If you're in need of a wedding photographer, I've got just the treat for you today! I'm so excited to share Tracie Smith, of Photography by Tracie, with you. Tracie has been such a pleasure to work with. She's incredibly personable, energetic, and fun, and prides herself on capturing candid, authentic moments from your big day.
What drew you to wedding photography?
Photographing a wedding day gives me to opportunity to incorporate all of my techniques and photography skills into one place. I love macro photography – getting lost in a small piece of subject matter, whether it is jewelry or florals. I could play in that area for hours and never get bored. I love incorporating landscapes into images for couples. Wedding venues aren’t cheap, and I love documenting the space and giving my couples the chance to have a very full portfolio of images and cover a lot of ground at their wedding venue. I love candid images. I love looking at a space from different angles and finding a way to shoot it in a reimagined way. Weddings keep me as an artist on my toes and use everything I’ve learned over my 20 years as a photographer, and allows me to serve a couple on one of the most memorable days of their lives. Wedding photography is important. It is an chance to have a lasting, positive effect on people that never would have happened if it wasn’t for my love of photography.
How did you figure out your style for weddings?
I found my style after a lot of thought and reflection. This isn’t my first go round in this industry. I was a photographer from the age of 19 and put my camera down professionally for a handful of years. I wanted my images to be able to stand on their own, straight out of camera. 20 years ago, there wasn’t photoshop or lightroom to salvage an image. You had to nail the exposure in camera, then develop it in a darkroom. When I came back to the industry after digital took over, I knew I didn’t want to be a fad. I knew I didn’t want to subscribe to whatever was popular in the industry. I wanted to be honest; I wanted my work to be vivid and true to life. I wanted my work to be a representation of me as much as it is a representation of the style of the couples I have the honor of serving. Everyone’s style is different, and that’s what makes us all different as individuals and as artists. Me? I’m classic, true to life, clean, clear, with colors as they are in real life.
What is your favorite part about photographing weddings?
I love first dances. I love that look when the groom sees his bride for the first time as she’s being walked down the aisle. I love the reaction of the bride when she and her new husband are introduced for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. I could go on and on, but these are just a few.
How do you stand out from other wedding photographers?
To stand out, I think you need to have a good understanding of who you are as a person, as a business owner and as an artist. For instance, I don’t use ANY presets. When a bunch of blogs and publications are showcasing what the current editing fads are, I don’t compromise who I am, and what I believe are the components of a lasting image. I want to be able to go to sleep at night knowing that the work I have done is going to hold up over the next 5, 10, 15, 20, 50 years. My paralegal education combined with my experience managing the office for a seven-figure business taught me everything I know about contract law, sales, marketing, customer service and client retention. On a personal level, what helps me to standout from the pack is simply who I am. I spent most of my youth and early adult years in dance studios and as a cheer leader in high school. I’m outgoing, extremely positive, and I honestly get excited and emotional when talking with couples about their journey thus far. It’s a little tough to put into words what it is about me that sets me apart personally from others in my industry. I guess you could say that being “me” is enough.
What do you wish all brides knew about wedding photography?
I’d like for all brides, and all couples for that matter, to know that wedding photography is probably one of the most important investments you are going to make for your wedding. After your wedding day has passed, and the days have turned into years, you are going to have your gown, your rings and your photos. Make sure you’ve got a reputable professional by your side to document and preserve your wedding day memories for a lifetime.
Any unique experiences you'd like to share?
I had met with the bride's mom and dad at a consultation and it was probably the most amazing interaction I’ve ever had. The couple that was to be married were in school in Canada so Mom and Dad were taking care of all the planning. After a lot of great conversation, I opened up to them about a lot of personal trials I had been going through, what my journey was so far. After about a 2 hour conversation, before we left, they prayed for me - for me to have clarity for what had been troubling me from a past relationship. I literally cried. I had never experienced such warm, open, kind hearts before and to say it honestly touched my soul would be an understatement. We parted that day and a few days later, they messaged me to say they were booking me for their daughters wedding.
You get to have some of the most life changing experiences being a photographer and I’m thankful for every opportunity I have to share my heart with the world.