We are back with our favorite vendor spotlights and on this summer evening we are featuring the lovely Heather of Heather Gray Photography! Her work (and words below) speak volumes about the passion for her craft and for that we’re always grateful for her warm & welcoming presence. Heather has lent her immeasurable talent to some of our favorite couples – Callie + Nick’s engagement shoot and Broadmoor Wedding, Molly + Nicks Spruce Mountain Ranch wedding to name a few – leaving us with romantic keepsakes filled to the brim with love. We are lucky to have Heather as a friend in the industry, and to introduce her to you. We know you’ll get along famously.
Describe what you do.
In my work, I hold space for love, recording it with my camera and heart. I want my clients to feel seen and their stories told. I have the humble honor of witnessing some of the most precious moments in my clients’ lives and that responsibility drives me to do the best work I can. I also do my best to create a peaceful and grounding presence around my couples. Wedding days can cause stress and chaos that brings people out of the moment, so it’s important to bring them back so they can live fully and be present, which not only allows me to create beautiful photos, but most importantly brings them back to them.
What is your idea of a dream project?
My dream project would be a small wedding on the top of a mountain in Colorado or nestled along a coastal cliff in the Pacific Northwest, with farm to table food, open air dining under the stars, and live music. The couple would have their closest and dearest friends and family there, and they’d all dance through night under the moon. I truly love smaller weddings, ones where you leave with more friends and plenty of memories. One of my favorite things about weddings is meeting my clients’ “village,” this group of family and friends who have help form who these beautiful souls are and who will hold space for them through their lives together.
What makes you excited to go to work in the morning?
My tag line is, “heartfelt photography for beautiful souls,” and this is where I begin each work day, it’s the intention I set for my work. Creating work that is felt deeply in the hearts of my clients and honoring who they are, is what leads me to work each day. Knowing that I’m telling people’s stories excites me. I love people, it’s cliche, I know, but truly, I do. I love heartfelt, authentic, joyful, tearful, beautiful, and messy moments, I want it all. I want to know my clients, not just show up on their wedding day and photograph them. I want to know what makes their hearts shine, how they met, where their from, what makes them laugh, etc. these things help me tell the best stories I can. The responsibility of telling my clients’ stories is what excites me each and everyday, knowing that these photos will live on, sharing their special day with their children and generations to come. I’m immensely grateful to be a storyteller.
What’s a favorite trend you are seeing in the industry these days?
I really love how couples are designing their dream weddings and doing it their own way. I love the unique and unconventional, my favorite weddings recently haven’t followed traditional wedding formulas and I love that. People should get married however they want to.
One of my favorite trends is smaller weddings, especially destination weddings that fill a whole weekend, the connections and memories from these more intimate weddings are so special. Everyone really gets to know each other and the families blend so sweetly. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to do this for my own wedding; plan a weekend where your nearest and dearest can really get to know each other, build a wedding around connecting and community, begin your marriage with the beautiful foundation of your village, really see everyone, spend time with your people.
What advice would you give a younger you?
I would tell myself, don’t shy away from leading with your heart, it’s your greatest strength in life and work. Trust your instincts and truly listen to yourself. In my business, I would tell myself to avoid following other trails and find your own way. In this industry, photographers are a dime a dozen, you can find them everywhere, and I definitely let that get to me sometimes. It took me years to solidify my brand and my intentions in my work, but once I did, I was no longer floating in the sea of photographers. I built an island, I made my own space, and I’ve been blessed to welcome some truly incredible people into my little world and to tell their stories. I would invite my younger self to find this space sooner and to trust my instincts in getting there.