The wedding industry requires that vendors work with other vendors in the name of serving our mutual clients as a team.  Most people looking for any one particular piece of the puzzle don’t consider the fact that the best events are pulled off by every vendor working hand-in-hand with each other.  As the MC/DJ, I have a fairly heavy hand in coordinating EVERYTHING (which I THOROUGHLY enjoy, by the way).  However, I don’t get to call all of the shots; I am more called upon to execute the plan and inform the clients and the guests about what’s happening and when.  It’s par for the course for the girl/guy that owns and carries the microphone.

One of the most important people to communicate with during the festivities is the photographer.  After all, (s)he is hired to capture those moments for posterity; we have to be QUITE clear with each other about what’s going to happen, when and where.  I am called upon to set the stage with announcements and play the music to accompany those moments, but it is with LOTS of communication with the photographers.  They need to make sure that they are in the best position to capture those moments, as well as their gear.  Simply put, I can’t just do things all “willy-nilly”; the photographer needs forewarning so that they can do what they’re commissioned to do.

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some awesome photographers through the years.  I recently caught up with one of my favorites for a photo shoot; in return for the favor that she granted me, I am sending her some love by introducing her to all of you.

Meet Sarah Chacos of Sarah Chacos Photography.  She and I worked a wedding reception at Brackett’s Crossing Country Club last year then re-connected through a dear friend of mine.  I love Sarah’s enthusiasm and her approach when it comes to shooting events.  Her demeanor is infectious and we had quite a bit of fun being goofy during the photo shoot.  When I suggested interviewing for the blog, she nearly jumped at the chance.

On with the interview (Author’s Note: some answers paraphrased for clarity):

What inspired you to get into photography?
I learned how to use a camera right before digital cameras really took off.  I photographed on film, rolled, developed and exposed my own images in the dark room.  The creative process of connecting with your subject, capturing an emotion and making it come to life in print is what made me fall deeply in love with the art of photography.  As a photographer, I have the ability to uniquely capture and connect with some of the most rad individuals in the world!  Being able to tell someone’s story and essentially leave a mark on their legacy is an incredible feeling.  This is what inspires me every.  Single.  Day.

What drove you to the wedding industry?
I kind of fell into the industry by accident, ha!  Early on in my career, I interned for two photographers that photographed weddings.  Naturally, I followed suit because that’s what I was learning, too!  I’m honored that they took me in under their wings and taught me a priceless amount of knowledge that led me to where I am today.  I’m blessed to be able to serve such incredible people!

What do you love most about being a wedding photographer?
To put it simply, I love “LOVE” and that contagious feeling of being in love.  Seeing the way two people look at one another on one of the most important days of their life is so physically and emotionally beautiful!  I’m obsessed with capturing that connection.  So many emotions occur throughout the wedding day – it’s crazy!  You’re anticipating, planning, preparing, experiencing and celebrating all within a matter of hours.  There’s nothing quite like it and you leave the day feeling like you’re a part of the family.

What is your most memorable/fun wedding event?
It’s no secret that I love to dance!  Some of my favorite memories have been from the receptions I’ve photographed over the years.  Everyone lets their guard down, the drinks are flowing and everyone is having fun celebrating!  I recently had a couple dedicate “The Wobble” to me!  HA!  The DJ made an announcement calling out my name to get everyone on the dance floor.  I danced with the newlyweds, their wedding party and guests and I had an absolute blast!  I love connecting with not only the couple, but their friends and family too!

What makes you unique from other wedding photographers?
While the “magazine worthy” weddings are absolutely beautiful, I love capturing the “ordinary” and making it look and feel extraordinary.  My couples are laid back, love to have fun and are some of the coolest people on earth.  I strive to make the day about them rather than the “things.”  Don’t get me wrong, I love a perfect centerpiece just like any other photographer, but isn’t the day really about the couple rather than the decor?  That’s what I believe and what I strive to capture.

Do you have any favorite wedding trends?
UNPLUGGED CEREMONIES!  I know that this isn’t a “new” trend, but I cannot tell you how often I see guests more focused on their phones rather than actually experiencing the ceremony.  I had a guest recently who had their phone in their hand throughout the entire ceremony AND reception (I’m assuming recording video) and it honestly made me a bit sad.  There’s so much happening throughout the day and the more time you spend behind your screen the less time you get to spend celebrating with the couple.  Capturing moments is great, I hear ya, but having “phone-free” ceremonies is definitely the best way to keep the focus on what really matters.

My sincere thanks goes out to Sarah for taking the time to answer my questions.  If you’re looking for a photographer for engagement pictures, senior photos or weddings, give Sarah a shout and let her know that Steve sent you!