For a lot of us (🙋), the idea of putting yourself, your relationship, and your event planning skills on Very Public Display for a day is the most overwhelming part of wedding planning. So then when you realize you’re going to be throwing in the additional presence of some relative strangers (AKA your vendors), and you’re already feeling really vulnerable, you can get… worried. I mean, how do you go about hiring someone that you know you’re probably going to cry in front of at least once?
Choosing vendors you instantly feel comfortable with—like crying, arguing with your parents, needing them to zip up your dress comfortable—is key. And that’s exactly why we love our girl Alexis Buryk of City Love Photography. Most of the APW team has had a chance to hang out with Alexis IRL (she and Maddie were even NYU theater kids together) and can attest to the fact that she’s not only committed to all of APW’s core values—feminism, inclusivity, community, artistry—but you’ll feel like instant BFFs. So much so that you will forget she’s pointing a camera at you.
The best part? New York City–based Alexis is bringing her photography and people skills to the West Coast this year, with rates starting at $4,375 and free travel within her New York City–area home base, and to all of California. And ohhh, those skills. Alexis’s photos effortlessly swing from flawless, gallery-worthy portraits to raw candids that make you feel like you’re in the middle of the action:Like many of us, Alexis has spent the past seven months getting real loud and proud about what matters to her, not only as a businessperson, but as a human being, and how she can do her part through photography to support the values and people she cares about most:
Since the election, I think we’ve all been asking ourselves more regularly, what am I doing? How can I make a positive impact? How can I speak up and support my fellow humans? I see City Love as my most direct way to make an impact. It’s my art: the visual preservation of a wedding day. But it’s also about building and serving a community of people that is simultaneously like-minded and diverse, a community of people all seeking to make an impact and to be a positive presence in the world. It has been more clear to me than ever that community is the most important thing we as humans build. We protect each other; we buoy each other; we celebrate each other, and push each other to be better.
I want to work with awesome, community-focused couples who value feminism, having a full life, giving back, and being part of the community, whose weddings are a reflection of this. I want people to work with me because they know they are in good company on their wedding day: they trust me, they like me, and it’s important to them that their photography experience be personal in this way. We work together a lot before, during, and after the wedding. I’m the type of photographer who is your teammate, your resident wedding expert, and your friend, as well as an artist. This is what satisfies me most about my job and gets me excited for each and every couple and celebration. I want to make an impact in my clients’ lives in a positive way, which includes photography itself, as well as the overall experience of working together.
I love being with my clients as the witness to their wedding day. APW readers are the best because they are exactly the type of people I like to hang out with as a person and as a professional: kind, smart, community driven, and open minded. APW readers know what is important to them, and what really matters in life, and their celebrations reflect this.
TL;DR: Alexis knows exactly what kind of couples she clicks with, and it’s you guys.And when Alexis says she’s building a community, it’s not lip service. City Love recently launched a newsletter connecting and sharing all the cool stuff she and her couples are up to (and wow, are they an inspiring bunch, from authors to activists to boutique owners, and uh, the best-dressed brides you’ve ever seen right? No kidding, this APW bride got a shout out in the New York Times for her $300 Modcloth dress), including books to read, news to keep up with, and things to do in NYC and beyond.
She’s also been playing resident wedding photography expert at a series of low-key, no-pressure (read: non-expo-y) wedding planning workshops (there’s one coming up in a few weeks!) hosted by one of her former brides.So let’s recap. Reasons to hire Alexis: gorgeous photos, a warm and sunny disposition that will put everyone from you to your crotchety grandma at ease, a shared commitment to feminism and inclusivity, and a built-in community of other folks in the wedding planning trenches. And oh yeah, girlfriend is wildly organized and a total pro before, during, and after your wedding:
My philosophy is, “Organize beforehand, and roll with the day as it flows.” I work really well with other type A humans, and I think my superpower is helping people actually relax and enjoy their wedding day. When you work with me, I want you to feel like you can let go and really be in the moment at your wedding. I want us to genuinely trust and like each other. Your experience of your wedding should be amazing; your experience working with me before, during, and after your wedding should be amazing; and your photos should be amazing. I deliver on all of these aspects, and that’s why people work with me.
Got to love a #girlboss who knows how good she is, and Alexis’s clients agree:
Where to begin! Alexis is a total dream. She’s brilliant, funny, warm, engaging, thoughtful, organized, and present. She is precisely the type of person with whom you would want to surround yourself… especially on your wedding day. I should mention that we did an engagement session with Alexis on the High Line, where we got engaged. I am more than a bit shy in front of the camera and Alexis made me feel so beyond comfortable. We wound up having the most spectacular day, and I am so glad that we had the opportunity to spend time together in advance of the wedding. At the wedding, Alexis made not just me but all of our guests feel comfortable in front of the camera. She is so adept and so confident in her craft and so capable. She shepherded us through what was an otherwise daunting day with such poise and grace and good humor. I have Alexis to thank for feeling present on my wedding day. Her composure and vivacity are contagious. She’s also so beyond organized and on top of things. I am a total space cadet, and completely relied on Alexis for purposes of coming up with and sticking to a timeline. It’s staggering to me that someone could be so warm, funny, and artistic AND so organized and reliable!
What’s more, Alexis is a beyond talented artist. Alexis’s photographs not only serve as a record of the most important day of our lives, but they are also individual works of art. Truly, each photograph is so artfully composed and beyond exquisite—interesting and inspiring aesthetic objects in and of themselves. I loved Alexis’s perspective on our wedding, and continue to be amazed by how she captured these incredible details and moments between me and my husband, my parents, our guests, the venue, the sky, the list goes on. She was in a thousand places all at once, and yet every single photo looks as if it took hours, given how thoughtful and complex and incredibly framed it is.
In sum, we cannot thank Alexis enough! She’s a star! —Emily
City Love Photography’s rates for full weddings range from $4,375 to $6,195+. Most couples are well-served by the $4,375 basic collection, which includes 8 hours of complete celebration photography, a digital download of high-resolution image files with personal reprint rights, a password-protected online gallery linked with a professional lab, and all pre-celebration and post-celebration meetings. Other collections include a second photographer and awesome albums, which are also available a la carte.
City Love also has a special weekday elopement collection, which includes 3 hours of complete celebration photography, a digital download of high-resolution image files with personal reprint rights, and a password-protected online gallery linked with a professional lab ($1,995).
And best, of all, for the rest of 2017, Alexis is traveling to the whole of California free of charge. Maddie once said that Alexis takes “soft, airy wedding photos that look like they got up and walked all the way here from California, except from the mind of a born and bred New York Metro-ite,” so it’s particularly fitting that City Love is finally bringing some of those innate California vibes to the West Coast.It always felt weird to me to say things like, “Looking forward to working with you!” to our vendors, when you know, weddings aren’t exactly a typical day at an office. “Looking forward to celebrating with you,” always felt more fitting, and I feel like that’s an approach Alexis of City Love Photography whole-heartedly gets. She’s there to support and celebrate YOU before, during, and even after your wedding, and is committed to everyone feeling good, having a blast, and having the photos to remember it for a long, long time.
Head on over to her site to check out more gorgeous galleries (and see more of that stunning wedding jumpsuit), follow Alexis on Instagram, or even sign up for her newsletter to get to know her and the City Love community. And City Love Photography still has a handful of dates left in 2017, so reach out and get on that ASAP, and don’t forget…
City Love Photography is offering free travel to California for the rest of 2017. Get it while it’s hot!