I first met Sarah with Hazelwood Photo last spring while working with her on a Butterfly Bride stylized shoot. As soon as I saw her photography, I fell in love! Sarah has a unique, vintage-style to her photo’s that are reminiscent of old photo’s my Grandma had tucked away in her albums. Nostalgic and dreamy, each photo begs you to look at more. We hope you enjoy learning more about Sarah and her style as much as we have! Hazelwood Photo on the web and Hazelwood Photo on Facebook
What is a typical day for you?
Preparing for a wedding day for me actually starts months before the actual wedding date. I spend that time communicating with the couple or their planner to work out the final details of their timeline and relaying everything to my second shooter so we are both on the same page. If it is a destination wedding, I usually arrive 1 or 2 days prior to the wedding date to scope out the venue and surrounding areas in order to find the most photogenic spots to shoot. On the big day I arrive before my scheduled start time so I can set up the reception lighting, get settled and make sure my couples have eaten a little something and are keeping hydrated.
Some of my favorite moments happen during the prep segment of the day when everyone is getting ready. During this time I stick to a documentary style of shooting and aim to capture candid moments that pass by in a blink of eye. Most couples choose to have a first look which is always exciting! I encourage this because it provides them more time to be with each other in the beginning of the day and it allows me to document this first meeting in a 360 degree perspective. Moving straight into couples portraits is a natural procession, but it’s crucial to leave time for all the fun bridal party shots before the ceremony. After the ceremony is the perfect time for formal group photos, then I try to steal the couple away around sunset for some romantic shots if possible. I keep in close communication with the planner and MC during the reception so I’m ready for all the events during the evening. Photographing a wedding is unlike any other type of photography. Crucial moments that cannot be replicated occur throughout the day and you have to be ready to shoot in a variety of lighting at a moment’s notice. After the wedding I immediately back up all the images on 3 different hard drives (2 at my home and 1 kept at separate location in case of fire.) Within 48 hours I always post a few sneak peeks on my Facebook page so the couple can have a little preview right away. On days when I’m not shooting weddings I spend time editing, creating galleries, designing albums, and ordering prints. When it’s all said and done I end up spending weeks on each wedding.
What project, event or moment are you most proud of?
I’m most proud when my couples tell me how blown away they are by their wedding gallery! I pour my heart and soul into each wedding because I know these images will be seen for generations to come. With that in mind, I approach my captures and editing from the perspective of telling their one of a kind wedding day story complete with all the tears, laughter and of course, those fun/silly moments. From a business perspective I am most proud of repeatedly being published in print and wedding magazines worldwide. I have had my work featured in a variety of well-known wedding blogs including Ruffled, Green Wedding Shoes and Brooklyn Bride to name a few. I’m also honored to have had one of my weddings selected for a wedding book titled “Would you marry me? – Wedding Design” set to be published next year!
What makes your work and/or your business unique?
I have a niche style of editing which is probably the most unique aspect of my business. My custom editing technique lends an heirloom quality to my work. Couples who book me absolutely love it because they are looking for something unique and a bit nostalgic. I am a strong supporter of marriage equality and look forward to documenting more and more same sex marriages. I am also moving towards becoming a more green business by offering my couples downloadable high resolution galleries in order to eliminate paper waste that comes with mailing DVD’s or thumb drives.
Name one of your favorite vendor sources that you couldn’t do without.
As a wedding photographer, one of the best things a couple can tell me is that they plan to hire a professional wedding planner. Planners make my job easier but more importantly; they contribute to a lower stress level for the couple the day of their wedding. It’s one of the most important days of a person’s life and should be spent in celebration not worrying if your flowers and cake are being delivered on time.
Where do you find inspiration?
One of the things about wedding photography that inspires me is the necessity of using what’s available in a creative way. I always take a good look around when I arrive on location to see what immediate resources are already there. For instance, I opened an armoire in order to photograph a gown last summer and noticed a discarded screen from a window sitting inside. I immediately picked it up and starting shooting the bride getting ready through this screen. It created a wonderful hazy/dreamy effect which turned out beautiful. In a general sense I am very much inspired by nature, romanticism and folklore. I also find architecture extremely inspiring! Oh, and let’s not forget Pinterest! See what inspires me here: http://www.pinterest.com/hazelwoodphoto/
Describe your client.
I tend to attract couples who place a high priority on their wedding photography. They are looking for a more vintage style of editing and more relaxed, natural images. Creating beautiful, unique images which showcase their love and personality are always my main objectives.
Thank you, Sarah! Your beautiful work truly speaks for itself – I could browse your photo gallery for hours!