Anna Delores Photography “Artist Interview”
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How did you get started in your profession?
I’ve always loved photography; my first camera was a purple plastic Kodak with 110 film. I got more serious about photography as a possible profession after college, and explored fine art photography for a couple of years before deciding to try my hand at weddings. I had a “crash course” in the world of wedding photography from Mark and Candice Brooke and even assisted them with a few weddings as a second shooter. I immediately fell in love with the experience of being a wedding professional, and to merge that with my passion for photography was a pretty logical career move for me. And here I am!
Do you consider what you do as an art form?
To an extent, yes. It’s easy to find someone who knows how to use a camera, technically-speaking. If you’re looking for someone who knows how to use a camera, that’s not the same as finding a wedding photographer whose vision for memories of your wedding day align with your own.
For a photographer to have a creative eye that speaks to the bride and groom as a couple is, to me, what finding a wedding photographer is all about. Yes, that photographer should also be proficient in technical knowledge of his/her equipment! But that’s only half the battle. There are various styles of photography. No two photographers will walk away from any given scene or moment with the exact same image. Photography can be an expression of the way the person wielding the camera sees the world, and every photographer is peering through that viewfinder with a unique perspective and creative vision unlike anyone else’s.
If I can create an emotional connection with someone through an image, I feel confident that I’ve done my job well.
Who or what continues to inspires you?
This is going to sound very cliché and cheesy, but the beauty of everyday life inspires me. The way late-afternoon sunshine creates a glow around a person’s silhouette can definitely inspire me. Sun flare in my lens makes me happy. The fact that couples select me to document the most important day of their lives is incredibly humbling, and that REALLY inspires me to improve my skills, both technical and creative, to produce imagery that will help couples enjoy the memories of their wedding day for the rest of their lives. It’s a big responsibility and when someone chooses Anna Delores Photography for their wedding, I’m truly honored. It motivates me to learn more about them as a couple and as individuals, to investigate the details of their venue, and to uncover the unique details about their wedding that makes the celebration extra-special. Weddings themselves are an inspiration!
What makes your business unique?
I think every photography business is unique for the reasons I mentioned in describing photography as an art form: “No two photographers will walk away from any given scene or moment with the exact same image. Photography can be an expression of the way the person wielding the camera sees the world, and every photographer is peering through that viewfinder with a unique perspective and creative vision unlike anyone else’s.”
I love to look at old photographs and wonder about the people in them, what their lives were like, what happened to them on the day the photo was taken, what they were thinking. As a wedding photographer, I get to create images that tell those stories. My goal is for the collection of candid, romantic, documentary-style photographs that Anna Delores Photography ultimately presents to a couple to be worthy of family heirloom.
Also, Anna Delores Photography is unique because I sincerely adore weddings. I usually cry during the couple’s first dance. Luckily, my camera is in front of my face to hide the fact that I’m tearing up! Weddings are jam-packed with emotion, romance, intricate details, family dynamics, traditions, crazy dancing, delicious food… all these components come together in a way that requires a wedding photographer to be flexible, energetic, responsive, and alert, and this is a challenge I genuinely relish at each and every wedding I shoot. I love getting to know the couples I work with and I’m so honored to spend this incredibly important day with them.
How would you describe your ideal couple?
I think every photographer’s ideal couple are those to whom photography is a high priority in their wedding day budget and planning! I think a bride and groom who care about photography in general are more likely to get excited about their wedding day images.
More specifically, my ideal couple are getting married in a unique location, and have put a lot of thought into the details of the decor and personal touches of their wedding celebration. My ideal couple will have an outdoor ceremony with lovely natural light, and are hopefully okay with me moving around a lot at the ceremony to get as many great shots as possible!
I also LOVE it when couples order albums — albums are so, so fun to put together, and I think seeing the images printed on pages and having something tangible to look at is a special experience; an album can evoke memories of the wedding day that are somehow not as profoundly communicated through digital imagery.
What’s your personal business philosophy?
To do the right thing, and to always do my best.
Favorite part of a wedding?
I LOVE when a bride and groom decide to do a “first look,” which is when they see each other before the ceremony. I find it’s a more intimate experience than seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony itself, in front of all their guests! That way, they can cry and hug and talk about the excitement of the day (and probably calm their nerves a bit!) before walking down the aisle and going right into the formal ceremony.
I also have a major sweet tooth, so I’m always excited when they cut the cake. 🙂
Why do you… do what you do?
It’s pretty simple, and I guess a pretty bland answer as a result: I LOVE photography. I LOVE weddings. I know we tend to toss around the word “love” sometimes in relation to activities and interests, but really, I am very passionate about creating photographs, documenting important moments, and using my camera to make memories last. And weddings are just so pretty and so romantic! I am definitely a hopeless romantic, and weddings are the ultimate celebration of love, commitment, tradition, and the joy of being together. I’m also a very visual person, and all the lovely details of someone’s wedding day always delight me! Seriously!
What question do you always ask the Bride & Groom?
I ask them how they want to remember their wedding day. I take whatever answer they give me and I, in turn, work really, really hard to capture the spirit of their wedding via imagery. I also want to talk to the bride and groom about the candid, spontaneous nature of their wedding day — I don’t like to force a lot of stiff, unnatural posing so I stay away from it as much as possible, but still give the couple some direction, if needed, to make their photos something special. If that’s the kind of photographer they’re looking for, then I’m excited to work with them.
Off The Wall, FUN… Questions
First music album you ever bought?
No Doubt, “Tragic Kingdom.” My first concert was also to see No Doubt.
Favorite movie or documentary?
“Love Actually” is an all-time favorite — it just makes me feel GOOD! I can’t help but smile throughout the entire movie.
Song that makes you want to dance like nobody’s watching?
I’m really more of a “sing like nobody’s listening” kind of girl. I’ll belt out Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You Been Gone” like nobody’s business.
How do you normally begin your day?
With lots of coffee! I’m a big coffee drinker. I either head to Starbucks or hit up my Keurig before even stepping foot into my office.
What do you enjoy doing on your day off?
What day off? I really do work at least a little bit every day of the week! BUT if I’m allowing myself some extra downtime, I love to nap. I sleep more than anyone else I know. My bed is just my favorite place to be! Instant relaxation, especially when my dogs are there to cuddle with me.
Do you collect anything?
Magnets. I buy refrigerator magnets from every city I visit.
Tell us about your first job?
When I was sixteen, I got a job at The Limited Too (I don’t even know if they still exist!); it’s a retail store that sells girls’ clothing (it was originally meant to be a “mini-me” version of The Limited). I worked there for about six months; the store was at our local shopping mall when I was in high school. I remember I could buy some of the clothing there at the time (girls’ sizes 14–16) and I really wish I could still do that, haha!
What would you say is your greatest accomplishment?
Passing my college statistics course. Really! Also, any and every wedding I photograph. I feel extremely fulfilled when I deliver that final collection of images to a bride and groom, and they call or e-mail me to tell me how much they love their photos. The best feeling ever!
How do you sign off on emails?
Best wishes, Emily
If you moved to a foreign country, which one & why?
I’ve always loved the city of Paris, but I don’t speak French, so it would probably be more practical for me to go to England or Canada. I think I’d really love Australia, too!
If you were an animal, what would you be?
Probably a dog. Hopefully a very spoiled, well-loved, inside-the-house dog! A good friend of mine has two boxers, and the rest of my friends and I would always joke that if we had to come back as an animal in another life, we’d want to be “one of Jake’s dogs” because he treated them so well! Organic food, daily trips to the dog beach, comfy beds, a big backyard, and lots of love and attention.
If you were in a band, what instrument would you play?
I used to be in a band! Well, full disclosure: it was marching band. I was a percussionist; I played the keys (marimba, xylophone), snare drum, and the tenor drums at different points throughout high school. I also play the piano and a teensy bit of guitar. If I were to be in a rock band, I’d want to play drum set, hands down.
Ok, tell us your Nickname(s)?
Emmy, Emmy-Lou, Emma, Em-Lee, Emilia
Tell us one thing few people know about you?
I hate washing my hair. Actually, the washing isn’t the part I hate — it’s the styling afterwards. I am SO lazy about my hair! Lucky for me, it’s naturally wavy, so if I don’t feel like blow-drying or straightening it, I can work in a little bit of mousse and I’m good to go. I LOVE to get a hair cut because it means someone else is washing and styling my hair for me.
Wedding trend that your loving right now?
Mismatched bridesmaids dresses. If it’s done right, it’s an incredible look, and your bridesmaids REALLY WILL wear their dresses again!
Wedding trend that will hopefully be out next year?
Mason jars. I love mason jars, but I think they’ve run their course in the wedding world.
Read the book or watch the movie?
I WANT to say “read the book,” because the book is always better than the movie! But the truth is that I’m more likely to watch the movie.
Stranded on a desert island… list three things you’d bring with you?
My camera, my dogs, and my journal (if I bring a pen too, does that count as four things?)
Tell us your favorite song or band (new or old)… right now?
I really love The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey”; I know it’s been out for awhile now and people are getting sick of it, but I still turn up the radio when it comes on.
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” –George Bernard Shaw
What chore do you absolutely HATE doing?
Any type of yard work!
What sound do you love?
My dogs’ footsteps on the hardwood floor. The sound of the dishwasher running while I’m falling asleep (I think it’s a childhood comfort thing). Windchimes in the backyard.
If and when it happens… what do you want people to remember you bye?
I hope people remember me for being compassionate and helpful. Sometimes couples I work with tell me that I made the process of engagement and wedding photos an easy, painless one, and I guess if I can be remembered for having a personality and mannerisms that put other people at ease, that would be a good thing.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
A wedding photographer. Or a veterinary assistant — I love dogs. Or a writer.
What would you title the autobiography of your life?
“It Isn’t Courage if You’re Not Scared.”
What was the last Movie, TV show or Book that made you cry?
I am going to sound so lame, but I cried over a Grey’s Anatomy episode a few weeks ago. The characters rename the (fictional) hospital on the show after two characters that died during the previous season, and that totally made me cry.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?
Ending a romantic relationship is always a pretty hard decision! I’ve had to do that a couple of times in my life, and it’s always a really difficult experience.
What do you miss most about being a kid?
Not having to watch what I eat, or worry about exercising. And not having to worry about money!
What’s in the top 5 of your bucket list?
1. Visit every country in the world at least once.
2. Go sky-diving.
3. Plan my own wedding.
4. Write and publish a novel.
5. Own a BMW.
Tell us something you learned last week?
How to load medium-format film!
At What age did you really become an adult?
Where do you see yourself (or business) in the near future?
Honestly, if I can keep going in the same direction I’m headed now, I’ll be a happy camper! I’m about to move into a studio space with a few other wedding vendors, so I’m excited to fill our space with furniture and lots of love. I’m really happy with the number of weddings I’m photographing this year, so I hope to keep it up!