Vendor Directory Spotlight: Justine Johnson Photography

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One of the great things about the APW Vendor Directory is that it allows us to bring you photographers outside of our huge markets (I’m looking at you, New York City), and photographers who are building their business and hence have lower price points (the magic). So this summer it’s been a joy to get to highlight a few of our Vendor Directory sponsors for you. Today I’m beyond thrilled to introduce you to Justine Johnson Photography, in Portland, Maine, serving all of New England. She’s been on APW before, with this amazing elopement wedding graduate post, and I’m delighted to get to talk about her more!

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First of all, let’s get down to the nitty gritty and talk about Justine’s completely mind-blowing prices. Her base prices start at just $1,000 for weddings and $250 for elopements. (This is not, in fact, a typo. You’re welcome.) Plus, her packages are fully customizable, and she even offers hourly rates. She says, “I don’t have pre-made packages to choose from—I let my clients tell me what they want or need, and I give them a customized quote. This means you’re not getting hours you can’t use, you’re not getting a giant wedding album you won’t look at, and you’re not forced to rearrange your day to fit into my idea of what a wedding should be. You choose the hourly coverage that works best for you (and I am happy to help with this decision, having attended over 100 weddings myself), and then you choose which add-ons you’d like (or none, if you prefer!). Every wedding package comes standard with a DVD of edited, high-resolution photos that my couples are free to share and print at their leisure.” And if that’s not enough, she’s offering 15% off to all APW readers, for every kind of photography session, as long as you book by 12/31/12. Right? GET ON THAT.

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And then there is her work. To say Justine Johnson Photography‘s work and her pricing do not go together would be a bit of an understatement. She shoots in a crisp style that captures emotion, while still displaying excellent composition. Oh, that, and it’s funky and has a sense of humor and joy to it. You’re welcome, New England.

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As for why Justine wants to work with you, well, I’m going to let her put it in her own words. She says, “I love APW readers because they’re focused on the meat of a marriage—the love, the commitment, the insane excitement that comes with partnering up with your best friend for life. Every APW couple that I’ve ever worked with has been exactly what I love in a photography client: funny, down-to-earth, and genuine. It’s possible to be concerned with aesthetics but to ultimately know that those pretty details don’t make a great wedding. It’s more about the love that fills an entire room, shared between everyone present—that palpable, intense love that makes your heart swell in your chest. That’s what I strive to capture in every wedding I photograph. But a pair of sparkly heels doesn’t hurt.” (The last few weeks we’ve been talking endlessly on APW about how you can blend love for aesthetics with knowledge that is not the be-all, end-all of weddings, so Justine nails it.)

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But her philosophy is even better. She says, “Above all, I want you to be relaxed and carefree on your wedding day. You don’t have to worry about where I am or what I’m doing—I’ve got it covered. I won’t be up in your face all day with a bright flash in your eyes, posing you at every turn. I want your wedding day to unfold naturally, and I want to be there to capture every bit of genuine, hilarious, tear-inducing emotion exactly as it happens. I want you to be able to look back at your wedding photographs and re-live the day all over again—and live some parts of the day that you missed, as if you were actually there.” And this, you guys? This is what wedding photography is really about. Or what it should be about. Always.

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And finally, Justine Johnson Photography would like to tempt you with her awesome photos and super low rates, to book her all over the country (or, heck, the world). She says, “The list of places I would LOVE to visit include San Francisco, Santa Fe, Miami, Washington DC, Memphis, Chicago, Las Vegas, Durham, New Orleans, Santa Cruz, Philadelphia, Austin, Seattle, anywhere in Oregon, and anywhere in Vermont… so if anyone is getting married in those places they should DEFINITELY contact me, because I might be swayed to offer a deal.” So New Englanders? And the rest of you? Go for it. And have fun.

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  • Manya

    I’m so happy to see Justine featured here! We were just visiting family in Maine, wanted some family portraits, and I found Justine on APW. She came to our house and we had a great time with her. She was super cool and low key, and worked really well with all of us. And the results? Well, let me put it this way… I had written to her extolling the virtues of photoshop. I am not interested in reality, said I, I am interested in posterity. She was all.. Um, have you seen my portfolio? I’m pretty journalistic.

    I had indeed seen her portfolio and I loved how her subjects looked both natural and beautiful. And when the teasers came back on Facebook? Well, there we were, looking natural, beautiful and pre- (or subtle) photoshop good. I’ve been enjoying watching weddings and other shoots show up on her blog. She really has a distinctive style that feels very fresh to me.

    And she’s totally the type of wedding vendor who you end up being friends with.

  • Ambi

    Now that I am starting to dip my toe into wedding planning, I look at photographers completely differently than I used to – I used to care more about photos of the details or really unique interesting shots, but now I gravitate to photos that show people smiling, having a great time, being completely in love, etc. – photos that really capture the moment and the emotions of the day. That is what I saw when I looked at these pictures, and it just reaffirms my belief that that is what I will want in the photographer I eventually choose.

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