You know this morning’s awesome wedding graduate post about navigating through the often difficult wedding industry and living to tell the tale? Well, Kelly, the bride-now-wife is also this afternoon’s brand new APW sponsor. Yayyyy! I particularly love when long time readers, who know the ins and outs of how difficult the wedding industry can be, become awesome and sane sponsors. Or in the case of Kelly Benvenuto Photography in Boston, awesome, sane, super talented sponsors.
Kelly told me, “APW was my online home when planning my own wedding (seriously the first thing I looked at online every morning). While I’m an infrequent commenter, I love participating in the book clubs, and I love the thought-provoking discussions. This community of (mostly) women is intelligent, opinionated, funny, kind. They’re the type of women I want for friends and would love to have as clients….”
So let’s do this for Kelly! Boston and New England, I’m so excited that you get a chance to work with this super talented lady. She has super simple prices, with her package including ten hours of photography and a complimentary engagement session for $2,700. Plus, she’s offering 10% off to APW-ers who book her in the next month. She says, “I don’t think weddings fit neatly into six or eight hour chunks of time, I don’t want clients worried about fitting everything in to accommodate my schedule, and I don’t want to pressure and up-sell people on packages. It’s your wedding day, and so I’ll be there to document it. In my experience, ten hours is just about enough for most celebrations.” Plus, to add to the awesome, she gives away a free bridal portrait session to anyone who gives their dress to Brides Against Breast Cancer. I know.
And New England, Kelly will travel for you. She says, “Have passport, will travel! Travel is free within 2.5 hours of Boston (or 165 miles). After that I’ll probably need a hotel room and gas money. Further than that: a plane ticket, hotel room, rental car (if necessary).” And that’s it. Kelly Benvenuto Photography is all about simple, honest, up-front pricing.
And let’s talk about her work. Kelly has been a photographer for a decade and shooting weddings for the last two years, and it shows in her work. She has a clear photojournalist’s eye, a great sense of composition, captures both the big sweeping emotions and the tiny points in time. But more than that, I love that she’s not a trendy wedding photographer. Her work is simple, clean, and solid, just like her business. It’s honest, and that might be the highest compliment of all.
And I know APW-ers are always just as interested as I am in the story of how APW Sponsors found their way to building their own business making art. And Kelly’s story is a particularly good one. She told me, “When I lived in DC, I worked at an international development non-profit, and I worked specifically on the Iraq programs. While I loved the mission and the sense of making a difference, I’ve realized that track wasn’t going to provide me with the kind of daily existence I want. I love weddings, the act of bringing together two families and creating a new family. Being able to document the birth of this little family, and record those memories is really incredibly precious.” But she’s still working (passionately) with international development non-profits. She says, “I’ve just started working with a tiny non-profit called the Afghan Scholars Initiative. They work to educate Afghan youth to create the next generation of leaders. I’m working on a documentary project with them to help record the students at their schools. The founders have also created a small business called Jawan that sells scarves to support the ASI program. I recently did a fashion shoot for them, and you can see the images on their website.”
So it’s no surprise, given all of this, that Kelly Benvenuto Photography’s wedding philosophy is dead-on. She says, “Your wedding day is not a photo shoot. I like taking creative portraits, but I love being able to candid moments of ridiculous happiness. I think that engagement shoots (complimentary for every wedding client) are a great opportunity to play around and take those fun portraits. But a wedding day is bigger than that. If you’re worrying about what the photographer is doing, or asking you to do, you can’t be fully present. I can’t be a fly on the wall, but I am not a director. Unless we’re doing the the formals, I won’t ask you to look at me and smile.”
Perfect, right? So Boston and New England, I’m so excited for the collaborations that are in store between you and Kelly. Have fun. And send pictures.