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A Head Over Heels Blog Series by Josey Stafford

Hello friends! This week I’ve got a great photographer, fresh from California, to introduce you to. Courtney, owner of Courtney June Photography, a genuine, goat-loving, go for the gusto vendor who’s got a lot to say but more to show. ALSO we are really lucky to have her this week because she just shot at a wedding (the first one in fact) at the brand new Vikings Stadium! You heard right, and they tromped all over that stadium, so read it like you mean it and scroll all the way to the bottom for a sneak peek of those photos!

Meet your Minneapolis Wedding Photographer Courtney June

Describe your photography style in less than 6 words using only adjectives… ready? Go!

Contemporary. Modern. Classic. Candid. Fun. I really want people to look at the pictures I’ve taken, and, I want those pictures to stir something inside of their hearts. So they are like “oh my goodness. I want that. That’s how I want to look on my wedding day.” Usually it’s going to be the bride reacting that way.

Well, what about those grooms?

A lot of grooms actually tell me that they are not photogenic, which isn’t usually true, they just need help getting comfortable. So, I have them do little things, like whisper in the brides ear. I say, ‘I don’t care what you say, don’t even tell it to me, just try to make her laugh.’ I’ll pose them, to catch the lighting and in front of a good background, but I’ll tell them to just talk like normal. I try to slow pose my couples, so one pose just leads into the other. Other emotion evoking activities I use as ice breakers — having them walk away or towards me, dancing (even if they aren’t good or are embarrassed, its about the joy it sparks); whatever gets them to relax.

Minneapolis/St Paul Wedding Photographer
It sounds like you’ve got a bag of tricks for avoiding a Chandler from Friends moment, and I know you are highly learned, how did your apprenticeship help you find the type of photographer you are?

I actually have two degrees in portrait photography, after my associates degree I had an apprenticeship that was really classic, lots of stills. After my bachelor’s degree in Santa Barbara I moved to San Diego and worked for a few different photographers who were much more candid. Working for a photography duo who had about 100-120 weddings to shoot per year, super high volume, I was really able to get my feet wet. Even with a high client load they were really focused. They had timelines and made sure each couple got their undivided attention. The type of photographer I am, now, based on that training, is an organized one. I will coordinate with the couple to ensure that they have a strong timeline. Now I don’t do what you do, Josey, not coordinating every detail, but I do coordinate the, let’s call it, photo timeline. I sit down with the couple, and we have a meeting, and we plan it out. If they don’t have a planner though, I am taking over. Brides and grooms should remember that they don’t plan weddings all the time, it’s okay if they ask for help, and they should!

Minneapolis/St Paul Wedding Photographer

When I graduated I didn’t think I would do weddings, my training had been so commercial things like food photography and portraits, but through my apprenticeship I really fell in love with them. I can always have fun shooting a wedding and they are all so very different.

Are you still doing portraits? And tell me more about food (**stomach grumbles for next meal**)

Yes! I have a full fall season of family sessions and just had a round of senior photos. I also really like photographing newborns, pretty much anything people related.

Photographing food, yes, I’d like to do more of that as well, but there is such a divide in food photography because of Instagram and because of all the mom food bloggers – that market is just really oversaturated, and I don’t know if I want to stretch myself so thin in order to add that in a meaningful way to my portfolio. But I do take that training, of food photography, and bring it into my weddings. Doing detail shots of table settings, floral and rings etc. becomes really important. I figure, you paid for it, you should have a memory of it, and what if you are just so busy getting married that you forget to really sit and stare at the meal cards or your grandpa’s boutonnière or the artisan cheese display?

Minneapolis/St Paul Wedding Photographer
Speaking of goat cheese.. How does your relationship with your goats set you apart?

I love my goats they are like dogs – I let them out every night, and they follow me around while I do chores in the barn. They are so playful and fun and adventurous, just like my photography style. They are seriously hilarious, like you can’t know how much joy and love you’ll experience until you actually own one.

It’s not even boxes, it’s those totes that you put your Christmas decorations in in the garage. Totes. I have totes full of pictures.

What do you think about offering packages that don’t include prints? How many couples are actually printing their wedding photos these days?

I include albums in all but one of my packages, and the ability to add prints a la carte. People don’t really ask for small prints anymore, just the larger prints. I’m assuming any small prints they want, like for a grandma that couldn’t attend or what not, they just go to a simple click and print kiosk, instead of paying for the high quality images that I print. 

Which is smart! Save the money for your own large print, and albums are a great coffee table accessory. So, now that you’ve been back for a while, and now that wedding season is calming down, where do you WANT to shoot, like so badly; in MN, or in the world?

Anywhere in the world. Really, anyone can hire me and I will be there. This season I had two venues that I really wanted to shoot at, American Swedish Institute and Us Bank Stadium and it happened! I want to shoot anywhere that Minnesota has to offer. I try to focus on at least one picture that makes the bride and groom drool. Like, when they see it, they want to immediately blow it up larger and frame it, and put it on their wall at home.

Minneapolis/St Paul Wedding Photographer
You are describing me and my husband and our wedding photos right now, there were like two photos that stuck out and we just wanted those one’s in like wallpaper size. But I do wish someone had told me about the whole album thing, that’s something we didn’t do. What is your best piece of advice for brides?

DON’T Hire a friend just because they have a camera. It’s one of the biggest complaints I hear from bridesmaids at weddings – ‘we knew someone who owned a camera, we asked them to do it, we don’t like our photos’. Weddings are their own beast, a photographer might not specialize in wedding photography. Be aware. There are just so many people involved, so many pieces, so many emotions. Also read reviews, so you know what to expect. I’m very focused on customer service, so I think that is an important quality in vendors, reading what others who worked with them have to say. 

Agreed! I think reviews are the best, even the bad ones can tell a lot about whether a vendor is difficult to work with, or if that client was difficult lol. If you’d like more information about Courtney June and your future event you can find her at Website, on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Pinterest.

Minneapolis/St Paul Wedding Photographer

Next week on Getting Married in Minnesota, Meet Hope Glen Farm.

As always clicking on the image takes you to the photographer’s website, in this case Courtney’s, if you have any other questions leave them below! If you know of someone looking for a Minneapolis-St. Paul wedding photographer for their event… tell them about Courtney June! [clickToTweet tweet=” I just met a great wedding vendor on Head Over Heels… you’ll want to meet them too!” quote=”Introduce your friends to Courtney June” theme=”style6″]

Prosperity, Love & Happiness,

wedding planner

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