Vendor Interview: Ashley from Artistrie Co.

Hi Ashley!  Thanks so much for doing this interview with me and I’m super excited to get to ask you all the photo and install questions I have.

Thanks, MK! Excited to share with you and your readers!

SO, First thing’s first, give us a little introduction of you and Artistrie Co.

I never planned to become a wedding photographer, but photography has filled my life since I was a child. I’ve been interested in cameras, taking photos and working in darkrooms for as long as I can remember. On a whim, I started photographing weddings 10 years ago, and it ended up becoming a dream career. I love getting to do this for a living!

What you would you say sets you apart from other photographers in Chicago?

My work doesn’t end when I send the online wedding gallery. That’s only the beginning. After the wedding, I design custom wedding albums, framed and matted prints, gallery walls, parent gifts and beyond to suit my clients’ personal styles. At the end of the day, I want to hand my couples a piece of art that becomes part of their home and new shared life together. That’s what makes me the most excited about my job.

What’s your biggest tip for finding the right photographer for your wedding day?

Narrow your photographer selections down to your top 3, and then schedule phone calls those people. Chatting on the phone is a great and easy way to find out if you’d be a good fit to work together. Think of it this way: your wedding photographer will follow you around from start to finish. You want to like that person! Take the time and make that personal connection.

I personally always start things off with a phone call and prefer to answer questions that way. It’s way more efficient than emailing back and forth for weeks and by the end of that call most people can make the decision either way if it’s going to work. If it’s not a good fit, no big deal, you move onto the next. If it is a good fit, then you can schedule a time to meet in person, book your photo package, schedule that engagement session and check another item off your wedding planning list.

I’ll admit, what got me hooked on you and your Instagram account/photos is your behind the scenes look into photo installations post wedding. I mean, I’m not engaged or married and I want photos just to have you put them up for me, lol.  Would you recommend this, is this normal? I hadn’t seen it before!

Yay! I’m glad this caught your eye. I’m crazy excited about printing. In my past career, I designed, printed and installed ads of all shapes and sizes. My favorite was an ad that wrapped around 3 out of 4 sides of a building in Chicago. It’s still one of the coolest things I’ve done! I obviously have the skill set, so I feel like it’d be a waste if I didn’t share with my clients.

For some reason, printing photos for clients seems to be an archaic idea and it shouldn’t be. A decade or so ago, photographers started this “shoot and burn” business model where they’d take and edit the photos, give the clients the files, and that’s it. The problem with this model is that it leaves newly weds completely on their own to make a wedding album and prints for their home. I’ll be honest, I started my business off this way because it seemed like the industry standard. No more! In my opinion, giving clients only the files and nothing more is a such a disservice to them and I’m hoping to change this one framed photo at a time.

What’s the process for this?

If we were working together, I’d come over to your home with a bunch of fun ideas ready to share. I create a collection of custom wall art based on your tastes and favorite photos before I even arrive so we have plenty to look through together. We’ll do a walk through of your home and get a feel for what rooms/walls can use the most love. I create digital mock ups of at least 8 concepts so you can see how the final product will actually look on your walls. A few weeks after you place your order, I come back with the fully assembled pieces and hang them up on your walls for you. I try to be as full service as they come!

Any tips for brides looking to print any of their photos?

I know everyone wants the digital files these days, but print the important photos going up on your walls and into your frames directly from your photographer. Ordering your photos through your photographer is the best tip I can give, and I promise, you won’t be disappointed. Photographers have access to professional labs that will make sure your each individual photo is printed to perfection and looks exactly how it should.

If you aren’t a professional photographer, your options are limited to pharmacy or consumer labs (think: Walgreens, CVS, Costco). Pharmacy photo labs basically have one printing setting for all photos, and the results are less than stellar. The colors are often way off (making your skin tone look green, blue or purple), the contrast is either way too dark or flat and lifeless, and the highlights are often blown out, leaving the details on your white wedding dress nonexistent.

As far as I see it, you’ll likely spend thousands of dollars on your wedding photographer. Why spend all that money just to print your photos at Costco? Photos are the one thing you’ll literally have forever after the wedding. Make them count!

Lastly, what is your favorite LaCroix flavor?  I’m a big LaCroix fan lol.

Don’t hate me, but I may be the only person in America who doesn’t like LaCroix. The bubbles freak me out. I like my water flat and flavorless.

I don’t hate you! I just feel obligated to send you cases upon cases of LaCroix to change your mind! Well, thank you SO much for chatting with me!

All of you can find Ashley at @ArtistrieCo on Instagram and HERE is her website!