CONNECT WITH KAYLA
Q & A Session with Kayla
Kayla Illies Photography specializes in photographing weddings, elopements, and engagements in Southern California and is available for travel!!!! Ever since I took my first photography class back in high school I’ve been in love with photography!!! I would come home from our family vacations with 3,000+ photos! After high school I attended college and earned my “Professional Photographers” diploma. I opened my business immediately after that and haven’t looked back! Growing up as a child, my family only have two or three professional family photos done throughout the years of us growing up and my parents didn’t of have any them together except for the day of their wedding! My husband’s family was the same way, very minimal photos as they were growing up, no professional family photos, and even fewer photos of his parents together! It makes me really sad thinking that they don’t have photos together as they go through their lives to look back on to celebrate all of life’s moments! This has inspired me to make it my life goal to help all of my clients capture their life moments to remember and celebrate their lives together! To help them decorate their home with these photos on beautiful canvases and in photo albums so they can enjoy them daily and be reminded of all of life’s blessings! I love to be able to offer my clients a full customer service experience by taking the time to really get to know them, helping them plan the details of their session and wedding photos so it represents who they are as a couple, help them plan their home décor with the gorgeous high quality products I offer, and install it into their home for them so it’s a very simple process for them!!!
I’m a romantic at heart! I absolutely loved being able to capture a client’s love for one another, their deep connection, and their relationship on camera!!! This year (2016) I made the decision to specialize in ONLY photographing couples who are deeply in love and I’m so excited to be able to start working with so many amazing bride and grooms! My heart melts at every wedding I attend and photograph when I am able to witness the couples love for each other, hearing them say their vows, and celebrating with them! I will be right there with you on your wedding day with tears of happiness in my eyes while I photograph your wedding day!
What I love most about being a professional wedding photographer is that I get to work with SO many amazing newly engaged couples! I love being able to get to know them, hear their stories on how they met, their history together, their dreams in life, their dreams for their wedding day, and I work hard to showcase that in their engagement photography and in their wedding or elopement photography!!!! But it doesn’t end at the end of the wedding day!!!! I also work with my clients after their wedding to help them plan their home décor and to design their wedding albums!!!! I love that I’m able to provide my couples with a full customer service experience and that I’m able to help them all the way through to the end instead of only handing them a jump drive of images and sending them on their way to figure it all out on their own! I love creating a fun memorable experience for them!!!
I attended college for two years in Minnesota and earned my “Professional Photographers” diploma in 2009. May of 2009 I opened Kayla Illies Photography! Recently this year after we moved here to SoCal, I made the decision to specialize in ONLY weddings, elopements, and engagements so I can really focus on photographing couples who are deeply in love with each other!!! Throughout my seven years of being in business I’ve photographed several of my own weddings, second shot for a couple photographers, and worked for a wedding company that contracted weddings out to other wedding vendors. My goal in the next two years is to be photographing 25-30 weddings per year and to be working with AMAZING clients who have such a deep love connection with one another that it’ll melt everyone’s hearts when they see the photos!!!!
I offer a full customer service experience to ALL of my clients! I will be there to help you from beginning to end and I really take pride in being able to do that! I’m not a wedding photographer who will just hand you a jump drive or disc of the images and send you on your way to try to figure the rest out on your own. I go to my clients homes to show them their engagement and wedding or elopement photos, show them the different high quality product samples they can print them on, I help them plan their wall décor, and I install it into their homes for them! My clients’ favorite products are the canvases and the wedding albums. They love that they have a professional photographers eye and experience to really help them plan how they want to use their wedding photographs to decorate their home! I also pride myself in taking the time to get to know each and every client to be able to have that strong relationship and connection with them when we’re working together!
Back in 2014 I had the chance to work with one of my DREAM couples!!!! This couple was so amazing and so in love, it showed in their expressions and the way they acted when they were together! They met in college. She was a cheerleader for his football team! They had a couple classes together, spent as much time together as they could, and finally took the leap to get engaged!!! Their engagement session was held at the college they first met at where it all began!!! Throughout the entire session and throughout the wedding day, he would make funny faces to get her to laugh and he would tell funny jokes! I seriously laugh every single time I look through their photos remembering all of that!!!! Hahaha! Their wedding theme was rustic (which is totally my style and who I am!) and we found this amazing rustic white barn at a park to photograph at in the middle of the city!!! They even rented a super cool old vintage car to drive from the ceremony to the reception in!!! This wedding is still my favorite yet to date!!! When I walked into the reception, I was SURROUNDED by the engagement photos that we had taken!!! She loved them SO much that she used them as her main wedding décor!!! Walking in and seeing that a client loved her photos THAT much really made my night and melted my heart!!!
There’s several different situations that I’ve faced with clients and have worked with them to resolve it. I’ve worked with several grooms who HATE being photographed and I’ve joked with them to get them to loosen up for the photos. Throughout the session I’ll randomly tell the groom to “say something sexy to the bride” or “say something totally random and funny” to his future wife, that almost ALWAYS gets them laughing together! I’ve worked with the couples families on the day of the wedding who have been through divorce or have a bad relationship together and I take charge, organize them so they’re not uncomfortable in the photos, and joke with them to get the mood lightened up until the photo is taken. I’ve also taken separate family photos of each parent with the couple so they don’t have that stress of being in the same photo or near each other. I’ve had guests of the wedding get in front of me to try to get the shot (blocking me!) and I’ve politely asked them to sit down so I can capture the photograph so I don’t miss any moments for the couple. I’ve worked with a couple of guests (bridesmaids, parents, etc.) who try to take control of the bride and grooms wedding day, adding stress to their day, and I’ve politely talked to them to let them know to take a step back, let the couple enjoy their day, to not stress them out, and that this is the couples wedding day not theirs. I’ve worked with wedding party members or family members who don’t want to stick around when we need to be doing the wedding photos and I’ve taken charge to round them up and keep them where they need to be until we’re done photographing them. I’ve had one or two weddings where it was completely unorganized and I’ve helped them get everything lined up, worked with the vendors to get them on track, and get it going smoothly (ß no I’m not a wedding planner but I will be if I need to be on the day of the wedding so it’s less stress on my couple!)
Do NOT hire a photographer based on price or hire a newbie, amateur, family member, or friend with a camera. Take the time to do your research on wedding photographers! Find a style you like, look for photographers who have that style, and reach out to them to meet with them so you can get to know them first before you decide to hire them. I’ve heard so many sad stories from brides who hired a cheap photographer or someone who wasn’t a professional and they ended up HATING their wedding photos. You only have one chance to capture your wedding photography correctly! One chance, one day! It can never be recreated! My heart aches for those couples who hired a cheap and non professional photographer because I KNOW how important these photos are to have and how precious these moments are!!! I always tell brides I meet to NEVER skimpe on your wedding photography! Even if that means you have to cut something else out of the wedding to be able to afford a professional photographer, DO IT! Your wedding photographs are one of the ONLY things you’ll have to look back on and remember your wedding day by! Not your wedding flowers, the centerpieces, the music, the food, or anything else. All of that is gone the day of the wedding.
I love all things romantic!!! Sunsets at the beach, horseback riding, spending time with my amazing husband, spoiling my niece and nephew, hanging out with friends, going out for lunch, the movies, reading a romance novel or a business book, playing with our two pups, riding or spending time with horses, decorating our home, shopping (I LOVE shopping!), meeting up for coffee, traveling, eating pasta, riding our Harley Davidson motorcycle to see new places, and relaxing!
I grew up on a farm back in Minnesota where we farmed cropland, raised cattle, and lived in a small town area of only 12,000 people! Being a farm girl is my reason for the love of photographing out in the country!!! I grew up around horses and have been riding since I was five years old when I got my first Shetland pony for my birthday! My grandpa always had horses growing up and he’d bring me out to see them every day when I was over there!!! Spring calving on the farm (when all of the cute baby calves are born!!!) is literally my favorite time of year on the farm. Since I was a farm girl I also learned how to drive a semi truck (stick shift mind you!!! No automatic for me!). I absolutely loved being able to do that since I was a “girl”. We recently moved out here at the end of August 2015 to SoCal and are living on Camp Pendleton since my husband is a Marine. So I’m a military spouse as well and I absolutely love it!!! Living in California was just a dream before my husband became a Marine!!! So I’m thankful everyday for this AMAZING opportunity to experience this!!!
I offer payment plans to all of my clients instead of offering discounts or special offers. I also accept credit cards! My clients LOVE that I have the payment plans as an option to them. Wedding and elopement photography can be a big investment but it is WORTH IT to be able to have BEAUTIFUL wedding photos to remember your day by!!! I do offer a 10% military, firefighter, police, and EMT discount as a thank you for their service!!! Being a military spouse I understand their sacrifices and I am thankful to them for it.
My name is Sue Bennett and I am the owner of Cabbage Rose Weddings. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope that the content on this blog is both inspirational and informational.