This summer, when we were lining up photographers to volunteer their time to shoot two LGBTQ weddings in New York for our Yay New York Event, we emailed a few non-New York APW Sponsors on a whim. I mean, we didn’t really think anyone would want to take a day off work to travel to New York to work for us for free, right? WRONG. Two seconds after we sent that email, Callie of calin + bisous photo in Boston emailed us, “YES YES YES! I’M IN!.” (That’s a direct quote). (Hint: they travel affordably.)
And I was pretty excited to get to meet Callie, that’s for sure. But then Yay New York happened, and Callie and her husband Alessandro showed up to shoot the girls’ wedding, and I’m not even kidding you, it was like a revelation. To the point that when the exhausted staff stepped out onto the still warm sidewalk at 1:30 am after cleaning up, there was a pause, and then I said, “So Callie. WHAT WAS THAT?” And there was a immediate chorus of, “I knowwwwww….” (Fact: Callie does not know this story. I might have just embarrassed her.)
So what to say about calin + bisous photo of Boston? Well first, I should mention that she shoots weddings for just $2,000, which is almost criminally low, given how excellent she is. Leanne, one of the Yay New York Brides said, “Callie and San were just so easy breezy the whole day. We both felt initially self-conscious when we got there and saw all those photographers, but Callie instantly put us at ease. We didn’t feel pressure to pose or act like anything but ourselves. Her energetic, easygoing charm was contagious. She did a great job of being creative with us (not the same shot in the same background just switching out the people) without making us do ridiculous things like hold props or do weird unnatural poses like some photographers tend to do these days. Plus, she was great at wrangling our very excited families after we may have had a little too much champagne. She was unobtrusive, but somehow always right there getting the shot.”
Callie also is a trained cellist, she says, “Alright, I have another career besides photography. I love both so much that I can’t call one my job. I’m also a cellist with a band called Flightless Buttress that tours on the east coast and plays in Cambridge very regularly. I am positive that both careers make me better at both careers.” Maybe it’s the music making her extra talented, but she’s a gifted photographer who quietly shoots away, and then delivers the most amazing photos. But she and her husband are also these amazing PEOPLE, who will get in the mix with you, make you laugh, and generally just make you happy to be alive and want to be their best friends. Which is pretty good stuff, frankly.
I asked Callie to tell me why she likes working with APW couples, and she informed me that she actually has a whole business of only working with APW couples, and she loves it. BUT, she had more for me:
I love working with APW couples because they are so low key and happy. They don’t care about bullsh*t; they never panic; they never even seem to stress out. They feed me; they make sure I’m okay; their families tell me I’m doing a great job. I could go on all day.
Recent experiences include: a running for sweetest dad on the earth; most “into it” groom that put shame to the whole “bridal” this “bridal” that (It should be groomal. Duh.); best dance parties ever, that we seem to always be invited to. And my personal favorite thing about APW couples: these couples find a perfect middle between two very distinct weddings of today—the very expensive, very formal weddings, or the adorable trendy weddings that sometimes include something I like to call “wedding dress up” (which brings into mind my favorite quote by Meg ever, “Your wedding is not a show“). APW couples have possibly trendy, possibly expensive, and always real, genuine parties to celebrate their love, their friends and their families.
On the photography note, this past summer of weddings blew my mind. I surprised myself, fully fell into a style I can call my own, and felt incredibly lucky to have so many people trust me during my first season of weddings. Thank you. I’ll be back. I can’t seem to get enough.
I feel the same way I do about small business as I did a year ago. Real people deserve real service. I go above and beyond because these guys go above and beyond for me. How could I not treat them as well as possible and work with them to give them everything they want?
So that is calin + bisous photo, people. And the photos. The photos. The photos themselves would be enough, except they come with a ball of amazing that I’m now lucky enough to call a friend. You’ll love her. Promise.
PS. This post was written while listening to Callie’s cello work with the Flightless Buttress. Go listen now. You’re welcome.