Today’s wedding photographer interview is with Liv Lyszyk, Owner of Liv Lyszyk Photography, based in Grand Rapids, MI! Enjoy:

Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.

I’m a 20-something wedding and portrait photographer based in West Michigan but LOVE to travel! I just graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design with a Bachelor’s degree in Photography. I specialize in LGBTQ+ couples and couples who celebrate diversity and inclusion. My favorite things to do are watch The Office, drink iced coffee, and hang out with my partner.

Read the full interview after the cut!

How did you get into wedding photography?

I took an art class my freshman year of high school with an incredible teacher who really opened my eyes to the possibilities of art careers. I had always loved taking photos and after enrolling in a photography class where I learned both darkroom and digital techniques I was hooked. I fell into the classic pull of higher education and enrolled at Kendall College of Art and Design. I was lucky enough to have quite a few scholarships which made this possible. During my time at Kendall I realized that the commercial side of photography was what pulled me in, and I began teaching myself wedding photography. I made connections, marketed myself, and began booking! Once I started it became a passion and one could say an obsession, and here I am!

What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?

First looks are the most magical part of the day, along with parent dances. First looks are so special and I love taking a few moments out of the busy day for the couple to relax with each other, and the emotions I’m able to capture are stunning. Parent dances always feel so sentimental and I’m almost always tearing up behind my camera.

What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?

I think it had to be when a band played “when a man loves a woman” at a lesbian wedding. That moment solidified my passion for inclusion and intentional education on the nuances of working with the LGBTQ+ community.

What is your favorite venue and why?

I LOVE greenhouse venues, as well as industrial loft style venues. I’ve shot at the Downtown Market and The Cheney Place in Grand Rapids, MI and both are incredible. I also love small backyard weddings, basically anywhere that has a connection with the couple is always so special.

Nikon or Canon?

Nikon. Always.

What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?

Italy. Or Joshua Tree. Both cliche, but both gorgeous, and I love Italy!

If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?

Probably Ellen and Portia, or the Obamas! Both are inspirations of mine and I think I’d pee my pants most likely.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?

Hard work pays off more than anything. No one gets to where they are by sitting on their butts. I’ve learned that I’m the only one responsible for my success, and while that’s a lot of pressure, it also is what motivates me the most. I wouldn’t be where I am without the hours and hours of time I’ve spent both on and in my business.

What tips or advice can you give to couples who are looking to hire a photographer to cover their big day?

Find someone who gets you. Photographers are wedding planners, dress fluffers, tie tiers, shoulders to cry on, and the people you’ll spend the most time with other than your spouse. It’s crucial to find someone who gets your humor, is able to be professional, but also feels like a friend.

Thanks, Liv! For more information about Liv Lyszyk Photography, please visit her WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to her website.

Do you have any questions or comments for Liv? Add them to the comments below!