Testimonial: Wedding

February 13, 2012

Today, I received the nicest testimonial letter! I photographed Elizabeth and Angelo’s wedding during November of 2011. This was such a chaotic time for me between finishing my BFA Photography Thesis, getting ready to graduate, as well as working on building my photography business. This couple, as well as their family and wedding party, were exactly the ray of light that I needed to rejuvenate my passion for shooting special moments in people’s lives. They were all so wonderful to work with and their wedding….gah! It was so beautiful! The family owns Hernandez Ice Sculptures and filled the reception with some of the most beautiful and unique ice sculptures that I have ever seen. I am so excited and honored to be shooting their new babe soon!

You can view more pictures from their special day here.

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“As soon as you get engaged there are a trillion thoughts that go through a new bride-to-be’s head: Where will I get my dress? What venue will be open to us? What month should we get married? What about the cake? The flowers? How about a photographer? And most importantly, Who is going to pay for this!? After the initial excitement and shock has sunken skin-deep and the dizziness of all these questions has subsided, planning can begin.

During my planning, I knew one of the most important things to me would be documenting my event. After, sorting through multiple references from my mother-in-law and searching throughout the many ‘professionals’ on the internet, I was overwhelmed! The prices where high and I was on a budget. Finally, I began and ended my search on Craigslist. Gabrielle Cheikh’s ad was one of the first that I explored further. After emailing her, I was greeted with a quick reply and a link to her website and portfolio. I WAS IMPRESSED! I was also upset: how was I going to afford this women’s beautiful work and amazing services?! I emailed her back and let her know I was interested. She sent me a sample contract and a quote for her services. Upon getting the quote, my jaw dropped! I could most definitely afford her services. I let her know immediately that we wanted to book her!

Throughout the entire email process, up until the wedding, I was greeted with professionalism, eagerness and kindness.

When you interact with someone on the internet, you only see one dimension of their personality. I was not expecting what I was going to encounter the day of the wedding. Gabrielle arrived promptly at the time we had agreed upon, she found a place for her equipment and got to work, chit-chatting all the while with an endearing smile on her face. She truly made myself and the rest of my wedding party feel at ease. While getting ready to walk down the aisle, one of my bridesmaids was having trouble with her hair. We tried everything! Finally, Gabrielle stepped in and actually did her hair for her. I was very impressed.

We were married in a Catholic church, because of this their are rules as to where the photographer can and cannot be as well as if they can use their flash. Gabrielle was discrete throughout the ceremony and captured many wonderful photographs despite the absence of a flash. At the end of the ceremony Gabrielle  followed us down aisle to get the first shots of us as a married couple. Unfortunately, due to a misplaced bench she fell, however, she didn’t stop smiling or clicking away; talk about commitment to the client!

After the ceremony we met Gabrielle at the reception site to take posed shots. She had some truly wonderful ideas and we had a blast being photographed. Again, her smile and sense of humor matched ours completely and made my husband and me, as well as our wedding party feel completely comfortable.

Throughout the reception, Gabrielle would “check in” to see what event was happening in what order and if there were any shots we wanted to ensure she captured. Besides that, she blended. She was not obtrusive, nor pushy about getting photos. She was patient with the guests that wanted to make sure she got their better side. Her discreteness also allowed her to get candid photographs that will be cherished for a lifetime.  Near the end of the evening, Gabrielle let me know she had about 10 pictures worth of space left. I was astonished! She was really snapping them off but, somehow, had managed to time things just right, the reception was nearly over!

About 3 weeks after our wedding, I received a sneak peek of our edited wedding photos. Beautiful! The images were clean, clear and crisp. They were truly amazing and quite a tease! I couldn’t wait to see the rest. About a month after that, we received the rest of our photos. 3000 of them. Looking through them was a wonderful reminder of our special day. It seems as though she was able to capture each person in attendance and show what a wonderful time everyone had.

My husband and I were truly impressed and felt very lucky to have such a wonderful, kind person to document such a special day. We were so satisfied that we are also having Gabrielle photograph our new addition in March. Both my husband and I look forward to working with her again. I would recommend any bride-to-be to look into her services for their wedding and I hope I can send as much business as possible her way whenever anyone I know is in need of photographing services.

The service you provided was far beyond the title of “photographer.”

-Elizabeth Hernandez

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  1. […] Back in November of 2011, I had the privileged of photographing Florence’s lovely parents at their wedding.  Since then, her mother, Beth, and I have kept in close contact-you might remember her from her overwhelmingly nice testimonial letter. […]