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Can Hiring A Wedding Photographer Help Make The World a Better Place?

Here is how to stick to your <$2,500 wedding photography budget AND pay it forward

It can easily feel like it takes a village to make a wedding happen. But if you’re lucky, the money you invest in that village goes on to do even bigger and better things than throw you a kickass party. For example, just like you’re a well-rounded human who is passionate about certain projects and causes (and whose life does not revolve around weddings), often the most incredible wedding photographers humans are exactly the same. Take longtime APW sponsor Gina Clyne, who—as if to prove my point—conveniently sent me an email that said: “I was heading for an art performance shoot (about transnationalism and identity) on the US-Mexico border in Tijuana right before I sent you the materials,” while I was working on this post. And when you work with someone whose non-wedding work resonates with you, you can be psyched to know that not only are you having one of your favorite artists document your wedding, you’re also indirectly supporting their other endeavors.

And when you work with Los Angeles-based Gina Clyne Photography specifically you get amazing photos, taken by a human you’ll totally click with (we have hung out IRL so I can personally guarantee this), at a price you can afford (rates start at just $2,100), AND some of those dollars are paid forward in Kiva micro loans to womxn all over the world—over 65 loans to date. Plus, when she’s not shooting weddings, Gina can be found providing her photography services to documenting life at the US/Mexico border with the AMBOS project, and reimagining policing, incarceration and public safety with Jails and Justice for USC Arts in Action.

And oh right, did I mention her wedding photos? They speak for themselves…

A bride sits patiently on her wedding day.A South Western wedding party dances during a reception.

Gina Clyne has also decided to up her giving-back game this year by offering one free wedding for whom one (or both) member of the couple is the child of an immigrant. As Gina told us:

The immigrant story is integral to my identity and I want to do my part to give back and honor that community, especially during such a divisive time in American history. My mother came to this country from Cuba in the 1970s with only a suitcase and the wish for a better tomorrow. Without a doubt, I am here today because of her dreams and determination. Everyday I think about the long journey that my mother took to leave the only home she knew and build a new life which ultimately gave me the privilege and opportunities I have now. I know she would be proud (rest in peace) if she knew that her daughter went on to own and operate her own business which aligns with her ideals, while also doing what she loves most: photography.

Although my wedding pricing is already deliberately accessible, I am offering my services for free for one couple because I want to make high-quality photography accessible to a couple who can not, or chooses not, to pour all their resources into their wedding day. The future is expensive, so let’s honor where we came from, and have some leftover to invest in our tomorrow!

A wedding couple hold a wild cat.

THE IMPORTANT DETAILS:
Gina’s rates start at an incredibly reasonable $2,100 for 6 hours with her as the solo photographer and go up to $4,150 for 10 hours and 2 photographers. As Gina says of her decisions to keep her pricing flexible:

I strive to be deliberately and mindfully accessible price-wise, as the wedding industrial complex can be quite a beast and I have no desire to be one of its many heads. I believe that wedding photography prices should not be intimidating or exclusive. Weddings come in all shapes and sizes and I think services should be scalable as such. I understand that not everyone has the resources or chooses to use most of their resources for one day.

PLUS! Gina has reasonable travel fees and has traveled all over for weddings throughout the U.S. as well as in India, Mexico, and Jamaica—plus Japan coming up soon. And because she adores working with you guys (APW couples from Los Angeles to Massachusetts to Louisiana to Florida to New Mexico to Northern California and counting), she’s offering a $250 credit toward travel anywhere in the world for the next three weddings booked through APW!

A man sits on another man's shoulders during a wedding reception.

THINGS Y’ALL MIGHT HAVE IN COMMON:

  • Love of art, music, and Los Angeles history. When she’s not out taking photographs for work or for play, you can find Gina watching a band play in a dark bar somewhere or strolling the streets of Los Angeles, thinking about the power of Place.
  • Supporting feminism, racial, economic, and gender justice.
  • You love a good party—Gina’s favorite kinds are house parties/motel parties, or outside-the-box wedding. Gina’s past clients have thrown everything from summer camp to prom-themed weddings.

A wedding couple share a kiss in the forest.

STREET CRED: APW reader Sarah from New Orleans says,

Gina is amazing! When choosing a photographer, we were drawn to her photos because they felt unique and it was clear she had a point of view. So many wedding photos felt generic to us but hers were artful and full of life. We wanted a documentary style of photography that told a story without us having to spend a lot of time posing or stepping out of the moment to take pictures. We also wanted personality and a cool perspective, and Gina’s eye is special. That was obvious looking at her website.

We don’t live in L.A., so our first “meeting” with Gina was via phone. Even through the phone we felt that talking to Gina was like talking with a friend, and it was obvious from the start that we were on the same page in our goal to capture our wedding in a way that felt natural and organic to us. She is a great listener and clearly dedicated to her clients’ wishes. We felt that in the first phone call and we definitely felt it at our wedding. It was totally natural to have her there and genuinely felt like she was our friend, so easy to talk to and so fun! One guest described her as being “nowhere and everywhere” as a photographer, and that’s so true. She seemed both omnipresent and not at all intrusive. Our wedding day brought a crazy storm and, with it, crazy unpredictable last minute changes. Gina was not only totally flexible and responsive, but in seeing our wedding photos, we realized that she told the story of that day and its weather in the most beautiful, true way. The pictures capture the emotion and vibe of the whole event so, so well, and we will cherish them forever. We loved hanging out with Gina, we love our pictures, she is organized and professional beyond any other vendor we worked with, and we would recommend her a thousand times over. Her affordability is just a bonus. She’s the best!

WHAT NOW: See more of Gina Clyne’s beautiful wedding work and amazing art projects, follow her on IG, apply for her 2020 free wedding, or reach out to chat about your upcoming wedding with Gina!

GINA CLYNE IS OFFERING ONE FREE WEDDING TO ELIGIBLE COUPLES—CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO AND TO APPLY BY MARCH 31ST.
PLUS THE FIRST 3 COUPLES TO BOOK THROUGH APW RECEIVE A $250 credit towards travel, anywhere in the world—CLICK HERE TO GET IN TOUCH.

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