In our Vendor Spotlight blog series, we highlight some of our favorite Annapolis-based event vendors and turn the spotlight back on them. How did they get into the industry? How do they spend their time when not working events? What trends are they excited to see couples explore over the next year? We’ll have a wide variety of vendors from different backgrounds answer these questions and more.
Looking for a photographer with an incredible passion for the industry who has been crafting her skill since her high school days? Interested in getting paired with a photographer whose style is laidback and stress-free thanks to her previous experience in the high-pressure world of concert photography? Then Christa Rae Photography may be the perfect fit for you! Read on to learn about Christa – owner and photographer – and what makes her unique in the industry!
Christa Rae Photography – Christa Rae Settle
How did you get into the event industry?
Since I was in high school, I knew photography was going to be my passion and my career. I got my B.A. from Towson University in Art + Design: Photo Imaging and began my business. I gravitated towards capturing moments and emotions, and I first started out as a concert photographer in the DMV area capturing artists like Avicii, Kesha, Jonas Brothers, Imagine Dragons, John Legend, and many, many more! It was a wild ride, but not a sustainable one. When one of my friends from Towson asked me to photograph his wedding, I was nervous but also so honored and excited. After photographing his wedding, I fell in love with working with couples on their big day and began building my business around weddings. I quickly went from capturing a few weddings a year, to 17 a year, and then to 40 a year within the span of just a few years! I now dedicate myself to about 30-40 weddings a year, and I’m so happy to have made this my full-time career!
What’s your favorite part of every wedding day?
Oh my gosh, there are so many! I think all of my favorite parts of the wedding day have to be when people are interacting/having a moment together. Whether it be a couple’s first look, a father/daughter first look, a mother/son dance, etc. Anytime that I can capture those raw and emotional moments between people, especially now since COVID has kept people apart. Those moments are really what the day is all about. But I also really love when I can sneak away with the couple and create beautiful portraits for them. 😉
What should every couple be asking of vendors in your industry when considering booking for an event?
One question that I don’t hear often enough but is so important is who the second photographer is. You want to make sure that if you’re investing in two people to capture your day that they are another professional photographer as well. All of my second photographers are other professional wedding photographers in the industry, and I vet them to ensure they shoot in a very similar style to mine so that when I edit all of our photos together that everything flows seamlessly throughout the full wedding gallery.
What’s a trend for the upcoming year that you would like to see more couples embrace?
I’m loving that I’m starting to see some bolder colors in the wedding color palettes and hope that couples start to embrace more vibrant pops of color!
What’s the most unique client request that you’ve ever had for a wedding or event?
My most unique client request, that turned into one of my favorite moments to photograph, was when one of my brides asked if she could put on her grandmother’s beautifully preserved wedding dress that her mom also wore on her wedding day before she put on her own wedding dress for portraits. It was amazing to take photos stylized like her grandmother’s and her mother’s, and then, we brought her grandmother into the room to see her in it. It just became such a beautiful moment between these three generations. We then took photos of the bride in the dress with her mom and grandmother holding up the photos of them in the dress.
What makes you and your business unique?
I think there are a lot of things that make my business unique – from my personality to my style. One thing I hear from a lot of my couples is how patient and calm I am, which is a couple’s dream type of vendor on a day that can easily become stressful to them. My editing style is unique in the fact that I truly preserve the colors as they were the day of the wedding, and I don’t edit to have the colors or tone match any particular tone, mood, or trendy editing style. I want the photos my couples receive to be timeless so they can be transported back to their day when they look at them. Couples spend so much time picking out the wedding colors of the dresses/suits, florals, etc. – why have the colors altered to match a current editing trend? The biggest thing though that makes me and my business unique is that ever since high school, everything I’ve done in my career path was to lead me to where I am today. There was no other major in college or potential career path for me. It was and has always been photography. It is my passion, and I’m so incredibly lucky to have been able to build my full-time business out of something I became so passionate about years ago. I also contribute my ability to work and think quickly in the fast-paced environment that can be weddings to the years I spent as a concert photographer.
What’s your favorite thing to do when not working weddings/events?
When I’m not working weddings or editing, you’ll find me either attending concerts with my boyfriend, Jason, having happy hour with friends, working out on my Peloton, or in the summer, I’m poolside with a book. I’m also really looking forward to getting back to traveling more soon now that everything is opening back up!
How can potential clients best contact you?