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photographer

MELISSA CLAIRE PHOTOGRAPHY | MOST LOVED

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MELISSA CLAIRE PHOTOGRAPHY | MOST LOVED

Meet Melissa, the newest Coterie member and our most recent MOST LOVED!! We met Melissa at a Knot networking event over 2 years ago when Celebrate Dallas was just starting to set it roots in the community. She was wearing a black dress covered in constellations and planets and we just knew we'd found a kindred creative spirit in the sea of Dallas vendors. 

Read all about her photography journey and get to know Melissa a little more intimately on today's episode of CELEBRATE DALLAS' MOST LOVED!

Photo by Melissa Claire Photography
Photo by Melissa Claire Photography

What are five words (or a five word sentence that would describe you and/or your company the best?

Bold. Loving. Free-Spirited. Candid. Colorful.

Photo by Melissa Claire Photography

How did you get into photography? Was it always weddings?

I always knew I wanted to spend my life and career taking photos, so I studied fine art photography and received my Bachelor's Degree in 2010. After graduation, I honestly wasn't sure *what* exactly to do with my future. Luckily, a few wonderful photographers gave me guidance and let me shadow them at weddings, and I started second shooting a lot. I fell in love with weddings and am always grateful to have found a career that is both creative and service based!

Photo by Melissa Claire Photography

What’s your favorite moment of the wedding day to photograph?

Getting ready. From styling the details to capturing the candid anticipation of the day (even for myself), the first part of the day is a chance to slow down and be fully present while the rest of the wedding day is a joyful whirlwind. Another favorite is definitely the romantic bride and groom portraits!

Photo by Melissa Claire Photography

Have any tips for the camera shy brides and grooms out there?

Trust your photographer, and trust the process. It's our job to provide coaching/guidance and walk into any situation with confidence and direction!  Additionally, I would encourage brides and grooms to hire a photographer they like personally as we're right there with them the entire day.

Photo by Melissa Claire Photography

What’s your favorite local hangout?

I'm such a homebody, but I do love a good art exhibit! I'm always up for cocktails at Paschall's in Denton. And you can also find me at local music shows, since Nick (my husband and wonderful second shooter) plays in two Fort Worth based bands: Lindby and The Hendersons!

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MOST LOVED | CHELSEA Q. WHITE

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MOST LOVED | CHELSEA Q. WHITE

Happy Wednesday lovely people!! Today we're so excited to introduce you to Chelsea Q. White Photography, the newest member of the Celebrate Dallas' MOST LOVED vendor list!  Our friendor-ship developed from a shared connection on Instagram (isn't that how we all meet these days?) and after countless happy hour dates and dinners we finally collaborated for the first time last fall. Our autumnal bohemian photo shoot will be featured later this month on The Perfect Palette!

Chelsea's eye for design and composition is necessary for any couple who wants the perfectly captured wedding day. Her sweet smile and genuine personality are just a bonus! Read along to get to know her a little better! 

1. What are five words (or a 5 word sentence) that would describe you and/or your company the best?
Personal | Joyful | Genuine | Timeless | Real

2. How’d you get into photography? Was it always weddings?
I definitely share a similar beginning to a lot of photographers! I was always the one with a camera in my hand growing up. I learned photography on a film SLR camera in high school and developed my own film and prints in the darkroom. In my professional life, I started doing documentary and photojournalistic photography before I branched into weddings almost three years ago.

3. You shoot film + digital, right? How do they compare in your opinion?
Yes! And they don’t compare - ha! Film has a timeless, romantic quality that is so difficult to achieve with digital. There is a reason so many digital photographers try to emulate the look of film -- it’s just magical! Digital does have it’s place and it helps me in tricky lighting situations like dark churches and receptions. There are ways to get your digital to look like film and I’m always up for a challenge.

4. What’s your advice for the couple whose number one priority is having a fun wedding?
Hire vendors you trust and communicate with them A LOT before your wedding. If you take the time to insure everyone is on board with your vision and your priorities, you can rest easy on your wedding day and know your team is going to pull it off for you. But if they don’t know what’s important to you or don’t know what you want, you’re more likely to be stressed on your big day. Don’t feel like you’re asking too much or being naggy -- I’d rather over communicate with a bride than under communicate! Also, schedule way more time than you need in the pre-ceremony portion of your timeline.

5. How would you describe your wedding photography style or portfolio?
I’d say I fall into the fine art category of wedding photography. Fine art photography is often misunderstood but basically it means your photography and/or planner are going to be involved in styling details of your day, making sure everything looks cohesive, and that you are in beautiful environments where natural moments can unfold. It means we’re checking to make sure your hair is perfect and the photos of your grandmother’s broach are styled like a magazine. That’s not to say we don’t capture candid moments or let the day unfold organically but we do make sure all your images are clean, without clutter in the background, and timeless. I highly recommend fine art photographers for brides who love fashion, art, design, and culture. 

6. What's your favorite local [Dallas] hangout?
Oh gosh, there are so many! I love tacos and Topo Chico from Velvet Taco; a healthy pour of red wine and a charcuterie board at Times Ten Cellars. For craft beers and burgers, Liberty Burger is my jam. And you can’t beat the skyline view at HG Sply Co.

MORE INFO + INQUIRES
Chelsea Q. White Photography
Email | chelseaqwhite@gmail.com
Instagram | @chelseaqwhite
All photos by Chelsea Q. White Photography

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Tips | Choose a Wedding Photographer

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Tips | Choose a Wedding Photographer

Photography captures life's most unforgettable moments and allows us to relive all of the little snapshots in time that make up our entire lives! With that being said, choosing your wedding photographer is a big decision that requires ample time, thought and research. In compiling your wedding vendor list, it is imperative that you and your fiancée ask yourselves a few key questions to narrow down what is most important to you both when it comes to your photographer. Whether photography is an area in which you are willing to splurge a little or if it is an area of your spending that you really want to keep tight, find some time to delve deep into your research and keep these three super important factors in mind when choosing your wedding photographer: Style, Personality, and Pricing.

Photo |  A Sea of Love  behind-the-scenes at our  Paul Bunyan  inspired shoot

Photo | A Sea of Love behind-the-scenes at our Paul Bunyan inspired shoot

Style: Let's start with style, of course! The first question to ask yourself when compiling your list of possible photographers is: What kind of style do I want my wedding photos to reflect? Light and natural, romantic and moody, artsy and playful? Once you narrow down your preferred style, you can really begin to pinpoint photographers whose work embodies the style that you would like for your photos. Seasoned photographers will be able to capture many different moods and moments all in one wedding; however, you will notice that through their lens and editing, each photographer creates a style of their own that is very apparent and signature throughout the collection of their work. Choose one who you feel will capture the true essence of you and your fiancé and be able to tell your love story in a way that speaks to your beginning, present, and future as a couple.

Personality: And by this we mean, mesh with your photographer as well as you mesh with your best friend! We have seen so many of our clients become long time friends and supporters of their wedding photographer and it comes as no surprise seeing as the photographer is the vendor whom captures the essence of the couple. Once you have narrowed your possible photographer list down to serious candidates only, contact them to see if and when they can meet with you to discuss all of the details. Most photographers like to schedule in-person meetings and during that time you will be able to determine not only if their style and pricing/packaging are right for you, but if your personalities are a good fit for each other. After all, your photographer will be with you from beginning to end on your actual wedding day and you want to be sure that you enjoy their company. As a side note, one of the best tools to virtually meet your photographer is through their social media accounts! Browse through their websites and follow them on Facebook and Instagram to see all of their ongoing work and be able to pick up on their personality and style. This may seem like a no-brainier tip in today's world; however, social media connection can oftentimes allow you to narrow down your list to maybe even just one or two possible candidates because the constant outflow of content will allow you to know everything about a photographer before ever meeting with them in person. Plus, who doesn't love to browse through gorgeous wedding photos!

Pricing: Now as we stated before, it is important to decide where you can splurge a little and where you want to save. Some couples are not as enthusiastic about photography as others and may want to focus their attention on another aspect of the wedding. Whereas some couples may be willing to forgo or condense one thing so that they can hire the photographer of their dreams! Researching photography pricing in your local area or niche photography style is your best starting point. Whereas the national average for wedding photography nowadays is $2,814, it is important to consider your location, wedding date and wish-list. That being said, do as much research as possible online or via email before requesting to meet with your photographer in person. Once you schedule an in-person meeting, you are really beyond the big picture and now focusing on the little details of their pricing/packaging and the actual contract. Pricing and packages will include the time spent photographing on the actual wedding day in addition to things such as: a certain number of edited images, hard copy prints, online album access such as a Dropbox link, and so forth. Be sure to discuss all of these details with your wedding photographer and ask any questions that you may have via email or during your in-person meeting.

We hope this post provided some insight into choosing your wedding photographer! Keeping style, personality, and pricing in mind is imperative and can be helpful when choosing any and all of your wedding vendors, not just your photographer. You will undoubtedly spend lots of time researching, planning and preparing everything for your wedding and that is why Celebrate Colorfully is here to assist you in all of your wedding planning needs! Browse through our services and contact us today to begin planning the wedding of your lifetime! We wish you all a wonderful week filled with lots and lots of love and laughter...and until next time, CELEBRATE!

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Vendor Highlight | Wiler Photography

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Vendor Highlight | Wiler Photography

Happy hump day! We hope all of your summers are going well, ours is about to get busy busy busy with exciting new adventures and we sure can’t wait!

Today, I'd like to introduce you to Nadia from Wiler Photography! This girl and her husband, Luke, are truly so caring and always go full out to make sure the bride and grooms have the best photos and videos to remember such a special day.

We met Nadia through a friend and can’t believe how far her and Luke have come, from starting as a self-taught photographer and videographer to becoming an outstanding duo in the industry! Get to know them a little bit more below!

1. What are five words (or a 5 word sentence) that would describe yourselves and/or your company the best?

Always Doing More Than Expected!

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2. How did Wiler Photography come to be? Who is Wiler Photography?

We are a husband (Luke) and wife (Nadia) team known as The Wiler’s. We fell into the stress of planning our own wedding and along the way we had to meet with vendors of all types. It was the time for us to meet with wedding photographers and the process was one of the most challenging for us. We had champagne taste on a beer budget. We noticed that the photographers we liked and styles we loved were out of our price range and some of the people we were left with didn’t seem to care as much about our wedding as we did. It was stressful to say the least. After countless days of searching we found a photographer who was affordable but also had great photos to go with the price. We met with her and she was so easy going and it felt like we were talking to a friend and not just a stranger wanting our money. We walked away from that meeting saying how nice it would have been if others were more like that.

I was so involved with what I liked and didn’t like in photography and inspired by the photographer we just met. Luke said he could see me being a great photographer because I had such strong opinions and passion for great photos. When Luke gets his mind on an idea he runs wild with it. He spent the next month researching cameras, lenses and other equipment to give me everything I needed to get started. Meanwhile, I was becoming self-taught through “YouTube University” studying and learning everything I needed to know about cameras and photography.

Before we knew it, we had purchased our first camera and I started shooting and practicing every day. We could tell I was getting really good at this. I was so in love with it. My first wedding was a friend who invited us to be guests. I asked her if she would mind if I photographed her wedding just to practice. She was more than obliged to have me. At the end of the day, I had so much fun taking pictures at her wedding that I wanted to do more. I knew I wasn’t ready to tackle a whole wedding on my own yet. I needed more experience. As fate would have it, the photographer from my own wedding had recently posted online that she was looking for someone to 2nd shoot with her. I could not have called her any faster. Somewhere between July-October I had shadowed her and worked with her almost every weekend on a wedding. I asked for more experience and I got it!

My portfolio grew so quickly and I was having so much fun that my husband decided he wanted to get in on it with me. His interest however was in video. Of course his mind was set, and for the next month he was online, vigorously researching everything he needed to know about videography. Just as myself, he needed experience. At this time, I was booking entire weddings on my own for myself. Our first bride that Luke was able to shoot video for had no idea what she was actually getting. Luke was so excited and put everything he had into making his first video. The bride was blown away! It was more than what she imagined.

Between my photography, and his now video, we knew we had a winning combination. We were hooked! We have completely devoted ourselves to our work and we let the passion and excitement drive us. Our goal since having dealt with wedding planning on our own, was to remain ourselves. We wanted to come off as a friend and be honest about everything involved with our client’s weddings. We always do more than expected, because we love what we do and we want our clients to love us too.

3. How would you describe your wedding photography styles?

I like my style to reflect my clients. It’s not about me when I am photographing a bride or groom, it’s about them. I let my clients be themselves and in the process we get some great documentary, or lifestyle, type photos. My photos tend to be brighter and crisp, and in the industry my style is considered light and airy. I love the natural beauty of the daytime and I try to draw in as much light and happiness into my work. 

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4. What are your favorite local hangouts?

I don’t have a lot of favorite local hangouts, for me it’s more like local eatery’s. Nothing beats sipping a grapefruit mimosa, on the patio of East Hampton at the Shops of Legacy. Any place with a great patio, drink specials and delicious food is where you will likely find me.

5.     What’s your advice for the couple whose number one priority is having a fun wedding?  

My advice to a couple planning their wedding is one I was given before my wedding day. Don’t get carried away by what others would like or how others would feel. If you can find a way to remember that the day is about you and your fiancé, ignore everyone else and plan for yourself. Keep what’s important to you, and don’t worry about what other people may think or feel. In the long run, you will be thankful that you pleased yourself because your day only happens one time. Nobody will cherish those memories like you will so they are yours to make.

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We hope you enjoyed learning more about Nadia and Luke and a peek at their amazing work! We look forward to see all their new photos and videos from this busy summer season! 

Info + Inquires

Email | nadiawiler@gmail.com

Instagram | @wilerphotos

All photos from Wiler Photography & Films

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