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Wedding Photographer Washington Julia Kinnunen Photography shoots a wedding at St Paul’s Church, Port Gamble WA, United States

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Wedding Photographer : Julia Kinnunen Photography  
Couple : Erika + Nick
Wedding Photographer Washington
Ceremony Location : St. Paul’s Church, Port Gamble WA
Reception : St Paul’s Church, Port Gamble WA
Wedding Date : August 31st 2014

Tell us a little about yourself??

I am originally from a quiet island outside of Seattle, and after a few years of big city living in the middle of New York City, I’ve found my way back to the beautiful Pacific Northwest and embracing my calling as a portrait photographer. I’m crazy about color, love tattoos, and am obsessed with people in love.

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How do you think or would like people to describe you?

I like to think that people would describe me as open, authentic, and invested.

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Tell us a little bit about the wedding day?

Erika and Nick got married in a small chapel near the water in Washington with their closest friends and family supporting them. It was a small brunch wedding, full of sun and smiles. It was intimate, stress-free, and such a fun day.

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How did you get into wedding photography?

After starting my career as a headshot photographer, a friend of mine asked if I would shoot her wedding. I hesitated since I’d never imagined that this would be my path, but I haven’t looked back since.

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How long have you been a wedding photographer?

It will be 6 years this spring!

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Can you share how you've made your wedding photography business a success? Any mistakes you made along the way?

Persistence. Working as a second shooter and learning as much as I can every single time I pick up my camera. I can always do better! I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to trust my gut, and that it’s ok to say no. If I don’t mesh well with a client, I’m not going to take them on. They have to trust me and want to invest in their photography in order for it to be a successful day.

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What do you think a bride or groom should be looking for and not looking for in terms of wedding photography packages?

I think it’s most important to look at work that inspires you and find a photographer who you’d like to hang out with again after your wedding. If you like the photographs you see online but don’t like the person who took them, it isn’t going to work.

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How do you advertise yourself and what for you has really worked?

Primarily word of mouth. Really forming lasting connections with my couples is the most important thing in the world for me, and it pays off.

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Why do you think people hire you?

I think people hire me because my work tells a story. My images illustrate a wedding in an honest light, portraying the day as it happened. I’m easy to communicate with, and take pride in being a low-stress element of what can be a stressful day!

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How many weddings do you average per year?

15-20.

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Whose wedding would you love to shoot?

I love shooting couples that are invested in each other, and who want to create beautiful images that highlight how important their relationship is; the pretty stuff is great, but the important part is the gooey stuff at the center of their day.

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If you were asked to shoot a destination wedding, where would you hope it would be?

I would love to shoot a wedding in Iceland, but my passport is open and ready for just about anywhere in the world!

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What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?

I shoot on Canon equipment, and always have a backup with me.

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What is the most challenging thing about a wedding.

The most challenging thing, for me, about weddings is always remembering to drink enough water! I get in the zone and forget to hydrate.

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Do you have an approach to a wedding?

My approach is pretty hands-off. My number one goal is for my couples to be comfortable, and I do whatever I need to do to make that happen. It’s different for everybody!

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Who or what inspires you?

I take a lot of inspiration from cinema – I love a little bit of drama in my images. My clients inspire me too, there’s nothing more incredible than being trusted with such a huge element of such a special day!

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Best & Worst marketing idea so far?

Investing in a good web design has been huge for me. A clean and professional website is where it’s at. For me, advertising on big name wedding planning sites isn’t effective. Brides get overwhelmed, and vendors get lost in the crowd.

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If you weren't a photographer, what would you be?

I’m a stylist as well as a photographer, and I get the best of both worlds this way! Making people feel as beautiful as they are is my main mission in life.

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Share your favourite image of the day and why?

My favorite photograph is a moment between Erika and Nick laughing so hard they can hardly stand up straight. It sums up how important it is to take a few minutes out of the day just to let go of the chaos that comes with planning such a big event and laugh with your best friend.

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Do you have any goals for the future photography related or otherwise?

My number one goal as a photographer is to make my clients feel special and spectacular at the end of the day, whatever it takes. I would love to have the opportunity to do so all across the globe.

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What do you think is key to being a successful wedding photographer?

Making meaningful connections with and staying inspired by your clients is the best way I know how to be successful.

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Are there any other wedding photographers whose work inspires you, can be a well know photographer or somebody you've stumbled across?

Sean and Melanie Flanigan, Brooke Davis, and Samm Blake are constant sources of inspiration for me.

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Proudest moment so far. Photography related or otherwise?

I’m most proud of my work whenever my brides and grooms contact me after they receive their images. Hearing that my photographs of their day are better than they could have ever imagined will never get old.

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