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When Your Photographer Shoots For You—Not Pinterest

THIS is what it looks like

Kelly Benvenuto PhotographY. Boston Wedding Photographer. Makes magic like this:

Boston Wedding Photographer Kelly Benvenuto | A Practical WeddingBoston Wedding Photographer Kelly Benvenuto | A Practical WeddingBoston Wedding Photographer Kelly Benvenuto | A Practical WeddingBoston Wedding Photographer Kelly Benvenuto | A Practical WeddingBoston Wedding Photographer Kelly Benvenuto | A Practical WeddingBoston Wedding Photographer Kelly Benvenuto | A Practical WeddingBoston Wedding Photographer Kelly Benvenuto | A Practical WeddingBoston Wedding Photographer Kelly Benvenuto | A Practical WeddingBoston Wedding Photographer Kelly Benvenuto | A Practical WeddingBoston Wedding Photographer Kelly Benvenuto | A Practical WeddingBoston Wedding Photographer Kelly Benvenuto | A Practical Wedding

That? Is what it looks like when your photographer shoots for you and not Pinterest.

That? Is joyful, honest photography that tells the whole story of your wedding, not just the pretty parts, and not just the portraits. Because if that’s all that mattered, you wouldn’t have invited all those people, right?

That? Is what Boston wedding photographer Kelly Benvenuto is all about. And you’re in luck, because Kelly is here today to tell the story of why, in her own words.

Why I don’t shoot for Pinterest

As a bride, I wasn’t very good at wedding planning. I knew I wanted to celebrate with our closest family and friends, and I wanted it to be lovely. Overwhelmed by choices, I contemplated options for venue, dress, and decorations without having a clear vision. But when it came to our photographs, I knew what I wanted: really beautiful portraits. Our photographer delivered dozens of portraits of Ian and me. But when I look at all our photos, I sometimes feel a little sad and wonder—where are all of our guests? We received eight pictures of my shoes, and eight pictures of our rings, but not one good moment between my parents or candids of Ian’s grandparents. In my memory, our wedding day felt like a big hug, but we don’t have photographs of the people who were hugging us and celebrating with us. If our wedding pictures made a movie, it would have played like a one-woman show and not an ensemble cast.

As a photographer, I want you to know that you don’t need an hour for portraits of the two of you—but you may want an extra hour with your guests. You probably won’t regret not having a photograph of your programs—but you may miss not having pictures of your guests’ emotions during the ceremony. I believe that perfect is a myth, and pretty doesn’t hold a candle to authenticity. I want the images I make for you to celebrate not just the love you have for each other, but all the important people with whom you’ve surrounded yourselves on this most momentous day.

I am endlessly fascinated by the human connection. Human stories. Your stories. I believe wedding photos should tell this story for you and for the people with whom you shared the day. The final destination for your wedding images is not a blog to inspire future brides. Wedding photos are not meant to give you fifteen minutes of online fame, but serve as a springboard for reminiscing for fifty years to come.

I read a quote once that said, “Photos are memories made tangible.” I think everyone wants to understand where they come from, to look back at the moments that lead up to now. Children and grandchildren may someday look at these images, to not only admire how beautiful or handsome you were, but to understand who you were. Understanding who you are, and who and what are most important to you, is some of the most important work I do. So that way, I arrive on your wedding day fully prepared to document it for you.

One of the best compliments I’ve received came soon after delivering a wedding gallery. The mother of the bride emailed me, saying:

You obviously care a lot about how you get the photos of the events and people, and the heart behind it all. We made the cakes, and we didn’t spend a ton on chairs, but I sure am glad we spent the money to get you to come. You captured the emotion of the event, which for our family, was very important.

In the four years since our wedding, I haven’t often looked at wedding blogs other than APW. When planning, I looked so much I overdosed. So. Many. Pretty. Things. Because, let’s face it, I like pretty things—at our wedding and in our home. But, while weddings often have lots of pretty things, weddings are not about the pretty things, and they are not meant to be photo shoots. They are about celebrating the connection between people—not just between the couple, but between the couple and their families and friends. And that is what informs me when I am photographing a wedding. I am much more focused on getting candids of your five bridesmaids than photographing your centerpieces five different ways.

The friends and clients I have met through APW are not only unfailingly kind, generous, and thoughtful, but they are also creative and fun. They get it. You get it.

Free Portrait Session, Paying It Forward

My husband and I received the gift of a photo session from some photographer friends of mine—totally unexpected but received with much gratitude. Scrolling through the pictures when we received them—it made me verklempt. These friends are a long way away, and because I cannot pay them back (they wouldn’t accept anything but some chocolate chip cookies), I would like to pay it forward and give someone else the gift of images. I’m offering a free portrait session to an interested couple. (You can enter right here.) Any couple can enter, not just engaged ones.


Simple wedding photography is $2,900, for six hours of coverage. A full weekend of coverage is $5,900. Everything else is somewhere in between.

At the end of the day, I am about celebrating your commitment and community, with images that are clean, classic, and candid. I believe your love is more unique than your details. I believe the depth of your emotion is more memorable than the height of your heels. I arrive at a wedding without a preconceived idea of what it should be, but with an openness to document what is in front of me. I shoot for couples and families—not wedding blogs.

kelly is offering a 200 print credit to couples who book her by the end of March. so if you want a thoughtful photographer, who shoots for you and not pinterest, plus beautiful tangible photos to hang all over your house? get on hiring kelly benvenuto photography in boston for your wedding. your grandkids will thank you.

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  • Giggles

    Looks like magical joy to me. :)

  • Jane Patterson-McGuire

    “Because if that’s all that mattered, you wouldn’t have invited all those people, right?”


    Also, Kelly is awesome.

  • Yet another Meg

    So, so, awesome. We’re in the process of trying to figure out this whole wedding photography thing and this. is. it. Off to check out Kelly’s site and see if she travels…

    • Kelly Benvenuto

      Hi Meg! I love to travel, and have traveled for weddings in DC, Los Angeles, NY and Maine. Would be happy to chat more about your plans, and I’m always up for an adventure!

  • Alex Smith

    This article is correct! You want a photographer that will capture YOUR moment on this very special day! The photos should tell a story about you! When I was looking for a photographer, I found this blog post to be very helpful!

  • ItsyBit

    Kelly is fantastic!! She photographed my friend’s wedding in April and in addition to her considerable skills (seriously, I was overjoyed when I saw the photo gallery) she’s just great to be around. Quiet and unobtrusive as a photographer but so sweet and easy to chat with when she wasn’t behind the camera. I can’t recommend her highly enough.

  • Sarah Hoppes

    That photo of (I’m guessing?) the groom with his grandmother is so beautiful!

  • Emily

    Kelly photographed my wedding last summer and I have only the best things to say about her! The images are amazing (when we all went swimming in the ocean she took some landscape shots that feel like they belong in a fine art gallery). And her pictures of people really are the best! Plus, she was so easy going and flexible on the day (good thing since it was about 95 degrees and she managed to find a place outside to take all the formal portraits while avoiding the glaring sunlight so we could all change into more comfortable clothes right away).

  • picardie.girl

    This is marvellous. How do I find someone like you in Sydney (Australia)?

    • Kelly Benvenuto

      Hi picardie.girl! Feel free to sent me an e-mail and I can point you to a few places to look for wedding photographers more in this vein :)

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