We’re featuring Gillian Stevens Photography on the blog today! She is a local Vancouver lifestyle photographer who has an amazing eye and catches the sweetest and most magical moments! Anything from weddings to couple shoots, maternity to family photos. She does them all and captures them so beautifully!
We love how Gillian captures a moment. There's a certain authenticity to her photos and you can tell that they're genuine and "in-the-moment". Her photos are always catching our attention; whether it's for a blog post or on instagram - we can easily see her love for photography can be easily noticed through her natural talent!
Tell us about yourself!
I live in a charming old apartment right by the sea with my wonderful husband Mark. We will be celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary this summer but it still sort of feels like were newlyweds! 3 years has sure gone by quickly, and they’ve been some of the best years of my life – we have a lot of fun together.
I began my photography business in 2011. It all came together pretty organically; I have always loved taking pictures and eventually people started asking me to take photos of them. It started with a few engagement sessions; I adored capturing the pure joy that these couples felt for one another and having the ability to share their stories with others.
Aside from photography I have a mild addiction to home décor, clothing, and trying new recipes (evidence of this can be seen on my Pinterest board, followers beware).
What do you love most about photography?
Probably how many amazing people that it connects me with. I love taking photos of people in their natural element, showing them how unique and wonderfully made they are. It truly brings me such joy.
What advice would you give a couple trying to choose a photographer?
Do your research. It doesn’t hurt to get a few quotes from different photographers so you can get an idea of what package options look like. Once you know what your budget is, you can start to think about style and approach between different photographers.
Because you spend more time with your photographer than most of the guests attending your wedding, it’s really important that you get along! Meet for coffee, and see if you feel comfortable with them. The more effortless the relationship – the better, and more natural the photos will be.
Look through photographers’ website galleries and blog posts, and think about whether you’d be happy if the photos you see were your photos. Its important you like your photographers aesthetic, so that you can trust them to do what they do best on your wedding day!
And as much as you can help it, try not to show your photographer too many Pinterest boards. Your day is going to be yours – not someone else’s. And your photographer wants a chance to create something wonderful and unique to you! Be as descriptive as you want with what shots are important to you, but leave the rest to your photographer – that’s why you’re hiring them.
How would you describe your photography style?
I would describe my work as natural, authentic, and warm. I have a very classic style, and have always loved film photography. I think that it comes across in my work. I am a big fan of the “in-between” moments, blurry lines, evening light, movement, and colour within nature.
What did you look for in a photographer for your wedding?
Honestly, I looked for an aesthetic I liked within a budget that we could afford. I wouldn’t say our budget was overly tight – but we wanted to be wise in our spending. At the time, there weren’t many photographers in Vancouver that had the style that I wanted and it took a while for me to decide on who I wanted for our wedding.
We ended up hiring a mutual friend of mine, Kirsten Huculiak, who had recently graduated from art school. She was wonderful to work with, and we were really happy with both our wedding and engagement photos. Finding someone who is just starting out is a great way to get a talented photographer within a very reasonable budget.
How much do you think a bride should invest into a photographer?
I think that this number could be different for everyone. I feel its important to do research on what an average wedding package is, but also wise in how much money you are spending.
You can find a photographer to fit in almost every budget, so do your best to find someone who meets most of the criteria you want. If your budget is tight, you may need to be flexible on what is important to you. For example, I offer half-day packages for brides who want a professional photographer but have a small budget, and I also offer premium packages for couples that really want to invest in the photos for their day.
When approaching the topic of budget, I find it is best to be as honest as possible with your photographer. Don’t be afraid to say what your budget is – your photographer may be able to work within that, and if not – at least you’ve got an idea of your options.
If you're not already, do yourself a favour and follow Gillian on instagram @gillianstevens! You won't regret it!