Finding the right photographer to capture your big day is important – that’s why we’re enlisting Elyse Fair, owner and lead photographer of Ely Fair Photography, to share her pro-tips with us today! From engagement shoot tips to her photography expertise, Elyse is giving us all the info that you’ve been dying to know. So let’s jump into our Q&A with the fabulous Ely Fair Photography!
Tell us about Ely Fair Photography.
We are a husband and wife photography team – Elyse and Ryan Fair, and we specialize in capturing connections. We document weddings together, and I also photograph newborns, family and small businesses. Our approach to photography is more storytelling, which lends to images that lean towards a more editorial and photojournalistic style. In case you are confused on how to say our business name – Ely is pronounced “Ellie,” which is my nickname. Don’t feel bad, it’s confusing to everyone.
What sort of process/education did you go through to become a wedding photographer?
My love for photography began in high school in a black and white film darkroom. Learning to shoot on a 35mm film camera really gave me the understanding on exposure and the technical side of using a manual camera. From there, I congruently enrolled in classes at our local college to learn lighting and concept, but my interest in wedding photography began long before that. My mother always had a subscription to Martha Stewart Weddings, and I remember taking the magazines and ripping out the pages, putting them in a scrapbook – not because I was planning my own dream wedding, but because I liked the way the photographs were taken. I shot my first wedding when I was 16, and it all began.
What advice do you have for brides preparing for their engagement photos?
I think the main thing is to not stress too much about it and try to have fun. Make the shoot personal to you and your fiancé rather than trying to fit yourself into and recreate something you have seen before. This will make your photos more meaningful and unique. As far as practical – set yourself up before hand to look and feel your best. Choose clothing that’s more fancy and you feel beautiful in, but not so out of the ordinary that you look at the photos and don’t recognize yourself. I 100% suggest getting your hair and makeup done professionally so you know you will look like a million bucks – plus makeup artists know all the good tricks on what will photograph well.
Do you shoot film, digital, or both?
I shoot both! When I first started shooting weddings, film was the only option. When we started our business about 10 years ago, we were shooting everything on digital, and then about three years ago, I reintroduced medium format film into our coverage because I love the softness and dreamy grain that can only be achieved with real film. Plus it really helps me to step back and be intentional about what I am capturing. Overall, I think it makes me a better and more thoughtful photographer. Digital is awesome because there is a lot of flexibility to it, so I love that I have the option to shoot both so I can choose which is going to be the best fit for my brides and their venues.
What do you love about photography?
As I mentioned before, I love seeing, creating and capturing connections. Obviously on a wedding day there is so much connection and emotion, which I find to be so beautiful. I think one of the biggest honors I have in my job is when I get to photograph my couples not only beginning their marriage, but also getting to capture their big milestones as they grow as a family. I just photographed the third baby of one of our first wedding clients – and one of their daughter’s middle names is Elyse! I mean, I know it wasn’t technically after me, they just liked the name. It still felt pretty special to me.
A huge thank you to Elyse of Ely Fair Photography for her awesome tips! Interested in booking Ely Fair Photography for your engagement session or wedding? Inquire with her directly on her Brides of Oklahoma vendor profile!