Alexa Gallo, photographer behind BrightBird Photography, has kindly agreed to take part in our latest Expert Interview. Alexa has a unique vision when it comes to capturing the spirit of an event. She shuns the conventional – bringing depth, emotion and raw beauty to her photographs.
A frequent wedding photographer, Alexa prefers to create intimate portraits that tell a story. Her images capture those behind-the-scenes moments that relay the true experience. Her attention to detail and flare for the original is what sets her apart.
As an expert in her field, Alexa has shared a few of her secrets for capturing incredible and personal photos. If you have prom coming up or just want to perfect the art of the selfie, she has let us in on her top tips that you can make your own. She has also spoken on her own approach to photography and the art of creating authentic work.
Camera at the ready? Then read on!
JOVANI: What would you say is the most important part of your job?
ALEXA: The most important part of my job is to see the beauty in any situation. Even the hard ones…. and then to capture it in an authentic way.
JOVANI: How would you describe your photography style?
ALEXA: I would say my style is editorial, a blend of storytelling and fine art.
JOVANI: Can you share a favorite memory from your career or a photo that’s particularly special to you?
ALEXA: A favorite memory for me is the very first wedding I ever shot. I had no idea what to expect, it was for a friend, and I remember just falling in love with the process right away, it was exciting and fun, and I didn’t feel any nervousness or fear, even though I knew I couldn’t ‘re-do’ anything. It was almost as if I fell into some kind of whimsical trance, and I saw all the little details, the emotions, the beauty, and I knew I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing… It was a great feeling.
JOVANI: As well as having a professional photographer present, most people will take selfies at big events. Got any tips for taking great candid photos in real time?
ALEXA: Yes! The lighting is everything, take selfies in soft light… If it’s the middle of the day, find some nice shade. If it’s inside, face the windows… and if it’s a dark room, find a soft light source…
JOVANI: For weddings, what are the kind of shots that you love to capture and are most evocative?
ALEXA: I love shooting the secret moments, where no one is paying attention, but something is happening, and if there’s a beautiful background, even better!
JOVANI: Wedding couples are getting more creative with how they choose to photograph for their day. What are some ways to make wedding photographs more personal or original?
ALEXA: It’s important to get to know the style and aesthetic of the bride and groom. They could be conservative or rock-n-roll… That will dictate the mood and vibe of the photos, how they interact and what kinds of backdrops you pick for them. Also, use the location as much as possible, find interesting angles, lighting and compositions…
JOVANI: Your photos often have a vintage look and have a raw feel that strays away from classic wedding photography. How do you decide which shots to take on the day?
ALEXA: I don’t really overthink it. I just follow my intuition. I like photos to look real and to feel timeless. I look for interesting compositions and the true beauty of the moment, I don’t want it to feel contrived or as if we are trying to capture the ‘perfect’ wedding photo. I think things are beautiful just the way they are, in an honest way.
JOVANI: You are a master of the mood shot! Besides taking photos of people, what is the best way someone can capture a big event’s atmosphere?
ALEXA: Paying close attention to the lighting is really important. I like to shoot a mix of natural light and also use flash(es). The light often tells the story on it’s own. Also, sometimes the best way to capture a big event is to play attention to the little details.
JOVANI: It’s currently prom season! Many parents will take some of their own photos on the day – what’s the best way to highlight the dress and make the photos special?
ALEXA: When you’re shooting a prom dress, you want it (and the person wearing it!) to really stand out. So pick a very simple, clean background. Even better if the background is an opposite color, so if it’s a silver dress, then a black or dark green background. If it’s a green or blue dress, then a warm tone background, like a brick wall. Don’t put a white dress on a light background, or vice-versa…
A big thank you to Alexa for taking the time to be a part of our Influencer & Expert series. Don’t forget to stay up to date with her work by following BrightBird photography on instagram and subscribe to her gorgeous blog for more inspiration too.
Catch up the rest of our interview series. Our last interview was with event and wedding planner Kristin Banta. She shared her insider secrets for planning amazing, personalized events.
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