Romance Travel Group is excited to announce a new partnership with destination wedding photographer, Jenna Ryan!
Tell us a little about you?
I consider myself equally a Northerner and a Southerner – I grew up in the Midwest and spent the vast majority of my years there. I loved life there and all the people in it, but always felt a pull toward the South. For the last few years, I’ve felt so fortunate to do life in South Carolina. I love my job as ‘Mom’, and I love to travel. Wherever life finds me at any given moment, you’ll usually find me with some sort of camera in my hand. There is beauty to be found in every situation, and I’m constantly channeling C.S. Lewis’ idea that “We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words – to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.” I’ve found photography to be an invaluable tool in this way.
How did you get into photography?
I’ve always appreciated how art and design can evoke such emotion or sense of peacefulness in a person. In college, I began posting photos of my photography class assignments on social media, and before I knew It a few friends had asked me to photograph their weddings. That led to more weddings, and it wasn’t long before I found myself doing photography full-time.
I think for me, so much of what I do is about the *moment*. That look between a bride and her groom, a bride and her dad, the laugh a groom shares with is best friend. These moments happen so quickly and then they are gone. When I look back at a wedding I’ve photographed and see all those priceless moments that are now preserved forever for that couple, it’s extremely fulfilling.
What is your favorite part of a wedding day?
I love the couples’ portrait portion of a wedding day. Whether it’s before or after their ceremony, that sweet time I get to just laugh a little with a bride and her groom is so fun. And, because I know that these are the photos that will likely hang in frames for decades to come, I find that my creative adrenaline kicks into overdrive during this time!
Can you share a moment during a wedding that took your breath away?
I was recently photographing a bride in the bridal room, and as she was looking in the mirror, she began to cry happy tears. I think even she was caught off guard by how excited she was to marry her groom. It was delightful to hear her talk about how beautiful she felt, and when her 6-year-old son walked in all handsome and dressed up, I thought she might lose it completely in the best way. They were becoming a family that day, and it was beautiful. My aim is to always learn my couple’s story, because when you learn their story, suddenly the moments that need to be captured become very clear.
How would you describe your photography style?
My goal is to create natural space for couples to have some fun together. If they can even forget I’m there for a moment while photographing them, I’ve done my job well. Photography is a hugely important part of your wedding day, but it should not overtake the day. I gravitate toward a light & airy style of photography, but also don’t like to place myself or my clients in a box of one style. Sometimes the moment calls for more of a dark and moody feel. Overall, I like to consider myself a purveyor of beautiful moments, and each moment deserves special consideration as to how it should be captured.
What would your past wedding couples tell us about you?
They would tell you that I have a healthy respect for the wedding day and all that it entails. I am always available, but never obtrusive. I’m equal parts adaptable and prudent when it comes to keeping the schedule of your day. Fun during a photo shoot is a priority, and it makes me do a little happy dance every time grooms tell me how much fun it was to have their photos taken!
Any advice for our future destination wedding couples?
Consider that your photographer is one of the people you will spend the most time with on your wedding day. She will likely be with you while you’re getting ready, during your first look, and all throughout the day and night. Be sure to choose someone that you can enjoy spending that time with, as well as someone who cares enough to learn your unique story. If a photographer has done her job well, the candid, unforeseeable photos you receive from throughout your wedding day may just become some of your favorites.