Corey Torpie Wants Your Wedding Photos to Age Well
She'll tell you that you don't realize right now how precious your photos are; that they'll become increasingly valuable as you grow older; that there are certain images you won't even see the importance of until some time has passed.
And she should know! After six years of marriage, two years of parenthood, and a decade photographing weddings, Corey's experienced it all personally — and with her couples.
These days, she's asking herself the question: what is important, holistically, to document for her clients? And how can you create a wedding environment that fosters being present in the moment?
Involve Your Community and Tell Your Story
A wedding is not just about the two people getting married — it's also, perhaps even primarily, about declaring your commitment to and sharing the celebration with your community. And every community has its own traditions, rituals, and idiosyncrasies.
Corey counts herself lucky to have grown up in Queens, New York, and to have the opportunity to photograph incredible weddings both at home and abroad.
She recounts a recent destination wedding she photographed in Paris. The couple did a guerilla-style ceremony in a public plaza, sharing their vows privately with each other in a sea of people. Their officiant added a surprise — playing the story of how they met over speakers while the vow exchange was going on.
Embrace Your Culture and its Wedding Traditions
Corey loves to shoot all kinds of weddings, including culturally traditional weddings. There's something about the structure of them — everyone has a role, everyone knows what needs to happen — that puts the community at ease.
Your community is there for a reason, not just for observation. For the older generation, particularly, she finds that knowing how to participate allows them to relax and be themselves.
“Give those who want to be involved something to do!” Corey suggests. “One of the greatest gifts you can give to your guests is to think of something that they would be good at doing, and then give them that responsibility. It's a really tangible act of support for your marriage.”
Trust and Collaborate with Your Wedding Photographer
One thing Corey prioritizes is building a great relationship with each of her clients. From the moment you book with her, she's on your wedding planning team. So, when you book her, you can be assured that you'll hear from Corey regularly, not just when it's time to iron out the final details.
“I'm really committed to helping my clients in any way that they need, and I'm always there for questions and to help them through the process. I view shooting someone's wedding as a collaboration,” she says. “I don't get these amazing photos just by myself. I need their trust and permission to be in that space, and that's something I work actively towards.”
Corey knows that the best photos are made when we understand and trust each other — so she includes a free engagement session to make sure you're comfortable in front of the camera and with her behind it.
Eradicate the Goal of A Perfect Wedding
Look, there is no such thing as a perfect wedding. No matter how carefully you and your wedding planner have organized the celebration, how amazing your team of event pros is, or how cooperative the weather decides to be, there will be things that don't turn out exactly as you envision.
“Five things are gonna go wrong, and it's fine,” Corey says, “because you're going to be married at the end of the day.”
Recalibrate your idea of what a “perfect” wedding means. Assume some things will go awry and decide now that you will roll with it. Shift your mindset from “everything going exactly according to plan” to “we'll get married and celebrate with our favorite people!”
Don't Sweat the Details
Corey is looking for couples who are celebrating community, and prioritizing that over all the details. It's easy to get caught up in all the small things, and there's nothing wrong with choosing them carefully, but remember that your family and friends aren't showing up for a Pinterest-worthy wedding day — they are showing up for YOU.
So, worry less about making the “right” choices, and worry more about creating an atmosphere that allows your community to comfortably be themselves.
Hire a Wedding Photography Ninja
Or, as they usually call themselves, a photojournalist. Corey focuses on capturing your wedding day as is. She'll be photographing everything just how it happens; with no “do-overs” to get a “perfect” shot. She doesn't spend time staging the details, but captures them within their context, in the way they are actually being used.
Corey's photojournalistic approach usually involves letting the day unfold naturally. She may use the cocktail hour to introduce herself to your guests, so, in her words, “they don't feel like I'm a creepy weirdo with a cameral all night long!”
But after that, she'll move into the background, taking candid photos of your people and the moments you're sharing as they happen. Corey's knack for putting guests at ease often means her clients get photos from moments they didn't even realize she was present.
Embrace the Wedding Day Chaos
Some of Corey's favorite images — the ones that will give you The Feels every time you glance through your wedding album — are images she's captured when something didn’t go according to plan.
Wedding days are a giant ball of chaos and mixed emotions, and that's completely normal! Roll with the punches, embrace the frenzy, and it'll all be ok. Plus, you'll get great photos.
Wanna Get to Know Corey Better?
Head on over to her website and take a look through her wedding photo galleries. You can also check out her documentary work — she loves exploring community outside of weddings, too.
Cindy Savage is the lead wedding planner and owner of Aisle Less Traveled, based in St. Louis. She helps independent, feminist, and LGBTQ+ people plan meaningful weddings while keeping their budgets and their sanity intact. She firmly believes that everyone who has found love deserves a great wedding, no matter what size their budget is - and to make that a reality, she invented Choose Your Own Wedding, an internet-based wedding planning subscription to offer comprehensive planning support at an affordable price.
When she's not planning weddings, she can usually be found living her best introvert life: reading books, crafting, talking to her internet friends, drinking wine, wearing stretchy pants, and exercising complete control over the remote!