One of the many unexpectedly wonderful things about the APW book tour (and there are so many) has been that I’ve gotten the chance to meet a tons of APW sponsors on the road that I never would have otherwise met. One of the ladies who made the biggest impression on me was Emilia Jane, of Emilia Jane Photography, who I met over a bottle of wine in my few hour train change in Chicago. As all of you know, there is nothing I love more than a person who can make me laugh (and I have high standards for hilarity). And it turns out that Emilia Jane is one of those people. She’s warm and kind, but also in possession of a razor sharp wit, powered by a keen eye for observation. And, if you ask me, that’s probably exactly what makes her an excellent photographer (who even takes photos with a sense of humor).
And what an excellent photographer she is. The theme for the month seems to be APW photographers who are on fire, and whose work has leapt to staggering heights in the last year while working with y’all. In that vein, I bring you Emilia Jane. Looking at Emilia Jane’s portfolio is just plain exciting. Her work is personal and emotional, but she also mixes in fashion photography images, with quirky soul. It’s the personality of an APW photographer, mixed with a Vogue-like flair. And who doesn’t want that (particularly when it comes packaged with hilarity).
Plus, her wedding photography is staggeringly affordable, with wedding packages starting at just $2,000 and special rates for elopements (something she totally has a soft spot for). Plus! She gives a free engagement session (and the files!) to all her APW couples. Rad. Oh, and did I mention? Emilia Jane started out as a Team Practical bride, using APW to plan her wedding, and then joined us as a sponsor. Somehow, that’s always the best kind of partnership. So today I’m super excited to just let Emilia chat a bit about what she’s learned growing her business and why she loves you guys in particular. Trust me, it’s really really good stuff:
When I first started my business I thought the pictures were the most important thing. Don’t get me wrong, having amazing pictures is crucial. But it’s just the first step. I want to work with people who not only love my pictures but also like me for me. So I had to figure out how to fix this problem of being a simple commodity, a wedding photographer. This year I have completely re-branded and poured my personality into my website and blog. I worked with great designers (from 315 and Super Runaway), and I am so happy with the final product. Both places feel so much more like ME! And they’ve enabled me to connect so much better with potential clients. Now I can ask real questions about their wedding on the contact page, not just name/date/info! The other most impactful change for me has been blogging Monday through Friday. I used to only blog when I had pretty new pictures from a session. Now I don’t just blog about that, but I blog about real life! My latest obsessions, cocktail recipes, books I’m reading, goals, etc. (Editors note: this is seriously good stuff, whether you’re looking for a photographer or not.) There are few things I love more than sitting down to a new client meet-up and having them say, I feel like I know you already because I read your blog, and I found you on APW.
I love the APW community because here I feel like I’ve finally found my people. A group of sane, smart alec-y (yep I may be making up words now) people who I instantly connect with. I’ve had so much fun connecting with so many new APW ladies through Twitter this year. Helping each other find dresses and venues, supporting each other through life struggles, bonding over Downton Abby. You knew it was going to go there! I love working with APW couples because when we sit down to meet for the first time I know we already have lots in common! Not only does this translate to a seamless wedding vendor relationship, but it means we can actually be friends too. I love that we can be talking about wedding details one minute and marriage and real relationship issues the next. I know that APW couples value the marriage beyond the wedding day, and what I am going to give them will help them remember the little moments throughout that celebration, for the rest of their lives!
As far as the pictures go, my goal is always to capture real emotion throughout the day. I am not about posing you for hours on end, or dragging you around to a million places. I want to be alongside you celebrating the formation of your new family. Can we talk about how huge that is for a second?! What an awesome responsibility. And it seriously brings me so much joy to do it! I feel so blessed to be included in such a huge occasion of life and to have found a profession that love so much!
So ladies of Chicago and the upper midwest… go have loads of fun with Emilia Jane. Crack jokes, share cocktail recipes, and make amazing photos together. It’s going to be excellent, I can tell (send photos!).