The Swellegant Seven: Real Wedding Advice from Studio EMP

Cool to sit with Joel, my trusted partner,  from for a visit.   He reminded me why our business and  | He | is so great.  

Why do you love what you do?

I love what I do because I am allowed to be a part of human emotion and am able to document these feelings for my clients, and I also challenge myself to get the perfect natural moment with the right light and the beautiful emotion all happening in one instant- timing is everything.

What do you believe sets you apart from other photographers?

Anyone can make a pretty picture.  A pretty picture with emotion and feeling is of the greatest value to my clients and with that being my goal for the last 15 years I have gotten pretty dang good at it.

What would be your advice to a newly engaged couple?

“What?  About Photography?”  “Marriage?”  “Weddings?”    |Laugh|

Further, Joel, what advice do you have for newly engaged couples about the process of planning a wedding?

Use your heart to choose vendors.  Be honest about who you connect with.  You really have to connect with the person and the product.   I don’t sell something that is not “Me.”  Don’t choose vendors to “Impress people”.  This will all lead to the most enjoyable night of your life rather than the most stressed night- we don't like stress:)

When are you most inspired?

At dusk in nature.  Nature is my happy place and the light at dusk is soft, creamy, milky, relaxing and calm and fits best with my style of shooting- relaxed and comfortable.

What does it look like for a couple to have true professionals working on their wedding day?

They are able to enjoy every moment.  This goes back to choosing vendors from your heart… it’s like when we do weddings together, there is no stress and it is all fun and wonderful.  Pros take challenges in stride and fix problems so that our couples don’t have to worry about a thing and may never even know about bumps in the day. 

What is it like having Jeni, your wife, work in the same industry?

It’s been a gradual shift from when she first started until now, and it continues to evolve and change as our businesses do and as the industry does.  It’s generally a good thing as we can relate better to each others obstacles and achievements as compared to couples in different fields. 

What do you think about testimonials and online reviews?

All our reviews are real.  We started getting a lot of great reviews as the web has grown as a planning tool and have since started gently asking clients to rate us online. We get many inquiries from review sites and these people already have a pretty good feeling as to how we act and interact and they already have a bit of trust in us. 

Do you remember when we first met?

Sorry, I don’t.  You’ve always been around!  What I do remember is that from very early in our relationship I have held you up on a pedestal as a true professional and as a leader of ethical vendors in this industry. 

What do you do to keep balance?

Ride my bike and spend time with my family. 

What is your favorite wedding moment ever?

My favorite moment?  OK.  Fall, right before the ceremony, the Bride and Mom had a moment where they were talking about the Dad who passed away just a few months earlier and the bride was sad he wasn't there.  I was the only other person in the room and I was using a silent camera to not interrupt. I was crying and my heart was pounding knowing how much they would love the images I was making. THIS is why I document weddings.