BEHIND THE CAMERA: Meet Wedding Photographers Juliana + Brandon Polkey
Juliana Polkey has been shooting since she was 16, photographing senior portraits and family photos and when she was 18 officially launched Peony Photography (on her now-husband and co-photographer’s birthday!).
Weddings “just clicked” for her. “For some people, weddings stress them out, but for me, I thrive on the pressure of getting the shot in the moment and knowing you only have one chance to get it,” she shares. “It makes it exciting!”
After Brandon graduated from college (with an accounting degree), she asked him to assist her on a few weddings. “He never realized why my job was a big deal,” she shares, “but after a few weddings, he realized how much fun it was and how important it was and he’s been working with me full-time ever since – he never became an accountant!”
“I just really love how it’s once in a lifetime moments that you can’t recreate and that’s what makes it exciting. We have awesome clients and new clients every day, a new office – it’s not your typical 9-5 job.”
“We shoot our weddings with film and digital photography and the reason behind this is we want our photos to be very classic and timeless and romantic. We don’t like to over edit our photos because we feel like planners and brides put a lot of thought into the details of a wedding day and we want to document it accurately and when they look back on it, they look back fondly and how they envisioned it is how we captured it. We’re borderline documentary, but we like editorial.”
“You have to be a fly on the wall, watching moments happen and be ready to capture them,” says Brandon.
Juliana and Brandon’s ideal client loves their work and sees the value in it. “We know we’re not the cheapest; we’re also not the most expensive,” shares Juliana. “We price ourselves to where we get clients who are down to earth and fun and like to laugh, but they’re also planning beautiful weddings and once it’s all said and done, they’re not stressed, we’re not stressed – it’s super easy to document.”
The couple loves working with clients who rely on them for advice to optimize their photography. “We find that couples reach out to us and say ‘Our ceremony is either going to be a 8 or 6, what’s the best time for photos?” says Brandon. “We know that photography is a priority for them.” Having couples include them in the planning process is ideal. “It’s not just, ‘Here’s our wedding, now show up,’” Brandon shares.
Juliana and Brandon are big on showing their clients the back of the camera as they shoot and getting them excited during the process. “We talk them through what we’re doing,” shares Brandon.
Their advice to newly engaged couples? “Definitely find someone you click with and figure out what is important to you. Do you want someone who can capture a bunch of candids and joke around with you or do you want someone to tell you where your pinkie goes?” says Juliana. “You’re allowing your photographer to be in on the most intimate parts of your day….all of those things add up and you want someone to ‘get’ you. It’s more than just hiring a business, you’re hiring a person to join in on something you’re spending a lot of money on and put a lot of thought into. Do your research. There are so many photographers and plenty of weddings for everyone – you can find your person.”
The couple loves to laugh and says at the end of the day their job is to take stress away from their clients. “We want to see those big smiles. We just want to make the experience as personal and comfortable with lots of laughs and lots of candids but also really beautiful photos you can hang on your wall and say ‘Wow! We look like that!’”
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