Meet Kerri from Frozen Moments Portraits, a wedding photographer based in Philadelphia – and one of our newest photographers on SnapKnot!

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I entered into the wedding industry when I was 17, working with brides and grooms to choose their wedding invitations. Little did I know at the time that starting on that path would bring me to where I am today! Photography is where my greatest passion lies, but when I’m not working I am keeping up on the latest news for the National Hockey League and cheering on my favorite teams.

Why did you choose to become a photographer?
Growing up, I was constantly told that I needed to decide what I career path I wanted to take.  After hearing it so often from so many people, I started to become incredibly frustrating as I tried to make the ‘right’ decision. To help myself de-stress, I picked up a camera and shot anything and everything. For those moments, I forgot everything and focused just what I saw through my viewfinder. One day, I literally woke up and realized that this entire time I knew what my career was supposed to be. It was the same thing I ran to so often…photography.

How long have you been a photographer?
I started photographing professionally about 3.5 years ago at a family studio. Soon after, I decided to dip my toes into weddings. Ironically, I had never attended a wedding before so it was entirely new territory. I began by seeking experienced photographers and absorbing any knowledge they were kind enough to offer me. After second shooting a few weddings, I was ready to move forward on my own.

How would you classify your style of photography?
While the bride and groom are the main focus of the day, there is so much more to it than that. There are the details and the guests that add to the experience and truly make the day memorable. I live to capture the emotion; nervousness, laughter, tears. To truly capture ambiance of the day, I am what you could refer to as a camouflage photographer. That meaning, I do whatever it takes to photograph every moment without being seen. It is incredible to see the reaction the couple has when they view images that they didn’t even know were taken.

Who or what are some of your influences on either a personal or professional level?
Emin Ozmen has had such a big impact on me. I stumbled on his website one day and after reading his bio, I was in such awe. This man was bed ridden due to two broken legs and was desperate for something to fill his time. He picked up a camera for the first time in his life and began shooting. Every day he shot with that camera while he healed, learning something new. Only a short period later, he had become one of New York’s most sought out photographers. It is his story that reminds me that if you push yourself hard enough you can be just as successful.

Do you have any good wedding stories?
Oh my! I actually had one wedding where the groom realized that he forgot the rings at home…JUST before the ceremony started! How he managed to get to his house (which was 45 minutes away!) and back in only 20 minutes, I’ll never know.

My most recent wedding was probably the most emotional day I have ever witness. It is fairly normal for the bride to cry, as well as the parents. At this particular wedding every signal bridesmaid began to cry even before the ceremony began! During the vows, the groom started to tear up and actually had to take a step away to compose himself. You could really feel the love at that wedding.

What’s your preferred type of camera equipment?
I am a true Nikon girl at heart! I am always scouting out my next ‘must have’ lenses, or ‘toys’ as I sometimes refer to them as.  Shooting digital has great perks, such as being able to tease my brides with some of their wedding images just hours after the wedding – something that film wouldn’t allow me to do so quickly.

What would you recommend for a couple just starting their search for a wedding photographer?
Often the first question our brides have is “How much are your packages?” Your wedding day is the most important day of your life and each moment will only happen once. At the end of the day, the rings will have been exchanged, the toasts given, and the cake eaten.

It is so important to make sure you click with your photographer. When meeting someone, you can tell right off the bat if they actually care or if they are just about making money. There are so many photographers out there that take your deposit and then disappear until just before the wedding. When your day comes, there is a stranger photographing you. It is important that a photographer gets to know the couple and keeps in contact from the initial meeting. The comfort level is amazing because it feels like a friend is behind the camera.

Any fun personal facts we should know about you?
I am an avid hockey fan. I think if I were given the opportunity to photograph an NHL game, I would faint!

My grandmother was the most important person in the world to me. Before she passed, I purchased a necklace with her name. It really confuses people when they see me wearing the necklace because her name is Patricia.

I LOVE Las Vegas. It took me nearly 8 years to finally get to do it, but I finally managed to take a vacation there. It was actually pretty funny; I actually woke up at random times in the middle of the night just to see if the lights on the strip were still lit up. Sometimes I hope that a bride asks for me to shoot a wedding there. I would be in heaven!

Anything else to add about yourself, the wedding industry, photography, brides, grooms, etc.?
I learned the wedding planning process years ago, as far as when to book the venue, how to word the invitations, etc. I have moved on from the invitations and planning, however I can’t help but offer brides advice when they need it. All of those years have really helped me out and being so knowledgeable in the entire industry is great.

There have been so many times just before the ceremony that I see the bride shaking from nervousness. She worries that she will forget her vows, not be able to move, anything. That is when I look her in the eye and promise her that those feelings will go away the moment she sees her husband to be. I love when after the ceremony, the brides hugs me and thanks me, while telling me I was right.

Check out this short video from Frozen Moments Portraits:

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