Elissa R Photography In Austin Texas!

Today I’m delighted to get to talk about Elissa R Photography in Austin, Texas. Elissa is a super active member of the APW community (as a vendor and as a reader), and in the past year, I’ve been delighted to watch her business grow by leaps and bounds, thanks in large part to Team Practical. She’s honoring that and more today with a giveaway. Yipee!

First off, thanks to some positive reviews by Team Practical brides, Elissa is proud to be in So You’re EnGAYged vendor listings. She’s so excited about this that she decided to host a giveaway of a photo session to a LGBTQ couple or ally in the Austin Area, redeemable before the end of the year. If you’d like to enter this giveaway (and how could you not, knowing how Elissa’s last APW giveaways turned out) leave a message explaining why you’d like to win it, and why you think it’s important to support pro-LGBTQ vendors during wedding planning.

But that’s not all! Elissa R Photography is offering a 25% discount to the first two APW couples that book her (mention this post), and a 10% discount to all other APW couples. With wedding packages starting at just $2,200, you should run not walk to book Elissa R. Photo. It’s been a joy to see Elissa’s work change and grow over the last year as an APW sponsor. Her work has such clarity, voice, and emotive personality. Each of her weddings seem to capture the spirit of the couples (not just stylish pictures, which she also does fantastically well). So book her while the going is good because I can guarantee that these rates won’t last.

I asked Elissa why she loves working with APW couples in particular, and boy did she get it right. She said:

I feel that, since I was once a bride planning my own wedding and using APW as one of my main resources to keep me grounded and sane, I can relate to what APW readers are going through. For the most part, I’ve found APW couples to be absolutely sweet, trust me when I am working, and love what I deliver. And that, to me, is all I can really ask for. I want people to hire me because they like my vision, the final product that I share with them and with the world. I think APW reader Rachelle said it best in a tweet: “I love my guest pics too, in a very different way. But Elissa captured exactly how the day felt for me.” I feel like APW folks and I are on the same page and know that it’s about the moments and the marriage, not just the pretty “things.”

But it may be Elissa R Photography’s artistic philosophy that makes her absolutely perfect for Team Practical. Elissa told me:

I aim to make beautiful photos out of honest moments. Someone recently called my work “frank” and I considered that a huge compliment. My number one priority is to do what is best for the couple, which sounds obvious, but a lot of the time I think photographers can start to live in their heads and shoot just for their portfolios or their egos, thus neglecting what is important. I shoot for the story. I shoot for the moment. I try to imagine what is important to the couple and what will continue to be important to them when they show their wedding album to their grandchildren in fifty years.

And that’s what a wedding photographer should be doing… shooting for you, shooting for your grandkids, shooting for your mom, shooting for the memories. Not shooting trendy shots for the blogs, or their portfolio. But working for you. And that’s what Elissa does with her clients.

Plus, she’s now offering a free engagement session with every package, thanks to her experience with recent APW clients. This story explains exactly why you want to work with Elissa and what you’re getting when you do:

The last time I had a sponsored post on APW I gave away an engagement session to a really awesome couple. I met up with them in Houston and shot their sweet engagement session, then they changed to become Margot and Richie Tenenbaum and we shot their absolutely fantastic Royal Tenenbaums session. (Made infamous by How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Plan My Wedding post by Rachelle!) We became friends, added each other on Twitter, followed each other’s blogs, and by the time her wedding came around, I knew exactly what was important to her, what she had spent extra time on, and I was so pumped to be a part of her and Stephen’s wedding. I realized that while I loved showing up at weddings and shooting my heart out and giving these gorgeous memories to the recipients, I liked it even more when I knew them better. As a professional I do my best to get to know folks before their wedding day, and sometimes it’s inevitable that we won’t meet until the day of (such as an out-of-state couple), but it gave me so much more satisfaction to know the ins and outs of my clients’ personalities before I showed up and shot this really important event. That is a long-winded explanation for why I’ve started to include engagement sessions in all of my packages, absolutely free, as a way to get to know clients before their wedding.

And that is why you want Elissa R Photography at your wedding. Not because she shoots amazing photos (though she does), not because her rates are affordable (though they are), but she cares about capturing you,  exactly who you are, exactly as you are. And that’s priceless.

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  • YES! You hit the nail on the head, Meg. All the best Elissa :-) Your work speaks for itself!

  • Yay, Elissa! Her work just gets more and more amazing all the time. And she is a super awesome person to boot. Hire her!

  • WHOO Elissa!!

  • Yay Elissa! And seriously, guys. Meg’s not blowing smoke up your ass here. Elissa cares about her clients so much.

  • See how fellow photographers, myself included, rally behind Elissa? It is because both she and her work are extraordinary.

  • My praise is already all up in the post, but just to make sure you know – I love Elissa! Every one of the photos she gave us is beautiful and we loved having her there to hang out with us on our wedding day. She offered to help me go to the bathroom in my dress, guys! (I ended up taking it off so she wouldn’t have to, but still!) She will go the extra mile for you every time.

    And dudes, those prices are amazing already PLUS you get a discount. Hire her!

    • Hahaha, out of ALL of the stuff you could have mentioned, you had to mention the bathroom?! :) Thanks, Rachelle. You know I adore you. <3

      • I feel that it is important information for brides to know! If something comes up and they need help, the photographer may be the only one there and if they hire you, you will do what needs to be done to help. To me, that’s a huge asset that you have over other photographers who also take nice pictures and/or are affordable. I would not have asked you to help if I didn’t totally trust you and you wouldn’t have offered to help if you weren’t so super awesome : )

  • Class of 1980

    I lived in Texas for 17 years and never felt like a real Texan. But oh, those pictures of buildings with Texas Limestone. I LOVED that stuff. These photos make me nostalgic and Austin is the coolest town in Texas. ;)

  • Elissa’s work is the bees knees. Such good timing!

  • Susan

    I assume “leave a message” means “leave a comment.” If I’m assuming wrong, sorry for putting this in the wrong place.

    So, this giveaway is for “a LGBTQ couple or ally.” My partner and I are a bit of both. I’m a bisexual woman marrying a super queer-allied straight dude. As you might imagine, this brings up some issues, from the dreaded “bi invisibility,” receiving unwanted yet unavoidable straight privilege, considering how best to honor my identity and our values when it comes to LGBTQ issues (not *only* marriage equality), and other concerns. It’s all worth it to be true to ourselves and committed to each other, though.

    I’m a grad student studying to be a psychotherapist and he is a (hopefully) soon-to-be elementary school teacher, so as you can imagine our wedding budget is not exactly huge. But finding a good photographer is a big priority for us. So far we haven’t had any luck with finding a photographer that we can afford. Of all the Austin photographers we’ve looked into, Elissa R is a serious favorite, not only because her work is lovely but because her philosophy as a photographer really speaks to what matters to us, both in terms of the purpose of wedding photography and bigger questions like the importance of LGBTQ rights. But even with her rates–which are on the low side for someone with such an awesome portfolio–we haven’t been able to figure out a way we can afford to hire her. This is, in part, the price you pay when you decide to go into the “helping professions.” But that’s ok. See above re: being true to ourselves. And who knows, maybe we’ll figure out another way to work with Elissa sometime down the line. The discount she’s offering for APW readers should help with that.

    • Thanks so much for your comment! Y’all sound awesome. I’d love to meet up with you sometime.

  • Another Leah

    Oh, I LOVE this! I had looked at Elissa for our wedding in 2012, but I just wasn’t sure how to swing it. I adore that she is offering a discount!

    And how awesome is it when vendors are so supportive of LGBTQ couples!?!?! My guy and I are both straight, but I have so many amazing friends who have not been able to get married due to issues out of their control. And though I know it’s an uphill battle here in Texas, hopefully we’ll get there someday.

    NOTE: And if anyone is looking for ministers to perform holy unions in Austin, I attend Central Presbyterian Church, and both pastors are amazing and loving, and are super willing to support your union. (Sorry if that seems like an ad for the church; it’s just one of the most amazingly open and accepting churches I’ve ever known, so I’m actually proud to share it!)

    • Thanks for your sweet comment, Leah :)

  • Claire

    Wow, I’m so glad to see Elissa R featured here! I fell in love with her photography when I found her on Offbeat Bride and was also elated to see her on So You’re EnGAYged! I wish I could book her now with this awesome APW discount, but my wedding is in late 2012 and it’s a bit too early for us to book. Can’t wait to see another great APW engagement shoot from Elissa!

    • Ask away, Claire! I just got an inquiry for a December 2012 date. :)

  • Always a fan of your work, Elissa, and loved reading the statements about your philosophy and approach. Congrats on all the success you’ve been achieving lately!

  • One of the things I’m excited about moving to Austin about is getting to have photos done with Elissa. For real.

  • Ashley

    Oh, how exciting! My partner and I are planning our November wedding in Austin, so lots of travelling back and forth between the two places. We haven’t made time for an engagement shoot, and haven’t budgeted for it, and we would absolutely LOVE to have some of Elissa’s gorgeous pictures.

    Going in to planning, both my partner and I were very nervous about starting conversations with vendors. In the first place, we didn’t really want to use the word “wedding” just because we knew that raises the price of everything so significantly. More importantly, though, as soon as you say the word “wedding” people create visions of what you need and how your day should be planned that didn’t fit with us at all. I can’t count the number of times that we’ve said we’re getting married, and well-meaning sales people will ask, “When are the weddings?” The idea that the two women in front of them could be planning a wedding–and a life–together was totally foreign to them. Once we started talking about not having an aisle to walk down, or a cake to cut, or a card box (I still don’t understand the point of that one), people seemed to feel downright nervous.

    Living in the Bay Area, I have often forgotten that I’m queer. That is to say, I don’t feel especially different from my straight friends, and no one does much to remind me of it on a day-to-day basis. Neither my partner nor I had felt the need to be overly political or “activisty” in years. Once we started talking about and planning for our wedding, and especially once we decided to have it in my hometown (Yay, Austin!), that all changed. Austin may be an oasis of liberalism in a very Red State, but it is still in Texas where gay marriage is unusual and illegal. Talking with vendors has been nerve-wracking, since we usually just don’t know in advance how they’ll react. Not only has my sarcasm come back in full force (my draft of our save the date had clipart of Lady Golfers all over it, inviting everyone to see us get “Gay Married!”), but we’ve both started to think more about how important it is to vote with our dollars and choose vendors who really want to support our union as we want to create it, and not just take our money while trying to hide their discomfort. I’m so happy to know that APW (and So You’re EnGAYged) has been working to make it easier to find vendors who really care about marriage equality and sane, practical weddings.

  • LaurenF

    Elissa just shot my wedding (I’m actually the bride in the second and fifth shots) and I am thrilled with the results. Her pictures really tell the story of the day, and the emotions are just jumping off of the page. I feel like I could show the images to someone who wasn’t at the wedding and that they would totally get what it was like to be at the wedding. Thanks Elissa!