Jessica Schilling is an easygoing wedding photographer and documentary editor who has integrated analog photography with tying the knot. Find out what it's like to be the documentarian of someone's special day!
1. Hi Jessica! Please introduce yourself.
I’m a Los Angeles based wedding photographer and documentary editor. I also love taking photos of my cat, my turtle, roller derby, concerts, and my husband when he’ll let me!
2. Why did you choose to become a wedding photographer?
I was always taking snapshots since I was a little kid, but I became more seriously interested in photography and got my first SLR camera after my wedding because I loved the photos so much. After I learned the basics and tried many types of photography, I realized people and weddings were what interested me the most, with travel photography (like a recent trip to Japan with my Diana Mini Jiyu) being a close second. I got my first toy camera, a Holga 120 TLR, in 2009 and started integrating toy cameras into my wedding and portrait coverage, as my Lomo camera collection continued to grow.
3. Photographing people isn’t always so easy; how do you make your couples comfortable in front of the camera?
My approach is usually more documentarian, so I hope to get people comfortable enough that they feel like themselves and in natural situations. I try to focus more on genuine emotions and reactions and that helps people feel less self-conscious, especially if they’re laughing and having fun.
4. What are some of the most memorable weddings you have shot?
Some of the most unusual were a hat-themed wedding, a wedding at the Natural History museum with lots of dinosaurs, a wedding at the Silent Movie Theatre, a San Francisco courthouse elopement, and some backyard weddings. But they are all memorable in different ways.
5. Can you give us some tips on how to achieve a great photo with your beloved Diana F+?
The more light the better, and the flash is very helpful in low light or at night. Try to remember to adjust the focus ring and not accidentally bump the Bulb setting, though cool accidents can sometimes happen if you forget.
6. Four Weddings and a Funeral is a classic wedding movie; any other ones you can recommend before getting hitched?
The Baxter and Bridesmaids are good for keeping a sense of humor in the middle of wedding planning.
7. If we were to visit Los Angeles, what are the top five things we should not miss out on?
- A movie and picnic at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in the summer
- An LA Derby Dolls roller derby bout
- The Getty Center
- The Santa Monica Pier/Venice Beach
- The Museum of Jurassic Technology
8. And lastly, can you share any DIY projects that you can do as couple?
My husband and I had a very DIY wedding with lots of projects – designing my dress, all the centerpieces and bouquets, an iPod playlist, our invitations, and most of the decorations. If you have the time and energy for it, DIY projects can be a great way to really personalize parts of a wedding. Some neat ideas I’ve seen a lot of lately are fabric or pom pom buntings and garlands, paper flowers, and painted or glittered vases. For photography-specific ideas, I’ve seen some unique candles and lamps decoupaged with old film negatives, centerpieces with photos of the couple at the same age as the table number, Fuji Instax guestbooks, and lots of cool photo booth props and backdrops.
Thanks to Jessica for sharing her experience in capturing that special day with a Lomography camera! To learn more about Jessica, visit her at her Photography Blog, Twitter, Pinterest, Toy Camera Pin Board, and Facebook Fan Page.
Join Jessica in creating lasting memories that captures you or your loved one’s special day with Lomography Wedding Gifts.