Real Talk: I’m a Wedding Photographer. Here’s Why I Did My Own Wedding Portraits a Day Early.

And also how I selected my wedding photographer.

Kelly Giarrocco Photography

Welcome to Real Talk Week at Philadelphia Wedding, where the pros behind the city’s most stylish weddings dish on how they handled getting hitched themselves. Up today: Sarah Alderman, owner of AGP Collective Photography, explains why she took portraits a day early — and how she picked her wedding photographer. 

Before I was even dating my husband, I knew I wanted to use a very specific photographer from New York for my wedding. About a year before we got married, though, that photographer changed their editing style, and it just didn’t resonate with me. I had become familiar with Kensington-based photographer Kelly Giarrocco. I love that Kelly honors the gravity and sacredness of a wedding day but also puts a more edgy, editorial vibe on it. Her editing style also happens to be what that other photographer’s used to be that I loved so much.

It’s really important to me that photographers don’t make the day about them. I appreciate that there’s a whole other school of thought on that, but what was right for our day was to be able to enjoy it as an experience and not make it just a photo shoot. So Kelly agreed to come up a day early. (The wedding was at Foxfire Mountain House in Mount Tremper, New York.)

We did our portraits the day before the wedding. We brought Diana from ONLO Beauty up early as well. She did hair and makeup for me and my daughters, and we did our first look and our family portraits on Friday. That way, on the wedding day, we didn’t have to worry about rushing for pictures. If Kelly hadn’t been able to come up on Friday, I would have just done portraits in my house and set up a mini styled shoot with the vibe of our wedding.

When I’m part of other people’s weddings, what I see being the most negative part of their experience is that the day goes by so fast. You want to savor every moment, but instead it’s flying by. This way, you’re guaranteed those really quality, sizzling portraits of yourself, but you’re not doing that at the sacrifice of your quality time with everyone who’s there.

As told to Sarah Zlotnick. 

This story was originally published as “I Found A New Photog And Did Portraits A Day Early” in the Winter/Spring 2019 issue of Philadelphia Wedding. To order your copy, click here

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