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Here’s How To Feel Like A Badass In Your Wedding Photos

You Are Raven will take your awkwardness and turn it into💃💃💃

Prior to working for APW, I hated getting my photo taken. I had recently gained a lot of weight, so I was already feeling self-conscious. But then no matter how hard I tried to pose and act model-y, the photos always turned out unflattering. (And my confidence took a nosedive with each failed attempt at looking cool. How come everyone else online seemed to be naturally inclined at modeling?) I chalked it up to general awkwardness and accepted that maybe I just couldn’t take a good photo to save my life.

Then I started getting my photo taken by good (APW-approved, obvs) photographers. And damn, what a difference it made. Suddenly all the photos were flattering! There was no awkwardness in sight! Working with creative people who not only listened to me, but who saw the best, flyest, truest version of myself and translated that into an image was a super empowering experience. (Because spoiler alert: The people you see in real weddings? Not models. Just good photographers and lots of joy.) And that’s what I love most about Raven Shutley, aka Atlanta’s You Are Raven.

plus size black bride in front of a brick wall in a mermaid wedding gown and cathedral length veil blowing behind her in a photo by You Are Ravenbride and groom in front of turquoise wall, groom is wearing animal mask and bride is holding colorful bouquet in front of her face in a photo by You Are Raven

Raven’s own experience in front of the camera has made her double down on her commitment to make sure her clients are a hundred percent comfortable when they are in front of her lens:

Recently, I was looking to have new headshots taken, and trust me when I say I understand what you’re going through when you’re shopping for a photographer. I know how important it is that you find someone to click with, who gets you and your vision. I get it if having your picture taken isn’t your idea of a good time—I’ll be the first to tell you that I tend to shy away from being on the other end of the camera myself. But I’m here to make it a good time. An easy time. A fun time that results in incandescently happy pictures of you and your loved ones.

More like incandescently happy, artistic, moving, and hilarious photos:

A black bride in a birdcage veil and lace gown laughs joyously as her groom whispers in her ear in a photo by You Are RavenA a cow is seen in the background beyond a line of groomsmen standing in the foreground in a photo by You Are Ravenlgbtq couple in tux and wedding gown sitting on bench with a dachshund and a piglet in a photo by You Are Raven

So how does Raven get you comfortable enough to capture all those quiet in-between moments, your actual inside jokes, weirdness and mushiness, romantic gestures, and silly nicknames? For starters, she’s a total pro at putting anyone at ease, and my guess is that’s because she truly genuinely loves and supports people being themselves—no matter what that means to you. Raven herself is a self-proclaimed intersectional feminist bookworm, nerd, fangirl, believer in magic, and well, she first discovered photography at Medieval Times. Whether you want to have a zombie wedding cake that bleeds when you cut it or a unicorn emoji balloon first look (true story, and it is amazing), your plans will be met with a big high five and documented enthusiastically.

Bride and groom wearing a grey vest and colorful fuchsia tie hold hands and skipping down the street in a photo by You Are Ravenclose-up of couple gazing into each other's eyes as one, who's wearing a floral dress, is touching the other, who is wearing black glasses, on the cheek in a photo by You Are RavenBride and groom take off silly horse heads and grin at each other during their cake cutting in a photo by You Are Raven

But almost as importantly, You Are Raven makes sure she is absolutely the right fit for you before she ever lets you sign a contract (and if it ends up that she’s not, she’s got lots of photographer friends she’s happy to recommend, no hard feelings or hard sales here). According to client Angie:

When we first met Raven, I immediately felt comfortable and wanted her to A) be my best friend and B) be our photographer. While we are sadly not besties, she did become our photographer and the same sense of comfort and trust happened at each point of our wedding. She made me and my now-husband feel at ease in front of the camera. The photos that look like they were posed are actually candids taken at the perfect moment… meaning, we looked like models when neither of us are what you would call photogenic. Our wedding pictures are so beautiful, and I have nothing but raves for Raven!

Bride and groom stomp on glasses at altar in front of an exposed brick wall in a photo by You Are RavenBride and groom embrace under a clear umbrella on a rainy night surrounded by glowing streetlamps in a photo by You Are Ravenbride surrounded by bridesmaids helping her into dress in a photo by You Are Raven

And because she cherishes working with you guys so much, APW readers always get 10% off You Are Raven’s already reasonable rates, which start at $2,750 for 6 hours of coverage. Raven’s available in the Atlanta area, throughout the state of Georgia, and beyond (just look at this fall New England wedding at Smith College, where the bridal party’s fantasy hair colors are as magical a rainbow as the autumn leaves 🦄).

close-up shot of bride's hands resting on her lap in tulle dress with embroidered flowers in a photo by You Are RavenLight-filled photo of wedding dance party with silly masks and hats in a photo by You Are Raven

Raven’s been photographing APW couples for a long time, and the first thing she told me when we met a hundred years ago was that y’all have been her favorite people since forever, precisely because you always stay true to yourselves—whether that means your wedding involves bridesmaid animal snuggies, fuchsia satin kitten ballet flats, and an actual puppy or a lightsaber sendoff or a black tie gala—or all three. Basically, when Raven says she photographs magical creatures, she means literally, and she means you!

Queer wedding couple holding hands and laughing while standing in front of colorful "Best of Atlanta" mural

So if that sounds like someone you will click with, go email Raven already, because you are going to have a blast working with her. And remember…

APW readers always get 10% off when they work with YOU ARE RAVEN. Click HERE to get in touch.

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