Felicia Events sat down with Monique Sady from Photography by Monique to talk about wedding photography and her unique style of photojournalism when it comes to capturing the special moments of the big day.
Felicia Events: Tell us a little bit about yourself, your business, your photography style.
Monique Sady: I started my wedding photography business in the Tahoe area in 2002 while [my husband] Scott continued to work at the Reno Gazette Journal as assistant photo editor. Actually, one of my first Lake Tahoe weddings I did was with Felicia! It was in South Lake Tahoe, with a backyard DIY, casual style to it. Scott quit the RGJ in 2007 and joined me in our wedding photography business. Scott and I love living in this area because it is so close to so many outdoor activities. We ski, hike, backpack, kayak, bike, and enjoy traveling. Lake Tahoe weddings are so fun to capture because the couples are generally laid back and also in to the outdoors, and really want the day to be documented as it unfolds. We love it when our couples are up for scrambling on the huge granite boulders at Lake Tahoe or willing to tread into meadows or fields of wild flowers.
FE: You call yourself a photojournalist rather than a photographer. How do you define yourself as a photojournalist? What makes you stand out above other wedding photographers?
MS: Scott and I both graduated from San Jose State, a few years apart, with Bachelor of Science degrees in Photojournalism. We both spent the first half of our careers as newspaper and Associated Press photographers covering news events, features, and sports in a fast paced, deadline oriented environment. When I decided to quit my newspaper job to start my wedding photography business, I wanted to carry over my skills and style, and so, naturally, I defined myself as a wedding photojournalist. We tell the story of the wedding day as it unfolds, capturing the candids in a documentary style. Of course, we still do posed family portraits, but even with those, we try to be creative and keep the portrait session short so we can focus on the candid interaction between the couple and their family and friends throughout the day.
FE: What can brides expect when they book you for their wedding photographer?
MS: A complete story of their wedding day, with minimal intrusion from us. Some people are a bit more shy in front of the camera, so if needed, we can also work with them to get them to feel more comfortable and have fun with the portrait part of the day.
FE: Do you shoot all the weddings, or do you have a team you work with?
MS: Scott and I do weddings together as a team, and we also do weddings on our own.
FE: You capture some pretty intimate moments during wedding shoots. How do you do it without the bride and groom feeling like you're intruding on their private time?
MS: I think we are pretty good at acting like the "fly on the wall.” Again, this goes back to our years as working photojournalists in the field just trying to be as unobtrusive as possible in order to tell the story through imagery. Also, we use a variety of lenses, so a telephoto lens can zoom in and capture some intimate moments without the subjects feeling our presence.
FE: What’s the most unique thing you've seen at a wedding?
MS: Every wedding is different and we love it when a couple decides to add their own unique flavor to their celebration. A recent example that comes to my mind is from a ceremony last summer. The bride and groom had their bridesmaids and groomsmen perform the ceremony, so they each took turns standing with the couple and doing a different part of the ceremony. And, working in the Tahoe area, we have a few couples who occasionally ski in to their wedding ceremony, or ski away at the end of it. I also once had a bride who took the reigns of the horse and buggy they had hired for their cocktail hour to give rides to the guests. I have also done a few weddings at Burning Man, so you can imagine the unique twists to those!
FE: What advice do you have for brides when it comes to choosing a photographer?
MS: It is important that a couple really resonates with their photographer's style, and that they feel comfortable with and trust their photographer.
Thank you Monique for taking the time in sharing all about Photography by Monique.