Why I Don't Share My RAW's With You

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Heather Woolery is a Pacific Northwest based small wedding and elopement destination photographer. She is passionate about capturing clients moments and memories in all their grit and raw honesty. Heather is an avid traveler, coffee and donut addict and impulsive book buyer. She loves the feeling when the perfect song comes on the radio when the windows are rolled down and can never say no to Chinese take-out or Mexican food. If you’d like to inquire with Heather about booking a session with her, you can reach her HERE. If you’d like to see where she’s traveling to next, you can see her travel schedule HERE.

Why I'm a Wedding and Elopement Photographer

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(huge shoutout and thank you to all my amazing second shooters and team who capture’s
these BTS photos of me doing what I love to do!)

Heather Woolery is a Pacific Northwest based destination wedding and elopement photographer capturing stories and memories around the country and the world. She’s coffee obsessed, loves the smell of campfires and has more hats than shoes. If you’d like to inquire with Heather to help capture your memories, you can click HERE! Or see where she’s traveling to next HERE.

Planning a Nontraditional Wedding

Let’s talk weddings. Over the few years I’ve been in this industry, I have found that there are some trends, traditions and reception songs that are on the repeat. Baby’s Breath, The Shuffle Slide, Barns, Grey Suits.
And if that’s your aesthetic, thats AMAZING! But let’s take a little walk on the unique and quirky side together shall we?

Let’s take ten-minutes and have you write out on the nearest old receipt I know you’ve shoved somewhere in your purse………..I’ll wait…………now that you’ve got that, take the next few moments to write down you and your fiancé’s favorite songs, movies, books, food, colors, phrases you say ALL THE DAMN TIME. What do you normally wear? Heels or boots? Hats or your hair up? Do either of you (or both of you) wear glasses?


One of my 2018 couples dancing their first dance to “Hooked On A Feeling” by Blue Swede

Now that you have that list…look at it. Have you thought about adding those phrases you say to one another to your invitations? Or how about rocking your glasses instead of going blind 90% of your own wedding? Did you write down McDonalds or fried chicken under favorite food? Did you write Dreams by the Cranberries or Thriller by Micheal Jackson for favorite songs to jam out to? Take a moment and think about including these quirky, slightly untraditional elements which make up your relationship, into your wedding? Would it be so bad that your first dance isn’t danced to something slow and romantic but jamming out having a good time on the dance floor? Would there truly be riots if you served McDonalds at your wedding? Truth is, probably not. Unless your invited the Queen of England (which I mean who knows if she wouldn’t get down to Thriller or eat a Big Mac) chances are, loosening up the reins a little to your wedding could make the day a whole lot less stressful for everyone and in turn would be a day you could look back on and remember as “that was us.”

A 2018 bride included her dogs in her wedding as the “ring bearer” and “flower girl” during the ceremony.

A 2018 bride included her dogs in her wedding as the “ring bearer” and “flower girl” during the ceremony.

Now I get it, there are some traditions you just can’t let go of. And that’s perfectly okay. In my own wedding I still did the something new, something borrowed, something old, and something blue. I had new perfume, borrowed a bouche pin that my Opa had given my mom which we attached to my bouquet, I wore an old pearl necklace my dad had given me years ago on a trip to Florida and then had my now husbands grandmother embroider in blue thread our wedding date onto the inside of my dress. However, at that time in my life s’mores were one of my all time favorite things and so we also provided a s’mores bar and coffee during the reception for desert. There was a balance between the traditional and the not quit. But it ended up making our wedding day a little bit more about “us” and who we were at that time in our lives.

Image by ShutterKey Photography

Image by ShutterKey Photography

This day is about you and your fiancé finally getting to say “I Do” amongst those closest to you. It’s not a time to impress anyone. If your extroverted, there’s nothing wrong with throwing one hell of a bash. If your introverted, there’s nothing wrong with having a smaller and quiet gathering. It’ss your effing day.

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2018 wedding where they served some of their favorite desert entrée’s created by various family members

If your heart is still set on Baby’s Breath and a barn because that’s just you and your fiancé, GO FOR IT! However, if your thinking you mite like to add a little more “you” into the planning of your wedding and don’t know where to go to find some inspiration I’ve added some of my favorite websites and magazines that can help you go in the right direction.

Rock n Roll Bride: This magazine and blog is the creme dela creme resource for the alternative bride

Off Beat Bride: I love their tagline of “Alter Your Thinking” (lets take a moment to appreciate that pun too shall we?) But their website and blog as well as Instagram is pure inspirational.

Hello May: This Australian based magazine and blog is sumptuous and fun all at the same time. They’re a perfect blend of traditional and alternative.

Pinterest: I feel like you may be saying “DUH” here but hear me out, Pinterest is the equivalent to the photo google. You can create several Pinterest boards of inspirations. Plan three different weddings without spending a penny before locking down which direction you want to go. Also, don’t think about just searching for “wedding” based looks. If one of your favorite movies is Dirty Dancing, add some photos of a watermelon and white KEDS to your pin board. It doesn’t all have to be bridal to be inspiring.

one of my 2018 couples who included these furry sweet guys to their bridals session

one of my 2018 couples who included these furry sweet guys to their bridals session

I’m all for the quirky and whimsical weddings and elopements. If you need more inspiration or are looking for a photographer to document your special day, send me a message! I’m more than happy to be a resource or to talk to you about me capturing your day. Just shoot me a message.

For Clients: Four Things To Do Right When You Get Your Photos


So you’ve gotten the link to your gallery from your photographer and in your excitement I can bet you’ll do one of two things (because I have done both…repeatedly!)

Either, you scroll through the gallery and instantly a few of them stick out so you’ll download those ones immediately and post them all over Facebook. Four-months later you’ve decided to download the rest of the photos but the gallery has been taken down (forgetting your gallery would expire after 3-months)


You’ll download your whole gallery straight onto your laptop, or even an external hard drive but then something happens and all of a sudden your files are corrupt and you can’t pull your photos up. All you have left are the lo-res Facebook photos you posted.

I have seen this happen more frequently than not, AND I have done both of these things myself…more than once.

As a photographer it is always my goal to give my clients a memorable experience. However, once I’ve delivered the gallery - my job is sort of - well - over. This is why I decided to put together a short list of things I’ve learned over the years to insure the life of your photos that you invested in.


1) Download All The Photos Right Away

Once you’ve gotten the gallery, make sure to not just pick and choose a couple of your favorites, but to download all of the images right away. This will insure that none of them are left behind or forgotten.

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2) Back Up, And Back Up Again

Now that you’ve downloaded all the images, make sure to back them up and then back them up again. Whenever I’m working on a clients gallery I make sure to back up the photos on two external hard drives and onto a cloud service as well. This is what I always suggest to my clients.


3) Let Your Photographer Know

Let your photographer know right away if you have any issues downloading your images, and also let them know what you thing. Trust me, your photographer has spent loads of time making sure your gallery is the upmost best. So letting them know you’ve gotten the gallery and what you think will bring a huge sense of peace to your photographer…and good karma to come your way.


4) Print Your Photos

I have boxes of photographs stored away from my relatives and those boxes mean the world to me. They tell me story of where I come from and how I got to where I am today. As progressive as technology is (I mean does anyone else remember floppy disks or is that just aging myself?) I highly suggest printing your photos. No matter what happens to GoogleDrive or an external hard drive, you’ll have your tangible memories in your hands (and hopefully all over your home to!)

You’ve gone as far as investing in capturing your memories with a professional photographer, so make sure to take it one step (or four) further to insure the life of your memories. And if your looking for a great place to print your images; I always print my memories HERE.