My favorite wedding blog Borrowed & Blue Seattle reached out to me for a Q&A session to help brides get to know me a little better. I was of course, very flattered and happy to change it up on my blog for a week. Normally I post real weddings, style inspiration ideas, or review other wedding vendors. This, I hope, will be a fun and informative change of pace. Here’s a few words from Helen, the Borrowed & Blue’s Seattle Market Specialist, about why they wanted to learn more about me and my business IJ Photo.
“We all know Seattle weddings are special, but they’re unique, too, and couples need unique vendors to carry out their amazing vision. That’s where Irene from IJ Photo comes in! Irene has been a photographer for years, and the reason she became one is much the same reason that Borrowed & Blue was founded, too: we know everyone in the world is beautiful, and everyone deserves a beautiful wedding. I was so pleased that Irene made the time to answer some of our questions about what she loves working in the wedding industry, plus a little bit of Seattle-related know-how. I can’t wait for you to read her answers!”
So here goes nothin’!
- Hey Irene! Describe yourself in five words or less. (Starting with a hard one!)
“Dorky, lovable, passionate, and real.”
- How did you decide on wedding photography as a career?
“I was initially drawn to photojournalism, then fashion photography. Weddings are a perfect mix of the two. I love story telling AND working with real couples to make them feel like they are models. After shooting my first wedding I was hooked. There was something so magical about the experience that I wanted more. I’ve been photographing weddings for 17 years and that magic has never gone away. I get excited each morning before a wedding (and a little nervous- I always want to do my best) and just can’t wait to get started.”
- What is your favorite question to ask couples when you meet them for the first time?
“I want to learn all about a couple during our initial consultation. I love hearing about how they met, what they love, their pets, etc. But my favorite question would have to be, what makes your wedding day unique? It’s so fun to hear the couple share the special moments they have planned and how they will celebrate their love.”
- Do you have a favorite aspect of your job?
“This might sound funny but my favorite part of weddings is what comes AFTER the wedding. What I mean is, the clients that come back after their wedding for baby and family portraits. I am so honored when a couple not only chooses me for their wedding but then chooses to have me photograph their growing families for years to come. It’s a HUGE complement.”
- Do you have a favorite moment in a wedding day to photograph?
“I love when I get a chance to do a sunset portrait. These photos are a great little break from the reception as well as a nice way to end an album. Nothing is more beautiful then golden hour light and a couple deeply in love.”
- Share a memory from your own wedding!
“Ha! My wedding was a comedy of errors, a basic how-to-not-do-a-wedding-guide. The one that stands out the most of all of the random craziness is getting asked by guests on my husband’s side if I am Asian! I’m a very pale white girl, so I found this question a little strange, but oddly appropriate for my wedding. You see my husband and I love Chinese food, Japanese anime, and he had just spent two years living in Korea so we wanted to do a wedding with an eastern theme. I wore a white kimono inspired wedding dress, our buffet had 6 different types of sushi rolls, and we decorated with things we had brought back from those countries. We even had fortune cookies as our favors. Several times during the evening guests asked me, “I didn’t know you were Chinese?!?” Or “Is your husband from Asia?” I burst into laughter each time and answered, “No, we are both white- we just like the culture!” If it had happened just once I wouldn’t have thought twice about it, but it happened over and over and I started to wonder if I really did look Asian!!”
- What are some of the most awesome places to photograph in Seattle?
“In Seattle there are so many great photography spots. I love shooting downtown at the WAC or Iscala. Just outside the city my favorite golf Course is Inglewood Golf Club. They have the best views and some of the nicest indoor photography spots around.”
- What are some of your favorite Seattle things to do on a day off from work?
“I’m a mom of 4 kids, so when I’m not working we are out having adventures. My kids love to swim and play Pokemon Go, so we do that a lot. When my husband and I get some time alone we love going to the movies, hiking, and eating Indian Food.”
- What makes a Seattle wedding different from a wedding in another part of the country?
“Weddings here in Seattle always are full of tech savvy people. Lots of guests can talk photography with me, and often the bride and groom are hobbyist themselves. We also combine that with a deep love of nature. So many of my weddings are a mix of the natural and modern world and I love seeing these two elements come together in a beautiful way.”
- Share one of your favorite memories from photographing a wedding.
“It’s really hard to pick! I think I have a favorite from every wedding I shoot, but if I had to pick one I’d say it was my first wedding at Inglewood Golf Club. Lainie, the events director told me about a hidden spot we could go for a sunset photo, but it had been thunder and lightning that morning so I wasn’t sure we’d get a good sunset. Just before the sun went down she took us out on a duck poop covered dock. I had only a few frames left on my compact flash card and only a few minutes to get the photo before the couple had to be back inside. I laid down (in the duck poop) handed a flash on a light stand to my assistant and prayed. The clouds from the storm that morning were rolling out and the sun was shining its last rays with all it’s effort. The groom (Ben) dipped his wife (April) back for a kiss and that was it! We took two or three more shots just to be safe, but I knew we had something special.”
I hope you enjoyed the Q&A! Make sure you check out the fantastic wedding blog Borrowed & Blue, too; it’s a great place to find Seattle wedding planners.