Priding herself on connecting with her clients, Chelle strives to not just take beautiful photographs, but to also create bonds with her clients. Chemistry is her secret weapon and her clients’ comfort shines through in her images. Couples can be more comfortable and can be more themselves in front of the camera which allows her to capture those stunning moments. Chelle’s biggest passions are photography and serving people well, so I have no doubt she’ll make your wedding day extra special, capturing beautiful images along the way.
MORE ABOUT CHELLE
Tell us about your company and how you got started.
I’ve always been super creative and artistic (I grew up wanting to be a painter!) and my mom was an amateur photographer. I decided after high school that I would go to NSCADU to further my interest in art.
After graduating from art school in 2010, I knew my photography training and schooling couldn’t go to waste but didn’t know what to do or where to start, and basically assumed it was my destiny to work in retail for the rest of my life. Adam (my husband/assistant/gear holder) encouraged me to make a website, do some shoots for my friends, and start taking on wedding clients. We got our first wedding after finding an ad on Kijiji looking for a wedding photographer, and it sort of spiraled from there! We’ve been doing weddings/portraits full time since 2012!
For weddings, we also have another photographer that joins us, named Cherakee. She’s a NSCAD grad as well and has been shooting weddings with us since our very first one. We work really,really well together as a team, and The Coast even described us as a tripod once (it stuck, and that’s what we call ourselves now.)
We like to keep things simple and pride ourselves on being really down to earth. We don’t really advertise, so most of our clients find us through past happy clients!
What makes your work unique? Why should couples hire you?
I like to form a solid bond with my couples (because I’m literally going to be with them, talking to them and making jokes with them for their entire wedding day.) I like to become Facebook friends with everyone, follow each other on Instagram, and meet up/hang out at least once or twice before the big day (a lot of my past clients have become really close friends, and I get to hang out with them all the time!)
Having that bond means that my couples are more comfortable, and can be more themselves in front of the camera which allows us to capture some those candid shots and really stunning “in between” moments!
Also, I follow a lot of wedding photogs from Europe and around the world, and I like to compare myself with what they’re doing and keep on top of current trends. I never want to get too comfortable and stuck in my ways. I think this is super important in staying relevant in this industry and growing as a photographer.
What is your ideal client like?
My ideal couples are the ones who are stupid in love! The couples who want can’t stop laughing, kissing each other, and want to snuggle in close.
I love couples who are a bit on the care-free and adventurous side, who would do just about anything for an awesome shot, and want photography to be a big part of their wedding day!
I want couples who want to have their photos taken as much as I want to take them (every time you say “I hate having my picture taken” a photographer somewhere loses their wings). I love clients who put their complete trust in my creativity!
How do you describe your shooting style? Are you laid back or aggressive? Do you tell the whole story of the day?
I like to be more of a fly on the wall for most of the day, capturing moments that happen organically (nothing too posed or forced). I really take pride in not being that obnoxious photographer, and I really try to be unobtrusive throughout the day. When it comes down to the wedding party shots, family formals and photos of the bride and groom, I like to try to keep things pretty casual, while making sure to give direction to those who need it (we call this gentle posing) Overall, I would definitely describe myself as a laid back lifestyle photographer, and I def tell the story of the day (from early morning getting ready to those sweaty dance pics we call evidence.)
How do you make couples feel relaxed in front of the camera?
I’m mega awkward! Mega. Awkward. A lot of couples I meet with say “oh, I’m super awkward and weird in front of the camera.” and I’m just like “you ain’t seen nothing yet!” … I think my awkwardness and goofiness helps put people at ease because they’re like “well if she’s this weird, we can be ourselves and weird too!” … then we just laugh a lot and have a good time!
People tell me all the time that I’m really good at making people feel comfortable, so I just take their word for it and keep doin’ what I’m doin’!
What trends when it comes to wedding photography are you seeing among Maritime couples lately?
There is a huge trend in being nontraditional, and I love it!! A lot more couples are scrapping the stuffy church wedding and opting for something simple like a beautiful outdoor ceremony at magic hour. They are doing first look photos, wearing dresses that aren’t white etc., and doing things that are more unique to them. It’s really awesome and totally refreshing!
What is your favourite thing about weddings in The Maritimes?
I guess I just love how the vibe of the East Coast makes its way into every wedding here! From elopements on the ocean at sunset and backyard weddings with barns, to complete nautical themed weddings… it’s all good stuff! Listening to wedding clients and their families from different provinces obsess over the amazing landscapes here (and the lobster), makes you realize how lucky you are to be doing photography in such a unique and beautiful place.
Which wedding venues in The Maritimes do you love and why?
Okay, I like a lot of venues so this might be a weird long answer. My absolute favourite weddings happen in tents in people’s backyards. I love how intimate and special those weddings are, and just the overall feel of a backyard wedding. I also love barn weddings, so Healy Farms in the valley, Hubbards Barn, and the Avon River Heritage Society Museum are some of my faves.
In complete contrast to those types of weddings, I also love a good hotel wedding in the city! The Prince George has to be my all time fave hotel venue. It’s been fully renovated and is gorgeous inside (shiny, new, and clean look).
For alternate wedding venues in Halifax, I really love the Saraguay House (their property is amazing, and the reception room is so warm and hardly needs to be decorated), and St Mary’s Boat Club. I love how plain it is inside so you can really jazz it up and decorate it however you want and add so much personality to the space. It always looks so different every time we shoot there. I also REALLY love Oceanstone. Full day weddings there are amazing (they always run so smoothly). I love how the little cottages are decorated (so getting ready photos always look awesome) and I love that it’s on the ocean! I really like a lot of venues!
What tips or advice can you give to couples who are looking to book their wedding photographer?
There are like a bajillion wedding photographers to choose from in this area (maybe not that many, but there are a lot) and it is really difficult to narrow it down (especially because we are all really really talented). My best advice would be to talk with your friends and family who have had good experiences! Get a top 5 list going, and start reaching out to your favourites (we book up really quickly so it is a good idea to book with us as soon as you pick your date!)
It is also so important that you choose a photographer that you get along with really well, and someone who has the same vision that you do so meeting up before signing a contract or giving a deposit is a definite must.
Quick! Give us an answer for our lightning round questions…
Favourite wedding flower?
I love local wildflowers! Someone could have a bouquet of roadside flowers and dandelions and I would love it.
Favourite first dance song you’ve heard?
You know what, the best first dance song I’ve ever heard was a song I didn’t even know! I love when people choose songs that are special to them, that might not be a typical ‘first dance’ song.