Running a wedding blog means you're connected to a lot of wedding photographers with a lot of photos. But when we need to find that perfect shot to illustrate a post, a common refrain behind-the-scenes is “check Raven.” We always know that our photographer bestie, Georgia-based Raven Shutley of YouAreRaven will have the perfect photo for any post. The reason? She's OFFBEAT GOLD.
She's worked with every kind of couple and has that golden touch that creates magical moments you never see coming. She's nerdy and embracing of all lifestyles and wedding styles — introverts! poly couples! LGBTQ! and all wedding unicorns!, and totally my dream photographer.
We decided to get the info straight from Raven on what's new with her biz and she's getting even better at working with all couples of all flavors. And I thought it couldn't even get any better.
Raven on Offbeat Bride couples
Offbeat Bride readers have consistently been my favorite people for as long as I've been shooting weddings: these secret weirdos and loud weirdos alike, these maybe dinner party/maybe frat party people, and those who are everything in between. There's a combination of calm security intermingled with a glowing shyness in these couples, all topped off by a reassurance that as long as they are together, they can take on the world.
Recently, I was looking to have new headshots taken. As a photographer, you might think it's easy to find someone to take your photos—after all, you're constantly surrounded by amazing and talented fellow photographers. But it was difficult for me to find someone who really fit. I'll be the first to tell you that I tend to shy away from being on the other end of the camera. Making sure that I found someone who would get me, my brand, what I was going for, and who also made me look as stellar in photos as I do in real life? That was a tall order. Trust me when I say I understand what you're going through when you’re shopping for a photographer, and how important it is that you find someone to click with, who gets you and your vision, and who isn't trying to make you or your love fit into a little box.
Bruh, Raven gets it. This is someone who will be documenting a super special time for you, so make sure you're connecting with someone who is a pro at understanding who you are. We also talked about the minutiae of working with a wedding photographer, from delivering files to meeting up to talk goals. If you can find a photographer who has seen everything that can go wrong, you've got a photographer who is ready for any and all situations. Trust me, it's an asset! Here's what Raven had to say…
A big part of my focus this year is to work on providing the absolute best experience possible for my couples. Everything that I do, from meeting for coffee or drinks to the multiple methods of delivery I provide once their photos are finished, is based around making things easy and fun. I go to bat for my couples, whether that means stepping in to answer questions or figure out problems on the day of the wedding or helping out when they are having a hard time finding the right wedding vendor. Even the timeline that we build together is meant to help limit their stress: I always build in buffer time, plus alone time for the two of them, plus time late in the reception to step out and take a breather if they need it.
Are you sighing with relief yet? I knooooow. She's making our lives, too. But seriously: you're probably wondering if all this chill awesomeness also translates into stellar photos, since that's what really makes it all worthwhile in the end, right? Don't fret, my pets! Raven kills it with her skill. Here's how she makes it happen…
Your connection is my obsession: I want to be the one who sees the quiet in-between moments, the inside jokes, what your love looks like when it’s just the two of you, what makes it different, and sets it apart from all the other loves in the world. The moments you would typically save for behind closed doors, the weirdness and mushiness, the romantic gestures and silly nicknames — that’s what I value the most.
The things I look for are small and quiet, or obvious and loud, completely depending on the moment and the couple and the love itself. I specialize in the trusting look that passes when you're dancing or traversing difficult terrain on your hiking engagement session. I seek out the moment where you're both so wrapped up in your pets and each other during your in-home engagement session that you forget I even exist. I capture the secret weirdo that you keep in check until you're alone together. I am after all the moments that make me understand why you're in love. All the moments that make me say ‘this is the best thing I could possibly see today.' All the moments that allow me to show you how beautiful you are.
Maybe you're a dinner party, maybe you're Jell-o shots, or maybe you're somewhere in-between. As an empathetic person to my core, I'm tuned into my frequency in a way that allows me to thoughtfully tune into yours, as well. Think of me and my work as an echo of you shouting your love and your happiness to the world. I'm here to reflect it back to you.
Can we hear from some offbeat couples?
(The hardest part is picking quotes from SO MANY. People dig Raven, y'all…)
“Months later, and I'm still amazed by everything Raven has done for us. We approached her nearly a year ago, via Offbeat Bride, to talk about an engagement shoot, knowing that it really wasn't in our very small budget to hire her for the wedding. But when we explained our vision and she got to know us a little better, she started crafting a really wonderful, generous package just for us, that we knew we had to make room for in our budget. Even if she wasn't enormously fantastic in every other way, that alone would have cinched it! But of course, she's much more than her price tag. She's easy to talk to, completely approachable, wonderfully goofy in her own perfect way, and I can't imagine my wedding or the journey there without her–both as a photographer and as an addition to my life, in general! When our wedding was over, I told her that we were going to try to come up with other reasons to hire her as much as possible and I'm still working on that. Professional shots of the last day of school? Flag day? Valentine's day dinner? Just a random night at our house watching Call the Midwife? Why not? 🙂 Thank you, Raven, and I can't wait to see you again!” – Brittney & Becca
“Raven is amazing!! Perfect for non traditional or eccentric couples. She made us feel super comfortable and even managed to make us look photogenic. So happy that she captured our quirky love on film for many memories to come. She even has super cool ways to display your photos!” – Mary Catherine
“Hiring Raven was, without a doubt, the best decision we made throughout all the wedding planning. Not only were her rates incredibly reasonable and within budget, there was so much we got! We originally selected her because her photos were quirky, fun, and light-hearted with minimal editing so that the couples actually looked like themselves. She ended up doing the exact same for us, and our personalities really came through. We also had the best time shooting with her! She was up for anything and knew exactly what we needed and wanted from our photos. I would hire her again IN A HEARTBEAT. In fact, I can't wait to have a reason to do so! Hire her, I swear you will be so happy that you did!” – Victoria & Timmy
Okay, okay, we're in love! How do we hire Raven?
Okay, so now you know your perfect-for-you photographer is out there, but there's even more. Raven is ultra transparent with pricing, will travel to you if you're out of the Georgia area and MUST HIRE RAVEN, and has been published on Offbeat Bride tons of times (because we can't stop ogling her photos!).
Ready to slide into Raven's DMs and see if your date is available? Before you do, we've got an Offbeat reader discount that'll make your budget day:
Offbeat Bride reader discount:
15% off for readers FOREVER AND EVER, with an additional 5% if booked by March 1, 2018!
Yep, it's top-notch photography at bargain pricing. Raven books up fast for obvious reasons, so hit her up!
And maybe peek at a few of these gems while you're at it…