Today’s wedding photographer interview is with Laura Neff of Laura Lee Photography, based in Warwick, NY! Enjoy:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.
Hey friends! I’m Laura of Laura Lee Photography and I’ve been photographing adventurous, fun-loving couples since 2013! My favorite thing in life is sitting out by my fire-pit with a glass of Riesling and a s’more in hand with friends and family surrounding me. I’m rarely ever found without a warm blanket wrapped around me, and if my wallet didn’t frown upon it, I’d probably buy everything in Anthropologie Home and Free People. I’m completely obsessed with traveling, going on adventures, and elephants, and actually foster one named Kamok in Kenya!
Read the full post after the cut!
I am a lover of all things outdoorsy: mountains, lakes, forests, beaches, cliffs, you name it. I love hiking, paddle-boarding, scuba-diving, skiing and kayaking, amongst many other things and actually became cool enough to rock-climb this year. (Only once—but hey, gimme a break!) I feel extremely lucky to have found the love of my life, Scott, when we were studying abroad in Copenhagen, and we now spend our days dreaming up our next adventure! I love photographing wedding for outdoorsy loving couples like myself that are completely obsessed with travel, adventure, and the love of their life.
How did you get into wedding photography?
So, fun story. My mom was a photographer back when I was born and actually had an in home studio and a dark room when I was really little. (She’s still a photographer!) I grew up crawling around the dark room and always had a camera around my neck on vacations (starting at age 2- maybe even younger!). When I was a freshman in high school, I attended my cousin’s wedding and everyone was just SO HAPPY. I said after that day that specifically, I wanted to be a wedding photographer because I’d be able to be around happy people all the time, and I was right! A few months after graduating college (I went for Interior Design- not photography) I photographed my first wedding and the rest was history! I loved it just as much as I dreamt I would!!
Oh gosh. I guess I’d have to say Bride and Groom portraits, and the moment that the bride and groom walk down the aisle as husband and wife for the first time. And first looks of all kinds! With the bride and groom, with the parents, grandparents, bridesmaids, you name it. I just love photographing reactions to these moments!! And love getting to spend time with just the bride and groom for their portraits and watching them love each other. It’s the best.
Well, I don’t really wanna call out awkward moments and call anyone out… so I’ll tell ya some funny ones and crazy things. Funny: the ring bearer peeing in the bushes as we were taking family formals – the image of this is now in his parents bathroom! Craziest? Tied for bridesmaids injuries… one accidentally walked into a chandelier in the hotel room and it shattered everywhere, and one spilled the steamers near boiling water all over her leg and all her skin came off… so watch out!
What is your favorite venue and why?
AH! I have two, and they’re super different styles. 1. ) Red Maple Vineyard- I actually have my first wedding there coming up soon, but did an engagement session there and cried of joy when I pulled up. There are so many incredible locations from the vineyards, to the hilltop, to the gardens. It has so much character and the views are just stunning! Not to mention it’s family owned and farm to table and they are just the sweetest! 2. ) Hamilton Farm Golf Club. Any time an inquiry comes in for there, I get so so giddy! I love everything about this old mansion. THe golf course views, the stunning prep locations, the gardens, the architecture, the grand staircase, the wallpaper. It’s STUNNING!
What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?
Somewhere in the Alps, or Copenhagen, or New Zealand. I have a longggg list. Locally though? Cedar Lakes Estates- that would be a dream.
Can it be fake TV life? Hands down Jim and Pam from the Office. I’d love to hang out with them for a day. But for real people… I don’t really idolize anyone specifically, but I think Sam Hunt is pretty awesome and photographing Sam Hunt & Hannah Lee Fowler’s hometown wedding in Georgia probably would have been really awesome.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?
Always bring a smile. Your energy on a wedding day can make or break everyone else’s mood. If you’re happy and calm, others will follow suit. If you’re stressed and frazzled, it will show and others will be too! Always bring a smile, be kind to EVERYONE you meet, and treat everyone like they’re you’re next client- maybe they will be!
What tips or advice can you give to couples who are looking to hire a photographer to cover their big day?
Don’t simply look at style and price when you’re searching for your photographer. I actually think the most important thing is your relationship with them- if you don’t vibe with them, this could really effect your wedding day! You spend more time with your photographer than you do with your spouse on your wedding day, so choose wisely and make sure you do a video chat or in person meeting to make sure you get along great! IN my opinion, they should feel like a friend, so you can be comfortable around them on the biggest day of your life.
Thanks, Laura! For more information about Laura Lee Photography, please visit her WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to her website.
Do you have any questions or comments for Laura? Add them to the comments below!