WHERE: Formerly DC, currently based in Atlanta (and splitting her time between both), but travels all over the US with no travel fees.
WHY: When we first introduced you to Sarah Gormley Photography back in 2013, we compared her work to other great photographers. These days, Sarah is the photographer to get your work compared to. When you scroll down and look at her images, you’ll see emotional depth, a sense of humor, and an artistry that’s rare in this industry. It’s no wonder Sarah shot forty weddings last year alone, and that most of them were APW couples. Girlfriend is just that good.
PRICE: $3,800 for anywhere in the country. $4,500 flat rate for all international weddings. No travel fees ever.
Sarah Gormley is one of those wedding photographers whose work was so good from the second she hit the scene, I’m pretty sure she hasn’t stopped to to take a breath in two years. If her name sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen Sarah Gormley Photography all over APW real weddings like this Baltimore neighborhood wedding, or these two at-home weddings in DC, or this heavily DIYed Maryland wedding. Or maybe you remember her from that time she helped APW contributor Aly marry her partner Elroi when the government shut down happened the week they were supposed to finally legally wed.
Seeing The Big Picture
Sarah’s style is so distinct that you know her photos as soon as you see one. But what makes Sarah Gormley so recognizable isn’t her editing style, or any filters she uses. It’s that Sarah sees weddings as about more than just the couple. Sarah explains:
I want to give my couples a wedding package that tells the full story of their day, with portraits that make them feel beautiful and a couples session that captures the love they feel for their partner, but I also want to know about their relationship with their mother or how long they’ve known their best man, and I want to give them images that capture these relationships as well. I believe that if a wedding photographer focuses solely on the couple getting married, they’re missing out on so many other layers of love, so many experiences and stories that are there to be told.
Which is why so many of Sarah’s photos tell a story within a story, like this one:
And this one:
With Sarah, you don’t just get photos of your loved ones. You get photos of your loved ones doing exactly the thing that you love about them, within the context of your wedding and your marriage (which is basically the most awesome gift your photographer can give you).
In order to maintain that level of intimacy and dedication to her clients, Sarah plans on scaling back her crazy schedule a bit next year. (Because she’s already almost full for 2015! How is that even possible?) She told me:
During my very first year as a full-time wedding photographer I photographed over forty weddings across three continents, four countries, and nine states. It was amazing to meet so many wonderful people, see so many beautiful places, and take so many photos that I’m ever so passionate about.
I’m planning to do things a bit differently this year and take no more than thirty-five weddings. I want to give as much dedicated, personal attention to each couple as possible. I want to know my couples well enough that I’m in a position to tell their story in a way that really means something to them, taking into account their amazing traits and quirks and beliefs and passions.
Keeping It Simple
While Sarah splits her home base between Atlanta and DC, most of her work year is spent traveling (just check out at that list above). So Sarah keeps her rates super simple and offers free travel throughout the whole US, at a flate rate of $3,800. (I know, you were expecting probably double that? Me too. Happy Tuesday!) Sarah has explained to me time and again that the reason she runs Sarah Gormley Photography this way isn’t for the exciting travel, or the prestige of getting to call herself a destination wedding photographer. It’s because the core of her business is APW couples, and she’d rather work with you guys than anyone else. She told me:
Everything about my business is designed to keep things simple for my couples, and to make it easier for APWers to work with me. I’m so grateful for the sweethearts who pour me a cup of coffee in the morning, the mothers-of-the-bride who take me aside to tell me how much they enjoyed the engagement photos, the groomsmen who check in to see if we’ve had dinner, the lovely couples that want to end the night with a selfie with their photographer. I am so very grateful to know such kind, generous, welcoming, beautiful people through this small business that I love so much, because APW connects me with the most incredible people.
The Bottom Line
With Sarah Gormley Photography, you get someone who takes photos like the one above, which might be the most powerful wedding photo I’ve seen all year. And you get her anywhere in the country, for $3,800. So go check out Sarah’s portfolio, and get on her calendar for 2016 before that’s full too (or snatch up one of the few 2015 dates she’s got left). Because with someone this good, you know it won’t be long.