Meet Heather, CEO of Heather Hughes Photography! Read how she got started, and how her signature candid style will capture your wedding AND personality perfectly.

How did you get to where you are now?
I started my professional career with a degree in photojournalism working as a photographer and then photo editor for newspapers. In 2008, after photographing over 100 weddings and having the time of my life, I decided to shift careers and I have been a full time wedding photographer ever since.

Check out our Full-Length Feature on Heather’s Story here: From Newspapers to Newlyweds.

What makes you or your business stand out and why should a couple hire you?
I am a “Photographer of Joy.”

I love to capture authentic happy life moments, not just fake “smiling for the camera.” Sometimes I light and pose my subjects but even then I encourage real moments to happen in front of my lens. I’m not a pure photojournalist or a traditional portrait photographer but more of a mix of both.

I strongly believe our life moments are important to remember. Personally, I want to remember the great days and the important people in my life filled with happiness and laughter, and I bet you do too.

So I’m not just a shoot & burn photographer, I prefer to work closely with all my couples to plan locations, details, and create a session that everyone will enjoy. My session environments are different because I WANT you to laugh with me. Natural smiles happen (sometimes with a little help from me) and the perfect day is when everyone leaves excited to see the photos.

And my personalized service continues AFTER the wedding day. I help you select from tons of images to find your favorites, over coffee, tea, or wine, and help you pick the best ones that will be lasting works of art on your wall, shelves, or coffee table.

Having your picture taken doesn’t have to be painful, come experience what a joy it can be!

What’s your favorite thing about working in the wedding industry?
Capturing true moments of happiness & joy.

What’s a unique tip you tell your couples?
SO many… I really like to help…I guess it would be to remember to keep your bouquet down by your belly button & look up when going down the aisle. Smiling or crying, you will want to see your face during that special moment!

What’s your best piece of advice for couples planning a wedding?
Prioritize what’s important to you. While you have to consider family & friends, you only get married once (hopefully) so if you really want a beach wedding or the wedding dress with flowers on it – go for it!

What’s your favorite moment during a wedding?
Probably the first dance. Once all the pressure of the ceremony & portraits are over, couples tend to relax and that is sometimes the first time I can truly capture the love in their eyes and a real moment that shows their love for one another.

What are your favorite wedding trends right now?
Different color accents on the wedding dresses either with the belt, or on the dress itself! And I’m in love with rose gold!!

What’s a funny/awesome story from a wedding you’ve worked?
A destination wedding I was shooting in the OBX had people traveling from all over. At the reception, someone dressed in a huge T-Rex costume appeared on the dance floor and CAUGHT the bouquet – which the couple & I found hilarious. I later found out from the MOH that the bride’s friend had surprised her by coming at the last min. from Japan and arrived at the rehearsal in that costume. A great moment I had missed the day before (because I wasn’t covering the rehearsal), but was lucky to capture at the reception. It’s those storytelling moments I love!!

How do you de-stress?
Glass of Riesling please!

What’s your favorite food?
Despite recently becoming wheat-intolerant, I will still suffer for a great piece of pizza.

What’s a fun or unusual fact about you?
I’m allergic to A LOT – foods, trees, animals, you name it. But most have no idea thanks to a little allergy medicine. I don’t believe in the impossible, so I make things work and despite my allergies, I have not one but 3 cats !!!

Do you have a pet? What are they like?
I grew up with dogs, and have rescued several cats. We just rescued two kittens, Linus & Lucy, and now have three furry kids to entertain our 6-year-old son.

What’s your favorite season?
Fall, hands down. I love to color, cool air, clear skies. I love everything about fall!!

What’s your favorite family tradition?
Going through old family photo albums.

Anything else you want to add?
I HATE having my picture taken, ironic that I’m a photographer I guess. But it was the terrible experience I had as a child that led me to photojournalism and then to photographing weddings in a pain-free way that I preferred – so I guess I should thank you JC Penny’s!

Learn more about Heather and how she can perfectly capture your day on her website! All photos courtesy of Heather Hughes Photography