Prior to working for APW, I hated getting my photo taken. I had recently gained a lot of weight, so I was already feeling self-conscious. But then no matter how hard I tried to pose and act model-y, the photos always turned out unflattering. (And my confidence took a nosedive with each failed attempt at looking cool. How come everyone else online seemed to be naturally inclined at modeling?) I chalked it up to general awkwardness and accepted that maybe I just couldn’t take a good photo to save my life.

Then I started getting my photo taken by good (APW-approved, obvs) photographers. And damn, what a difference it made. Suddenly all the photos were flattering! There was no awkwardness in sight! Working with creative people who not only listened to me, but who saw the best, flyest, truest version of myself and translated that into an image was a super empowering experience. (Because spoiler alert: the people you see in real weddings? Not models. Just good photographers and lots of joy.) And that’s what I love most about Raven Shutley, aka Atlanta’s You Are Raven.

lgbtq couple in tux and wedding gown sitting on bench with a dachshund and a pigletplus size black bride in front of a brick wall in a mermaid wedding gown and cathedral length veil blowing behind her

Raven’s own experience in front of the camera has made her double down on her commitment to make sure her clients are a hundred percent comfortable when they are in front of her lens:

Recently, I was looking to have new headshots taken, and trust me when I say I understand what you’re going through when you’re shopping for a photographer. I know how important it is that you find someone to click with, who gets you and your vision. I get it if having your picture taken isn’t your idea of a good time—I’ll be the first to tell you that I tend to shy away from being on the other end of the camera myself. But I’m here to make it a good time. An easy time. A fun time that results in incandescently happy pictures of you and your loved ones.

More like incandescently happy, artistic, moving, and hilarious photos:

man and women standing in front of a mural wall laughing with a laughing bike messenger riding by in the foregroundplus size white man and woman looking at each other and laughing in front of a yellow wallgroom in brown suit and bride in lace tea length dress jumping in a field

So how does Raven get you comfortable enough to capture all those quiet in-between moments, your actual inside jokes, weirdness and mushiness, romantic gestures and silly nicknames? For starters, she’s a total pro at putting anyone at ease, and my guess is that’s because she truly genuinely loves and supports people being themselves—no matter what that means to you. (Raven herself is a self-proclaimed bookworm, nerd, fangirl, believer in magic, and well, she first discovered photography at Medieval Times.)

bride and groom embracing and smiling with colorful lens flarebride with long pink hair and retro pink glasses

But almost as importantly, You Are Raven makes sure she is absolutely the right fit for you before she ever lets you sign a contract (and if it ends up that she’s not, she’s got lots of photographer friends she’s happy to recommend, no hard feelings or hard sales here). According to client Angie:

When we first met Raven, I immediately felt comfortable and wanted her to A) be my best friend and B) be our photographer. While we are sadly not besties, she did become our photographer and the same sense of comfort and trust happened at each point of our wedding. She made me and my now-husband feel at ease in front of the camera. The photos that look like they were posed are actually candids taken at the perfect moment… meaning, we looked like models when neither of us are what you would call photogenic. Our wedding pictures are so beautiful, and I have nothing but raves for Raven!

woman in off the shoulder wedding gown looking at camera and smiling while bridesmaid buries her head laughingbride surrounded by bridesmaids helping her into dressbride holding bouquet kneels in front of elderly lady in wheelchair

And because she cherishes working with you guys so much, APW readers always get 15% off You Are Raven’s already reasonable rates, which start at $2,900 for two photographers and 6 hours of coverage. Andddd, those who book before March 1st get an extra 5% discount, for a total of 20% off. Which means that her most popular package, which includes two photographers, 8 hours of coverage and an engagement session, is available for just $3,120. Raven’s available in the Atlanta area, throughout the state of Georgia, and beyond (just look at this Destin, Florida beach wedding, which is a magical combo of dreamy beach-y romance paired with generous helpings of whisky ).

man in suit and woman in gold dress hold hands in front of wall with anatomical heart muralmixed gender bridal party in black pants and purple blazers crossing street

Raven’s been photographing APW couples for a long time, and the first thing she told me when we met a hundred years ago was that y’all have been her favorite people since forever, precisely because you always stay true to yourselves—whether that means your wedding involves a unicorn emoji balloon first look (true story, and it is amazing) or a lightsaber sendoff or a black tie gala—or all three.

black bride and groom kissing under light saber archway

So if that sounds like someone you will click with, go email Raven already, because you are going to have a blast working with her. And remember…

APW readers always get 15% off when they work with YOU ARE RAVEN, and THOSE who book by march 1, 2018, receive an additional 5% off. Click HERE to get in touch.


The post Here’s How to Feel Like a Badass in Your Wedding Photos appeared first on A Practical Wedding: We’re Your Wedding Planner. Wedding Ideas for Brides, Bridesmaids, Grooms, and More.

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