It is our privilege at Zenfolio to get to work with amazing photographers all over the world, helping them build websites and online stores that reflect a combination of their personalities, work, and art. Today we are excited to highlight Chicago-based photographer Michelle Cox, who specializes in wedding photography and portraiture. Read on for her thoughts on the latest industry trends, and where she’s finding fulfillment in the field:
On the latest trends in weddings:
I’ve noticed that many brides (at least in the Chicagoland area) are transitioning from a large, “glamourous” wedding to something more intimate with natural elements. That is a wonderful transition from my perspective because as a photographer that loves natural light and works well with it, it excites me that brides and grooms are embracing the natural look.
Pro Tip: Take a look at the shoot location and research when sunset will fall that day, so as to know where on location you’ll get the best light. Keeping the shoot tight means more time for the couple to enjoy their day with guests. While you’ll always be making calls on the fly, a little prep can go a long way!
On what makes her job exciting:
I love my job and I love what I do – I am blessed to work with amazing clients and I simply love weddings. This particular season I have been more excited to work with my brides because I recently got married myself (April 30, 2016). I feel like while planning the wedding, I was better able to understand what all of my brides go through and especially now I feel like I can better understand the emotions of my couple’s on their wedding days. The wedding is not about me and what I can capture – it is their day, their emotions and I need to always be respectful of giving them a moment to breathe and take it all in.
Pro Tip: Have the couple give you a shot list ahead of time, so you don’t miss a snap of the bride and groom with old aunt Sally. Weddings are a whirlwind and a reminder will keep you (and the couple) from forgetting the extra shots they want.
On her artistic style:
I want the wedding day to be remembered naturally, as it truly was, but slightly better. I use natural light to convey emotions but manipulating the light through the photos and against my subjects. I think one of the best words that someone could use to describe my photos would be “dreamy”. My goal is to take the images on the most important day of someone’s life and create a magical image that is both memorable but also shows them just how “dreamy” and lovely the day truly was to everyone else that attended also. When it comes to posing, I also try to give my clients a very natural look, when I place them in position but then allow them to interact. I want their “love story” to be full of their love so the best way for that to occur is if they feel free to express themselves, with laughter and affection.
On changes in what clients want:
Since I started in photography (in 2010) I have noticed that the majority of my clients are interested in digital files rather than physical prints for proofs. I offer wedding albums to my clients and they are still very receptive of those.
Pro Tip: Zenfolio offers integrated digital proofing within your site, and even allows you to add digital files to the price list in your online store, so clients can always find the version of your shots that they want to buy.
On business- what sells and how to encourage a bigger purchase:
I offer Wedding Albums in some of my wedding packages and digital files with all. To increase sales, I do show my clients examples of larger albums that they could upgrade to as well as offer them additional albums (duplicate parent albums).
Pro Tip: Show clients all of their options, they’ll probably buy more! Zenfolio offers 2000+ products from leading print labs, from albums and prints, to home decor and customized accessories.