Your wedding is a day you plan to be picture perfect. That's why it's important to hire a professional photographer to preserve the days big moments. To help you out, we sat down with Elisha Leigh Creative to learn more about her wedding photography experiences and advice.
Tell us about your business.
My name is Elisha McKenzie and I’m the owner of Elisha Leigh Creative. I’m a professional photographer located in Morgantown, West Virginia. In addition to locally, I’ve photographed beautiful weddings close to D.C., Deep Creek, and Pittsburgh. The great thing about me is that I love to travel. I’ll go just about anywhere if it means capturing special moments filled with love and adoration.
I’ve been a photographer for four years now and I started with food and cocktail photography. I became a wedding photographer two years ago, after my first wedding, I fell head over heels with families coming together to celebrate love.
What are some of your favorite things about West Virginia?
No matter where you go, it’s going to be beautiful. If you decide on a rural wedding, Mountain Mamma has your back. The great thing about West Virginia is that any season is gorgeous. Doesn’t matter what time of the year you get married – you’re going to experience a wonderland.
And if you decide on an urban wedding, those are awesome too! I LOVE shooting in Downtown Morgantown. No matter how many times you do a session Downtown, everything is always different. The lighting, the people, the experience is unique for everyone.
What are some of your favorite things about weddings?
It’s really cliché but I LOVE love. Real, authentic, down to earth, never-going-to-get-sick-of-you love. I love the way couples look at each other for the first time in their wedding attire. I love how adoration just emanates from two people so wholeheartedly, that it overflows the room. Everyone FEELS that – the guests AND vendors included.
There is so much that happens during the planning of a wedding. It’s incredibly stressful and tensions can run high, but at the end of the aisle, when you’re staring at the person you wanna spend the rest of your life with – that’s what I live for.
Tell us the sweetest thing you've witnessed at a wedding.
I had a bride and groom getting married in October of 2018. Her dad was a preacher and supposed to marry the two of them in their church. Unfortunately, a few days before the wedding, he fell extremely ill and was hospitalized. There was no hope of getting out of the hospital in time for the wedding. Thankfully, his health took a turn for the better and he was released from ICU and put into a regular room.
With that in mind, the bride and groom walked down the aisle at the church and had their introductions made in front of about 200 people who attended. However, before the vows took place, the bride, the groom, the mother of the bride, the parents of the groom, the videographers, and myself all drove to the hospital where we met the bride’s father in the hospital chapel. The videographers set up a live broadcast for the guests back at the church and the father of the bride proceeded to marry the couple as originally intended.
I bawled my eyes out while snapping the photos. To this day it is still one of the most incredible moments I’ve ever witnessed.
About two weeks after the wedding, the bride’s father was able to go home.
What advice do you have for couples planning?
DO A FIRST LOOK.
You will NOT regret it. Make time for this extremely personal and private moment and I promise, it’ll be worth it. First looks before the actual ceremony will give you something that walking down the aisle doesn’t: an intimate experience with the love of your life that you won’t get in front of a crowd.
In my experience, men are more likely to have their guard down in a one on one situation than in front of guests who have their eyes on him. If you want your significant other to bawl when seeing you, plan for the first look with your photographer (and event planner!).