[Editor’s Note: Hey all, Brad Moore here! I’ll go ahead and admit that I’m a little biased with this guest post. I recently got married, and Hannah was our wedding photographer! As you’ll see though, I didn’t just invite her to do a guest post because she shot my wedding. She’s truly awesome and has some beautiful, amazing work. Apparently photography is in the Foldy DNA since her cousin is sports photographer Rob Foldy! Anyway, I thought that since so many of you know me through my time working with Scott, you might be interested in this little life update from me as well. So, without further ado, here is my interview with Hannah accompanied by her photos from a very special day!]

How did you get started in wedding photography?
My mom got remarried in 2014 and I befriended her wedding photographer because I was very interested in photography. I had been doing families and senior portraits for a while and was ready to plunge into the wedding world. Her photographer graciously let me second shoot for her 5 times (unpaid) and I learned SO much just with those first 5 weddings. The few most important things I learned immediately with those first 5 weddings were the following:

  1. Always be on your toes and adaptable, you never know what is going to be thrown your way.
  2. Smile, always. Positivity and enthusiasm is huge, especially when people are only looking to you for guidance on a wedding day.
  3. Never be too prideful and always be hungry to learn something new. This industry is always growing and changing, so grow with it.

What’s the most rewarding part of wedding photography?
Capturing humans and their raw emotions and moments are the reason I do what I do. We are incredible creatures. There is nothing like us (as far as I know). It makes me realize how similar we all are. We all have emotions, feelings, moments, life, death, etc. Capturing life as it is is truly euphoric. The fact that I am literally stopping time for others to reminisce on later is demanding yet humbling at the same time.

Is there a lesson you learned the hard way early on that has shaped the way you work today?
ALWAYS write to two memory cards. If you don’t have a camera with two card slots, go buy one. Now. Do not risk it. Cards corrupt all the time, and the one time you think it won’t happen, it will. At least that’s how it was for me. So don’t risk it. Don’t shoot a one time event with a one-time card. Seriously, it’s dumb.

Is there a specific piece of gear or technique that helps you achieve your style? 
I love shooting at f/2.2 – f/2.5 pretty consistently (unless it’s a large group portrait, then I stop down more to make sure everyone is in focus). But I love the bokeh it creates, and I feel like that has really been my style for the last 2 years or so. And I like it, and my clients seem to like it, so I’m gonna keep doing it :)

What’s the most memorable moment from photographing Brad and Katelyn’s wedding?
All the love surrounding them was impeccable. It was intimate and so many moments were happening around me that I wanted to capture. They are clearly so loved and it was an honor to witness such an amazing celebration.

But I will say that when the confetti cannons went off and most of us weren’t prepared for how loud they would be, that was probably the most memorable because the whole room was scared sh*tless, but it was THE BEST.

What was it like photographing a photographer’s wedding?
Honestly, it was nerve wracking at first, but I soon realized that this is my craft and I have done a ton of weddings so I GOT THIS. So I quickly got over it and just did my thing like I always do :)

What goals do you have for your photography/business/career and how do you plan on achieving them?
I want to travel a lot for weddings and experience the world all while photographing an incredible and one-time event in people’s lives. To travel and get paid for it at the same time is a dream. Other than that, my immediate goals are to redo my website, rebrand, get up to date with blogging, and streamline my workflow in a way that makes sense for me and my business.

What advice would you give to someone who is choosing a wedding photographer?
Always ask to see full galleries. Not just one, but a few. What people show on social media and their website can differ immensely from what they are actually delivering to their clients. It is a completely normal question to ask a photographer, and if they don’t oblige to that request, that might be a red flag.

Pay attention to the market and how much most photographers are. You are really risking it by getting a “budget photographer.” Granted, everyone starts somewhere (like I did), however, having bad photos will most likely be your biggest regret of your wedding if you go with a novice photographer.

Lastly, meet you photographer before hiring them! It is SO SO important that you vibe well with your photographer. They will be with you (and in your face) the whole day. If you don’t feel comfortable with them or feel like you can’t be yourself with them, then the photos and the wedding day are really shot to hell at that point. The real you will (and should) come out in your photos on your wedding day and your engagement session if you feel comfortable with your photographer. To me, this is super duper important and mandatory. It’s like a therapist or a doctor; if you don’t feel comfortable with them or don’t vibe with them, they will not be offended if you don’t keep going to them. For me, same goes for couples that I meet with.

As someone who has attended many many weddings, what advice would you give to a couple who is approaching their wedding day?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. You won’t remember it anyway.

Be present, the day flies by faster than you can imagine.

Get as many helping hands as you can (friends, vendors, whoever) so that you are able to be as present as possible and slow down as much as possible.

Hydrate!

EAT.

Take a shot with your bridal party (if you’re into that)!

Make sure you have a timeline set at least a month in advance. Whether it’s with your photographer or your planner, have one. Even if it’s a rough draft.

Most of all, HAVE FUN. Be positive. The small things like the wrong color napkins or missing a decorative sign in the end won’t matter. What matters is you found your life-long person, and you are there to celebrate, so do it. Enjoy it. Enjoy the people you invited. Don’t fret over the things that are missing or wrong.

Would you like to share some of your favorite photos that aren’t from my wedding so Scott’s readers can see how awesome you are no matter who you’re working with?
Well, if you insist!

You can see more of Hannah’s work at HannahLeighImagery.com, and keep up with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

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