:
Two of my earliest and most influential family members weren’t blood relatives. But they were still my “Uncles”, Chris and Derek. Both have since passed losing the battle to HIV and then AIDS. At a very early age they taught me you can have love and a life together without marriage. Unfortunately for them it wasn’t a choice. It was their reality. This is one of the many reasons photographing a gay wedding is important to me. I’d love to hear from anyone having a gay wedding in Colorado, so I can offer my services free of charge to one deserving couple. I’m happy to have the APW community do the choosing, as they have dutifully weighed in on the dress giving in the past. I will post details of what I’m offering on my site. Essentially it’s up to 8 hours of coverage, hi res photos on disc and travel up to 100 miles.
***Note: The “style” of the images in this post are really varied. This is because every photo I take is a reflection of THAT specific couple. The moment, the color, the light–it’s because of them. I believe my job is in part a collaborator. Meaning my images are as unique as the people I’m capturing***