This Photographer Has All the California Chill Your Wedding Day Needs

Laura Ford is a calm and fun photographer who delivers joyful, timeless photos

by Stephanie Kaloi

apw-19_29037555016_oOh heeeey, California. Are you guys ready to hire your wedding photographer today? Because Los Angeles-based Laura Ford just sent us a bunch of killer photos to share with you. It’s time to sit up a little straighter, adjust your glasses, sprinkle a little glitter on your desk, and pay attention.

Laura Ford is the photographer you hire when you want joyful, bright, timeless photos of your whole day—from details and décor to beautiful portraits to a whole lot of great candids that make you grin. Laura will deliver all of the above while being a calm, steadying, and fun person to have by your side all day. And the bonus? Her rates range between $2,800 and $6,500, with most of her couples spending $3,200–$4,000 (which is otherwise known as “California affordable”).

And also. She loves you guys. A lot:

APW readers are different from the mainstream… and that is exactly why I love working with them. I love diversity in everything and I love people who go their own way, whether it is loud and fabulous or quiet and introspective. APW readers are a wide range of people, but I think they have common ground when it comes to having open minds and accepting that there are a million ways to have a wedding! :-)

apw-36_29038369586_oapw-18_28784107740_oapw-32_28450270924_ojuly-1-29_28601553456_oapw-28_28994233641_oIf we had to summarize Laura Ford’s style, we’d say it was “naturally editorial” and “truthful, not trendy.” Everyone and everything looks their best—like, magazine-worthy best—while still looking genuinely themselves. Laura’s portrait philosophy is all about helping you feel less awkward and posed, and more like taking photos is a natural extension of your best selves. Think real laughs (yes, it’s possible), expressions, and interactions: aka you two doing you, except more wedding-y.apw-38_29071140125_oapw-33_28450269294_ocalifornia weddingapw-9_28452915733_oapw-25_28964729332_oHow exactly does Laura Ford make you so comfortable? By being focused on the entire experience of working with her. Before her life as a wedding photographer, Laura worked in the fine dining world, which taught her a thing or two about top-notch customer service:

My years in the fine dining world have really fine-tuned my customer service skills (especially under stress), and that is something I carry with me to every single wedding I work. It isn’t just something that I try to do; it is ingrained in me, and I cannot do anything less. When a couple hires me for their wedding, they not only get a documentary approach with a loving creative style, but they get the best customer service experience possible. Families love me, vendors appreciate my hard work, and my second photographer is always hydrated! I am always anticipating moments, reading people’s demeanors, and thinking of what can make the whole experience a bit better.

I am calm and intuitive and put people at ease when I interact with them. I am professional, but lighthearted and fun to have around. I smile, a lot. I always have, and never thought much of it, but since I’ve been photographing weddings I find that it is a really helpful habit! When a stressed-out bride looks over at me in a way that asks if everything is going to hell since makeup is running twenty minutes late, I am calm, I have that natural grin on my face… and I just say, “Everything is okay, this is normal, so we are actually running right on time.” Smiles put people at ease. Smiles make other people smile. This quote from my client Susan sums it up:

“Laura was this smiling, stealth, incredibly helpful, amazing photographer who made our wedding day so memorable. We were both so happy with the photos and it was wonderful that Laura just got what we were trying to capture. She was one step ahead of me the whole night and we cannot recommend her enough! If you like her shooting style then you will not be sorry. She is so sweet and a sincerely great person!”

apw-8_28449691944_ocalifornia weddingapw-22_28993914491_oapw_28449068904_oSpeaking of reviews, Laura’s favorites (ours too!) are the spontaneously excited ones that come in from clients who just received a look at their photos:

“Dying. Thank you so much, these are amazing!!!!” —Maggie

“OH MY GOSH—-these are amazing!!!!!!!!! Laura, they could not be more fabulous and we could not have chosen a better photographer. YOU, my lady, are fabulous!!!!!!” —Kirsten

“Love LOVE LOVE the photos!!” —Priscilla and Justin

“Oh my goodness!!! Thank you so much! I’m so excited to look through these, but first I just want to say how awesome you were to work with and that I was surprised that we never felt awkward or uncomfortable when it came to taking photos (which is a lot to say for the two of us! Haha). We had so many family members say how great you were also. :) Thanks a million Laura.” —Lauryn

apw-5_28449729824_oapw-6_28965210922_oLaura Ford travels for free throughout California (including San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and San Francisco); her home state of Michigan (the entire state); and Chicago, IL.

Package rates start at $2,800, and most couples spend between $3,200 and $4,000. Along with Laura herself and an assistant or a second shooter, every wedding package includes an online gallery and flash drive of your edited photos and printing rights. Here’s how her packages break down:

SMALL: 5-hour day—$2,800
Perfect for elopements, intimate ceremonies, brunch celebrations, or when you want a primary focus on portraits and the main events instead of a detailed story of the entire day. Includes assistant.

MEDIUM: 8-hour day—$3,200
Eight hours will give most couples enough coverage to have plenty of getting ready shots and also have much of the reception covered. Includes second photographer.

LARGE: Full day—$4,000
The full day of coverage is especially fitting for larger weddings, and for couples who have a whole day of events planned. Laura and her second photographer will capture all of the happenings of the day, beginning with the detail shots at the getting ready locations. You choose when and where they begin, and they will be there through the last dance.

Laura also offers standalone engagement sessions (starting at $400) and wedding albums ($350–$2,080).

apw-2_28449742244_oapw-17_28784150230_oapw-30_28453433843_oSo if you’re getting married in LA (or Michigan!), and want wedding photography that feels stylish but natural, then Laura Ford‘s editorial-without-being-stiff approach is perfect for you. Head over to check out Laura Ford’s portfolio, learn more about her, and inquire to see if your wedding date is available—she might be just the right amount of California chill that your wedding day needs.


Stephanie Kaloi

Stephanie is a photographer, writer, and Ravenclaw living in California with her family. She is super into reading, road trips, and adopting animals on a whim. Forewarning: all correspondence will probably include a lot of punctuation and emoji (!!! ? ? ?).

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