By Marissa McCormick Jordan with Richmond Weddings™

When choosing a photographer for your wedding, clicking with them is the number one priority. Not only are you trusting them with capturing the big day, but they’ll also share almost every moment. More than family, and even your new spouse, your photographer will be with you, experiencing it in real-time.

It was this connection, being an integral part of someone’s story, that brought photographer Heather Hughes from the photojournalism world to a full-time wedding photographer in 2008. From her high school yearbook to her college paper, to eight years shooting for newspapers, Heather has always loved taking pictures of people. She explains, “The reason I wanted to get into photojournalism is because I liked to capture moments that are important for people to remember.”


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Heather Hughes Photography at the VMFA


As a journalist, you have to get used to being a part of someone’s life for a very brief moment, enough to get the perfect quote or that ideal front-page photo. Craving that relationship on a deeper level, Heather started to dabble in weddings in 2002, capturing her close friends’ weddings with that signature candid style.

As of 2020, Heather has shot over 400 weddings. And with this expansive and impressive experience, she’s learned the key to natural, candid photos. “Laughter is the key…I say things to help them relax and to laugh. I do whatever I can.” And her pictures speak for themselves. Gone are the forced, stiff, and posed pictures. Instead, Heather’s couples look totally relaxed. Heather says, “I don’t want you to look like a model that’s pissed off!”

Looking at feedback from her previous couples, the words easy-going, stress-free, and extremely professional are repeated.

You know when you are in the presence of someone that’s been doing their craft for a long time? That’s what it feels like talking with Heather. She states, “Experience settles nerves.” No matter what happens on your wedding day, chances are she’s seen it before and can help you laugh through it.

Along with knowing the secret to good pictures, there’s also an innate appreciation of photos and the impact they have. “Photos are our memories. They bring you back, they help you remember what you were doing. I love being able to relive moments and share them with others.” The significance of being your wedding photographer isn’t lost on Heather. If anything, having a background in photojournalism, she understands it better, that the idea of the perfect shot is fleeting, momentary, and waiting to be captured.

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Heather is not only looking to create a relationship for one day, but for many years to come. Like her Client for Life program, which offers portraits of you and your family every year Heather is in business. Or her elopement and micro wedding packages, where she’ll capture quicker courthouse weddings, giving it the documentation and attention it deserves. And when the wedding gallery is ready, rather than sending you a link, she likes to invite couples to her office to celebrate, excitedly reliving the moments you both shared over champagne. And although she’s based out of Newport News, Heather will travel pretty much anywhere, including the Outer Banks, for those gorgeous beach weddings.

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Choosing a photographer for your wedding is easier said than done. It’s hard to find that needle in the haystack that you’ll harmonize with completely. With Heather, you’ll not only find a photographer passionate and experienced in what she does but a friend, genuinely interested in capturing one of the most important days of your life. Heather elaborates, “By the end of the wedding process, I feel like we’re friends, practically family.”

*All photos courtesy of Heather Hughes Photography*

Heather Hughes is booking for 2020 and beyond. Visit her website: or email to book and find out more information! (757) 870 – 4006