What is the mission of Jacqueline Connor Photography?
To enable clients to feel safe enough to live in the moments that truly make up their wedding day, and to document what makes every wedding day unique. I'm determined to bring the humanity back into wedding photography.
As it is in my own life, my business has always been inclusive. I am forever grateful for the experiences I have been welcomed into, and will always honor that privilege. Every step of the process from original inquiry response, to contracts, to the wedding day itself, assumes nothing about gender, race, creed, or sexual identity. All of the businesses and vendors that I partner with and recommend hold the same values of equality and service. From the engagement to a lifetime of portraits, I am dedicated to running a fully-inclusive and socially conscious business.
What is Jacqueline Connor Photography's origin story?
I know a lot of photographers stumble into the industry, but I am strange and chose it. I went to school for photojournalism and worked for newspapers in the NYC area after graduation. I loved it, but it was never quite the perfect fit. I always became too emotionally involved with the stories I was photographing, and the emotional effect of them stayed with me far longer than it should have.
Thankfully, the aspects of myself that held me back as a photojournalist are what makes me a great wedding photographer. I love my clients; I love their stories. I cry at almost every wedding (my second photographer has folders of photos to prove it) and will laugh along with every wedding day. I have been able to take my background as a journalist and apply it to every wedding; A wedding day is a photojournalist's dream -- there are so many little-unseen moments that go into all of the significant events.
What is one of your favorite projects you've ever worked on?
There are too many to name a specific wedding, but my favorite weddings are always the weddings where couples let it all go. They ignore or embrace tradition as they see fit, and they are just super excited to get married.
Aside from weddings, I have just started a boudoir photography project that has been nothing but empowering thus far. The prop-heavy, lingerie-focused style of photography may not always feel right for everyone; it certainly was not right for me. I want to give clients omething more real, more raw, more personal, and much sexier. Hearing the stories of so many women and discussing how they feel their body and self-identity fits into their lives and the world has been nothing short of awe-inspiring.
How are you a wedding space disrupter?
There is a consensus of "this is what a wedding has to be to count as a wedding" and "this is what you have to do to get good wedding photos." It's a lot of fabricated bullshit built in sexist roots that have gotten so convoluted; people don't know what it means and do things because "you have to." From the very get-go, my clients know they can leave all of that at the door. Any insecurities about their weddings not being "wedding enough" got out the window, and we get down to telling their story. Its a move away from executing a list of photographs you can see on every blog, and portrait session that consists of cheesy one-liners to create nervous laughter, and a dive into something real. It's bar hopping because three hours of portraits don't make sense for every wedding, and that dance move everyone's partner has when they have had too much to drink. It's the full story of a wedding day and the people that existed in it, not just the expected, pretty highlights.
What three ingredients are necessary for a great day at Jacqueline Connor Photography?
- On the day of your wedding, let it all go. It's so easy to get caught up in all of the little things ("did we pick the exact right blue for the centerpieces?"), but by doing so, you're going to miss the moments that really matter. Let all of the things you can't control go, and live in every instance of your wedding day. 50 years from now, you'll be grateful you did.
- Trust your vendors. We have your back. I can handle any weird stuff that happens on your wedding day. I can handle that aunt or uncle who doesn't want to leave the bar for a family photograph. If things run late, it's totally fine. Let me handle the hard stuff and concentrate on relaxing and enjoying your day.
- Have fun. After all, you're throwing a killer party to celebrate something incredible happening in your life. What's the point if you can't have fun with it?
What are some traits of your ideal clients and customers?
I love people that have fun and are unafraid to be themselves.
Just know from the get-go that anything is okay, and there is no need to hold back. This means crowd-surfing brides, emotional tears, and hysterical laughter, eagerly searching downtown Buffalo for tequila shots, however you want to show your love, and quiet moments with dear humans. I will never judge their style of celebrating. I don't care what a wedding "should be"; I will work with you organically to photograph how your wedding actually is. Love is love, and all are welcome. I would love to tell your story.