Profile | Michelle Mock and the art of Wedding Photography

She gets high on people daring to say “I do”. This bubbly expat has dedicated her livelihood to capturing celebrations of love

Michelle Mock, Wedding Photographer

“When they’re saying their vows, I still get a little choked up. It’s two who have found each other in a world of so many people, saying ‘I do,’ come hell or high water, through thick and thin – you’re my person.”

When you want something done right, do it yourself. This is the lesson that Michelle Mock took away from her own wedding five years ago. The photography was disappointing. She thought she could do better.

The wedding itself was no piece of cake either – a big, stressful American affair involving many guests and lots of coordination, a lot of solving people’s problems and check lists from Pinterest. And of course, as in all weddings, a family drama or two was inevitable.

“In the end, I was like, I can’t babysit these adults! But when weddings get to be that big, you’re just whack-a-moling all the problems,” she said. “And it shouldn’t have to be that complicated.”

Out of this insight, she developed a career. It also helped her understand even more the value of being married.

“I think the biggest thing I learned is that, as a couple, you need to really listen to what you each want. Now I tell my husband, if we survived a wedding, we can do anything.”

Witty, energetic and gregarious, Mock knows how to look on the positive side of things, and despite the glitches at her own wedding, her views on marriage hold.

“There’s something to saying, ‘I’m so committed to you, I’m willing to sign on the dotted line.”

Some might misinterpret her approach to her craft as old-fashioned as well. Over time, she has honed her aesthetic of creating authentic, relaxed moments by exclusively using film as opposed to digital. It slows things down and makes her work more intentional, she says. It also creates a better experience for her clients, who don’t have to pose with a fixed smile for 10 consecutive digital shots that may or may not work.

She also tries to avoid using Photoshop, which goes against her organic approach.

“I want to capture a man and wife together, not a man whose wife has an amazing Beyoncé booty. Now that’s just not realistic!”

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Janima Nam
Janima Nam is a freelance journalist, translator, and editor living in Vienna. She has a BFA in film from New York University and a Masters degree (MA) from the London Consortium in Interdisciplinary Studies.

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