Emilie Sommer, owner of Emilie Inc, is a fantastic photographer based in Portland, ME. We get to work with Emilie throughout the summer and are always excited when we get the chance to do so! Her work can be seen on her website and if you get a minute you should visit her beautiful studio- by appointment only :)
Here are a few of her favorite shots and enjoy the interview!
KP: What is your favorite part of the wedding process?
ES: I have always been starry-eyed about weddings. I love all the intricate details involved in planning, the warm fuzzy feeling about two people in love and freezing those moments in time in a photograph. It’s a contagious dancing-through-daisies kind of good feeling. My most favorite bit is the friendships formed with my clients. I truly feel a part of their celebration when their big day rolls around, as I make a point to get to know my brides and grooms well. I much prefer they consider me one of their friends, rather than hired help, on the most important day of their lives thus far.
KP: What do you love most about your job in the wedding industry?
ES: My background is in photojournalism. I worked as a photographer at USA Today and a photo editor at The Washington Post, among other papers, and was always against a deadline or elbowing other photographers for better position at an assignment on Capitol Hill. Now, as a business owner and the only invited photographer to a wedding, I feel a tremendous honor in capturing a couple's wedding day thoughtfully and with great attention to detail.
KP: What is the biggest misconception about your industry?
ES: That it's easy. There is a surge of new photographers in the market lately who have no prior experience but have simply picked up a digital camera and launched a website. I've seen a handful of folks succeed at this route, but most fail. I firmly believe a strong education of skills is necessary as a foundation first.
KP: How did you get into the wedding industry?
ES: As an editorial photographer, I used to scoff at the idea of photographing weddings. While I was living in Washington, DC, I photographed my cousin's wedding as a gift on the coast of Maine in 2001. And wouldn't you know, I loved it! I captured it my way, as I would a news story. It wasn't long after that photojournalism style weddings become trendy. I continued to dabble in weddings on the side, and left the newspaper to officially launch my business in 2003.
KP: Tell me one wedding vendor other than in your industry you highly recommend? Why?
ES: I am lucky to be in the position of bride-to-be right now! We are having Jules Bianchi of LA photograph our April wedding. Her fun spirit and artistic eye will be a welcome addition to our destination wedding.
KP: Tell me one wedding vendor in your industry you highly recommend? Why?
ES: I could go on and on about all the fantastic vendors I have worked with! I think there are many styles and personalities to choose from, and I encourage couples to do their research to find the best fit that's right for them. I have a short list of vendors I share with my brides and grooms, to help jumpstart this sometimes overwhelming process.
KP: Favorite wedding story- funny or serious
ES: There are so many! The time the HUGE black snake writhered between the bride and groom during their garden ceremony and everyone ran, including me! The time the father of the bride called the groom by the wrong name (an ex!) during his toast! The time the best man kissed the bride during the reception and asked me to photograph it! Crazy! Mostly, tho, my favorite wedding moments are the tender ones. I find myself tearing up during ceremonies and toasts, more often then not, enveloped in the love and excitement of the day. I never see my role as a job, per say, it's a responsibility.
KP: What other part of the industry would you not want to work in? Why?
ES: Cakes. I have a major sweet tooth. :)
KP: What differentiates you from the rest of your industry peers?
ES: As a child, I used to play office instead of house. Back in 2001 after photographing my cousin's wedding and loving it, I stayed up all night one night outlining my goals and dreams and have never lost that focus. I really love my life, and every day am proud to be a business owner living the dream. I couldn't have done it without tremendous hard work and the education I received (photojournalism degree from Syracuse University). I am fortunate that I've been able to expand my reach, giving back and educating other photographers with my Roots Workshop (www.rootsworkshop.com), networking with other like-minded photographers (www.newsweddingphotographers.com) and doing my part to help fund a cure for breast cancer with my wedding industry non-profit (www.pinkinitiative.org).