Some of y'all may know that I recently got married in Chicago! It's been such a fun time to look back and reminisce about the wedding day, and that's been especially easy to do since we got our photos and video from our amazing photographer, Emma Mullins Photography.
After eight years of blogging about weddings, I knew I wanted someone super pro to capture my own. To say we were blown away by the results is an understatement. And now I get to share the spoils with you fellow Midwestern couples (or elsewhere!) in need of mind-blowing photos of your wedding. Let me introduce my photography hero (and now friend!), Emma Mullins…
I asked Emma to answer a few questions so that we could get to know her a bit better and understand why she's such a wizard with a camera and all about her new videography business.
Spoiler: the video we received brings us to tears EVERY TIME we re-watch it. Let's meet the maker of all this magic…
What makes you stand out from other photographers?
Great question. I think what really makes a wedding vendor unique is the level of personalized service they provide to each couple. This is something I have always strived for in my business, and one of our highest values as a team.
Of course, awesome photos are important, too! But there's a level of comfort, familiarity, and trust that must exist in order to achieve that. Developing a relationship with my couples is a priority throughout the process. I honestly have been so lucky with the people who choose to work with me — it makes me so excited to capture every single wedding day.
How has the reception been for your new video offering?
It's been awesome — thanks for asking! We just added Videography services in September after many months of preparation. My videographers are THE BEST… oh man, video is an entirely different beast! I've really enjoyed learning more about what goes into a wedding film and cannot wait to see what we create together.
Whoo boy were were overcome by our video. To quote a friend of mine who wasn't able to be at the wedding: “That video transported me there. Wow. I actually feel like I was there with you.” And that's exactly how I feel every time I revisit it — like I'm there again.
Here's an example…
What's your favorite way to get a couple comfortable in front of the camera?
“Hey, you guys. Stand right here. In front of my camera.” Kidding! Really, I think just hanging out together helps everyone loosen up. Ideally this will happen for the first time during an engagement session and not on the wedding day.
There are many preconceptions about having your photo taken that sometimes bring on unexpected nerves. Personally, I'm always awkward in photos… so can totally relate! I like to suggest to my couples to think of it as a fun date with a third wheel. It doesn't take long to realize that an engagement session is way more fun than, say, senior portraits.
We definitely felt Emma's calming and reassuring presence early on when we had an engagement session with her. I highly recommend it for getting comfortable in front of the camera. Here's more on how that shoot got me all prepared to tackle the wedding day and made me realize we totally made the right choice in hiring Emma.
Where's your favorite Chicago backdrop to capture killer portraits?
Ahhh!! Do I have to choose one?! This city is filled with picturesque locations, I have many favorites (and some secret hidden gems, too!). My go-to's are anything industrial-looking or with awesome street art. West Loop, Pilsen, and Fulton Market District are pretty sweet spots. I also really love the skyline view at Promontory Point.
One of my favorite parts of working with Emma was her vast knowledge of cool photo spots and her ability to find new ones. And she travels all over (shout-out to those Wisconsin weddings I know she loves!), so there are spots to find anywhere you are.
Do you have a recent favorite moment from a wedding or photo session that just makes you really love your job?
Now this is a tough one. Not because I don't love my job… but because there seems to be something at every wedding that makes me feel this way. Any time a couple or family member goes out of their way to tell us we're doing a great job, or that they didn't even notice us during the ceremony, that keeps us going. It's my goal that you're able to enjoy the day you've spent months or years planning and not have to think about the photographers.
More than anything, though, is when we hear from a couple after they've received their wedding photos (and now video!). We've received heartfelt emails, phone calls, even video messages thanking us for what we've been able to capture and deliver. I believe that the experience is equally as important as the photos, however there's something invaluable about looking through your gallery and reliving those memories. The people who were there, the way you looked at each other during your vows, that crazy thing that happened on the dance floor. That's what makes my job so rewarding, and why I'm certain I'll be doing this for many years to come.
HA! I was one of those video messages. As soon as we got the video (I know, I keep gushing about the video!), I had to send a DM to Emma literally in tears.
So if you're in the Midwest (or want snag Emma for a shoot elsewhere), you have to get in touch with her and the team. You'll get amazing, truly artful, documentary-style photos honed from years and experience and talent, you can book a photo booth (yay for vendors who do both!), and now can have some of the most amazing video coverage that will be so good you'll be compelled to send a video message without even checking what you look like first. Oof. But it was that good.
Say hello, tell Emma we sent you, and be prepared to feel totally safe in Emma's very capable hands.