We have the privilege to chat with and pick the mind of local photographer, Marissa Wiley. Marissa will take us through her creative process and give us tips on how to become more confident and more relaxed in front of the camera, and then she will share what she enjoys most about photography and photographing and documenting special occasions.
Best tips for an introvert to do to become more comfortable in front of the camera?
For me, it is all about the interaction between you and your person. It isn’t about awkward poses or doing things that don’t feel natural to your relationship. The best images from your engagement session or wedding day are the ones that you are genuinely acting yourself – so do that. Be goofy, tell jokes, snuggle, laugh….I promise it will be way more fun and enjoyable than you think!
How would you describe your style?
EPIC! Kidding but not really….In terms of editing style, you have likely heard buzz words like “dark and moody” or “light and airy”…Well, I am what happens when these two editing styles make a baby. I love a dynamic range of rich, true to life color, with the most buttery backgrounds and gorgeous sharp focus in your images. I want you to look at your images to look timeless, not the next big fad in photography editing.
Now in terms of shooting style, I’m here for the good good kind of interaction. The kind that is true to you and your person…to you and your people. My style is photojournalistic in nature, meaning, I am here to document the reality and beauty of the moments. I want you to be you, because that is when the magic happens!
Do you provide a shot list for couples to fill out?
Of course I do! Over the years, I have talked to many couples that share that other photographers never mention assistance in building a formal shot list. I have a standard list that I send out to my couples, and I ask that they share the list with each side of their families. It isn’t just about capturing candids throughout the day, its documenting beautiful portraits of you and your people that you can hold onto for forever.
How do you feel about Engagement session?
Engagement sessions are the perfect opportunity for you and your photographer to work together before your wedding. For couples, it will be time that you get to see how your photographer works and interacts with each of you. For your photographer, it is ideal to photograph you so that they can see how you communicate with your person, how you show affection, how to make you laugh, and how to make sure you look your best in front of the camera!
What is your favorite part of the Wedding day?
Gosh – this is tough! I love seeing the bridal look come together when the bride puts on her dress with her best gals there…I love documenting a first look between a father and daughter or the bride and the groom…I can’t help but cry along with you as I watch the father daughter dance or Wobble with you and your guests during the reception. It isn’t just one moment that is my favorite, it is a collection of moments that make the story of the day so beautiful!
How do you deal with Ceremony locations that don’t let photographers get too close to the couple during the ceremony?
Great question! Unfortunately, we run into this issue more often than you would think. The first step is having a photographer that has the proper gear. For me, I have a zoom lens that works well if I have to stay positioned towards the back of a church or sanctuary. I also make sure to connect with the on-site coordinator, priest, preacher, etc. to be sure that I know and understand the rules, while also letting them know that my main goal is to document the wedding day for the bride and the groom!
Do you have a second shooter?
I have four collections that I offer, of which, three include a second shooter. I contract competent second shooters that provide a different perspective and helps to enhance your gallery. If I am documenting the big stories, like the family formals or intimates with the bride and groom, I ask my second shooter to document the small (but still so important) stories, like mingling at the cocktail hour, catch your best friend wiping a tear, or your parents enjoying chats with close family and friends!
Do you do more than shoot Weddings?
While focusing on documenting couples is my favorite, I do offer event, branding, family, and senior photography!
You are paying for over 10 years of experience with Marissa, with a system in place to make sure you don’t have to worry on your day, and who doesn’t hire random second shooters off a facebook group (not about that life); the quality of the gear she owns and maintains, the time it takes to produce quality edits, and the personality of someone who puts their heart and soul into making sure your wedding day is the best it possibly can be.