We’re kicking off a new series this week! We have many talented wedding professionals who help contribute to our blog and we want to show our appreciation with a series of spotlight posts. These spotlight posts will give you a chance to get a glimpse into their life and love for weddings. Enjoy!
Tell us about yourself and your company.
I am a wedding and portrait photographer specializing in lifestyle and photojournalistic style images. I started shooting weddings in 2009 and since then have shot over 70 weddings in the MD/DC/VA area and nationally. My background is in liberal arts which I find to be the perfect foundation for being able to think creatively and critically as I tell a story visually. During slow season I spend my time reading, thrifting, and going to drive-in movies with my husband.
How did you find yourself in the wedding industry?
When I started photography I didn’t really think about what kind I wanted to do, I naturally gravitated toward photos with people in them – weddings opportunities kept popping up and I was just glad to have a chance to use my camera with people other than my long suffering family and friends. It turned out weddings were perfect for me, I love every aspect of it – the challenge of fluctuating schedules, how it encompasses every type of photography, and most of all the amazing emotions that accompany a wedding day, few other events are so important and I love being there for that.
Photo Credit: Sarah Culver Photography
What inspires you or your work?
I am a huge reader – of books and blogs. I thumb through every Anthropologie catalogue for direct visual inspiration, and I also take my time reading novels, classic works, and articles that make me think about what my priorities are, and how I see life. It doesn’t seem obvious, but everything contributes to photography – a good talk with a friend as much as looking through Sally Mann’s family portraits. So everything!
What’s your favorite part about a wedding?
The vows. When my husband and I were married we felt that the whole thing really revolved around the vows, what we were promising to each other. So we took our time writing them, printed them out for every guest to follow along as we said them, and we keep them handy to refer back to now many years down the road in our marriage. I love a good party, and a pretty dress, but I believe the most important and beautiful thing about the wedding is the vows that commit you to each other.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your field?
Be anal/organized first. Think through every scenario, be prepared for every contingent, have equipment for anything you might encounter, arrive 2 hours early. Then once you start – relax and enjoy the flow and the energy of the event, as long as the vows are said everything else is good.
Photo Credit: Sarah Culver Photography
What do you love about working weddings?
No two weddings are ever the same. It’s always a fresh challenge. Plus everyone is always so happy and they look amazing.
A good piece of advice for brides and/or grooms to be:
I have a few pieces of advice, based on my own experience being a bride and as a vendor at many weddings
- Have someone gently let you know what time it is throughout the day – not to stress you out, but just to make sure that you’re on track for that schedule you carefully planned. You’ll be in such a happy daze the minutes will fly by and you won’t realize! I learned this the hard way as I was about an hour late to start my photos at my own wedding, I was just in my own little blissed-out world.
- Delegate – everyone loves to help with a wedding, it’s a way that they can show that they love you.
- Plan some time during the reception for you and your spouse to connect – whether it’s an extra little sunset photo session with the photographer or a quiet few moments alone surrounding signing the marriage certificate. It’s easy to get so caught up in the friends and family that are there to party with you, and at the end of the night you realize you hardly saw each other – so make space for that.
- Start a little notebook with a list of the things that you love about each other – everything from his honesty to his deep and abiding devotion to Wikipedia trails. When either of you are feeling down on yourself, or things are hard between you, it’s so good to have a list of a hundred reasons and growing why you want to be together.
Sarah Culver Photography is a talented member of the Charm City Wed Collective.
Awesome!! great advice for couples! it’s so nice to hear about it from someone who has been on both sides of a wedding day – not just as the photographer.
What a delight to glimpse the human behind the camera. Sarah Culver’s gentle approach and wise comments burst forth into her photos. Thank you for a chance to meet these photographers.