Hello, and welcome to our brand new Ask a Professional Q&A series where we interview all types of professionals in the wedding industry, and ask them our juiciest questions so brides and grooms have the inside scoop on what’s what for planning their big day. Are you a wedding planner, florist, caterer, or someone who often works in the wedding realm? We want to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below.
Today we are kicking things off with Clara Ganey, a professional photographer located in Seattle, Washington with a specialty in event, editorial and, of course, wedding photography. Clara’s work is especially compelling because she has an eye for capturing the honest, unscripted moments and raw emotions that occur throughout a wedding. You can look at a photograph she’s taken of the bride and groom, and they can be complete strangers to you, yet you’re still able to get a sense of their essence and their relationship through her work. It’s a really special quality, and allows the couple to see themselves and their wedding guests from a whole new perspective.
We’ve asked Clara a few questions about her trade, and are sharing her answers below! Keep scrolling for her tips on when and how to hire a wedding a photographer, drafting a wedding timeline, and the one thing she wishes all couples knew:
How long have you been a wedding photographer, and what drew you to the business?
I photographed my first wedding in 2010 and can’t imagine doing anything else. I love photographing weddings and consider them to be an epic form of storytelling. Getting to document two individuals celebrating their love and commitment to each other is a humbling experience.
How long in advance do you recommend couples book their wedding photographer?
As soon as possible! Most of my couples end up booking me six to nine months prior to their wedding date, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. I find the best approach is to book your photographer as soon as you find the right fit and have a date.
What are your top 3 tips for couples who want to help ensure fantastic photos of their big day?
First, find someone you click and feel comfortable with. Trusting your photographer is important – they’re professionals for a reason!
Second, I also highly recommend finding someone to run your day. Whether you hire a professional wedding coordinator, enlist your favorite organized family member or even a friend who you trust to keep things on time, they will be invaluable in keeping your day running smoothly. I also help my clients draft a wedding day timeline. I cannot stress enough how helpful that is for a photographer on the day of the wedding. Having a rough idea when events are going to happen is extremely important in ensuring your photographs aren’t rushed.
Third, and most importantly, relax! Wedding days rarely go as planned, but if you don’t stress the small stuff and focus on the reason you’re there in the first place, your photos will reflect that. And you’ll enjoy your day so much more!
What is one thing you wish all newly engaged couples knew about wedding photography?
Finding a photographer that has a similar style to what you like is key. Knowing what you want to get out of your wedding photographs will narrow down your search for your photographer drastically. I photograph in a relaxed photojournalistic style, and my couples tend to want candid photos that reflect the feeling and mood of the day.
What is your favorite thing (or things) about photographing weddings?
I love getting to meet all sorts of people. Every wedding I photograph is unique and every couple is different. Each wedding has its own beautiful moments, and getting to witness and photograph those moments is what makes my job so rewarding.
Do you have a favorite photo from a wedding you’ve shot? If so, why is it your favorite?
I have so many! My favorite photos are so different from every wedding, but I love candid, meaningful moments during the ceremony.
Thanks so much, Clara, for taking the time to answer our questions and to share your work! To see more of Clara’s photography or to get in contact with her, make sure to visit her website at claraganey.com. She’s also on Facebook and Instagram.