Featured Vendor Shout-Outs

Vendor Shout-Out: Katy Weaver Photography

You are certain to fall in love with Katy Weaver Photography just like we did. This lady is not only insanely talented, she is also a genuine, adventurous, and beautiful soul. Her imagery speaks for itself and constantly amazes us. We hope you enjoy learning more about her!

Where are you originally from? And how long have you been in Portland?

I’ve lived in Portland for over 22 years! I was born in San Jose, Calif. and moved to Portland when I was just 6 years old. I grew up in Beaverton and went to Sunset High School. Now I live in close-in Northeast and I love it!

What is your favorite thing about Portland?

My favorite thing about Portland is the way the city supports a laid back, friendly, outdoorsy lifestyle! I love that it’s so easy to be in the heart of the city in one second, and deep in a forest a few minutes later. I love that I can run into multiple friends in forest park while I’m hiking or wave as acquaintances run past me when I’m taking photos on the Hawthorne Bridge. The casual, friendly vibes of Portland make me feel so happy. PLUS, I actually love rain!

Wedding photographer

This is a self-portrait by Katy Weaver!

What is your favorite spot or thing to do in Portland?

Is it sad that the first thing I thought of was “hanging out with friends at my house”? I’m admittedly a little bit of a homebody since I work from home and live with another amazing wedding photographer, Marcela Pulido. But when I think hard about this, I’d probably say driving up Cornell Road to Forest Park and hiking the Wildwood or Macleay trails. It instantly makes me SO happy to be out in nature! And I love how it’s so close to the city. My other favorite thing is hosting weekly wine nights (okay, sometimes it’s beer or cocktails too) at various bars around my neighborhood and around Portland. I’ve been doing it weekly for almost three years and it’s always one of the highlights of my week. I’m really bad at taking time off from work, so having that time with friends is incredibly important to me, and to keeping my group of friends in touch together!

How long have you been working as a professional wedding photographer?

I started doing photography when I was 15, and then officially started my business after my sophomore year in college. Right now I’ve been in business for almost 9 years!

What people/training/experiences/opportunities led you to this career path?

A lot of people don’t believe this when I tell them, but I actually started out majoring in biology! I grew up wanting to be a doctor and I always loved science and helping people. But I also loved writing! I joined my high school newspaper, and subsequently my college paper, and then ended up literally running my college paper during my sophomore year! At that point, I realized the science route probably wasn’t for me, and I changed my major to new media communications. This whole time I was also taking photos of anyone and everyone who would let me, publishing stuff on my Flickr page, shooting high school seniors here and there, and staying up till 4 a.m. tinkering in photoshop. But for the longest time, I didn’t think that photography was anything I could make money at, so I didn’t consider it a real career option. But after one year of running the college paper, having 70 employees, learning how to hire and fire people and put out a daily publication, I was like, ‘If I can do this, I can totally start my own business.’ So I did. Running the paper gave me the confidence and experience I needed to start a business. And my connections through the paper introduced me to other photographers who took me under their wing to teach me about weddings!

How would you describe the importance of your role & why do you feel a couple should hire a professional photographer for their wedding day?

Oh my gosh, I think wedding photographers have a much bigger role than a lot of couples realize! I help my clients with every step of their process – from helping them find other vendors, to setting up the timeline with them, to organizing people on the day of the wedding itself (a lot of weddings I shoot don’t have coordinators and I end up somewhat filling that role too!). A true professional has your back through the entire process and will confidently ensure that your day and the photos go as smoothly as possible. Also, a true professional will have their s – – t together! A lot of budding amateurs might have a few good images in their portfolios, but a pro will be able to guarantee EVERY wedding and EVERY shoot will look amazing, AND they will have the business insurance, confidence with posing and direction, and important systems in place to back-up their gear and photos. These little things make a huge difference when having peace of mind about who you are working with!

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is definitely getting to meet so many amazing new people. I’ve heard so many crazy love stories, witnessed the most heart-warming interactions, and made some incredible new friends as a wedding photographer. I am definitely a people person and I absolutely love becoming friends with the people I work with!

Wedding photographer

Photo credit: Katy Weaver Photography

What do you find most challenging about your specific line of work or weddings in general?

Honestly, the most challenging thing for me is that running a business NEVER stops and that there is always more work to do. I have a reallllly tough time taking days off or taking time to myself. Photography is a freaking blast, and running a business is my favorite challenge, so it’s actually really hard to pull myself away from it to spend time with people I love in my life. I don’t want to look back in 20 years and be like “wow, all I did was work,” but I also love my job more than most things, so it’s hard to say no!

Do you work solo or do you have a studio and/or team?

I work solo! I might be interested in expanding in the future, but for now, solo works great. I do have an awesome roommate who is also a wedding photographer, so it *feels* like I have a coworker at home, even though I don’t! That helps me a lot, just because being alone with my computer all day kind of sucks.

Wedding photographer

This is a self-portrait by Katy Weaver!

What do you attribute to your success as a wedding photographer? What do you think makes you stand apart from others in your field?

Oh gosh, I think my success is partially due to timing, as well as my eye and personality. Also, I think I’m very good at putting myself in my clients’ shoes when I photograph them – especially when it comes to getting the most flattering angles, and taking photos that truly matter to them. I think it’s easy to get lost in the beauty of the light or a location or a story, but in the midst of all that, I want to continually put myself in my clients’ shoes to think about how I would really want to be documented myself. It’s easy to take a photo in a gorgeous location or a photo of models, but I think I am really good at making us everyday, normal people in everyday, normal locations look absolutely incredible.

Wedding photographer

Photo credit: Katy Weaver Photography

At what point in the wedding planning process should clients hire you?

As soon as possible! Usually, couples find their venue and then they contact me! But some people also book me first and then pick a date/venue around that. It really depends on your priorities! If you have a dream venue, book that first! But if you have a dream photographer, maybe make that choice first, especially if they book up SUPER far in advance.

Where do you draw inspiration? Are there any current trends you are excited about?

I’m really inspired by nature and honest moments between people. I wish I could say that I was good about following trends, but honestly, my focus is usually on the natural locations of the world around me, traveling, and in the beauty of emotion that exists in all of us. Drawing out that emotion in my clients ALWAYS makes me inspired.

What is the most important thing that couples should ask someone in your profession before hiring them?

I think it is absolutely crucial to ask to see a few full galleries from photographers before you hire them. Portfolios can be deceiving and it’s really important to be able to see ALL the images your photographer delivers to a particular client. You want to see how they handle dark receptions, difficult candid shots, and what their family photos look like. Do they deliver 200 images or 1,000? If you like what you see, and you love their personality, then go for it!

What is your best advice for wedding clients?

Do what you want. Don’t follow traditions, don’t be guilted by your families, and don’t spend money on s – – t you don’t care about. Find vendors you connect with on a personal level. Plan a wedding that actually feels like you and not like your mom. Don’t get caught up in all the shoulds surrounding weddings, because there are a LOT. You will be happiest if you stay true to yourself and above all the bullshit. Also, hire a really good photographer. Because after you have the best wedding ever that was perfectly you, all you have left is the photos. So make sure you get someone you really trust to do that well.

Wedding photographer

Photo credit: Katy Weaver Photography

Anything else you’d like couples to know about you?

Even if I won the lottery tomorrow, I would still keep doing the exact same thing I am doing today. That’s how much I love my job. I might buy myself a nicer car though, because yeah. Also, I love birdwatching, so if any of you ever want to nerd out about birds together, I am always game! Haha!

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The featured image for this post is by Katy Weaver Photography.