Photographer Spotlight: Designer With a Camera

When a photographer has a true love for what they do, it shows. Ariel Lewis, the woman behind Designer With a Camera, is a talented visual storyteller.  She started her business in Seattle, and recently moved back to the Inland Northwest, where she grew up.  We’re so glad she did! And one other fun fact, she’s recently engaged too! So we thought it would be fun to ask the future Mrs. Lewis all about her work, as well as her tips for wedding planning!

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Lindsey and Kris had their backyard wedding in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho this last fall. While they exchanged their vows in Kris’ childhood home, a black bear roamed the hills behind them.

What made you want to become a photographer?

My journey started with the encouragement and inspiration of an art teacher who saw something in me that I could not, who believed in me in a way I did not, and who challenged me to think in a way I never had before.

Photography has been a passion of mine since I was a young girl and my design background gives me a distinct perspective behind the lens. However, the most rewarding reason I photograph people is to capture and reveal a glimpse of their individual greatness and potential. To help them see something in themselves they could not quite see before.

Full circle.

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 With a shared love for music, Amy and Blake impulsively decided to have a destination wedding in Nashville, Tennessee, a place neither had ever been.

What makes your photography approach unique?

I believe your wedding photography shouldn’t be in someone else’s style. Instead, it should be orchestrated to reflect your style, no cliche’ poses or props attached.

Every client I’ve photographed over the last 10 years embodies a story that is distinctly theirs. This is where my passion for visual storytelling thrives. It’s not just about pretty pictures. It’s about the story behind them.

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 Karaka and Sean were married in Sisters, Oregon. These two adventurous souls picked a destination wedding set in the beautiful Willamette National Forest.

Any tips or advice for wedding planning?

Do you, your Mom, and your family a favor. Hire a professional wedding planner. Even if only day-of-coordination. They’re worth their weight in gold and help everyone keep their sanity.

I highly recommend Ali and Jessica of Soiree Event Design. They are both passionate about what they do and it shows.

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Lily & Roman’s destination wedding in Tepic, Mexico was nothing short of breathtaking. Despite the language barrier between us, they completely opened up their emotions and love through the portrait process. Love is truly a feeling that needs no words.

What should brides and grooms look for in their photographer?

It’s easy to jump online and find an overwhelming google search of wedding photographers. It’s also easy to look at numbers to compare one photographer to another. I fully support couples setting a realistic expectation of their wedding budget. With this said, at the end of the wedding day, after all is said and done, the material things of your wedding won’t compare to the emotion and memories of your wedding day. Sometimes in all the wedding planning and relentless Pinterest boards, it’s easy to forget that fact.

Your photographs are a special testament to the day and your love as a married couple. You, your parents, your children, your grandchildren, and many generations after will have these photographs to see this legacy.

Make sure you select a photographer who you can feel confident and yourselves around. Lastly, make sure this individual will also go the extra mile to make sure your captured memories are their top priority.

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With their wedding set on Vashon Island, Washington, these two shunned tradition and embraced their own style with every detail of their wedding. Instead of a reception line and cake, both the bride and groom served each of guests their favorite ice cream.

Any last advice you would give couples for their wedding?

Remember it is YOUR day. Family, friends, and even the person next to you in the grocery isle will have an option on how you should plan your wedding day. Smile, be grateful, and take it all with a grain of salt. Their advice can be very helpful, but it’s not necessarily right for you and your fiancé. Don’t be afraid to bag traditional ideals and make your wedding a day that truly reflects who you are and your love for one another.

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Ariel has an awesome deal going on for Apple Brides readers! Any couple that books their 2014 wedding and mentions Apple Brides will receive a complimentary engagement session ($650 value).

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