Where are you originally from? And how long have you been in Portland?
I (Deyla Huss) am from Seattle originally and moved to Portland when I was in high school. That was a tough move, but I’ve loved Portland ever since!
What is your favorite thing about Portland?
I absolutely love the culture and vibe in Portland, I love how laidback it is as well, and the cityscapes are some of my faves!
What is your favorite spot or thing to do in Portland?
I love to picnic and hike some of Portland’s trails as well as hit up some of our amazing restaurants with my hubby!
How long have you been working as a professional wedding photographer?
I have been photographing weddings for 13 years and shooting for 15 years.
I started out by photographing with film and doing it for fun, really; I started experimenting with light and different lenses, and friends and family started seeing some of my early work and began asking me to photograph their families and children. Eventually, I was asked to shoot a friend’s wedding and instantly fell in love with it and dove right into learning the ins and outs of wedding photography. I also have a background in advertising and marketing, which truly helped in knowing the path to good marketing and such.
How would you describe the importance of your role and why do you feel a couple should hire a professional wedding photographer for their wedding day?
I can tell you from personal experience that couples hiring their friend or relative or nonprofessional for their wedding is a big mistake. I am sad to say I have received so many emails/messages from those who went that route completely regretting their decision and saying they should’ve booked a professional. Being a professional means we have insurance; we have several avenues of professional backup gear and image backup; we know the ins and outs of a wedding day and have done this many times before, There are contracts involved; and again, I cannot stress insurance enough. We also have several backup photographers ready to help if needed.
What is the best part of your job?
Being surrounded by so much love! I mean, seriously, how many jobs can say they get to be around joy and love all day long?!
What do you find most challenging about your specific line of work or weddings in general?
The most challenging part of the day is on our bodies afterwards; it does take a bit to recoup from photographing a full day on your feet.
Do you work solo or do you have a studio and/or team?
I work with several ‘second shooters’ on my team. At each one of my weddings, we have 2-3 photographers depending on the wedding.
What do you attribute to your success as a wedding photographer? What do you think makes you stand apart from others in your field?
This is a tough one, as bragging about myself is a hard one for me. What I hear from vendors and clients after working with me is that my personality and service to my clients is effortless and work really well with everyone. No matter the situation during the wedding, I always make sure my couples are happy and do what’s necessary to make them get what they need! I guess I would say that what makes me stand apart from other photographers is me!
At what point in the wedding planning process should clients hire you?
I always suggest booking your photographer as soon as you begin planning, to ensure you are booking the one you want — typically a year to 1 1/2 years in advance. Waiting too long to do this could lead you to hire someone you don’t know about and do not have a personal recommendation for.
Where do you draw inspiration? Are there any current trends you are excited about?
I get my inspiration from my couples, If you are madly in love, it shows; and I find each couple is unique and draws out different inspiration for me every time. The trends I am loving are using lots of pops of color and/or personal touches throughout. I feel couples tend to get into a rut and feel they need to use whatever is on Pinterest and following the quote-unquote rules of wedding day trends. I love when couples plans are true to them and their styles, using a ton of personal elements throughout.
What is the most important thing that couples should ask someone in your profession before hiring them?
There are really quite a few things you should be asking your wedding photographer that you meet; above all, whether a photographer has any full wedding galleries to share. There are a ton of styled shoots out there that are being used as wedding galleries, but photographing a wedding is a much more complicated event to shoot, and will give you a more realistic view of a wedding photographer’s (day-of) style and approach.
What is your best advice for wedding clients?
Always interview a few different vendors before making that decision to book; be sure you mesh beautifully with your photographer, as this is one of the most intimate working relationships you will have and you will be together a lot. Referrals are so important to start you off with, so ask your friends, co-workers or wedding planner to give you the names of some photographers they would recommend.
Anything else you’d like couples to know about you?
My goal is always to get to know you both better throughout the planning process; I want to hear all about your love story! I love to meet in person initially, then again for our engagement portraits, and, of course, to go over a photo timeline of their wedding day as well.