Forget staged kisses and forced smiles. Today, we're diving into the world of a photographer who captures the raw, unfiltered magic of wedding days. Buckle up, lovebirds, because we're about to meet an artist who turns hearts into pixels and laughter into light. Emily of Captured by Emily C. Petrie picked up a camera professionally in 2010 and has been shooting weddings for the last 7 years. We connected to hear more of her background, get tips and how she handled the planning a wedding of her own.
What prompted you to focus your photography career to weddings?
"I really enjoy making people feel empowered and beautiful and have a knack for directing and styling, so I did lots of creative shoots for a long time, and then got into doing engagements and weddings. I am also an emotional and sentimental person, so I feel the power of a wedding day, it is really moving to be responsible for capturing one of the most important days in a couple's journey together."
Throughout the years while Emily has had the chance to connect and view countless events, one that really stood out was held recently. What made the event extra special?
"I truly enjoy all events I have worked but the most memorable one for me so far has been SBSN Bride DeAnne and her husband Greg's wedding at Hart & Main. Her dad's classic rock band played and literally melted everyone's face off, her mom made the bow cake that matched her dress, and they had such a great theme and style for their design. I just loved that wedding!"
In 2022 Emily and her wife were married. While we all are either in the process of planning or have planned, can you give insight as to how planning went for you?
"I found many elements of planning second nature to me. I had a vision for the overall feel of the weekend and wedding day and noted my priorities early. We wanted to hire a vendor team of women who were either LGBTQ+ or Allies, we wanted a romantic, vintage, whimsical, and fall theme, and our closest family and friends only. The day was memorable, fun, mostly relaxed, and everything was beautiful and heartfelt. Being a vendor did not make me immune to hiccups in the planning and the day of. I struggled with
challenges being a plus size bride when it came to alterations and also overcoming icky feelings when I got my wedding photos back, picking a cake was weirdly overthought by us as a couple (Sugar Lab Bake Shop in Ventura did a wonderful job), our DJ played a weird cover version of our first dance song and not the cut of the original song that our dance instructor made for us, some DIY projects did not work out and cost us money we didn't need to spend. Our favorite parts of our wedding were taking dance lessons, doing the tasting Supper Clubs at our venue, The Lodge at Malibou Lake, our wedding welcome meetup, which we did at Stone Haus in Westlake Village, and all chipped in for wine and pizza, getting ready together with help of the Pacheco Beauty team at my parents' home, our vows and ceremony, toasts, and dancing the night away with our loved ones. I learned how important it is to make the couples feel special and well-cared for. I didn't always feel like a bride and there were a couple of vendors who went out of their way to make the experience more special for us."
From a professional photographer, having one there for you on your wedding day is a no brainer. Emily went two steps further and had hired Kathrine Ellen Photography (left) to come shoot her Bachelorette weekend. Now for the second step--one year later to celebrate their love, Emily and her wife Tobi shot a celebratory first year with Michelle Sobel Photo.
Taking into account being in the industry and having planned your own wedding, what are 3 tips you can provide to those going through the planning process right now?
1) Seek vendors who are responsive, reliable, and relatable. 2) It is important to have a good idea of your budget range, what your desired flow of the day is and how much coverage you want or need. 3)check that your vendor is running a reputable business (has reviews, a website, business license, insurance, etc.) In photography especially, so many people bought cameras during the pandemic and while they are naturally great photographers and artists, it is crucial to know that your photographer is also a good businessperson and takes their work seriously and is legitimate.
If you had to do anything else in the industry, what would you do?
"I would like to lean more into planning, which I do from time to time. But I would also be interested in floral design and being a singer in a wedding band, both hidden talents I have."
How do you spend your free time?
"In those rare moments my wife and I enjoy traveling, short road trips, hiking with our dogs, tending to our home and yard, game nights with friends, and enjoying live music."
One last piece of advice from Emily for those getting married:
"On your wedding day, try to slow things down as much as possible and savor everything you can. It can go by so quickly, and it is bittersweet after the wedding day ends. Focus on your love and what feels authentic to you as a couple."
Thank you to Captured by Emily C Petrie for not only being a valued member in SBSN, one of our SBSN Preferred Vendors, but also a Top Contributor. We look forward to seeing more connections and watching your business grow.
*Images shared by Captured by Emily C Petrie or otherwise noted.