New York City
Heather Waraksa' combines a fashion photographer's eye for beauty with a sense of whimsy and warmth. She says she got into the wedding business almost by accident. "A couple of friends were getting married and they asked me to shoot the wedding," she recalls. "They didn't want anything too traditional. I was able to shoot in a way that I hadn't before-a little fashion, beauty, still life, photojournalism, and portraiture. This kept me on my toes. Since then, I've found that there's been a growth of couples wanting a different approach-something fresh."
Waraksa suggests to clients that formal portraiture sessions be completed before the wedding day. "This allows the bride, groom, bridal party, and family to enjoy the rest of their celebration immediately after their ceremony," she says. "It also allows the clients and me to get to know each other a little more. I need them to feel relaxed and comfortable. I want them to trust me enough to be themselves on the big day. That's when I'm most likely to capture real moments."
She says there is an emotional payback from shooting weddings. "I love being there to witness the vows," she says. "I love the party and celebration; I love seeing the bride all done up and glowing and the look on the groom's face when he sees her. I love being able to experience all of the emotion of the day and then creating something tangible that people will be able to look at to remember."