Updated: Dec 6, 2022
Hi! I'm Emily. Thanks for visiting the blog! Allow me to introduce myself.
I live in Layton with my husband, three children, and my border collie. My husband and I were married in 2016. We both attended BYU. I graduated in 2018 with a degree in Theater Arts Education. Now I know what you're thinking: theater? I'm on a photography website, aren't I? Worry not, you're not alone in thinking so. I really love learning new things, and that's made it hard to nail down my profession to any one task. My father is a photographer, so my interest in photography started as we would drive down the roads of Pennsylvania (where I grew up) and I'd point out the window and say, Hey Dad, do you see that? That would make a cool picture! As time went on, I was appointed my dad's "artistic director" and accompanied him on shoots to man the second camera and arrange couples, families, and wedding parties into poses. This came back to me strongly in my theater life, where a lot of what I used as a photographer helped me to direct my actors into effective shapes onstage. My mother, amongst other things, taught me to sew, which manifests in theater and photography alike. At BYU I worked as a TA for beginning and intermediate sewing classes, and I loved the confusion on my students' faces on the first day when I introduced myself as a theater major. I'm a firm believer in the Renaissance Woman, and I love having a lot of skills I am passionate about.
But more to the point: I took my first formal photography class as a high school senior, and I've been absolutely hooked ever since. One notable summer break, I worked as a photographer for a popup portrait studio in a popular retail store. I'm not here to bash anyone's career, but that was a terrible job for me. Terrible. My workflow was mandated and robotic, my editing commercial and void of creativity, and the prices were insanely inflated. The company that owned our studio scandalously crashed without warning, and frankly, I'm not that surprised. When I finally quit, the company told me I would never be able to be hired again if I left the company. I was sorely tempted to ask, "Do you promise?" Sadly, this led to me stepping away from photography for a time. Halfway through college, busy with classes and jobs and figuring out how to be married, I realized that a part of my life seemed to be missing. That piece felt full again as I returned to taking pictures. I booked my first sessions, shooting headshots for my theater friends at $15 per half hour, in 2017. Three years later, after many deliberations, anxiety attacks, and pep talks, I finally filed for an LLC and MLE Photography was born.
Now that you know a bit about me, let's talk about what I can do for you.
There's certainly a lot of photographers out there, and choosing one can feel overwhelming. You consider price, packages, style, personality...the list goes on. In all of my time taking pictures, a lot of things about my work have evolved: my skill with the camera has grown, my preferences for camera settings have changed, my editing style has become vastly different. However, there is one constant. I find that if the people on the other side of my camera are comfortable, the pictures will be good. That has been and will always be my first priority as a photographer: to make my subjects comfortable, so that their pictures can capture them as they are.
A big part of my clients feeling comfortable is knowing what to expect in their pictures. As you look through my website, you can see what I've done for other people. That's what I plan to do for you! When you know what to expect from your pictures, it's easier to trust me as your photographer. That trust is a huge part of you feeling comfortable. Here's what you can expect from my photos:
A good balance of candid and posed photographs, with natural expressions throughout. Rather than relying heavily on posing, I prefer offering prompts. This means that I'll give you something to say, do, or think about while I am shooting. I really love big, natural smiles, so I'll often do or say something to help you laugh. Not only will this get the great big, laughing smile, but also a softer one as that big laugh fades away. I love these faces because the smiles never look stiff, and the eyes never look disengaged (that's most important!). I go through a variety of prompts to get big smiles, as well as softer expressions, offering you a lot of beautiful faces to choose from. Of course, I know that you'll want pictures of your family looking towards the camera and smiling. We'll get those as well! Without being too stringent, I'll guide you or your family into arrangements that will create beautiful, balanced, and aesthetically pleasing photos.
True-to-life colors and faces. I know that choosing the clothing for your photoshoot is something you spend a lot of time laboring over, especially coordinating clothing for various family members or a wedding party. This in mind, I will never edit my photos in such a way that alters the colors you have worked so hard to select. I use edits only to enhance and beautify your photos, but never to create drastic change. This applies not only to color, but also to the people within my photographs. I edit to make people look like they are having their very best day, but not beyond the realm of reality. I'll gladly retouch to balance skin tone, remove blemishes, and enhance your natural beauty. But I don't think there's anything more beautiful to photograph than YOU, so I certainly want you to look like yourself.
Timeless, bright, and vibrant editing. I've named my style "bright and moody", because it combines two popular contemporary editing styles. I love the strong whites and lighter exposure of the "light and airy" style, but also the rich colors and warmth of the "dark and moody" style. I combine the two to include lots of light, lots of color, and enough contrast to add depth and texture to your photographs. My doing so, your photos can be beautifully enhanced without being marked too much by the current trends of editing. My hope is that your photos will always be beautiful memories without becoming dated as years pass.
What else can we do to help you and your family feel comfortable taking pictures? For one, I'm from a family of talkers. Taking pictures with me, there aren't many moments of silence, let alone awkward ones. I make it a priority to learn names and keep meaningful conversations running throughout the session. In my practice as a theater teacher, this is a skill I've had plenty of time to hone. Another skill I've brought from my theater practice is a strong extraverted spirit and a high tolerance for embarrassment. Translation? I will do the silliest things you can imagine to get your child to smile at me, and I won't feel weird about it. My short tenure as a mall studio photographer gave me a great foundation in photographing children, and I am fully committed to get those littles to look happy in photos. This is one of the biggest stressors for parents, so if you're stressing about this, feel free to relax. I'll give 100% to getting those good smiles.
I'm here to help through all of the prep for your session, as I know this can be stressful as well. Choosing a location? I'll help you find the perfect one that isn't too far away. Picking out clothes? (As a mom, this is the WORST) I've made a full style guide to help you along, with tips on colors, patterns, textures, clothing pieces themselves, hairstyles, the whole kit and caboodle. Reluctant toddlers? I've got fruit snacks for that. Still feeling stiff during a session? Let's make you a playlist and rock out while we're shooting. Taking photos shouldn't be a painful process, and I'd love to make it fun for you.
I love photography. I love creating something beautiful, I love losing myself in a project, but most of all, I love seeing people through my pictures. I love talking through a session and knowing faces during the editing process. In your photos, I want to show you and your family as you are. I want to capture your happiness and love in a collection of perfect moments, so you can keep them forever. Of all my passions, photography is the one I give the most time to, because it allows me to know so many people. Let's get to know you next!