Oh hello! My name is Elissa (EL-ee-suh) and I'm an intimate wedding and elopement photographer based in Portland, OR. I travel for weddings/engagement sessions/elopements frequently and I will take any excuse to hop on a plane (my husband and I travel A LOT). I think marriage is beautiful and sacred (also rad). Read on if you'd like to learn more about my documentary and artistic approach, feelings about love, feelings about music, feelings about feelings. Ya know, the good stuff.
You should see YOU in your photos, not an overly posed and stiff version of you, so I believe you should spend your wedding day being ‘in it.’ I like to let your experience unfold organically, I take lots of candids for this very reason. Connection is a given between you and your partner, it’s a huge factor between you and me as well.
When my husband and I were planning our elopement, we chose a photographer that felt like a friend. He shared our vision, ridiculous sense of humor and awesome taste in music, and therefore he knew how to help us let go in front of the camera. We became fast friends with our elopement photographer, and our close friendship is alive and kicking.
Me and my fella
Do you want to be buds with your photographer?
You should. Here's why
Number of photos delivered to clients in 2021
number of Minutes I listened to music on Spotify Last year (Most Pinegrove and bright eyes probably)
Number of years as a professional wedding photographer
the number of OPen days I have left for 2023
Amanda + Riley
Intimate Portland Wedding
How far out do you book?
DO WE HAVE TO MEET BEFORE WE BOOK WITH YOU?
Anywhere from 6 - 18 months. I do keep flexibility in my schedule to allow for elopements and smaller sessions. I take on a limited amount of weddings each year so as to not spread myself too thin or sacrifice my time and attention with you.
Yes. Even if it’s only a video chat, some kind of interaction between us beyond email is necessary. I cannot begin to tell you how big of a difference it makes to have a connection and rapport with each other before your wedding/elopement day- the most important day of your life. Even if you choose not to book with me, I urge you to meet with each one of the photographers you’re seriously considering to have document your wedding day. Connecting and trusting your photographer is so important. My aim us to document the most honest telling of the days unfolding story. Having someone there to translate that story who has history with you (at least a little), someone you can be yourself with, will add so much to that honesty. Being at ease and comfortable with each other goes a long way with seeing an honest YOU in your photos.
Would you consider documenting our traditional wedding?
Absolutely. I don't take on many, but I'd love to talk about what you're planning and see if we'd be a good fit!
How much time do we need?
What do I do with my hands?
For an engagement session, anywhere from 1-3 hours depending on whether or not we travel/hike to get to our ultimate location, wardrobe changes, etc. However, I don't place a limit on how much time we spend together. For your wedding or elopement, I offer packages that allow me to focus on the full narrative of the day. That pricing can be found here.
Ohhhh boy do I relate to this! It's easy to worry about being awkward in front of the camera, but you won't be. You're not awkward, you've just had awkward photos taken! Most of us aren’t used to having a camera in our face and because of this, I take a very relaxed approach to documenting. I usually describe a session as hanging out for a couple of hours, except I just so happen to have my camera with me. I’m not shy about directing, though for the most part, I will set you up and just have you talk to each other, love each other and be cozy, have fun and play together, laugh together, just be. My approach on your wedding/elopement day will be super similar, read about it here.
Do you photograph weddings alone?
About 90% of the weddings I shoot, I shoot solo. I have peers that I work with and trust if you would like a second pair of eyes and perspective on your wedding or elopement day. While it’s not necessary, you’ll never regret having a second perspective.
How will we receive our photos?
Via fax. KIDDING! Photos will be delivered through an online gallery. Here you can download to share on social media, share with friends and family as well as make prints.
What is your turnaround time?
2 years. Nahhhh I'M JOKING! From May-November, usually about 8-12 weeks. I will send you a preview with some highlights within one week of your wedding! If you have any special requests (photos for thank you cards, elopement announcement, etc), please let me know and I’ll be happy to include them. Engagement sessions are usually about 3 weeks and can be expedited if need be.
What happens if it rains?
BRING IT ON! Whether we’re talking wedding day or engagement session, I’m usually low key hoping for some kind of wind/rain/dramatic weather. Being raised in the PNW, being soggy while shooting outside comes with the job and can add elements of spontaneity and romance if you embrace it. Given, not everyone wants to take photos with umbrellas, wet hair and a muddy hem, so we can create beautiful images indoors too. I always come prepared for rain, I’m down for anything you are.
What should we wear for our engagement session?
A snuggie and cowboy boots. OK OK not really! Wear clothes that you feel confident and completely yourself in. I love neutral tones for photos- denim, grays, black, blues, deep colors and khaki palettes don't distract from atmosphere or from your interaction and emotion together. Garments with billowy movement (like linens, cottons, chiffons, silks), always translate super well in photos. I’ll give you a few more tips as we get a little close to our session date!
Do you travel?
I do indeed! I do not charge a travel fee for if you're getting married in Oregon, Washington, the Chicagoland area or the Asheville/Charlotte, NC area. If you’re planning a destination engagement session, intimate wedding or elopement, I would love to customize a quote for you.