Hi, I’m Leila and I’m a NYC Wedding Photographer… And Then Some
Are you newly engaged and researching the best wedding photographers for your New York or destination celebration? Well you’ve landed in the right url. I bring over a decade of wedding experience with me and over 2 decades (20 was a big number to swallow) of toting a camera around as a best friend. Proudly, I bring over 35 years of being a unique human with my own experiences and adventures to how I see the world. Grab some bubbles and lots of ice cream and hang out with me for the next 10 minutes while I tell you about me (weird, I know, but it’s important) and my approach to photographing weddings.
A little about me and my first camera
I’m Leila (Lay-la, but I’ll pretty much answer to anything)! I have been a photographer for 21 years – it all started when my Mom gifted me my first camera to take on my first trip to Paris. I shot 30 rolls of film, in a week, all in black & white. Needless to say, I was hooked on the entire process – from the feel of the camera in my hands to the sounds the camera made to the smell of the developer (it’s like jet fuel.. either you love it or you don’t) to the final print I hung on my walls. I loved it so much so that my first job was for Kodak – One Hour Photo. A decade later, I sat down to really think about what I wanted from life. At the time, I was playing professional soccer in Denmark, and knew that that experience had an expiration date. I wrote down what I loved most – I LOVE people, travel, & photography. I hung up my cleats that very year and went full steam ahead into the most rewarding career I could have ever chosen – photographing couples & their loved ones on the happiest day of their lives in locations that will be cherished for years.
What makes a great wedding photographer in New York City?
That’s precisely why I’m doing this article. Being a wedding photographer is actually more than being a wedding photographer. I wear many hats in the months leading up to your wedding day and I happen to bring every single one with me when I photograph your fleeting moments. It’s SUPER important that you not only love my work, but that you also like me. We will spend 8-10 hours together, like white on rice, an actual third wheel. As your NYC wedding photographer I am your trusted sidekick and I am your best friend-or. I will make sure that everything runs smoothly all while photo-ing those fleeting moments. I grew up on a beach, so I’d say the best adjective to describe me is laid-back. I’m also a bit type A and know how things should look, making sure you look your best without being intrusive. I love to create movement through my imagery (because we’re people and that’s what we are designed to do) and I love to find moments where the stillness is moving. Hence moving stills; I also love a great double entendre. Here’s a little history about how I got to this very moment in time.
Little Leila is born
I’m still searching for a newborn Leila photo.. BRB.. Born in Denver, CO on a Wednesday sometime in the early morning. I’m such an Aquarius. “People born under the Aquarius sign are said to be progressive, independent, intelligent, unique, and idealistic. Their elemental sign is air. Like air, Aquarians don’t have a single, clear shape and seem to defy categorization.” Sounds about right.
Taxi to school
My mom was finishing her college degree so every morning she would put me in a taxi, by myself, to go to school. I’m pretty sure I cut my own hair shortly before this photo.
The big move
To California we went. The place that shaped me into who I am. I grew up not locking doors and not wearing shoes or many clothes. I was free to come and go, with only one rule, leave the beach cleaner than when you arrived. I hold this value close to my heart everywhere I go, applying it to all aspects of life.
My first camera
My mom gifted me a camera when I was 15 before a trip to Paris. I was instantly hooked. I now have like 15 best friends all with different bodies and personalities.
I grew up and I graduated college
I found my little dog roaming the streets of Los Angeles when he was about 3-4 months old. I immediately brought him into my home and he has been the best dog and buddy I could have ever asked for. He turns 14 this year. Also, I was a 5-year collegiate athlete (had a setback with a blown out knee for one year) came back to finish as captain of my soccer team and President of the Athletic Association on campus. I know what it means to work hard and to play hard. I had a great time and got things done. I got our athletes and their teams to be the top donors for the year to the Make-A-Wish-Foundation in our league while implementing an on going recycling program and community betterment projects.
Dreams come true
(Looks like I stole that photo… ooops). Right after I graduated college, I went to try out for a professional soccer team in Denmark. I signed my contract after the first day of practice and spent the next 3 seasons living out my dreams. This milestone opened my world up to adventure and independence. Every single minute of practice, through my whole life, paid off beyond the soccer field and I am forever grateful to the sport for having done that for me. I still play 4 times a week when I’m not being a wedding photographer.
The next chapter
Sometimes, you just know you are on the right path, but not wearing the right shoes. I traded my cleats in for work shoes and began working towards the most rewarding career I could have chosen, being a wedding photographer. Photographing people on the happiest day of their lives in places that mean the most to them.
An established wedding photographer living out my dreams photographing in-love couples in really fucking cool places around the world. I am forever grateful for each opportunity to do just that.
You’ve made it this far, might as well keep going on why to choose me as a wedding photographer for your New York wedding
- I have been living in Manhattan for over a decade now. I got suckered in by the lights and never left. LA is home as well, the big city and the energy of both are infectious and I can’t.get.enough.
- With over 10 years of experience as a wedding photographer in New York, I know exactly what to do in every situation. From sun at high noon to a wine cellar at your favorite restaurant, I know how to light it. If I don’t, I’ll think of something. Living in New York has made me a better photographer because the light isn’t always ideal, so I’ve had to learn to mold light where I need to. I work extremely hard at perfecting my craft and being my own toughest critic. I am constantly learning and evolving.
- From living in New York City for the last 10 years, I know every square inch of this place, good, weird, smelly. I have walked just about every street there is. I got you for any type of location you want whether it’s a city view, a classic city shot, or something intimate. This city has an endless spread of diversity and I’m here to give you a venue recommendation to fit your style.
- You say you’re a New Yorker and you want something less Times Square? I can take you to a beach in Brooklyn that has sand, shoes optional. Bet you never heard of that one…
- We can adventure around the New York City taking photos on the ground, in the sky, and below on the subways.
- I love to eat and I can recommend the perfect celebratory restaurant for after your City Hall wedding.
- 350. The number of weddings I have photographed working on 6 continents. Antarctica anyone….?
- I work with the top vendors this city has to offer. I have connections with everyone from wedding hair and makeup, planning, florists, cakes, bands, getaway cars and more!
- We can play with the different moods by finding the lighting the city has to offer. We can head to the west side highway to watch the sunset or head to Wall Street for something a little moodier.
- Having worked at many of the venues here in NYC, I know the ins and outs of most places and can make recommendations on where will be best for your wedding pictures.
- Like I said, I’ll be your best friend-or. You first hire me as a vendor, and I’ll become a friend who photographs your wedding. Remember, I know how to get shit done and I know how to have a good time doing it. I also end up becoming your dedicated family photographer – photographing your siblings weddings or even maternity and kids!
- I’m here for you for the entire wedding planning process. Want to know if your flower choices will photograph well, just ask!
- I understand photography from the standpoint of documentary and photojournalism. It’s important to have those classic images of the people that you care about, but it’s equally as important to show you and your people having the time of your lives.
- I drank from my own supply. I am a wedding photographer, but recently got married so I can tell you from both sides of the coin about weddings and how to get the most out of your investment.
- Provide timeline help so that you can take full advantage of what I have to offer and the best lighting.
- I have the fastest turnaround times for images. Within 48 hours of your wedding, I send you a sneak peak. You can download and share these goodies with your people. I deliver a full gallery of images within 6 weeks of your wedding date. I do everything in my office – from emails to final delivery because I love what I do.
- I’m here to tell your story. It’s a 50-50 relationship. You bring the love and I’ll show you the love.
A fun video about being a NYC wedding photographer
I’d love to hear from you and to photograph your wedding or event, whether it’s in NYC or a destination important to you. I reply within 24hrs, usually sooner than that because it’s like Christmas every time I get an inquiry!