Annalesia is the owner of Meraki Wedding Photography and quite honestly, the most genuine person person I have had the pleasure of getting to know as a vendor myself. Her photos are amazing. She tells your story in photos in a way I haven’t seen before. I am proud to know here and to share her work with you!
I had the pleasure of meeting this beautiful soul this past summer. She organized a group of 15 vendors to make one couples dream come true. All that during the the most challenging time imaginable when planning a wedding.
Getting to know Meraki Wedding Photography
& Annalesia Friednash
What is your business and what do you do?
Meraki Wedding Photography specializes in weddings, elopements, engagements, and couples sessions. I also work as a partial elopement planner for my couples. My approach is considered “lifestyle” in terms of photography. I go between being a fly on the wall, capturing raw moments, but also giving directions and connect personally with my couples and their guests.
What was the inspiration to become a wedding photographer?
Love! As cliche as it sounds, I fell in love with this work because I love love. Being able to capture strong, authentic relationships brought me so much joy. I am thrilled to create a safe space for my couples to be their truest selves.
Trends and advice?
As an Wedding Photographer, what are some of the trends you are seeing in the wedding industry?
Eloping! The wedding industry has taken a huge turn due to COVID-19. I’ve pivoted in order to best serve my couples. I’ve teamed up with vendors and venues on elopement and micro wedding packages. Even grew an amazing elopement giveaway with an insane team of vendors (including Miss Jennifer from Harvest to Home) to give one away to a couple affected by COVID. This trend may not last forever but I am excited to craft unique experiences for my couples.
From an Wedding Photographer’s point of view, what is some advice for people starting to book their vendors for whatever their event may be?
You’ll get the best photos if you’re up for anything. Allowing yourself to relinquish control and have fun will make your photos EPIC. As photographer’s, we WANT you to feel like yourself!! You do not have to be models or be a cookie cutter posed couple. Your quirks are what make your photos amazing.
I’d also mention that editing is really important to keep in mind. There might be a trend of editing “like muted tones” or de-saturated colors. You pick the colors and location of your day for a reason! Finding a balance of styles you like and a timeless look is so important.
What do you love the most about being an Wedding Photographer?
Every damn thing!! My ultimate goal is to give my couples an amazing time. I love every aspect from the day. It’s really special for me to see reunions of loved ones, hearing the most romantic vows, the deepest laughs.
As a photographer, I’m the vendor who gets to be with my couples throughout the day so we really do become close. I experience the day as they experience it. It’s so cool!
Last but not least...
If the Meraki Wedding Photography never happened what, what else would you have done/or be right now?
Before I became a photographer I almost followed a career path as a playwright. I’m not sure I would have done it forever but it was always a thought! I’m also a part time esthetician! My mother was a dermatologist so I’ve always had a love of skin care. I have a feeling esthetics would have been my full time job if I didn’t find my way to photography.
What is it about your job that makes you excited to get up for work every day?
Honestly everything. From connecting with clients on our initial consult and getting to know them as people. It’s the planning of what the client wants, to photographing their big day, it’s all so amazing. The best thing ever is getting those text reactions to the day they first see their photos. That warmth and love they feel when they relive their day and see their relationship shine through photographs.
If money were no object, where would you go?
I’m a big travel bug and have my favorite places (Italy and Israel) but there’s still so much left to see. I’d love to go to Spain, Greece, Croatia, Ireland, and everywhere in South America.
What has been you favorite project so far?
Our giveaway! Reading 100+ personal entries and working alongside vendors to put an intentional experience together was probably my greatest career highlight so far. I’m also so stoked to work on these upcoming elopements.
What are your plans for the future of your business?
I want wedding and elopement photography to be a part of my life for a long time. This is why I don’t take on what I would consider too many. I never want to burn out on this industry because my heart is so invested in it.
I’d love to eventually work alongside my favorite vendors to create all inclusive, customized elopements, something we’re currently working on. And if I could ever train my dog to be my photo assistant, I’d be set for life!
To see more of Annaleisa and Meraki Wedding Photography, head on over to her Instagram page:
You can also check out her website here
Thanks for hanging out with us and getting to know Annalesia and Meraki Wedding Photography