Here in SMP land, we’ve come to consider Brett Heidebrecht and “pretty weddings” one in the same. As a rising star in the industry, there’s no doubt he’s one to watch, which is why we’ve cleared the schedule for a day of all things Brett. But first, let’s sit back and get to know the man behind the lens a whole lot better, shall we?

Style Me Pretty: The key to getting the perfect wedding photos?

Brett Heidebrecht: The key is to have fun and cherish your wedding day. Joy is certainly noticeable in a photograph. Beyond that, it is just about trusting me to capture those moments and tell the story for you. It’s so weird, but I have shot weddings with brides who are overly enmeshed in the flow of the wedding day and you can totally see a different level of stress in their faces when the pictures come back. So the key here is letting go and letting all the plans you have made fall naturally into place. 

SMP: Your words of wisdom for brides planning the Big Day?

BH: My advice is not to compromise. Photographs are literally the only thing you hold onto after the wedding is over, and the better the photographer, the better your story is told.

SMP: How do you get a couple to feel comfortable in front of the camera?

BH: I’m not a super guarded person and I think that vulnerability helps my couples in turn relax when they are around me. I also purposely make sure that there is a little “walk & talk” time before I take a single image just to get to know them and laugh a little bit. Then we begin to make the transition seamlessly into shooting and continue that interaction. Beyond that, I just never want to force a photograph, I’ve learned to read body language fairly well and so I just watch for cues that help me direct my couples.

SMP: What should brides know about the best lighting and time of day for their wedding portraits?

BH: Lighting is everything to a photograph. I ALWAYS encourage my couples to reserve some time during the last 2 hours of daylight on their wedding day for their portraits. The setting sun means fewer shadows across the face and body. There are always exceptions but even/consistent lighting means fewer distractions, not to mention that skin tones look so much smoother as the sun sets. 

SMP: #1 mistake couples make when it comes to their wedding photography?

BH: I see a lot of couples mistake the package contents as what brings value to photography (in reference to things like albums and sessions and print credits, etc). Those things do not mean the photography is of value. The value is in the beauty, emotion, and connectivity with a photograph. I understand the appeal of those “things” and I of course offer them to my clients, but to value them over the quality of the work itself just seems backwards.

SMP: Fill in the blank: My favorite kind of bride and groom to work with are ____.

BH: Creative and trusting.

SMP: In such an over-saturated industry, how do you manage to stand out?

BH: I don’t think there is a formula for standing out, and that is never my priority. I just want to be consistent and to do my job with excellence and a great attitude. All of my clients deserve my very best effort. Without fail, when I get their film back from the lab and start sifting through the images, I am always smiling as I think about the blessing it is to be able to memorialize one of the most important days of their lives. If anything helps me to stand out, I hope that it is that consideration for each of my couples and the love that they share.

Brett’s Headshot: Jose Villa | Wedding Photographs: Brett Heidebrecht