If there's one things that's really been a welcome change at weddings over the last decade or so, it's a focus on less stiff posing, more authenticity, and more mindfulness on the day. And that's exactly why we LOVE partnering with offbeat and inclusive vendors like Shaina from Golden Door Photography. She's based in Boston and brings so much to our table that we always want East Coast folks to know about her.
We talked a bit with her about her style, why she's all about intention and acceptance, and about her brand new podcast that's premiering this summer! If you're in the Boston area (or beyond), it's time to meet your potential new photographer/bestie…
What's your overall style for weddings?
I am a fun, colorful, documentary-style wedding photographer. I’m in this business because I love capturing human stories and every kind of love. Something particularly unique about me: I also do hospice photography, which tells a totally different kind of love story.
Oh wow, that IS a different kind of love story. And one that we probably don't document nearly as much as we could be. I'd imagine that trains you to be sensitive to all situations and to blend into the background to capture moments.
What are your FAVE kinds of weddings to capture?
My favorite weddings and elopements to capture are the super authentic ones. I love when every inch of the day feels like the couple. One thing I remind my couples often is that you don’t have to do anything in particular on your wedding day. You don’t have to wear black/white or walk down an aisle or do specific dances at specific times. I encourage them to challenge (and bust) outdated, anti-feminist traditions. To that end, I have seen literally one bouquet toss in my wedding photography career. If there are folx standing by the couples’ side on their wedding day, we keep it simple and call them ‘the wedding team.'
It’s really common for my clients to consider eloping (and I love LOVE shooting elopements). But many of them ultimately decide to have a wedding, mostly to bring their family and friends together for a good time.
That completely fits with our mantra. You don't have to do anything you don't want to do. And hell yes to feminist wedding vendors in general!
I hear you're into keeping posing to a minimum…
One of the core tenants of my wedding day philosophy is, “less time posing, more time celebrating.” That means I'm pretty hands-on throughout the planning process to help create a kick-ass timeline. I pride myself on getting any obligatory family photos done quickly and seamlessly, almost always in under 20 minutes. (By “obligatory,” I only mean that it feels right to the couple to capture these groups of humans all together.) We always work together to create the maximum amount of time for mingling with loved ones and hitting the dance floor. (I also love to hit the dance floor — and do some serious lip syncing — while I shoot!)
I'm currently at that exact stage in wedding planning where I'm balancing getting a select few group shots and then getting right into cocktail hour, so this is SO appealing to me. And I'm so many of our readers agree. I think a lot of us would rather frame a shot of an emotional hug, a funny reception moment, or a candid that shows what was actually happening.
What's your photographer superpower?
I also pride myself on being right there with you all through the planning stages, grabbing a drink together after your engagement session, building a friendship, but then fading into the background on the wedding day. Of course, I give you hugs when I arrive, get people where they need to be, and make those family photos happen efficiently and beautifully. But since the day is not even a little bit about me, as much as possible, I try to disappear and just bear witness. If I see someone pulling out their cellphone for a snap, I’m ninja-quick right behind them with my camera to get that shot. But my favorite compliment after a wedding is when people say they are amazed at all the shots I captured when they didn’t even realize I was there!
I had never heard the trick of spying on guests to see what moments are occurring around you via their phones! So crafty. I imagine you're getting some killer shots in general by looking for moments when people have their guards down and aren't worried about who's taking the shot.
I'm addicted to podcasts. What's yours?!
It’s called The Post-Wedding Podcast. I interview recently married couples to talk about why they planned their marriage celebration the way they did. My goal is to empower couples to ditch the ‘wedding industry' conventions and celebrate in whatever way is authentic to who they are together.
It hasn't launched yet, but it’s coming this Summer 2019 and you can follow along here.
So now that you know a little more about Shaina, let's hear from a couple of her clients…
“Shaina’s photographs capture the people, place, and most impressively the feeling of your event. She is a kind soul that puts you at ease allowing her to capture the most authentic and flattering photographs of you. I was also very impressed by how many images she was able to capture without my realizing she was present. Hiring Shaina as our wedding photographer was one of the best decisions we made!” – Jana S.
“We could not be happier that we hired Shaina for our wedding day. Working with her was so easy and stress free, right from the start when we first spoke to her over the phone we could tell she was the best choice for us. Shaina goes above and beyond… I was truly touched by how thoughtful she is. We were so blown away by our photos. I will absolutely contact Shaina for any photography needs in the future and highly recommend her.” – Shannan H.
Offbeat reader discount time!
We love offering readers a discount for partnering with our faves…
Receive 10% off the Standard or Gold packages when you mention Offbeat Bride when getting in touch.
If you're on the East Coast and feel like Shaina and Golden Door Photography is your wedding photography patronus, I HEAR YOU! Or if you're out of state and would like to chat with her about traveling to your wedding, go say hello. Either way, get in touch and get your date on her calendar asap.