Do You Secretly Kind of Hate Weddings?

Then California's Julie Laflamme Photography may be your photographer soulmate (and rates start at just $2,600)

You are: A creative California couple looking for an affordable photographer who gets you and your wedding plans the way it seems like APW gets you. You’re planning a wedding that’s focused on staying true to yourselves and getting all your family and friends in one place for a kickass party—and maybe in the back of your head you secretly hope that getting married will be meaningful and transformative, too. You want to be working with a photographer who gets those priorities, who is enthusiastically going to support and adore you for being laidback, low-key, DIY, unconventional—or even delightfully eccentric, full-blown weirdos 😝, rather than insisting that you, say, need a professional makeup artist so you can look better in “their photos” (ugh, I wish that wasn’t a true story.)

Julie Laflamme Photography is: This Northern California-based wedding wife-and-husband team—Julie Laflamme, and her second shooter Maurice—have years of experience shooting quirky couples (colorful wedding dresses and top hats are the norm in their world), and 8-hour full wedding coverage starts at… are you sitting down? Good. $2,600.

Which, if you’ve been researching photographers for more than five minutes, you already know is bananas for photos that look like this:

A couple smile cheek to cheek between pillars of paper cranes. A wedding couple kiss while on a wooded path.A couple smile and embrace.

Like a lot of us who find our way to APW, Julie Laflamme wasn’t the kind of woman who had been planning her wedding since childhood. (More like the opposite.) But after her own wedding, she found that the day was far more transformative, and frankly a much bigger deal than she had expected. And it’s balancing both of those perspectives that she excels at helping her clients with.

As Julie told us,

Before I got married, I used to kind of hate weddings, and I think maybe a fair amount of APW couples kind of hate weddings, too. Like a lot of APW couples, we just wanted to have our wedding be a day where our closest people gathered to celebrate with us, but it ended up being a lot more transformative than we imagined.

This is something I enjoy sharing with the couples I work with… I completely get it, I know you’re in love and already living together and getting married might not seem like that big of a deal, but it is going to be something special. Not in the way that your choice of tables or center pieces will make or break it (you probably already know that), but that your wedding does create a distinctive time in your life, and even when you try to downplay it (trust me, I know), it will still be a transformative and sparkly moment.

I want to help make sure you celebrate the way you want to celebrate and that all those sweet, funny and profound moments are always remembered in photographs. We’re also really all about photographing as many guests as possible, and catching them in a moment of smiling or laughter. When a guest tells me they hate having their photo taken, I take is a personal mission to get a GREAT photo of them. And also I seriously love photographing all the details too.

Almost every wedding I shoot consists of a combination of partners who are either very creative in some way, a teacher, or working in tech; they always seem to have that balance down. One or both are typically self-proclaimed weirdos and the best people I’ve ever met. My clients are non-fussy and laid-back and often, though not always, doing their own hair and make-up, if at all. They say “whatever” about the unknowns and unexpected events.

One of my favorite clients had stacks of board games as their wedding decor along with the most heartfelt, open-mic toasts, and all I could think was, damn, I hope my daughter grows up to be just as nerdy as them. They are also usually outdoorsy sort of people who are down to “rough it” by necessity and sometimes by choice, like going to Burning Man, for example. My couples know how to get shit done and have a good time no matter what.

A wedding couple recess after their ceremony.For example, when one-half of the couple of celebrated at this barnyard dance party—complete with a choreographed dance by the bride’s basketball team and an ice cream truck—approached Julie Laflamme, it was because, in her words, she wanted a photographer, but not a “wedding photographer.” Ha. It was a perfect match. As Julie said:

Lindsay and Patrick wanted what mattered most: a relaxed day with plenty of time to enjoy all their friends and family and a sacred ceremony with plenty of comic relief. As per usual with us, they wanted not just mostly, but entirely candid photos. Nothing posed. They didn’t feel the need to have photos of them smiling straight at the camera. They also didn’t want to be yanked away from hanging with their guests to go get the “perfect” sunset photo. And it had nothing to do with being camera shy… as the then-head coach of Cal Women’s Basketball (now-assistant coach to the Cleveland Cavaliers), Lindsay Gottlieb is no stranger to having a camera in her face. They just wanted honest photographs of their celebration and their loved ones connecting with each other, and we were so happy to do that for them.

A child plays on the ground during a wedding ceremony.A black and white photo of a wedding couple including a man wearing a top hat and a woman wearing a flower and rhinestone headpiece kissing.A close-up of bride who smiles up at a groom embracing her as they stand on a cliff.A wedding couple laugh together.THE IMPORTANT DETAILS:

Julie Laflamme’s rates start at just $2,600 for eight hours of coverage with two photographers and smaller elopements are $2,100. Travel is included for all northern California weddings (Julie and Maurice are based in Point Arena on the Mendocino Coast), with an additional $400 travel fee anywhere else in CA. (Travel outside of California is at cost.)

And if you’d like to include an engagement session but are non-local to Northern California, Julie would like to offer this: “Plan your next weekend getaway to the Mendocino coast (130 miles north of San Francisco), and if you’ve booked me for your wedding, I will give you an engagement session for the ridiculously low price of $150, in the quaint town of Point Arena, which you will fall in love with. I’ll even be a travel guide, with suggestions on where to stay, eat, and what to do. So come out for a vacation, meet me, and get some gorgeous photos out of the deal.”

NOTE! Prices will be going up by $300 in 2020 but APW readers have until the end of January to cash in on Julie Laflamme‘s super affordable 2019 prices.

A wedding couple standing on a cliff and embrace.THINGS Y’ALL MIGHT HAVE IN COMMON:

Wedding couple and guests on an outdoor dance floor surrounded by green trees.Man dances while drinking a beer and holding a churro in front of a colorful strobe light.A wedding couple dance and smile during their reception.KIND WORDS FOR JULIE LAFLAMME PHOTOGRAPHY:

I cannot say enough about Julie and Maurice! We got married in the middle of nowhere (Elk, CA), and they not only made the trip without reservation but also made the day incredibly special. They seamlessly captured all the staged photos we had requested ahead of time, and also worked like stealth ninjas to get plenty of candid shots! My husband and I both commented that they were a couple we’d love to be friends with, which made their presence at our wedding all the more delightful.

Aside from their day-of awesomeness, Julie was incredibly easy to communicate with in advance. She spent longer than I care to admit on the phone with me as I waxed on and on about my wedding vision, was very responsive to email, and did her due diligence in advance to get a sense of all the little, otherwise-missable details of our wedding that we wanted captured. Working with them makes me wish I had occasion to hire a professional photographer more often — knowing our photos were in such capable hands allowed me to relax (which is a big deal, as I’m generally a control freak). —Ashley

Read more reviews…

WHAT NOW: See more of Julie Laflamme’s bright and beautiful work, follow her on IG, then, reach out to chat specifics on your 2020 wedding!


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