Today I’m delighted to get to write about Elissa R Photography in Austin, Texas, also serving San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas. Elissa has been reading APW almost since the beginning, and she came on as a sponsor just one year ago. This year has been such a journey of growth for her and her business, and it’s been an honor to watch it from the sidelines. Over the course of 2011, Elissa shot APW couples, fell in love with you guys, and her portfolio went from being awesome to being mindblowingly good.
But it’s not just that her photos will blow your mind, it’s that Elissa R Photography has redoubled her commitment to being the most supportive vendor you could ask for. This year, I’ve watched her be intimately involved with other APW sponsors, giving them advice and cheering them along, as she grew her own business (hint: her new site is amazing). And why does this matter? Well, because a wedding photographer is going to be with you all day long, and you want the most supportive and awesome person you can find. Elissa is all that and more. I consistently hear from her clients that she goes above and beyond… and then goes above and beyond some more, to make sure they are taken care of.
All that, and Elissa R Photography is shockingly affordable. Her wedding packages start at just $2,000, and all include high resolution images, for you to do with what you will. Plus, she gives APW-ers discounts because she loves you. Mention APW and you get 10% off any package, always. Book before March 1, 2012 (wedding can be after that, but the booking has to occur before that date) and get 15% off any package. Plus, all packages include a complimentary engagement session, and you know what kind of awesomeness that results in. (Hint: Elissa has shot the only engagement session ever to end up on APW in full.)
Plus, Elissa is such a deeply integrated part of the site (she’s been around since back when I was on blogger) that she gets you guys, and she loves you guys in a crazy deep awesome way. She told me, “APW and I are two peas in a pod. I love the intelligent conversations, the thought-provoking topics, the minds behind all of the words that make this community go. As a bride, I read APW for guidance. It’s been two years since my wedding and I’m still reading APW every day, twice a day, because I can’t get enough of this wonderful community. The people who have booked me from APW have been the kindest, sweetest, and most conscientious clients who treat me like a peer, not a hired hand. It’s wonderful. It also rocks that we stay in touch after their weddings too, because we have so much in common.”
And, of course, Elissa is one of the biggest supporters of the APW book ever (and I love her for it). She says, “I loved the book and related to it so much that I give copies of it to all of my clients, no matter where they found me. I think that APW (both the book and the community) fosters a healthy wedding industry, not the ‘scary’ industry that we are all too aware of.”
Because it’s early in the year, I asked Elissa to reflect on her 2011 and where she’s going in 2012. Read it and grin, ladies. (I love when you guys get to be the positive forces in the universe for blossoming creative business owners.)
After my introductory post ran in December 2010, some APW-ers asked me to shoot their weddings! And it was awesome! I had put myself out there in the universe and APW delivered. I could count the number of weddings I had shot before my first APW wedding on one hand, but people believed in me. I’ve gotten emails and letters and cards from clients who are all so happy with what I’ve done for them, and it reinforced the feeling that this is what I wanted to do, and that I could make people happy while doing it.
This past year I met amazing people (such friendly people!) many of whom are friends of mine now. We talk about our pets and people know how much I love Nutella so I get a lot of links to Nutella recipes on twitter.
I also started sharing more of myself on my blog. I know I’m kind of awkward (in a good way, I hope) and since meeting more APW folk (sponsors and readers or both) who share personal stories on their sites, I feel like I know them better and want to know them further. I don’t want to be that random person who takes beautiful photos but is unapproachable or all-business. So I’ve been sharing books and photos of my day to day life, as I chat about how much of a cat lady I’ve become.
I have high hopes for this year. I want to shoot double the number of weddings I shot last year. I want to meet more people, get tea with more clients, and resurrect the APW book club in Austin. (Editors note: This is so totally happening!)
So with that, I want all of you to pat yourselves on the back for allowing awesome artists like Elissa to grow their business and make amazing work. And Texas? Those of you with friends getting married in Texas? I think you’ve found your lady. Elissa R Photography. You’re welcome.