Alex Mari Photography

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Alex Mari Photography


Alex Mari Photography

If you’re following us on Instagram, chances are you’ve seen some of Alex’ amazing work passing by! Enjoy her interview!

Tell us about yourself! 

I’m the owner of a bicoastal wedding & editorial photography studio! Essentially it means that I jump between the east and west coast throughout the year ( I grew up in So Cal, and live in Lynchburg VA currently)! I’ve been a professional photographer for eight years, and a wedding photographer for five, and am so grateful for the fact that I get to create art each day for my job.

What makes your business unique, different or special?

My work is deeply inspired by my love for where I grew up – the ocean, warm rolling golden hills, sunshine – all of the things we know and love CA for! I incorporate an editorial style into my work, whether I’m creating a brand campaign or capturing a wedding – offering something special to the modern client or couple who appreciates the subtly of a refined aesthetic.

How do you support your lifestyle when you have less weddings than expected for the year?

Since a lot of our weddings for the year have been pushed back, I’ve been investing most of my time into creating content and education or working one-on-one with other photographers who want to learn and grow in the industry. And under usual circumstances, I’m shooting several editorials & smaller sessions throughout the year in addition to weddings!

If you had one piece of advice for couples looking for a wedding photographer, what would it be?

Your wedding photos will become such a cherished possession, so it’s important that you absolutely love your photographer’s work and feel like it speaks to you personally! I know it can be overwhelming when you’re first planning your wedding to look through countless photographers and try to decide what suits you best. But I’d encourage couples to sit down together and take some time to look through several styles of wedding photography and identify what stands out to you! A more dramatic, somber, documentary style? A colorful, joyous representation of the day? And once you decide on those things, don’t compromise. Take the time to find a photographer who you are completely confident will create images you’ll fall in love with. The biggest mistake would be to hire any photographer and hope that they’ll match the style in your mind’s eye, and unfortunately will only be a set up for unmet dreams and expectations.

If you weren’t shooting weddings, what would you be doing for work?

Exploring a new start up venture! As much as I love expressing myself artistically, I’m also a huge business nerd and love the excitement of building something from the ground up!

What do you think makes a photograph good?

A really powerful image conveys a powerful feeling. Think back on the photos you have from your lifetime. Which ones mean the most to you? I personally find that images which are tied to a moment rich with emotion or feeling usually mean the most to me. You could take the most beautiful portrait in the world, but if you didn’t feel amazing in that image, you’ll never truly love it. I have scratched up polaroids that are incredibly meaningful to me, simply because I know how happy I felt when the image was taken and looking at those photos instantly can bring back all of the sweet emotions.

What is a business mistake you made? 

Committing to too many collaborations or projects at once. One thing I always share with my mentees is how important it is to know the difference between an opportunity and an option. Especially when your business begins to grow, you’ll be presented with a lot of different options for collaborations, interviews, projects, styled shoots, etc. And at first glance it might feel like you’re turning down something exciting. But it’s critical as a business to weigh out which of these with actually serve you as a really good opportunity, and which ones will just end up taking precious time away from projects that would otherwise be moving the needle forward in your business.

What do you think makes an image award winning?

I believe an image that is either awe inspiring, or an image that conveys emotion and a story, are what makes an award winning image. The photograph needs to speak for itself. It could be an image that causes the viewer’s jaw to drop because of the unique setting, the way that it was captured, the subject matter, etc. Or it could be an image that draws you in as though, you the viewer, are a part of the story – a grandmother crying as her grand daughter slips into her wedding gown, or a bride and groom struck with tear-filled laughter after their recessional.

Do you have advice for new photographers?

The best thing you can do is to keep shooting. Shoot as much as you can. Try new techniques, learn your settings, learn your light. Practice, practice, practice. It’s not the most attractive advice, but there’s no teacher like experience.

What’s something people need to understand about photography?

Such a hard one to narrow down! But to pick one thing, I’d say understanding that creating an amazing image takes time. Whether it’s setting up perfect lighting, doing the same action few times over to get the perfect shot, purposefully arranging family members in a portrait, and so on, it’s helpful to be aware of the fact that a really amazing image isn’t usually just a quick snapshot. On the photographer’s end of things, don’t be afraid to slow down, to think, take your time, and be intentional. And for clients, know that it’s totally normal for there to be pauses while your photographer is thinking of the next gorgeous image to create, and always allow for plenty of time on a wedding day for portraits or any shots you’re dreaming of having!


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West Coast Wedding Awards is an awards program for photographers residing on the west coast of Canada and USA.


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