I've had the privilege of working recently with wedding photographer Alyssa Valletta on some personal and professional projects. She photographed by best friend's wedding last summer and shot the Bloomsbury Farm Elopement styled shoot I blogged about earlier this week! To me, her work is organically pretty, very natural, and just simply lovely. I love getting to know other young creative-industry professionals, since I feel like we have so much to learn from each other and there's nothing quite like that kind of camaraderie. Here's a little Q&A for your reading delight! :)
How would you describe your photography style? What media do you like to work with, how would you classify your work?
My work is artistic, but simple, and utilizes mostly natural light. I shoot mainly weddings and portraits, and I’m working on narrowing down my business to just those two categories of photography. I only want to shoot what I am best at and love the most. I shoot mostly digital, but I have fallen in love with film in the last year and am gradually incorporating that into my work now. I keep my photo processing very minimal--I try to let my images speak for themselves, and not let the editing style overpower them.
What is your ideal client like, and what is your ideal BRIDE like (if your ideal client is not a bride, per se)?
I just wrote out an “ideal client” list the other day actually! My ideal client, whether she is a bride or not, is someone who is creative, appreciates art, appreciates film, is laid-back and relaxed, loves to travel, and enjoys the little (or maybe big) joys in life like Nutella, real parmesan cheese, rain boots and cozy days spent with warm sweaters, a huge cup of tea, and a good book.
My ideal bride would be a someone who loves pretty things that are not overdone, loves beautiful floral arrangements of any sort, and loves lace, chiffon, and other flowy fabrics. She loves the word lovely. She chooses wedding music and other details of the day based on what is really meaningful to her and her fiancé. (The music part is especially important because...well...there are few things worse than a wedding reception with music that no one wants to dance to!) She plans her day so that she won’t hurry through it, but will soak in every moment of this extremely special day and just enjoy every second of it. She is also not afraid to look completely ridiculous on the dance floor!
My ideal client in any situation trusts me as a photographer--my creative ability, my experience, my technique--this client trusts that I know when to click the shutter and when not to, when to direct and pose, and when to just let the moment unfold naturally.
I hope to gain your trust right away with our first phone call, email, or meeting. My goal is to create images that reflect who you are just as much as who I am as an artist, and your trust and faith in me as a photographer helps me get there.
Where are your favorite locations to shoot?
Basically, anywhere with great lighting, and generally simple backgrounds. I want the subject to be the focal point of the image, not a busy background or unflattering lighting. There is nothing wrong with your backyard or dining room if those areas offer wonderful lighting and work well with the feel of the session.
For weddings venues, so far I have really enjoyed shooting at Hachland Hill Farm, Traveller’s Rest, and the Scarritt-Bennett Center. Every location I’ve been to has been beautiful, but those are just some of my favorites. There are also so many beautiful churches here in the Nashville area--it’s always a plus if they have some great window light.
Is there anything clients can intentionally do or prepare to enhance their experience working with you?
As far as weddings go, I like to be very involved in the scheduling process of the day. I want to have plenty of time planned for all the important parts of the day, making sure they flow well together. I think it is vital to make photography part of your planning--I’m not just there to document your day, merely capturing what’s happening. I’m there to be a part of your day, involved with your story, and making pieces of art out of one of the most important and memorable days of your life. (That might sound super cliché, but it’s so true!)
Are there any locations you're dying to shoot at? Or wedding looks, etc?
I would honestly love to shoot a sunrise wedding. I saw one on Green Wedding Shoes once and just loved it! I would like to shoot an intimate, smaller wedding or an elopement--I think smaller events are so personal and definitely out of the ordinary.
I would love to shoot a wedding overseas--especially in France, Belgium, or somewhere in the UK. I’d also love to shoot a wedding on the west coast here in the states--it seems like every wedding out there is just amazingly unique and gorgeous!
Something your potential clients probably don't know about you?
I have not been interested in photography my whole life. I really started to enjoy it my senior year in high school, then my freshman year of college I didn’t focus on it much. I still enjoyed photography, but I was just pursuing other things more. Then suddenly God put the idea in my very stressed-out-about-school brain to transfer to a different school and pursue it. I did, and everything fell into place REALLY fast, and now here I am! I can’t explain how or why it happened this way, except that it was His plan for me the whole time. A couple of years ago if you had told me I’d be running this business now, I would’ve laughed out loud!
Photography has brought me so much joy and so many opportunities in the past few years, and the fact that I get to make art in this way for a living just amazes me. It’s especially a blessing to me that I get to photograph couples on their first day as a married couple--it’s so beautiful and truly means a lot to me.
Any dates you're hoping to fill this year?
I’d love to start booking some late summer and fall weddings! My schedule is getting pretty full through early summer, but I’d love to start booking some weddings later in 2013. Nashville is especially gorgeous in the fall and is one of my favorite times of year to shoot--so don’t hesitate to contact me about your wedding if you feel like I would be a good fit.