Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by the mutual gratitude that exists within this community. APWers never shy away from telling you when you’re appreciated, or from supporting you when you need it most. But nothing fills me with the warm fuzzies more than when a sponsor writes the community a thank you back. Possibly because I’ve been in their shoes, so I know just how sincere it is when they tell you all how much you mean. (Do you know how awesome it is to make your living working with just APW couples? It’s like getting to have ice cream for dinner every night and never getting sick.) But in any case, I’m thrilled to end this week on a warm fuzzy note, compliments of Kelly Benvenuto Photography in Boston.
But the best part about today’s warm fuzzies is that Kelly isn’t just a sponsor, she’s also a full fledged member of the APW community herself (if we gave out merit badges, she’d have all of them, I think). In fact, Kelly wrote one of my favorite wedding grad posts of all time and even got her mom to submit a post on marriage after forty years. So naturally Kelly’s method of saying thank you today isn’t just in a gushing letter (though, don’t worry, that’s coming). She’s also paying her gratitude forward by adding more flexible and affordable options to her wedding packages for APW readers. Just because she loves you guys. RAD.
But I don’t want to hog the spotlight here. So I’ll let Kelly Benvenuto Photography tell it to you directly:
As it’s the end of my first year in business, and it being November (even though Thanksgiving has passed), it seems an appropriate time to say thank you. Of all the things I have to be grateful for, the APW community ranks near the top of my list. It was my sanity while planning my own wedding, and the readers have helped me launch my business. A recent wedding graduate post talked about how you can’t have “all the weddings,” but I feel so lucky to be present for so many of yours, to see the variety of ways in which your love is celebrated. I am grateful to get to experience the love, affirmation, and sense of community week after week. Even the day after a wedding, when I am exhausted and all I want to do is have a scone and a caffeinated beverage, and lounge around my house, I am sometimes inspired by the overflow of joy from your day to dance around my living room.
Now, aside from how obviously lovely Kelly is, can I just back up for a second here? Are you looking at the same photos I am? Because there is no way these pictures are from someone in their first year of business (they make me want to take my own first year of business photos and bury them in the ground forever). They’re just so… alive. Which means if they are this good now, I can’t even fathom what kind of work she’s going to be doing next year or the year after that.
Speaking of Kelly’s photos, I also love what she had to say about her artistic philosophy, because it’s so antithetical to everything the wedding industry tells us is important. She said:
I’m definitely in the camp of “your wedding day is not a photo shoot” and I’ve been trying to find a way to articulate that. As a bride, I cared about my shoes, and my flowers, and many of the little details that went into the day. But when I look at my photos now, I wonder, why did my shoes have a photoshoot? As a photographer, I don’t care about your shoes. I trust that whatever you choose will be right for you, be they gold strappy sandals, blue satin pumps, any color of Converse, or if you choose to go barefoot so you can feel the sand under your feet. But when it comes down to it:I don’t care about the height of your heel—I care about the depth of your emotion. I don’t care about the color of your flowers—I care about the tone of your day. I don’t care if you do a first look, but I care about that moment when you take each other’s breath away. I don’t care if you get married inside or outside, so long as you are open to the experience. I want for you to laugh, maybe shed a few tears, make ardent promises, definitely kiss, and to feel deeply. I want you to soak up the experience and remember exactly how you felt.
And honestly, I get what she means. Because at some point in every wedding your photographer has to make a choice. We have a limited amount of time to capture things and we constantly have to ask ourselves in any given situation, “What matters here?” And what I love about Kelly’s position is that it means she’s always going to go for the human interest rather than the detail. And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have one picture of my grandma laughing over ten pictures of my centerpieces. Kelly added, “The thing that really underlines all this for me is my belief that the experience of your wedding day is incredibly precious. Your experience and ability to be present is the most important to me. I want to be there to document it for you, not direct it. I don’t think your day needs to be directed, because it is just right as it is, and you are beautiful as you are. Sometimes I think of my approach as that of a friend with a good camera and a lot of training. I want to capture you as you are. I’m not the friend who’s the life of the party, but the quiet one, helping to make sure everything goes smoothly. Though I will absolutely be in the thick of it on the crowded dance floor.”
All of which is just to say that Kelly Benvenuto Photography is someone you can trust with a super important day like your wedding. Not because she’s going to get every single possible shot that ever existed, but because she’s going to capture the shots that really matter, the ones you’re going to want when you’re old and grey, and she’s going to do it without getting in your way or making your wedding feel like a Vogue editorial.
And as part of Kelly Bevenuto Photography’s commitment to accept your wedding as it is, Kelly’s recently restructured her packages to make hiring her more affordable for folks who need a little less coverage than the full day she used to provide. Kelly said, “Last year I talked about how I wanted to be there for the whole wedding day, and offered a full-day rate. And the first part is still true—I want to be able to photograph the full day for my clients. But some (really awesome!) people just don’t need ten hours of photography, so I’ve redone my packages, and now offer some packages with fewer hours.” So Bostonians, now you can hire Kelly Benvenuto Photography for seven hours of coverage (plus a complimentary engagement session, on-line proofing, and a $250 product credit) starting at $2,400. Nine hours of coverage is available for $3,100 (and comes with a disc of high resolution images). And of course, you can still hire Kelly for the full day for $4,000, which includes the engagement session, a disc of high resolution images and a small album or book (which are totally lovely and refreshingly unfussy if you ask me). Swoon.
So Boston and New England, you couldn’t be in better hands. Kelly Benvenuto Photography is one of you, and all she wants to do is give you the best wedding vendor experience you could ask for. On top of that, her images leave my jaw somewhere between my face and the center of the earth, they are that good. So go! Peruse her galleries (try not to drool over her talent) and then share some of that awesome New England wedding magic with her that I know ya’ll are planning (I’ve been to your weddings. I know you pride yourselves on having the most fun ever). And then when you’re done you can come back and share the pictures with me for when I’m feeling homesick, yeah? Ok, good.