Photos by Schon Photography
We first met Haley Richter, Philadelphia Wedding Photographer, at the Design Sanctuary Workshop. She was busy capturing the artistic process and product of nearly 20 Floral Designers collaborating on wedding inspired designs. Among all the excitement and creative chaos, Haley stood out. She has a calm, collected presence about her and always seemed to be glowing under the perfect light as she snapped both candid and styled moments [all things you need in your Wedding Photographer].
Haley’s work stands out as timeless fine art photography for the modern couple. It’s full of light and organically captures the emotions of a moment. We asked Haley some questions to learn more about what inspires her and her business and let’s just say we are huge Haley Richter Photography fans – if you appreciate light, fine art, and get nostalgic about hot summer days in Philly eating water ice then you’ll be a fan too.
Is there a certain moment in your career that stands out? What are you most proud of?
The moment I decided to pursue my passion for photography and leave my full time career as a graphic designer for a grocery store. That was a pretty big step! It was walking away from a steady paycheck at a retail job into something super unknown. The end of each season thus far also stands out. I reflect and readjust to allow for growth in my art and business.
What's your super power? Everyone has something they do better than everyone else.
I'm great at making couples feel relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera. I'm super bubbly and honest and open with people, and it allows them to let their guard down and show their true selves.
How did you become a Philadelphia Wedding Photographer?
I knew I wanted to be an artist at a really early age. Picked up a camera at 15, continued my education in fine art, and went onto Temple University's Tyler School of art to study photography. I never saw myself photographing weddings - I thought I was going to be a fine artist - But I started dabbling in them and I was hooked!
What do you love about your job?
I love that I get to be a part of a couple’s wedding day, when they are surrounded by so much love. There aren’t many days where so many people you love are in the same room together, so it’s a moment in time to be celebrated and captured. I love taking on the responsibility of capturing it beautifully and emotionally.
Where's your favorite place in Philadelphia? In the world?
I love Philadelphia in the summer. I grew up in Overbrook Park on a block of row homes where kids just flooded the streets on hot summer days and we sat on our stoops eating water ice and soft pretzels in bathing suits. Late summer nights just get me nostalgic, those last hours just before the sun sets when it cools down a little and everyone is outside. That's my favorite Philadelphia.
Who is a Haley Richter Photography client?
The clients I have the best relationship with value photography and art in general. They enjoy good design, walks outside, and rays of sunshine.
How would you define your creative process?
I keep things pretty simple. I will schedule portraits for when the best light is going to happen, usually later in the evening or afternoon as the sun is lower in the sky. I’ll have my couples do what feels natural, with a bit of direction from me. This combination makes photos pop - perfect lighting and natural poses. I want the photos to capture the moment and the emotion that is present.
What inspires you?
LIGHT! Light is the main motivation for me in my life and the reason why I started taking photographs. I remember wanting to capture the way light was streaming through a window or through trees in the late afternoon as a kid, and I’m still in awe of those moments. Light reacts so differently in each situation and I love being able to manipulate and understand it.
If you could give couples one word of advice what would it be?
1. Schedule enough time for photos, including portraits during golden hour! This is when the light is low and super romantic. When I’m scheduling time for photos, I always leave cushion time so we’re never rushed or stressed! 2. Hire a wedding planner! They are able to take care of any hiccups that are bound to happen when there’s an event with a ton of moving parts. They keep everything on schedule and help your vision come to life!
How would you define your style?
Classic yet modern. I want to work with brides that are fashion forward and think a bit outside the box and I love when decor is a little different from the norm. My editing and shooting style is bright, and the colors are rich and bold - a style that isn’t going to fade. So when you look back at your photos a decade or more from when they were taken, there aren’t going to be any filters added to your images. My style is inspired by film stocks and the color, texture, depth of field, and nostalgia the medium has.
What do you do for fun?
Mostly hanging out with my super energetic border collie, Luna. She has a lot of 'go', so she’s always dying to go for a run, a hike, a swim… anything. Which is great because she pulls me away from my computer and into nature where I really get to appreciate why I started taking photos.
What do you love about weddings?
The details! I love how objects can define a place and time and tell a story. It’s always my favorite when couples bring in elements of their family traditions, or a memento that was their grandmother’s. These pieces just further the narrative of their family trees and symbolize the growth. I think it’s also amazing that weddings are the one day when almost everyone you love and loves you is in a room together. That doesn’t happen often, and it’s such an honor to capture that love!
How would your clients describe you?
I’m a good mix of fun in the sun and classic professional. Even though I’m a vendor at your wedding, I’m with y’all for a big chunk of the day and I want you to feel comfortable, open and laughing!
Dealer's Choice. Did you want to share something that we didn't ask?
Don’t forget to have your photos printed! In an age when all our photos are digital and stored on a computer, it’s so important to have a tangible object to remember your day. I always send prints with each of my engagement sessions or weddings, and the reaction from my clients is always ecstatic. The photographs come to life when you’re able to hold and display beautiful art in your home instead of hiding them on a hard drive.