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Does Having a Wedding Feel Like A Constant Battle of “Can We Afford This?”

Wedding photography shouldn’t be yet another expense that crushes your soul

When you live in New York/New Jersey and you don’t have life circumstances that involve printing money, it feels like you’re constantly asking: “Can I even afford this?” And “What are the trade-offs?” As in, “Oh, so I can afford to live in a shoebox in a nice neighborhood close to transportation OR a reasonably-sized apartment so far from everything that it’s practically Rhode Island.”

And those tradeoffs only seem to increase exponentially when you’re planning a wedding. I know, because I did it. And like clockwork, any time I found something that felt like it might be “the one”—the venue, the dress, the photographer—I held my breath with the assumption that if it was beautiful, it must be out of our budget.

Well, folx, you can let out that breath right now, because The L.O.V.E. Club has got you Erika Koop Photography—a shockingly affordable, super-talented NJ-based photographer serving NYC, upstate NY, and the Tri-State Area with packages that have all the bells and whistles you want for dollars you can literally (like literally-literally and millennially-literally) afford.

A wedding couple stand next to a vintage car on a busy city street.

WHO: Erika Koop Photography

WHERE: Erika is based in northern New Jersey, and also serves New York City (and basically anywhere two hours from her home base of 07603) for free, as well as Hudson Valley and the Lake Placid region of the Adirondacks. (Locations in the Northeast beyond that require covering 1-night or 2-night hotel stay depending on the driving distance and wedding start and end times.)

HOW MUCH: Wedding coverage begins at just $1,750 and the ridiculously reasonable rate of $2,750 gets you up to 6 hours of coverage with two photographers, black & white and color digital versions of all your images as well as a small linen album. $3,750 includes all of the above but with 8 hours of coverage and an engagement session! All of Erika’s packages and options are listed right here for full transparency, and are flexible and customizable as well. (A little bird told me her rates will be going up come 2020, so you’ll want to book by December 31st to lock in these packages.)

WHY YOU WANT TO WORK WITH HER, TL:DR: I mean, her work is amazing, but we’re all New Yorkers (and adjacent) here so also let’s be for real. You just read those prices, right? With most NY-area photographers charging $3,500 for the most barest of bare bones packages, Erika Koop’s all-inclusive package is basically the wedding photography equivalent of getting the apartment with tons of space and a great location. Plus what I love most when I look through Erika’s portfolio is how modern-but-classic everything looks. There are no strange angles or abstract compositions or over-the-top artistic edits—light and airy, dark and moody, looks like film, that weird yellow thing my own wedding photographer was into in 2011. Erika’s aesthetic is clean and true-to-life instead of the kind of trendy edit will go out of style in a few years. And those are the kinds of couples she seems to attract! I mean, I appreciate a good adventure elopement wedding as much as the next person (my job would be very boring without them), but in reality most of us have bigger, more traditional weddings, because we just love a lot of people and want them all there. And Erika’s the kind of photographer that will make that look just as epic:A wedding couple kiss on a high balconyAn entire wedding party stand in a line for a photo.A woman looks lovingly at her husband during their wedding ceremony.The long version, in Erika Koop’s words:

I first discovered APW in 2010 after a good friend’s wedding was featured and I was just beginning to dip my toes into wedding photography. I’ve been a follower/reader ever since and now know/follow a few other photographers who are active and successful on APW. I love that APW explores topics that other wedding websites don’t; it’s not just about beautiful weddings. I believe I’m a good fit for APW couples based on those shared values: That a wedding is awesome, but it’s the marriage that’s important.

My approach is to keep things simple and relaxed, prioritizing that you and your partner are having the best wedding day ever, enjoying your time together, and not turning your day into a photoshoot. I have a mainly candid approach with a bit of traditional, relaxed posing mixed in; my goal is to create a final product that will show what your wedding actually looked like, as if you were viewing it as a guest in attendance. I keep my editing simple, with compositions that aren’t abstract, lots of candids, and natural, non-cheesy posing.

I personally manage every aspect of your wedding photography from beginning-to-end. I’m easy-going, but very on top of things. Most of my clients don’t have wedding planners, so they appreciate my help with their timeline and creating a shot-list, and we discuss things thoroughly before the wedding day, especially how things may change or shift and what our Plan B is. They usually don’t want to go crazy taking portraits of themselves, but often have a long list of family/extended family/friends portraits or group shots. I wholeheartedly believe wedding photography should be a relaxing, fun experience and I strive to create authentic, bright, beautiful wedding photographs that document your day, as it really happened, all while you enjoy every minute of it!

And for exactly what that looks like, check out the rest of this infectious delight of a Vermont wedding—the sequined dress and covered bridge are just the tip of the iceberg compared to the pure joy in every photo from group portraits to candids—and ok, spoiler alert, there is an entire dance floor full of light sabers.

A wedding couple walk back down the aisle after their wedding ceremony.A wedding couple smile and kiss a little flower girl.A wedding couple embrace while holding their ketubah.STREET CRED:

Working with Erika was amazing! From the very beginning of working with her, we could tell she was going to be professional and organized and she exceeded our expectations! The photos we received from our engagement shoot were perfect and the sneak peek from our wedding day is stunning! She really took the time to understand us as a couple and as individuals. She was extremely easy to work with! We can’t wait to work with Erika for years to come. —Kayla + Jonathan, 2019

We highly recommend Erika Koop Photography! Erika photographed our wedding and engagement photos, she was extremely professional throughout and always so helpful. Erika really went above and beyond! On our wedding day she made sure we had the photos we wanted, yet never felt in the way at all. It was great doing engagement photos with her in advance, so we got to know her better and felt more comfortable in front of the camera. —Amanda + Nate, 2014

Closeup of a woman holding her pregnant belly while wearing a wedding dress.A wedding couple look at each other lovingly.A couple stands on a rooftop and embraces each other.Two people holding hands look out across a bay towards the city.

WHAT NOW:
Given that Erika Koop has ridiculously affordable-for-NYC rates, especially for the kind of classic photos that will stand the test of time—I’d say go email her by December 31st you lucky 2020 soon-to-be-weds, you. (And if you’re still early on in the planning stages, here’s her IG to follow her for later because there’s more of that where these awesome photos are.)

For more info on working with Erika—click here to see pricing and receive a personalized quote, or enter your email address and she’ll be in touch:

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