When we first introduced y’all to Simone Gutkin, Head Lady of Awesome at Archive Photo in Connecticut (and beyond!), Maddie called her a New England photographer with West Coast style, and two years later, that moniker still rings true. From our birds-eye view of wedding trends, we can see that New England, bless, still loves all things traditional, which can be challenging for those of you looking for wedding photography that’s a little bit different, a little more fly-on-the-wall, and less huge lighting setup and formal poses. Enter Simone, who pairs the shooting style of a photojournalist with the eye of an artist, and delivers images that are full of fun and real life. Oh, and her rates start at a flat $2,800—plus a special discount for APW readers because she loves you guys the most.Simone not only loves you guys—she gets what’s important to you, because she hung out here while planning her own wedding:
I love APW readers because I am one! My husband and I got married a year ago and APW was a godsend during planning. The APW readers I have worked with have become, hands down, some of my favorite people. We just get each other. APW couples are smart and sassy, fun and fashionable, and most importantly, know what’s really important to them. They don’t buckle to traditions, gender roles, and the WIC. They see their weddings as more than flowers and favors, but as a day to celebrate the love they have for their friends and family.
That focus on people over details extends to Simone’s photography style as well, which is all about making her clients feel relaxed and comfortable so she can capture moments and emotion:
In Connecticut, I’ve found that wedding photography tends to lean more toward the traditional side, and that just ain’t me. Sure, I photograph formal portraits, but my real bread and butter is moments. Unnoticed but unmissable moments, candid emotion, relaxed portraits and insane dance parties, these are why I do what I do. The quirky details, speeches that make you laugh so hard you snort, using your phone to learn how to tie your bowtie seconds before heading down the aisle, your 90 year old grandma getting down on the dance floor, these are my JAM. I’m there to tell the story and bring you back to that day years from now. I had always heard that your wedding day goes in fast-forward, and ohmygod they were right. I’ll be there to fill in the blanks.
And oh, what tear-jerking, beautiful, hilarious blanks they are. Do yourselves a favor and head over to this real wedding to experience the glorious full gamut of wedding day emotions as seen through Simone’s lens. I laughed, I cried, and I wanted to include a zillion of those photos here to illustrate my point, but I ran out of room. Go on, now, I’ll wait.
Simone’s love—and skill—at capturing what’s really happening in real life extends to her engagement and portrait sessions (which Simone calls “day in the life” photography). For these, Simone can come to your home (or any other place you’d like to hang out) and photograph you doing you for a few hours. She doesn’t interfere or direct; she just lets things unfold around her. The results? A snapshot of your real life and real relationship, exactly as it is. You may be thinking that a day in your life isn’t special enough for this, but as time passes by and things change, and your cat dies, and you move on from a home that was really meaningful, having that glimpse into the ways things were (artistically and beautifully captured, of course), can be priceless. As Simone says:
I really love showing the beauty in the everyday. What you think might be boring or mundane is actually really special. I feel so strongly about that.
Finding a talented, experienced photographer in New England for less than $3,000 is no easy task, so let’s be real: It’s pretty amazing that Archive Photo‘s base package is a flat rate of $2,800, with add-ons available like extra hours, another shooter, an engagement shoot, and albums. This way, you get to pick exactly what you want and stay within your particular budget. Special pricing is available for town hall weddings and elopements. On average, couples receive 400 to 600 photos from an 8-hour wedding, and from what we hear, those photos are amazing:
Simone photographed our recent wedding and we couldn’t be happier with the experience of working with her and how the photos turned out! We are both uncomfortable in front of the camera, so we decided to do an engagement photo session. Simone immediately put us at ease, and we found we were actually having fun! Simone was great to work with because she is fun to hang out with, provided helpful advice and structure when we asked for it, and was totally supportive and enthusiastic for whatever we wanted to do. We love the photojournalist style of her photos; looking through them I feel like I am there in the moment. She really captured all the emotions of the day, and she takes particularly excellent dance party photos!
Here’s the thing, guys: Simone at Archive Photo gets you. You want to host the raddest party for the people you love the most, and you want the whole world to see how much you love your partner (even when you still sort of hate them because they don’t have a strong opinion on whether your table runners are smoke or charcoal). She gets you because she is also you, so go find out everything you guys have in common, see more beautiful and emotional images (seriously, I dare you guys to not want to steal this baby and this dog immediately), and then get on with booking her for your New England wedding, like, yesterday.