Meet Karen, the owner of Karen Gage Photography!

karen gage photographyTell us a little about your company!

I specialize in weddings, portraits, and events. My style has grown over the years to include flash, but I have always tried to focused on the natural light of the situation. I want you to remember the space you chose to get married in as it was, not blown out by bright lights and unrecognizable. I love couples that enjoy the day they spent so much time and money planning! This is the day you choose to spend your lives together, so remember whats important and be merry!

How did you get started in this business?

My professional life began in Richmond after moving from NY post-college. Here in RVA, I accepted a studio photography position. Within a year, I was managing a successful studio franchise. In my second year with the company I was approached to leave the studio and teach Photography at the high school level while still photographing portraits and weddings on the side. I accepted that challenge in 2008 and loved every second of it for 8 years! My students were amazing and I genuinely love them. Their creativity and their passion challenge me to this day to pursue my craft, and I’m grateful for their collaboration. In 2016, my side project became a full time career when I left teaching and here I am!

What’s your favorite wedding story??

Hands down Kelly and Aaron. These two threw an AWESOME engagement party at Hardywood Craft Brewery in RVA. No one thought anything of me being there because there were friends and family members from out of town, and it was a rare get together. About an hour into the party, Aaron’s brother gives a beautiful speech about the couple and at the end of it, mentions that he’s recently been ordained. Kelly’s daughter speaks up and just happens to have rings! The look on the crowds face was priceless and the surprise and joy of the room was overwhelming as Kelly was handed a bouquet by her daughter and escorted across the Brewery to her future husband where they were married. It was awesome!

Why do you like working with weddings?

I could tell you about what an incredible honor it is to be (in most cases) a stranger invited to someone’s wedding but also entrusted with capturing the day. Yes to all of that, but if I’m being honest, it was the terrible pictures that resulted from my own wedding. Our photographer showed up an hour late and wearing jeans.  It went down hill from there. Basically, I shoot weddings because I know the feeling of opening the album and having your heart sink. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. You send a LOT of time and money planning a day to remember the rest of your life. I want to make sure you get to.

karen gage photography

From a vendor’s perspective, what is the one best piece of advice you can offer to engaged couples?  

Think about what is important to the both of you and spend your money on that. I realize that sounds like a photographer pushing her service, but to me, photos are what I value. When you look back, what do you want to remember about your wedding? The taste of the cake? Put your money there. How the room looked when you entered? Your budget should focus on decor. If the smiles and the moments and the memories are what is important to you, invest in your photographer.

How far in advance should couples book your services?

At least 5-6 months.

What inspired you the most / where do you find inspiration?  

Natural light (or lack of it). I love to make the space look how it was on your day. That means using the sunlight and also the shadows to make some really creative shots. I also love long exposures (sparklers and streaking lights).

What do you like to do when you are away from work? 

Im a huge dog lover. I have two rescues, an American Bulldog and Pitbull Mix. My boys (the dogs) and my 4 year old daughter are my adventure buddies as we scout locations for shoots around the Richmond area. I love the river and being outside!

What would we be surprised to learn about you?     

I travel to Europe pretty often (like every other year). As a former photography teacher, I would take students abroad to shoot. I am continuing my travel program for adults and will be taking my first group of adult photo students to southern Italy in 2019.

Thank you, Karen, for chatting with us! If you would like to learn more about Karen and see more of her work, please visit www.karengagephotography.com.