When it comes to choosing the person who will be responsible for documenting your big day, you want to be sure it someone who you trust implicitly  Crystal Neilson-Hall, the owner of Neilson-Hall Photography, knows that it is an honor to take on such a responsibility.  Keep reading to learn how she uses her love of photojournalism to capture your wedding day as it unfolds.

Tell us a little bit about your company!

Neilson-Hall Photography is a wedding and portrait photography company based in Central Virginia.

How did you get started in this business?

I have loved photography for as long as I can remember, but it really started to consume my life in high school. I practically lived in my school’s darkroom. After high school I attended Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, where I received a Bachelors of Fine Art in Photography and Film. I dreamed of being a photojournalist and I truly love photographing people, so naturally I gravitated toward weddings. It allows me to document one of the most important days in a couple’s life and very often the growth of their family over time.

What differentiates you from other businesses in your field?

I do my best to document the event as unobtrusively as possible. Above all, I am a documentarian, I just do it in a beautiful and artful way.

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Why do you like working with weddings?

Weddings are a start of a family. After the wedding, the photographs are what allow you, your family, your future children, even your future grandchildren to relive the event. It’s an amazing honor to be entrusted with such a task and to provide a product that could mean so much to so many people.

Weddings are also a lot of fun to photograph. They are surrounded by excitement, anticipation, emotion, and love. It’s a photojournalist’s dream.

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What is the most difficult situation you have faced with a bride and how did you resolve it?

I can’t say that I have faced too many difficult situations with my brides. I do whatever I can to avoid issues on my part. The only thing that comes to mind was at the very first wedding I photographed the bride and groom were both an hour late to the ceremony for separate reasons. She was incredibly stressed, and I did my best to calm her by telling her that it was her wedding and that people would wait. I did my best to keep the talk light and keep her focused on getting ready rather than stressing about the time.

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

If you are not comfortable in front of the camera, then doing a portrait session – whether it is engagement or bridal – will allow you to get used to the camera and your photographer. That way on the day of the wedding you won’t feel self-conscious about being photographed.

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What or who motivates you?

I find motivation all around me. My clients motivate me. I strive to give them photographs they love and that truly document their event. Other photographers and photographs motivate me. Seeing beautiful photographs makes me want to be better and learn more. There is an endless amount of information out there, and even though I have a degree in photography I constantly continue to learn and better myself. My family motivates me. The success of my business equals success for my family.

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

I spend time with my family.

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What would we be surprised to learn about you?  

I own a dairy goat farm in western Goochland where we make goat milk soap. We have goats, llamas, pigs, and chickens.

Thank you, Crystal, for answering our questions!  To learn more about Crystal and see her work, please visit  www.neilsonhallphotography.com.