Today’s wedding photographer interview is with Alli McWhinney Photography, based in Michigan! I’m loving the brightness and colors in all her images. Enjoy the interview:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company
Hi, I’m Alli – and photography is the way I see the world. I started Alli McWhinney Photography in 2009 and have loved every minute of it! I feel so fortunate to have a job I love, and to get to photograph people on what is usually the most important day of their life. This job has given me opportunities I never could have dreamed of, allowed me to connect with so many wonderful people, and has led to really great friendships! When I am not shooting weddings, you can find me hanging out with my husband and my two awesome cats!
How did you get into wedding photography?
My photography journey started in high school when I took my first class and absolutely loved it. Because of that class, I got a job working at a local photography studio and enjoyed it thoroughly. I could not study photography in college (I played division 1 soccer and practice times conflicted with photography classes) so I decided to major in business instead. After college I attended law school. I took and passed the bar exam in Massachusetts and Michigan, and began my career in law. Despite working a full time job, I felt so connected to photography that I spent my weekends second shooting weddings – and loving every minute of it. That is when I realized how much happier I’d be as a photographer. With the support of my husband and family I left my law career and started Alli McWhinney Photography. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made and I could not be happier. Weddings have always been my favorite thing to photograph – I just can’t get enough!
What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?
There are two times of the wedding day that are my favorites. The first is while the bride is getting ready. She is filled with excitement and anticipation and those true emotions cannot be hidden. My second favorite time is when I get the couple alone together after their ceremony for portraits. There is something about being officially married that allows the couple to relax and truly be themselves. I love capturing their pure joy; it shows in their faces and body language, and makes for some beautiful imagery.
What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?
I don’t want to jinx myself or anything, but I can’t think of an awkward moment I have experienced. I am quite the planner so I like to get as much information before the wedding day as I can. That way I don’t put my foot in my mouth by calling someone the wrong name, or put anyone in an awkward family situation.
What’s the best thing you ever ate at a wedding?
The best thing I ever ate at a wedding was the skirt steak at a wedding in Puerto Rico I shot last fall. Those Puerto Ricans sure have some amazing food. It definitely hit the spot and gave me the energy to get through the night…with a little dancing too!
What is your favorite venue and why?
My favorite venue isn’t a specific place necessarily. I love a location chosen by the bride and groom that has special meaning to them, to which they feel connected. When they feel comfortable in the space they have chosen, they tend to just relax and have a good time instead of worrying about the little things.
Nikon or Canon?
I shoot Canon.
What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?
I would love to shoot weddings in Tuscany, Italy and Santorini, Greece. Those are two places I am dying to travel to, and what better excuse than to shoot a wedding there! In the US, I would love to shoot a wedding in California – I am always so jealous of the light there!
If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?
I would shoot the wedding of Jacqueline and John F. Kennedy. I love that their wedding was in New England (as I am from there) by the ocean. Also, Jacqueline’s wedding dress was so chic and beautiful. Plus they are a gorgeous and glamorous couple and would have been amazing to photograph!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?
The biggest lesson I have learned is to not be afraid to direct clients. They want to look amazing in front of the camera and are trusting you to help them do so. If the couple is in an awkward pose, direct them out of it. If there is a stray hair, take the time to fix it. Your clients will appreciate it, and it will save you time later when editing!
Thanks Alli! For more about Alli McWhinney Photography, check out her WeddingPhotoLove profile, or head straight to her website.
What do you think of her photography? Let us know below!