Abby uses her experience ballet and her passion for France to inspire her truly stunning wedding photography.
What's your story?
I took a dark room class my junior year of college and, as cliché as it may sound, fell head over heels in love with the process. I spent an excessive number of hours in the dark room and was in love with the magic of seeing photographs bloom to life on a previously blank page. Once I realized that my love of photography could be combined with my love of stalking people's wedding photos on Facebook, I knew I had to give wedding photography a try. I apprenticed for a local photographer for a year in 2010 before taking on weddings of my own, and I've been going strong ever since!
What's your creative process?
I actually do quite a bit of personal work! As much as I love weddings, my best work comes when I've had the chance to play OUTSIDE of a the confines of a wedding day. When time isn't a factor; when I have free reign to create whatever I want to create. My favorite form of personal work is photographing ballerinas, as well as traveling & shooting lifestyle work on film in France. I grew up dancing, so reconnecting with my first artistic love (ballet) has helped to shape my work as a wedding photographer. And my soul comes ALIVE when I'm in France, so any chance I have to get back there reignites my creative tank! Doing it all on film is part of the process - I can't fire away blindly because each shot costs money, so I have to be really intentional about my compositions and subjects.
What makes your work unique?
That's something I often struggle to answer. We all have those words we use to describe our own work, so for me it'd be "classic, authentic, joy-filled" when it comes to my weddings. But to be honest, I know that my wedding photography looks a lot like what's already out there. I LOVE the work I produce on wedding days, absolutely, but I think the thing that makes me unique is actually my France + ballerina work. It breathes femininity and subtle sensuality, it's elegant and demure, never stuffy. And it's through discovering HOW I see ballerinas and all things French that I learn to identify more and more what I want my wedding and portrait work to look like.
What advice do you have for other wedding photographers?
Stop looking at what everyone else is doing! It creates an unhealthy sense of feeling like you need to keep up, to compete, that somehow you're falling behind. And comparing yourself to someone else is just plain unhelpful. There are so many different factors that go into owning a business, so comparing your successes or failures to what you see on someone else's social media is unrealistic.
I STILL struggle with this, and the best way I've learned to combat it is two-fold: first, by looking at how far I've come in relation to where I started! Am I a better photographer this year than I was last year? If so, then I count that as success. And then I also combat it by having a clear picture of what success looks like to us - am I happy with the amount of time I'm spending at work vs. the time I get with my family & friends? Are my clients thrilled with what they're receiving? Are the photographers I teach growing, becoming better as a result? Measuring your own success becomes a LOT easier when you're the one holding the yardstick, instead of guessing at someone else's.
Where can we find your work?
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