Making the transition from longtime APW reader and cheerleader to official team member was pretty surreal: working remotely on the internet meant I felt a little bit more like the secret man behind the curtain than our full-fledged APW staff members whose photos you see all the time. And then a few of the New York City–based APW wedding photographers invited me to hang out, and suddenly all these intimidatingly talented vendors on the internet were lovely, real people. One of them was Corey Torpie, and by the second time we met, I found myself chatting in her kitchen until past midnight, bonding over being native New Yorkers and our mutual past lives as the rare breed of administrative assistant organized enough to run a tight ship and empathetic enough to keep an office full of people happy.
And in that moment it hit me: Corey Torpie Photography is exactly the rare breed of wedding photographer you want to be by your side on your wedding day. Because not only does she take the kind of photos that are run by Vogue, she comes from a place of truly wanting to serve people with her work and her presence. Aka zero “artist” ego here, folks. Corey is nothing but kind, warm, and hilarious, the kind of person you’ll start giggling with ten minutes into a phone call over something totally random (being afraid of Australian animals in our last one).
She’s also basically my hero.
Because it’s not enough for Corey Torpie to “just” be a wedding photographer, she’s also a working photojournalist, teacher, and person who’s committed to making the world better in every small way she can:
I consciously keep my work diversified to fight burnout on the wedding front and so that one thing can influence the other, and vice versa. For this reason I only take fifteen full weddings a year, and I also include time for personal work and teaching in my schedule. Each component helps grow the others and keeps me on my toes creatively.
Likewise, paying it forward is an important ethos in the photojournalism world and one for which I am really grateful. I teach darkroom photographer at an after-school program for preteens in the Bronx through a program with the International Center of Photography. Teaching is one of the highlights of my week, and guiding students while they learn the craft I love is extremely rewarding and so much fun.
This year I also had the incredible opportunity to photograph for three political campaigns, starting with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s, followed by Zephyr Teachout for Attorney General and Kerri Evelyn Harris for senate in Delaware. Not only have I been able to seriously flex my photojournalism muscles, but helping out three amazing women as they run for office has been incredibly inspiring. It sounds wild, but I feel stronger in literally everything I do, having watched these women put everything on the line for their passion and drive to better their communities.
I like to say that having a background in photojournalism means your photographer is able to take print-worthy photos in any conditions you can throw at them. If rain and snow can’t stop postal workers, your venue’s poor lighting (or a pool party in the dark) can’t stop a real photojournalist. But primarily, photojournalism is telling a story through photos, usually without interfering or directing the action. As Corey Torpie’s clients say:
Wow, what an incredible, easy experience! My husband and I were married in Vermont at a rustic cross-country ski lodge that included camping, BBQ, and a bluegrass band. We opted for a non-traditional wedding weekend that felt more like a family reunion at a campground rather than a formal, structured affair. My brother married us and we had no “bridal party” or other traditional elements. We were worried about finding a photographer who would be able to capture these unique elements and who would focus just as much on our guests (our families) as they would on posed couple photos. And wow, Corey exceeded those expectations in every way. I don’t know how to describe it, but the photos of us and our guests look exactly like us in every way. No one looks super photo-shopped; everyone looks like themselves, just the happiest versions of themselves in their element. These photos truly show the essence of who we are and who are guests are as people, and we couldn’t ask for anything better than that. Honestly, we cried the first time we saw the photos.
And I mean, I’d cry too if my wedding photos look like this:
Corey Torpie Photography’s wedding rates start at $4,095 for 8 hours of coverage, and elopements start at $850. All full-day packages include the option to add an portrait session (engagement session) at no additional cost, and travel is included within two hours of New York City.
Every year for the past ten years, Corey has also offered One Free Wedding a year. This project is meant to bring high quality wedding photography to couples with tight budgets who give back to their community. To be eligible one person in the couple (or both) should work in a position that positively impacts their community (i.e., teacher, nonprofit, etc.), and qualifying weddings should be creative with their budget—preference is given to small weddings and culturally traditional weddings with budgets under $10K. This year’s wedding was just a couple of week’s ago in Nebraska, and omfg are they the coolest. I can’t wait to see the rest!
In the midst of these recent days and months where it just feels so, so hard to be a woman and a human in the world, and there is so much doubt over whether anything we do is making anything better at all, it helps to know someone like Corey Torpie. When I see all that Corey is doing in the world, I’m just so, so proud. From the couples and candidates she supports and serves with her art, to the students whose lives she changes, to the adventures she goes on—like to Sri Lanka for one our favorite weddings of all time (Corey’s got more pics here) and to Australia on a last-minute trip to shoot her friends’ wedding—she is a total inspiration not just as a photographer, but as a person.
To what Corey said above about feeling “stronger in literally everything I do having watched these women put everything on the line for their passion and drive to better their communities.” I say, right back at ya. So definitely go follow her Instagram for a dose of ass-kicking inspiration and to see female politicians changing the game, plus more photos from that ridiculously gorgeous Nebraska wedding. And if you’re in New York City and want to make Corey your own wedding photographer, email her now, and you will not regret it for a second.
COREY TORPIE PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOW BOOKING 2019 WEDDINGS IN NEW YORK CITY AND BEYOND. CLICK HERE TO GET IN TOUCH.