Shandi Wallace: Affordable, Beautiful, Sane DC Wedding Photography

Remember when earlier this week I told you that your wedding wasn’t timeless? HA. Well, I’m here to tell you that Shandi Wallace Photography in DC is… timeless (whoops). And classic. And, you guys, her work really really is. And it’s beautiful too, and sometimes sparklingly fun. So let’s not dwell on my inconsistencies, shall we? Cough. Instead talk about how awesome Shandi is.

First, I want to talk about Shandi herself. Once you find a photographer whose work is beautiful (say, Shandi Wallace Photography…) your next job is to make sure the photographer is someone you want to spend your wedding day hanging around with and who will put you at ease in your photographs. You want to find someone who clicks with you. So, to let you get to know Shandi, I forced her to write a little about herself (which she hated doing, which tells you something about her personality right there). But I’m a slave driver, so I made her. And what she gave me was strikingly honest. Shandi describes herself as:

  • Thoughtful—I think about people’s feelings way too much.
  • Soft-voiced (I don’t speak very loudly) but very friendly/approachable.
  • Always smiling and laughing. Seriously, I have one of the best senses of humor of anyone you’ll meet.
  • Down for anything. Super easy going and agreeable.
  • I can be really indecisive when I get inside my own head, which is why I like to work based on instincts. I much prefer to anticipate moments rather than posing. I’ll get myself all frustrated with perfect “proper” posing.
  • I’m really humble. Compliments make me feel kind of awkward (like I want to kick rocks and get shy), though I appreciate them.

Right? Adorable. Maybe Shandi can be my friend, since it IS friendship month, after all. I’m pretty envious that she can be your wedding photographer (and then maybe your friend after that).

But enough of the fluffy stuff, let’s talk about why hiring Shandi is a total no-brainer.

  • First. The pictures. The pictures. The pictures. They are beautiful, classic, flawlessly edited. They strike the balance between pretty and fun. This woman is serious skill, and dedicated to her craft.
  • Prices. You guys, not to be blunt, but Shandi charges $2,950 flat. That’s for your full wedding. Unlimited time, engagement session, second shooter, all of your hi-res images. That price is basically impossible to beat (and can’t possibly last, so for goodness sake book her now).
  • Oh yeah, and if that isn’t enough she says, “I’d like to give APW readers a 10% discount on 2014 weddings.” WHUT?
  • No awkward family photos. Shandi takes the posed pictures you need, but she focuses on candid moments, and on capturing those fleeting emotions of the wedding day.

And then there are the photos. Oh, the photos….

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The bottom line is simple. Shandi loves working with you guys, and she’s all about simple, sane, no bullshit business practices. She wants to capture the way your wedding day felt in beautiful, beautiful images, and give you those images to keep forever. Plus, I think you’re going to love her. Here she is in her own words:

APW readers are as real as it gets. I love genuine people. They tend to focus on what matters rather than plotting someone’s murder over place cards, and that’s super important to me. I really feel like a wedding should be more about family, friends, and love rather than the material stuff. They get creative and can do wonders with what they have. They get their hands dirty to create special touches, and it’s the most romantic thing to me. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive or the “nicest,” but the fact that it was made with their own two hands makes me just want to burst with admiration.

My business philosophy is to keep things simple and sane. I don’t nickel and dime, and hate when it happens to me. After my ordeal of a wedding, I found myself wondering what it is about the word “wedding” that turned folks into savage, frenzied spenders. I understand wanting the wedding of your dreams, and the best of everything that comes with it. But sometimes, that desire can bring out the worst in people. My wedding coverage is all-inclusive. That means one flat rate, for the whole wedding day. I don’t do forced packages full of grandparent pocket albums (?), keychains (?!?), or printed coffee mugs. I don’t believe in taking advantage of the “wedding high” and trying to sell you crap that you won’t need or want a year later. I especially don’t like the idea of hourly packages. I feel like it really sets a limit. And who the heck wants to be watching a clock? I show up when you’re getting ready, and I leave for the night when you do. THAT is your wedding day. Start to finish.

When I shoot, I prefer to just anticipate and catch what’s there. I don’t like perfectly posed photographs. (Though we’ll probably do one or two. Grandma will want one every time.) The candid expressions and moments are the most important part of photographs to me. I like to be able to look at old photos, and instantly remember what it felt like. And being posed like a Barbie doll is something I wouldn’t want to relive. The joke that made me almost fall over laughing, or that quick smooch from my new husband during his best friend’s toast, or when my dad saw me in my dress and started to cry… those are the moments that I want to remember and relive every time I take out my wedding photos.

That’s Shandi, you guys. It doesn’t get better than that. Washington DC, get on this, now. Before her rates go up, or she’s booked so solid she can’t fit you in for another three years. Go. Now.

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    WHY CAN’T I BE ENGAGED YET????? Besides partner and I haven’t decided we’re ready to get hitched yet, of course, but otherwise I WANT TO BOOK A WEDDING WITH SHANDI WALLACE RIGHT NOW.

    Absolutely gorgeous photos. And that price is the best I’ve seen so far – I thought the best was $3800 for 10 hours with a second shooter, but this beats it.

    Sigh. Maybe I’ll bring up getting engaged again soon. Beating dead horses always works, right?

  • Rachel

    Shandi sounds awesome! And I seriously almost wish I could get married again and I lived in DC so I could hire her. The first photo under the paragraph where Shandi describes herself literally made me tear up. To have any photos like that of me and my grandfather would be just amazing.

  • I’m getting married in 16 days, and I love my photographer, and I’m getting married very far away from DC…..

    But oh my god, I love this, most especially the part about candids vs portraits. And also the part about her taking amazing effing photographs.

  • Shandi, your work is stunning! And you sound like a ridiculously awesome person to hang out with!

  • KC

    I think certain aspects of a wedding can be more timeless than others, and I think, generally, the better photography is, the more timeless it is. There’s a fantastic photo of my husband’s grandpa’s older-relative-of-some-kind and his family where they’ve all posed, seated, out in the garden behind the house and are waiting for the shutter to click, and then something goes awry or takes longer than expected, and the guy has just started moving towards the camera to fix things, and everyone else has loosened up into normal reactive facial expressions, and it is fantastic and is *exactly* like the same photo would be today, barring the fact that it’s black and white (okay, and the clothes they’re wearing). But it’s an (in this case, accidental) perfect capture of a moment in time, and a situation most of us have been in. :-)

    So: photography: like alcohol and human expression, one of the things that *can* be at least close-ish to timeless, because it can be successfully capturing more-or-less-timeless moments, emotions, and memories without letting other things get in the way. (I mean, slapping filters on everything and doing the latest photo trends are things which you can still do with good/enjoyable photography, but those photos are going to be more obviously “of a certain age”, and it’s easier to do things that way than to capture the timeless shots.)

  • TalksoutofTurn

    Holy bejeezus! Does she do the entire DC Metro area? Because my wedding will likely be in MD. This also makes me super excited, because there doesn’t seem to be many APW vendors yet in my area.

    My most important concern is that I’d like all my vendors to be lgbt friendly. I figure I could just ask them if they do same-sex weddings and if they say no I’ll be like “Oh, that’s a shame. I’m straight, but I can’t support you if you aren’t for equality.”

    And…I should be getting married in 2014, God willing. I’m in that dreaded Pre-engagement phase that really isn’t so bad…but my bf already told me, told many of our friends, and told all of our parents. So now I’m just waiting for a ring, basically. o.0 Aaand I’m off subject, sorry.

    Gah, I love this site.

    • Catherine McK

      I’m 100% sure that Meg & Co. won’t let advertisers on here who aren’t lgbt friendly (see yesterday’s adorable giveaway) They all have to sign a sanity pledge thing that includes marriage equality, so if you find them here you’re golden.

      Good luck with the wily ducks! And congrats in advance!

      • meg

        All APW advertisers are LGBTQ friendly. They sign a legally binding contract guaranteeing that they are, and if we find out they are in violation of their contract, all their advertising is pulled including past advertising, and they lose their outstanding money. We don’t fuck around on that point.

        Also, yes, by “DC” I meant “DC metropolitan area.”

    • Shandi Wallace

      I’m definitely LGBT friendly. Love is love. :)

  • Annie

    Arg, Shandi, you aren’t moving after all? We are sad we didn’t wait to find out :(

    • Shandi Wallace

      Eeek, I know, Annie! :( That was such a crazy couple of weeks with not knowing. But I’m rooted! Hope you guys have an awesome wedding! xo