Sometimes (I’d argue, not often enough), I get to know APW sponsors a little bit in person, as well as getting to watch their businesses grow and blossom from the sidelines. Emilia, of Emilia Jane Photography in Chicago, is one of those people. I got to meet her over dinner in the two seconds I was in Chicago for my book tour. And you guys, this woman is hilarious. Quick wit, solid sass, sharp as a whip. My kind of girl. Which… of course, right? Of course APWers love her.
But beyond that, we need to seriously discuss Emilia’s photos. Scrolling through a gallery of her work, I was struck by… what I wasn’t struck by. At no point was I actually thinking about the pictures (or doing that thing where you wish the photo was less processed, or taken from a slightly different angle, or whatever). Instead, I was just totally absorbed in experiencing the weddings. And I suddenly realized that meant that Emilia Jane Photography had done that thing that all artists aim for: they’d become a pure medium for the work. And as soon as I realized that, I brought my focus back to the photos and realized why I’d been so absorbed: the photos were flawless. Beautiful. Stunning. So true that all you could see was the people, the emotion, and the moment. Perfect.
Plus, what you get with Emilia is not just a hilarious lady with a serious talent. You end up with someone who really gets you. Here is what Emilia had to say about working with APW couples: “I love working with APW couples because when we talk, we don’t just talk wedding details, we talk about them and their relationship. I have things in common with these smart people, and they are excited to be getting MARRIED! As in, excited for the marriage… not just the wedding day. I resonate with that. However much I enjoyed planning our little wedding (of 15 people), being married is way more fun and I have a lifetime of that took look forward to with my spouse (and so do they!). APW people are fun to work with because they’re typically the first couple in their family getting married in the way that they are. I appreciate that uniqueness and I cherish it. Supporting/sponsoring APW makes sense to me because I feel like they are my people.”
Plus, Emilia Jane Photography is absolutely no bullshit. Like her work, her business is structured so it stays out of your way. You don’t have to worry about it, because it’s easy and simple. She told me, “I like APW couples so much that they were really my inspiration for my new pricing set-up. Wedding vendor pricing has no common theme. Which I think is bananas. What I’m offering is full wedding coverage (from when you’re just about done getting ready through the major events of the reception). My pricing isn’t asking you to plan your wedding day timeline months and months in advance. I don’t expect you to know when you hire me if you want me for seven, eight, or ten hours on that day. Literally. How are you supposed to know that? So it’s a no-nonsense $3500 for me to be there for the whole wedding and you get the files afterwards. If you know in advance that you want an album (because you want to preserve this really important piece of history) I have another no-nonsense price for that. For more intimate weddings (and elopements!) that do not require all day coverage I book hourly at $450/hour with an average around $2000. I am trying my best to have as much of the photography process (pricing and otherwise) make sense to my couples.” Which is exactly what we all want in pricing. One price, that makes sense, right out there where we can see it. No hidden bells and whistles with Emilia, no high-pressure sales. Just one price for value. Yes.
The best way to get to know Emilia (other than emailing her and having a drink, because I’m pretty sure she has a drink with all of her couples) is to read her blog, where she share tons about who she is. But I wanted to be able to tell you a bit more about not just her personal philosophy, but her artistic and business philosophy as well, so I asked her about it.
She said, “My artistic philosophy is fairly simple and straightforward. I want my pictures to be the most beautiful representation of your wedding day. I don’t want to make your wedding something that it isn’t, or portray you two in a way that isn’t you. I want to capture your personalities and all of the little in-between moments that make up the beauty of your relationship. Whether that’s with laughter or lots of tears (or both!). Whether it’s on the beach with five guests, a restaurant with fifty close friends, or in a ballroom with a band and two hundred people. I just want to show off your love, and capture it for you to keep for years to come. I know that I am preserving history, and I don’t take that lightly. I want to take pictures that your grandchildren (hypothetically, of course) will look at and feel like they were there with you. Pictures they can fully see you in. My business philosophy is even simpler. I want to make everything as transparent as possible for my couples. I want them to know that I’m working my butt off for them, and providing a fantastic experience. And I want every part of the photography relationship to be straightforward and make sense to them. I want to be the easiest wedding vendor to hire and work with. And the one they get along with the best.” That last part? Done and done.
And finally, Emilia has an awesome new video you can watch. (I’m totally in love with the videos APW sponsors are making, since it’s such a quick and awesome way to get to know them.) She says, “I just had a fabulous promo video made that I am literally obsessed with. It’s on the front page of my site as a quick get-to-know-you type thing. I’m hoping the APWers like it!” And with that, Chicago, you lucky ducks, go have fun with Emilia Jane Photography. And you’d better send pictures.