We’d like to introduce an amazing Houston photographer : Jessica Al-Khalifah. She is the owner and sole photographer of Shutterenvy Photography. She currently resides in Sealy, Texas and says she absolutely loves it there. Her 3 great loves in life are: her husband, photography and traveling. There is no where she would not travel to get gorgeous photos and she absolutely adores weddings! We asked more questions to get to know Jessica more and here’s what she said…
Why did you choose to become a photographer?
I think its more of a case of photography chose me lol. I did many artistic hobbies growing up but the one that seemed to stick in my mind the most was photography. Anyone can pick up a camera and take a photo, but it takes an artist to make it truly spectacular.
How long have you been a photographer?
Growing up, I used to drive my mom crazy at the amount of film she would have to take to Wal-mart to be developed. It was usually an entire roll of one of our pets. I would say that I have been a photographer since I could hold a camera but I have been doing it professionally now for close to 4 years.
How would you classify your style of photography?
I would classify my photography as more of an edgy, creative look. Of course I CAN do your classic style of images but if given the chance then I go hogwild on the creativity. Its highly likely that if I’m shooting your wedding or bridals that you might find me crouching behind a bush shooting through leaves and debris to get a cool effect on a photo. Or to my second shooters dismay, having him hoist me over tall fences or holding me up while I hang over the edge of a pier. Nothing makes me prouder than when I am meeting with a prospective client and they tell me how they have been looking through my work and that they think I am so different from all the other photographers they have seen.
Who are some of your influences on a professional level?
I gotta say my biggest influence is Leslie Spurlock of Leslie Spurlock Photography. I met her a few years ago when I saw a post on her facebook that she needed someone to assist her with a workshop in North Carolina. We instantly became friends. She has inspired me and taught me so much of what I know today. She will do workshops several times throughout the year and I make sure that no matter even if I have to sell a kidney, I’m going to come up with the money to go to that workshop lol.
Another person who inspires me greatly is Brooke Shaden. Everything this girl shoots is gold. I have had the priviledge of doing one of her underwater workshops and composition workshops and she has taught me so much. She teaches everyone that its ok to make mistakes and that even if a shoot doesn’t turn out how you expected it, that there is always something to learn from the experience. Her photography is wildly creative and inspires me everyday to get out there and try something different.
What is your preferred type of camera equipment?
Canon baby all the way! My 5D Mark III is my child and I carry it everywhere I go. You usually find me using my 70-200mm most of the time or my 16-35mm for wideangle shots. I have a whole studio set up in my home with Alienbee studio lighting.(Wedding present from the hubster. He knows me so well!) For weddings we carry around an arsenal of Speedlites and Alienbees for lighting.
Do you have any good wedding stories?
Well, thankfully so far I’ve been lucky to escape any tragedies and embarrasing moments. I did manage however to get a nervous bride quite tipsy before the nuptials to help calm her down. Poor thing, most of her bridesmaids had run off on some errands and no one was there to help her get the wrinkles out of her dress while she was getting ready, so I passed her the booze, forced her to sit and whipped out the iron and got to work.
What are your latest adventures?
The latest adventure I embarked on was a two week photography trip with the husband to Peru. Our first week we spent deep in the jungle near The Amazon River going on long day hikes capturing photos of many species of monkeys, birds and insects. Our second week was spent hiking the Inca Trail up to Macchu Picchu and photographing the experience. The city of Cuzco was so captivating. One of our projects was taking images of all the ancient doors on the buildings around the city. The plan is to publish a coffee table book of the trip to sell. Next on the agenda is a 2 month stay in Alaska in our travel trailer documenting the wildlife of the area.
Any Advice for Couples?
My advice to Brides & Groom’s selecting a photographer…. Interview, interview, interview. Theres no surer way to see who you will click with than sitting down with the photographers you are interested in and getting to know one another. You are going to be spending a lot of time and money with this person, you really want to feel comfortable with them. Make sure that you review their style of photography and that its something that you love and will be proud to display to all your friends and family.