Elisa Petersen Photography: Saint Louis, The Midwest, And More

First, let’s just stop everything so we can have a dance party at our desks. Since time immemorial, APW has had a hard time getting Midwest photography sponsors, even through there are a zillion of you in the Midwest. Well, today is the day that the Midwest can stop flying in photographers from the coasts, just to get someone who fits with your asthetics and your ethics. Today is the day we get to welcome Elisa Petersen Photography in Saint Louis, Missouri. And it’s better than that. Elisa will travel for a $250 flat rate for cities within five hours driving distance of St. Louis (Chicago, Memphis, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Louisville, Iowa City, etc. And Nashville, even though it’s technically more than five hours.) Elisa has been hanging around APW for quite awhile. Her friends who were getting married introduced her, and she showed up and stayed. And now (I love when this happens) she’s doing her first advertsing ever-ever in the whole world, on APW. Why? Because she wants to work with you guys (she’s even doing a massive giveaway). And if all of this isn’t great enough, she’ll also travel anywhere in the continental US for just $500. Let’s discuss.

First up, let’s get into her awesome rates. First off, Elisa Petersen Phototgraphy’s rates start at just $1400 for six hours of coverage, online proofing and an archival DVD with printing rights for Saturdays. But she says, “I’m happy to talk with APW couples who are eloping or need less coverage on Sunday, Friday, or other day of the week.” Plus, she’s offering a special APW only package, because she wanted to give you guys a super nice package that included a heirloom wedding album at a discount. So for APW-ers only, she’s offering $2495 for 10 hours of coverage, online proofing, archival DVD with high-resolution images and an 8×10, 20 page custom heirloom album. Oh, and least you forget, she says, “I’ll travel anywhere in the continental US for $500 (I’m sure with flight, hotel, and rental car I’ll be losing money, but I love to travel!)” Yesss.

Plus! Plus! (I know, it’s totally absurdly wonderful that there is a plus), Elisa Petersen Photography is giving away eight hours of wedding day photography, plus digital images, and printing rights away to one lucky APW couple. You only need to pay to get her to wherever you are. Which means, in short, you’d be a total crazy person to not enter right away.

Which brings us to why Elisa Petersen Photography wants to work with APW-ers so damn much. Elisa told me, “APW couples are my favorite. The weddings are meaningful and personal, and the people are intelligent, grounded and kind. I’ve noticed that my friends who are engaged become APW couples, and APW couples who hire me become my friends.” Plus, she totally gets what you need and want out of a photographer on your wedding day. That person following you around all day is ideally not someone just in charge of taking photos, but also someone who’s going to serve as your backup friend, your body gaurd, and your extra sanity as needed (and it’s always needed). She says, “I feel wedding photographers can contribute so much more to a wedding than the photos, though those are important! I’ve helped a bride with her makeup, helped make sure everything goes according to the timeline, and I’ve even been a witness on a marriage license for a couple who eloped. My role is artist, storyteller, coordinator and friend.”

And in case you’re wondering about how Elisa’s photos are so awesome, considering this is her first time advertising anywhere (here, because she loves you guys that much), it’s because the woman is stone cold experienced. She says, “When people ask me how long I’ve done this, it’s hard to say exactly. I’ve been a photographer my whole life—I had polaroids and toy cameras in my hand when I was a baby, I got my first good, “real” camera at nine, and we had a darkroom at home. I started getting paid gigs in high school, then went on to study photojournalism at the University of Missouri (which, by the way, was the first journalism school in the world). I was a news photographer, and I think covering so many uncontrolled events on a tight deadline prepared me amazingly well for covering a wedding. I started photographing weddings full-time fall of 2011.”

As for her artistic approach, well, it has everything to do with her background. She says, “I’m a photojournalist at heart (and by training), so for most of the day, I’m a fly on the wall, capturing real, candid moments. I want future generations to look at the photos and know what it felt like to be there that day. For the portraits, I give some direction—it’s not the couple’s job to be professional models or know what looks best. I believe there is beauty in every couple and every location, and a backyard wedding can be just as stunningly gorgeous and moving as one in a cathedral or ballroom.”

So. Midwest!!!! This is your day, and I’m so damn excited. Now you have an excellent photographer in Saint Louis, travel within five hours for $250, and we all have travel all over the contental US for $500. I mean?! Awesome. Plus, you have Elisa Petersen Photography’s crazy talent, and an awesome person who gets you, to follow you around all day. I can’t wait to see what y’all create together.

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  • Oh, wow, that last shot in the barn is epic!

  • Another Elis(s)a!!! Be still, my heart! Congrats, Midwest, it looks like you’re winning here!!

  • Bridget

    Shut. Up. Midwest. ohmygosh. Please shoot my wedding in a barn. But, for real.

  • Elisabeth

    WOW. I am completely beyond excited about this. Not too long ago I was stalking APW for any sponsors, friends, recommendations, etc. for wedding things in St. Louis. I was quite disappointed to find nothing. I’m getting married next March here. Elisa, you’re at the top of my list. YES.

    • Yay! I’m excited, too!

  • Angie B.

    I just teared up reading this. Seriously, tears for a sponsor post. That is how happy I am that APW has a St. Louis sponsor. I have been struggling with where to even begin to look for vendors, but now I know! HOORAY!

    • I’m getting married in St Louis on September 1st. Please let me know if I can help in any way with other vendor recommendations or anything else.

  • Elsie

    Ahh! A lindy event! I know people in that photo!
    Extra kudos to the photographer, because getting great action shots of dancers isn’t easy!

  • Jessica

    More St. Louis vendors please please! Planning a wedding for 2013 in St. Louis and I would love to have some APW vendors to choose from. Welcome Elisa!

    • Jenna

      Yes!! Please post more St. Louis vendors! I’m also planning a 2013 wedding in St. Louis and I am soooo tired of all the typical, “cookie-cutter” vendors that say: “You have to do this” or pay $1000 for ______ even though you don’t need it! Thanks APW, you’re off to a good Midwest start!

      • If you want any STL advice, email me! Emmalouklues at gmail dot com. I got married in southern Illinois but know a bit about STL vendors!

  • katieprue

    Hells yes! I kind of wish my wedding was still to come… But no, our photographer did a great job. Still. As a Lawrence, KS gal, I’ll be so happy to recommend APW even more now with some Midwest vendors!

  • Impressive. Last photo is the best!

  • Thanks for the love, everyone! And thanks for the great post, Meg!

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