*This is a paid post from an APW Sponsor*
Sometimes when we get a new sponsor, I look at their pictures, and the first thing I think is, “Dear God! Can I get a Wordless Wedding from them right this second? For putting in my mouth?” And then I realize, no, I can’t, because they haven’t shot any of your weddings yet. So then I get to thinking, “How quickly do you think they can shoot one of your weddings? Like is one of you eloping next week? I hope yes.” Alex at Wild Eyed Photography is one of those people. And you guys: SHE’S IN TORONTO. There are tons and tons of APWers in Toronto, and we’ve never had a Toronto wedding photographer before, so I am just. so. excited. But it gets even better, because Wild Eyed is offering an actually totally crazy deal. For ten of you, if you book her by September 30, 2013, she’s offering free wedding coverage in exchange for travel and accommodation. (I’m actually sort of at a loss to talk about this deal, I just sort of stared around wide-eyed and wiggled my hands trying to come up with words. Just…. book her already.) Her packages start at $3,200 (Canadian dollars) for eight hours, an engagement session, and all your files, which is the real deal.
Before we talk about Alex and why she does what she does, I just want to say that she is one of those great, super professional, on-the-ball kind of people (which really matters to me). She also has a pony. I mean, technically, it’s a horse, but WHATEVER. She has a pony. Which is a reason to book someone right? And also, she shoots soulful portraits of dogs. I am not kidding. And then there are her, you know, wedding photos (details, details). You guys. Do you know how rare it is to find a photographer whose work is artistic, well composed, interesting, beautiful, and…also funny? Yeah, it’s rare, y’all. And I have a huge soft spot in my heart for funny photographers.
Beyond the ponies and the humor and the talent (like we need to go beyond that, but hey), let’s talk a little about why Alex wants to work with APWers. She told me, “APW posts are so much more than the visual beauty of a wedding; they are about real life and real love. When I think about my ideal client and the weddings I want to capture, I don’t think about how many mason jars will be there, or if they’ll have cupcakes or cake pops or what designer dress they’ll be wearing (though that stuff is all fine and dandy). I think about how in love the couple is, and what their vows will be, and I imagine them being head over heels in love with each other and celebrating that love. I want to capture weddings that are about a couple committing themselves to each other and celebrating their love…not about how good they are at finding fun ideas on Pinterest. And I know that the couples who read APW are my ideal clients. I won’t lie, I do love me some unique and original details here and there, but I love a genuine celebration of love so much more.” Why do you care? Well, first off, you’re going to be hanging out with your photographer all day, and you want them on your wavelength. But more than that, here is the secret: emotion is harder to shoot than pretty details. And what you’re going to care about long after the wedding is done? The photos of your partner crying, or your grandmother hugging you, or your mom holding your tiny cousin’s hand. The pictures of the succulent centerpieces are nice to have, but those are not the ones that stand the test of time.
The crazy thing about Alex is that while she’s been a photographer since high school, it was only three years ago that she realized she could do this professionally (which blows my mind because she’s so damn good at her craft). She says, “I honestly can’t imagine anything better than being able to tell a love story visually. Storytelling is my passion and if I can use my natural talent to do so, that’s the greatest gift I can give myself and someone else.” And to me, good wedding photography is about telling the story. Recording the story, so you can go back and immerse yourself in it when you need to, so you can tell that story to your children or other little beloveds. Holding on to that story for the future, when you’ll need its joy.
But finally, the thing you need to know about Alex of Wild Eyed is that she’s a relaxed, fun person to work with. This post she wrote about asking people to make faces tells me exactly what it’s like to work with Alex. She says, “When I’m shooting, I am fully and wholly in the present moment. It is an incredibly instinctual and meditative act for me. My mind is completely clear and I am following my intuition. The day of a wedding can be very hectic and stressful, my couples have all told me that I was a calm presence for them and having me there helped them enjoy the day and not worry about anything. I think my artistic philosophy is to let things happen as they’re meant to and to go with the flow. If we’re behind schedule, who cares? We can adapt. I shot a wedding this past fall that fell so far behind schedule, we ended up with only ten minutes before the ceremony to do their reveal and portraits. I could have been freaking out and creating more stress for them, but instead I said, it’s okay, we’ll just make some time during the reception and I’ll pull you away for a couple minutes. It worked out fine and we got all of the shots we both wanted. I think my relaxed attitude sets me apart. I think that other photogs think too much and ask too many questions and worry about the light and the shade and the timing, and that creates more stress and worry. I think my ability to remain calm and present is what really helps.”