How lucky are we to share a studio space with Katie, the Owner and talented individual behind Katherine Elena Photography?! Not only does she take the most stunning wedding photos, but she also recently launched passion project Native by Katherine Elena. For Native, she specializes in fine art black and white photos that capture the spirit of your little one. Keep scrolling to learn more about Katie and see some of her work!
Q: Give me your best “30 second elevator pitch”. Tell us who you are!
A: Your wedding is one of the most exciting times in your life and definitely one of the most emotional! All those little moments that make you special are the things that matter most and at the end of the day, I want you to remember every little moment when you look back through your photos. It is my job to be there to capture it while helping you to feel at ease knowing that you don’t have to worry about a thing. I have been photographing weddings for many years and still love every single one!
Q: Why do you do what you do?
A: Photography has always been a passion of mine- ever since I took a photography class in high school. The darkroom was one of my favorite places to be. I’d always thought about making a career out of it, but kept it in the back of my mind since making it as a landscape photographer was near impossible. I’d never even considered doing wedding photography at the time. After graduating college with Chemistry and Psychology degrees, I worked for a few years in the Environmental field and just found that I was really unhappy in that career path. So in 2012, I began taking photos of friends and family on the side and quickly built my business to the point where I could leave my job to do photography full time. The insecurity of leaving a salaried job was scary, but the idea of not loving what I did every day was much scarier.
Q: What should couples consider when choosing a photographer for their day?
A: It is SO important to not only love their work, but also love them as a person! You will be spending all day with your photographer and you want to makes sure that you feel comfortable around them so that your photographer can bring out the best side of you, and so you can trust them when what they are telling you to do sounds crazy!
Q: What to avoid on your wedding day?
A: Brides–avoid looking at what time it is! A great planner and great photographer will make sure that everything is on time and if it isn’t, they will know what to do to get it back on track. Your only job on the wedding day is to enjoy yourself!
Q: What do you think we will see in 2021?
A: I think in 2021 we will see more and more small/destination weddings with separate parties for friends and family at a later (safer) date. I am not gonna lie, I am loving these smaller weddings! There is so much more focus on the love between the couple and it’s so much less stress for them.
Q: Is there anything you wish you knew when starting your own business or would do differently now?
A: Don’t worry so much about what everyone else is doing. Find out who you are as an artist and don’t let anyone else make you feel like you are not good enough or not working hard enough.
Q: Favorite location to snap pics?
A: Favorite location is a tough one! Charleston is one of my all-time favorite places for engagements, weddings, families- everything! But I also love to try to incorporate a location that is special to my couples in their engagement photos because it makes the location that much more meaningful.
Q: Favorite song?
A: I feel like I have favorite songs for different memories and emotions. Haha. I’ve never really been able to narrow down a single favorite. My current favorite song is Wildflowers by Tom Petty because we say it’s our daughter’s song.
Q: Your favorite drink?
A: My favorite drink is probably a chai latte with oat milk. It’s the drink I get most often!
Q: Your best day off is spent doing:
A: My best day off is spent taking our daughter on adventures. Watching her experience things like the zoo, or the beach, or the Blue Ridge Mountains is truly special. Traveling has always been my favorite thing to do so seeing the world through her eyes just makes it that much better.