My Love Song To One Love Photo

You guys. It was inevitable that I was going to write a love song to One Love Photo (husband and wife team Heather & Jon), because when people are that awesome to you, you are awesome to them in return (which is *not* a way of saying I’m a blogger so I got my photography for free, I don’t roll that way. Though they *do* advertise on APW.). Except accidentally, I wrote an EPIC love song. And epic love song with arty cameras and how we went about picking awesome wedding elves, and sneaky pictures of our wedding:
I would describe Heather and John (that’s Heather, in the pink, at her best friends wedding) as the artists photographers—The funky, hip, you wanna have a drink with them artists photographers. First off, they still shoot with film, which is rare, and magical. But it’s more mind-boggling than that. They shoot with (get this) SEVEN DIFFERENT CAMERAS. I told this to one of my amazingly talented photographer friends, and she said, “Oh my God, I’d never know what camera to pick up! Panic!” and Heathers said, “You can’t think. You just grab.” Which is just how you always do art right? Scary but simple at once. So let me walk you through the cameras (I’m such a nerd, because this is super fun for me. Glee!)

First, Heathers favorite is the Hasselbald medium format camera. It shoots really cool square images. Heather says, “It is fully manual from exposure to focus. It slows me down a bit which I think is actually a really good thing at weddings.” It’s philosophical but true. There was something different about Heather crouching down and looking through her view finderand then the click whirr. And it captured some of my favorite pictures of the wedding, which fittingly were quiet moments: (this is the same balcony and the same seats where we had mimosas and watched the sunset later that night. PS: I told you my hair rocked):Second, they shoot with a Holga. I’m pretty sure all you blog readers know about the Holga and it’s low-fidelity aesthetic, so let me just get down to it and show you my favorite of One Love’s Holga pictures.I know, right? I don’t really have words for that.

Third, they use something I’ve never heard of, a toy camera called The Blackbird. They sometimes pass this and the Holga out to guests, just to let them play and get another perspective. Here is a guest shooting on The Blackbird:And here is a double exposure of us leaving our wedding shot on it by one of our guests:Cooool. Sigh.

Fourth, they just got a new camera Diana F+. No images from that yet, but yum.

And finally, because they are modern photographers, they shoot with three digital cameras, with a multitude of lenses. That way there are no, “Oh god did the film turn out??” moments. Heather sent me two of her favorite digital images, which apparently (adorably) she likes so much because *Jon* shot them:And then there are the crazy blurry shots shot on digital with old lenses. This has an emotional intensity that melts me:And finally, I want to say something personal about Heather and Jon, why we pick
ed them, and how to think about hiring elves. We hired them *without ever meeting them* partially because we talked to Heather quite a bit on the phone, and we trusted her. She told me their prices up front (not a lot of hidden back end nonsense), they were willing to work with us on things that were important to us (we wanted to buy our jpg’s and have them right away), and she kept saying things like, “well I could do such and such, but I don’t want to. It makes me feel funny. It makes me feel like I’m ripping people off.” We paid good money for them (their prices have gone up since, but they are still worth way, way more than they charge) but I was happy to support working artists. The first email I sent Heather was, “Hi, I love your work, but I know I can’t afford you.” and her response was, “Well, actually, I try to keep a simple package because I love working with creative brides.” Yay!!! And for all the times mid-planning I wondered if I was being silly paying for artists, I wasn’t. It was right for us. Photography is my art form of choice (don’t get me started about how an Alfred Stieglitz on Georgia O’Keeffe show changed my life when I was 14). Long story short, our pictures are worth it to us, many times over.They made me feel grounded when I wasn’t (two minutes before they shot the photo above I was going to gnaw my way through a tree with frustration), I could ask them for advice “Is my eye makeup too heavy?”, and they were like flies-on-the-wall at the wedding (have you been to weddings with yelly intrusive photographers? It sucks.) When I freaked out about not wanting super traditional shots and kept telling Heather “Like Ember and Ben’s wedding!” she listened and then really DID exactly the spirit of what we wanted. And our photos are so good that people keep telling us they are ‘art’ and that ‘they’ve never seen wedding pictures like them.’ And if you can believe it, I haven’t showed you most of the really really great ones, because I’m keeping those just for us.

Finally, I suppose I should close with what we didn’t like right? Well. I’m pretty sure they never ate our amazing delicious food, even though I cornered Jon and described the curried lentil salad in detail, and I think David chased Heather around with Falafal or something… But hey, they sure photographed the sh*t out of it:All photos by One Love Photo. Obviously.

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  • So amazing! Totally worth it, it's such a big part of how you'll remember the day. The Holga is just *wow*. And hey if you want to go on about Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keefe, please do so, it's your blog. I'll read it! Was it the nudes? They're incredible.

  • so beautiful! such a lucky girl to have great, amazing, creative folks shooting your wedding.

  • These are gorgeous photos. Love the use of 7 different cameras!!!

  • LPC

    Beautiful, and so glad you got exactly what you had in mind. Since it mattered.

  • beyond effing excited that they will be making the trek down to Arizona for our own shin dig next spring. like…you don't even know (or perhaps you do know, Meg) – I went jumping/skipping/twirling around our home when I found out they could shoot our wedding. :-)

  • Thanks for sharing the process of how they get their amazing photos. I am a regular stalker at One Love Photo and love the approach of seeing photography as art and not as photoshopped snapshot perfection. I have a real aversion to much of the "wedding photography" I see, but one of my favorite parts of the wedding planning process has been discovering the real artists involved in the wedding world. I'm so happy for your and David's art.

  • Wonderful pics! Its cool that they let guests shoot with one of their cameras. I love the double exposure one a guest shot.

  • Again…thank you so much for this post! I get so frustrated with some Indie wedding blogging types that are all, "i don't neeeeed photography! i'm BETTER than photography! we'll just get my 3 year old nephew to shoot our wedding. it'll be FINE! BECAUSE WE'RE NOT MATERIALISTIC!!!"

    but i LOOOOOOVE photography and it was (aside from our venue) the very first wedding elf we've booked. We are still 9 months out from our wedding and have booked our officiant and photog because those two things really matter to us. We're using Sarah Yates and couldn't be more excited.

    Thank you for not making me feel like a superficial WIC bride because I love great photos and want to stare at the photos of my wedding and sigh for the next 70 years..

  • Such beautiful pictures, love their work! I got to see them in action at the rainy wedding in your post, nice as can be and so talented.

  • One Love Photo

    Warm and fuzzy all over (and it has nothing to do with the wine). Wow, this is so much more than I ever ever thought you would write. Wow, did I say that already. Thank you so much, I wish I had the words to counter this but I am at a loss. This is just so stinking SWEET and just what we needed! much love and thank you so so so much!


  • Abby

    Mmm . . . gorgeous. Meg, if I didn't love you so much (in that weird, one-sided bloggy way) I'd be insanely jealous. One Love Photo is far and away my favorite photography team, but alas, even at their very reasonable for their immense talent rates, beyond my financial reach, particularly given that I, ahem, am getting married far from Seattle . . . But I've enjoyed living vicariously through you and your photos, which look like memories (of the dreamiest sort).

  • Meg

    Awwww… Abby. To be honest, they gave us much, much too good a deal on travel. We didn't know why, but we took it and ran. One does not look unexplained goodness in the mouth. Here is the weird thing: we paid less for the insainly talented Heather and Jon than some super strange photag in SAN FRANCISCO was going to charge us. But then again, San Francisco is singularly overpriced.

    (Not a bloggy photag. I love bloggy photags, and I would stick with them, personally. Random ones I have had less luck and more weirdness with.)

  • I love the emotion that was caught in each of these. The lighting is so amazing in each and the one with the couple under the umbrella in the rain got me! I love how all of their loved ones are standing there watching them. I have never seen another picture like it.

  • Those photos are amazing! I would kill for a photographer that shoots with a holga. Alas I am WAY too far away to have One Love Photo shoot my wedding!

    I so want to see all your photos.

  • Beautiful images! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Meg

    Miss T-
    Honey just get a Holga and have your friends pass it around. 1) Holgas are cheap (they are *toys* after all) and 2) The polaroids our friends shot are some of our most treasured momentos of the day. Their is a place for pro-pics AND a place for shots only your dear friends could ever get.

    $50 and you'll be set, with film too.


  • Wow, it's like Life magazine – timeless. Thanks for the info on the cameras!

    • – So many of these are amazing that I coldun’t pick a favorite. One thing I really like about your style is that the poses rock but within that you also capture so much genuine emotion. It’s a nice mix.

  • April

    So amazing… Heather and Jon are indeed fantastically fun, creative and wonderful artists. And lovely people to boot!

    I hired them a year ago based on 3 things:

    1. Kick-ass photos
    2. Heather has an Eiffel Tower logo on her website. Me and my boy met, on a blind date, in Paris 8 years ago. Hmm…Fate, no?
    3. She and Jon hail from my hometown of greater Seattle, WA. Hmmm… totally Fate, I think.

    Hired 'em without meeting them and they were the most wonderful wedding elves of our entire celebration! Cannot wait to see photos!

    And yes, you can totally have a drink with them / share a pizza with them. We did. They rock.

    Your wedding photos you've shared are beautiful Meg!

  • What a great piece on One love! Great Job! We had them shoot our Wedding in Central Park, New York City last month…

    I know there are so many talented photographers in New York City, I like to do photography as a hobby and I have met/made friends with some great photographers who have amazing talents, but when I saw a blog once with Heather's "Mixed media Art" it lead me to this AMAZING WOMAN and her incredible style, and I knew this was it. This was my photographer. I even sent the one love website to my mom (who knew I was in search of a wedding photographer), but I would never commit to one photographer, as amazing as they were. My mom called me and said, this is the one, this is your photographer. She could feel it too. If Heather and Jon are not "in your budget" cut costs in ANY way possible, you will never regret it. Those photos you have for a lifetime will make you smile, cry, giggle and amaze you.

    ps. The photo of me posted above (in the hot pink indian bridal dress and my indian mother in law hugging me) ….for four years we have had incredibly sad and disheartening cultural differences and this photo is an inspiring moment of two cultures melting down into One Love. Pardon the pun.

  • nc

    So very gorgeous. Congratulations again, on finding a way to do it your way. A lovely wedding to begin a lovely marriage. Thanks for being right there with so many of us.

  • I would love have our wedding to do all over again, mainly for the reason that when we finally got to it there was so much FUN involved. But even more than that, I would love another chance for Heather and Jon to do their magic with us, plus all of our best friends and kooky family. OLP rocks!!

    – JG

  • Hear, hear! I agree wholeheartedly – Heather and Jon are magical people and phenomenal photographers. We just got our photos back from them, and I am floored!