Here’s an insider secret picked up from looking at a lot of wedding photos over the years: When you’re getting serious about choosing a photographer, always ask to see a few full wedding galleries. Websites and Instagram are fantastic highlight reels, and for good reason. No one wants to look at hundreds of photos of the minutia of a stranger’s wedding photos. But when your wedding is over, you won’t be getting a highlight reel; you’ll be getting those several hundred photos, so it’s a good idea to get a sense of what that whole picture might look like.
And real talk, some photographers are better at delivering a stellar full wedding, and others are better at delivering handful of mind-blowing highlights. Only you know which is more important to you. But if it’s the former, and you happen to be in the lower-middle-half of the Eastern Seaboard, like say, North and South Carolina and the Washington, D.C.–area, then we know the biggest sweetheart of a photographer (as in, even her emails ooze warmth like ) who is here to deliver just that. For less than $3,000, because I guess it’s your birthday! Meet longtime APW photographer Shandi Wallace:
Here’s what Shandi told us about her approach to giving every aspect of a wedding day equal weight (aka not treating your wedding like a photo shoot) :
All of us photographers put the “pretty” stuff on our blogs and portfolios. It’s what catches the eye, and I totally get that. I can do “pretty” like others artists out there. But I can also document like a heartfelt ninja. (You won’t even know I was in the room.) I like to think I take thoughtful photographs, and I have a keen eye for subtle hints of humor. And I make portraits fun, so you don’t feel weird while I micro-adjust your face. I tell bad jokes, we share some secrets, I tell you to smoosh privates, and BAM. I got you smiling and being f’ing adorable. All I want to do is to get you to have some fun while I stay the heck out of the way and make photographs of the way your wedding day felt!
So aside from a pretty website, I really want folks to see my REAL weddings (from start to finish) exactly as delivered to get a sense of my documentary style: photojournalistic and subtle humor with AWESOMELY lit reception/party photos. Romantic wedding stories, yes, but also fun wedding stories. I love catching those moments that matter. The look of love a daughter gives her dad, or a grandmother’s smile. The shocked laughter of an aunt as she watches a few drunk groomsmen dance sans pants. Those microseconds mean so much, and I love that I can make them tangible for someone forever.
And I mean, seriously, from to Shandi has got it covered—just look at this wedding. I mean, sure, I’d get those portraits on the vintage red pickup truck framed, but it’s the ceremony tears and dance floor laughter (and whatever’s going on with the cake) that I’d really treasure.
It’s a start to look through a photographer’s portfolio and really dig it, but the next really important question is, “Will I actually enjoy having this person follow me around all day and photograph me?” Until you can meet or chat with them yourself, the best gauge of this is what other couples have to say about them. And for Shandi Wallace, most of her couples say she is an extremely calming presence—until she needs to get you to relax and loosen up in portraits, and then she’ll turn on the hilarity. (You didn’t miss the part above where she used the phrase “smoosh privates” right?!)
As client Gayle says:
Shandi is an incredible person and an extremely talented photographer. I could go on forever about how much I love her and can’t imagine my wedding day without her. She did an amazing job documenting our wedding—she was there from start to finish and was a fun, calm, subtle presence the entire time. She has a great sense of humor, which is helpful if you’re uncomfortable in front of the camera (like me), and she knows how to get a great shot. Her work comes out beautifully—the lighting, the angle, the moment, everything. I love looking back at all of our photos; it’s like I’m experiencing my wedding day all over again. Thank you, Shandi, for giving us such wonderful memories of such a special day. I’m so glad you were a part of it!!!
Shandi Wallace has been an APW photographer for so long I’ve lost track. Basically she’s brought her refreshingly low-key, no bullshit philosophies to APW readers since back when we had to promise readers that “this photographer won’t nickel and dime you, or force you to take awkward portraits in gendered poses” (she still won’t do anything like that, natch). Back in the day, Shandi was based in Washington, D.C., and in more recent years her own husband’s military job has taken them to South Carolina (where she especially loves being a go-to photographer for folks planning something outside the “traditional Southern wedding” box).
But, the thing is D.C., she just can’t quit you. As she told us, “I kept taking on ‘just one more’ D.C. wedding, so I’ve decided to fully embrace D.C. as my second home, traveling there often and without fees.” So Shandi currently serves clients everywhere and anywhere in between S.C. and D.C.—including Asheville and Greenville, North Carolina, and Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina—and for APW readers, that’s with no travel fees and a very special rate. (What can I say, you guys are her actual favorite.)
Shandi’s flat-rate package price is $3,450 for full-day coverage, no matter how many hours that is. As she says, “I really don’t like the limit of hourly packages. Who the heck wants to be watching a clock? I show up when you’re getting ready, and I leave for the night when you do. THAT is your wedding day. Start to finish.”
But for you guys, the rate gets even more reasonable, at $2,950. Oh, and this also includes a second photographer, a complimentary engagement session, and all taxes and fees, because Shandi is super upfront and here for making your life easier. In fact, you can just go here to see all the details, no need to send an email and dig through a complicated pricing guide.
So lower-middle-half of the Eastern Seaboard, pull up Shandi Wallace’s website on your biggest screen (you’re going to want to see all those #feels on something other than your phone) and then get in touch with Shandi to check out some full real weddings to get a sense of her documentary style: photojournalistic and funny, romantic with a side of awesome dance party.
FULL-DAY COVERAGE BY SHANDI WALLACE IS JUST $2,950 for APW readers between South Carolina and Washington D.C. CLICK HERE TO GET IN TOUCH.