Here’s Why Nurses Make the Best Wedding Photographers


This Midwestern photographer will help you look and feel blissed out, with rates starting at $2,700

by Keriann Kohler, Advertising Manager

newly weds exiting, being showered in white confetti

A bunch of y’all have been asking for more Midwestern vendors on the site, so today your wish is our command thanks to the lovely and talented Dawn Silva Photos, who is based in Milwaukee and travels all over the Midwest. Dawn is brand new to APW (we can’t wait to see what kind of magic y’all make together) and relatively new to being out on her own as a photographer, but she’s been assisting and second shooting weddings for ten years, since back when she was in nursing school.

Quick, let me translate that for you: that means you should hire her now, while her rates still start at $2,700! Because you’re getting a ton of experience for the price of a newbie, and that is a rare and golden thing in weddings.

bride and groom kissing under clear plastic umbrellas in front of grey brick wallcouple embracing near brightly lit windows, bride holds bouquetbride laughing as bridesmaid in blue dress adjusts her veil

I may be biased (my mom was a nurse), but I feel like there’s nothing quite like a nurse for being a calm, nurturing, resourceful anchor in the middle of emotional and stressful situations. Like say, weddings, ahem. As Dawn told us:

Both wedding photography and nursing drew me in because I really, really enjoy helping people. As a nurse, I’ve learned how to care for patients and their families during vulnerable challenging times. Listening, observing, and providing intentional care (all in a calm manner) have been vital in my nursing career. I, as a wedding photographer, have been completely molded by my experience as a nurse. Providing consistent, thoughtful customer service is where nursing and wedding photography meet. Being really good to clients and having them feel completely taken care of is what I strive for.

To me, this means:

  • Thoughtfully getting to know my couples. (How did you meet? What do you love most about each other? How do you like to spend your time together? What are you most excited about when it comes to the wedding and your relationship?)
  • Providing consistent communication with practical information. Returning emails in a timely manner, answering questions. Meeting wedding photo delivery on time (or even early!).
  • Helping however I can with the planning process. For many of my past couples, their wedding was the first time they’d planned a big, intricate celebration, which can be really overwhelming. I always ask if you would like any help with timeline planning or vendor help, or pretty much anything, and many couples have enjoyed this help.

wedding party cheers on newly weds kissing beneath large orange steel urban sculpturedetail shot of catered food tray on wood boardbride and groom in black bowtie beneath white tent

Dawn is also a proud Milwaukeean and Midwesterner:

I love this city and am thrilled to be a wedding photographer based here. Wisconsin is not only about dairy farming, cheese, beer, and the Packers (editor’s note—they are also about getting married at the historic Pabst brewery and serving donuts, which I am here for!). Midwesterners are awesome! I have photographed some of the most genuine, kind couples. Let’s face it, this stereotype holds true…. like us being friendly, down-to- earth, genuine people who value family and friendship. When it comes to capturing a wedding day, I strive to focus on those values, and on the feeling of your day, documenting events as they naturally unfold. Above all else, I want your photos to feel like your most awesome selves!

Dawn Silva Photos’ rates start at $2,700 for 6 hours and 1 photographer, and most couples end up going with her 8-hour and 2-photographer package for $3,100. These include travel within one and a half hours of Milwaukee, and Midwest locations are just a flat rate of $600 for travel. (And if you’re getting married outside the Midwest or internationally, Dawn’s happy to send you a custom quote.) Plus! The first 5 APWers to book Dawn get $300 off any package, and the rest of y’all can take $150 off, so contact Dawn ASAP.

bride and bridesmaids holding bouquets laughingBride and groom walking away from lush floral archhappy newly weds being greeted and embraced by guestsbride with tiara and bridesmaid with floral crown in front of red wall

So if you’re looking for a proud Midwestern photographer who will be a force of calm and caring, and make the entire photography process creative and fun, go make Dawn Silva Photos your gal. You won’t regret it, even if you feel like you’re “not the easiest person to photograph”, like this client:

Dawn is the best. She photographed our wedding and engagement session, and she is a total gem. I’m pretty anxious about getting my picture taken, especially if they look stagey, so I have a feeling I wasn’t the easiest person to photograph! Dawn was so patient and really good about drawing out authentic shots that didn’t make me feel weird. She has a great eye for space, so she was able to make the most of our nontraditional wedding venue and get some shots I never would have thought of. It also helps that she’s such a kind person who’s easy to be around. Having Dawn at the wedding was just fun—she’s cool! I can’t say enough good things about Dawn and her talent.

DAWN SILVA Photos IS OFFERING $300 OFF TO THE FIRST 5 APW COUPLES WHO BOOK, and $150 OFF FOR EVERYONE.
CLICK HERE TO GET IN TOUCH.

Keriann Kohler

After spending her formative years in a monastic pursuit to become a professional ballet dancer, Keriann has since embarked on a mission to make up for lost time by doing All The Things. A reader since way back, the APW community has taught her wanderlusting, commitment-phobic self that while exploration is good for life experience, marriage isn’t so bad for a relationship, and she’s been happily married since 2011.

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