Andrea Ackermann and Renata Janes are some of the best kind of photographers to work with: they’re warm, kind, great friends, and extraordinarily talented! They’re also genuinely cool people who balance their passion for photography with busy, interesting lives – something that is an inspiration for us! We so appreciate Andrea & Renata sharing their experience with our readers. Here’s what they had to say!
How did you get started in the wedding business? Wedding photography really fell into our laps! Andrea began shooting portraits for friends as a hobby and one fateful New Year's Eve was asked by a friend's sister to photograph her Valentine's weekend wedding that same year. Andrea asked Renata, a longtime friend, to come along for solidarity and while it was scary, we had a great time! After that, our little Blogger blog alone booked us 9 weddings the same year and Andrea quit her full time job to officially start the company. We've been so lucky to have incredibly gracious mentors and industry friends to help us along!
What do you do when you are not working? We're each mom (talk about work!) to multiple kids, so that takes up most of our time! Andrea has two girls under 4 and Renata has two boys and a girl under 7. We love our families and take every opportunity to be with our husbands and children. When we're not working, we still hang out together a good amount, too! Sit us down at a good restaurant with no evening plans and we'll thoroughly enjoy ourselves. Individually, Andrea enjoys writing, baking, reading and generally hanging out. Renata homeschools her two oldest and loves 80's music and good coffee.
How would you describe your approach to weddings? Since we both had weddings before we entered the industry, we've tried to use our experiences to serve our couples to the fullest. We believe that 1. There is a "perfect fit" photographer for every couple and 2. Every couple deserves great images from their wedding day. Our approach to photographing couples is extremely relational and the chemistry between us and them is crucial. Not everyone wants our approach to wedding photography and that's totally okay! As much as we are artists, we are also individuals and encourage couples to consider our character and personalities before hiring us. Our cameras record the wedding day as we see it and it's important to us that a couple truly wants their day captured that way. A lot of our past clients have become friends and we couldn't imagine it any other way.
What inspires you in your work? Above all, we are inspired by the people we photograph. Wedding photography is not just about recounting details of the wedding day, it's about telling the story of the couple, the way they move together, what makes them laugh, how they appreciate each other. We are champions for legacies and it's so, so inspiring to know we're documenting people as their build theirs.
What do you find the most rewarding about your job? As photographers, obviously, it's incredibly rewarding when clients love what you've created and are proud of. As stay-at-home-working-moms, wedding photography has afforded us each a creative and social outlet that we're so grateful for.
What's the one thing you wish everyone knew about you or your business? It sounds trite, but we really are honored to be a part of a wedding day and, in some cases, be allowed to document growing families! The weight of the responsibility doesn't get lost on us, especially now that we both have children. During different parts of the wedding day, we're constantly thinking about our own families and how one day, it'll be our daughter dancing with her dad and it'll be us remembering them as babies. We cry too much I'm sure, but we're reminded of the importance of our job and truly recognize how privileged we are in those moments.
What do you think sets your company apart from other photographers? We're firm believers that good photography is as much technical skill as individualism. We bring our own experiences and vision to the table and capture a wedding day the best way we know how. We're obviously different than other people, so our perspective will vary as well. Our very favorite thing is when couples truly want us at their wedding, not just because of our portfolio but because of our character and personalities and what they bring to the photographs.
What do you love about weddings? Over the years, we've really come to appreciate weddings and the role they play in a family's life. Our favorite part? Probably the ceremony sermon or charge to the couple. We're usually challenged to strengthen our own marriages and are always rooting on the couple as they begin their life together.
What do you hate about weddings? The very worst thing that can happen at a wedding is for a couple to get too lost in the details of the day being perfect and losing sight of the reason they organized the event in the first place - to get married. It's our privilege to be able to take a couple out alone for portraits and give them a break and a chance to reset.
What is the coolest thing you've ever seen at a wedding? A hawk delivered the rings to the officiant during one outdoor ceremony a couple years ago. The couple gave us a heads up, but it was a surprise to everyone else! It was trained to fly in from the back, deliver the rings, then fly back. Crazy.
What's the best piece of advice you can give to couples planning a wedding? My husband and I have adopted a family slogan which I think is perfect for this question: "Do you, boo." It's your wedding and while traditions are important and family members need voice and respect, in the end, it's about the two of you getting married. Have uneven wedding party sides? Totally fine. No garter toss? Fine. Want to get married outside/inside/underwater/skydiving? Go for it. Make the day about the two of you and everyone else will get on board.
Who is your favorite artist or band? You really can't beat JT. Or Beyonce. Yeah, Beyonce.
What is the worst song of all time? Wedding photography has ruined "We Are Family" and "Shout" for us forever.
Open mic, final thoughts: We love what we do and the people we get to work with, couples and vendors alike! Thanks to MyDeejay for their talent, encouragement and kindness!