Capitol Vendor Spotlight: Julie Napear Photography

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  • February 03, 2011

I am THRILLED to be posting my very first “Capitol Vendor Spotlight” on such a kind, energetic, and talented photographer.  I met Julie a few weeks ago via my aimless craigslist posting, trying to find vendors or just ANYone interested in helping me with my blog. I got Julie’s email and I just knew it was going to be the start of a great relationship. She is almost as excited as I am about my blog and it turns out, she is also a fan-freakin-tastic photographer too.  First, let’s showcase some of her skills:


Second, let’s get to know more about Julie, that wonderful woman behind Julie Napear Photography!

Capitol Romance (CR): Why and how did you get into the Wedding Photography Business?

Julie: In the summer of 2005, my boyfriend-now-husband’s brother got married in Jamaica. (I know what you’re thinking — how awesome! But sadly Erik and I had just met two months prior and so I wasn’t invited to join them.) Theirs was a small, family-only ceremony, so when they came back to Virginia they had a reception for friends and extended family. Knowing they didn’t want to spend a lot of money, I offered to shoot the affair as my gift to them. I had never shot a wedding before, but I was pretty good at taking pictures of people and figured I couldn’t do any worse than them having no photographer at all!
Anyway, when I came back with the pictures, everyone was really impressed, and I thought, “hey, maybe I should consider weddings as a way to make some extra income.” So I put some feelers out to friends and family, letting them know I was available (and cheap, because of my lack of experience), and started getting inquiries from friends of theirs. In 2007, I had gotten fed up with my day job and decided to quit, figuring the few weddings I had booked for the year would help float me through until I found another job. But my timing was really good — it was January, which is known in the business as “engagement season”, and I booked enough weddings to realize I already had a full time job lined up!

CR: Why the interest in being featured on a blog that hopes to cater mainly to alternative, unusual, and original DC Area weddings?

Julie: I really do love my job, but like anything, if you get stuck doing the same thing over and over again, it gets old. So I love the idea of people who have different ideas — I am truly inspired by the people that I photograph. I tell my clients to feel free to steal ideas — colors, centerpieces, hairstyles, etc. — from the sample albums that I show them, and seeing what other people come up with kinda makes me want to get married again… or at least just have an awesome photo shoot in a gorgeous wedding gown and my handsome husband in a tux!

CR: Anything exciting or different you are working on in the upcoming months?

Julie: Yes! I am frequently asked about doing boudoir sessions, but most women do not want to do them outdoors where they can be seen in their unmentionables (understandably), and my small in-home studio is a really boring place to get them done. So I’ve teamed up with the historic George Washington Hotel in Winchester (check them out here) and a professional hair and make-up artist to offer a weekend of boudoir sessions in an awesome luxury suite. I still have slots open on Sunday, February 20 if any women out there in Capitol Romance-land are interested! Did I mention there will be wine? ;-)

CR: What can couples expect from you, as their photographer in regards to style and shoots?

Julie: My number one priority is getting great pictures, but in a VERY close second is making sure that our shoot is enjoyable. I love to do engagement sessions because it’s a great way for me to get to know a couple, and for them to learn my shooting style. Engagement sessions also often help put people at ease (the groom especially) about how painless the picture-taking process will be on the wedding day. :-)
A lot of my couples come to me with concerns about not knowing how to pose for pictures, and I tell them not to worry — that’s MY job! I do tell people how to stand, sit, hold their heads, etc., but the best shots generally come from the moments in-between the poses. I strive to make my photography very natural-looking and the best way to do that is to make a couple feel like they’re just hanging out, having a day in the park/street/wherever, doing lots of hugging and kissing!

CR: What do you look for in booking a client?

Julie: Obviously it’s not always up to me — since couples come to me I don’t get to pick and choose who I want to shoot. However, because a lot of my couples are friends or family of people I’ve already shot for, the people who come to are usually people I already know I’ll like! I do think it’s important that there’s a chemistry between a bride and groom and their wedding photographer — we’re there on a very important, sometimes high-stress day, and I want to make your experience more enjoyable, not add to the stress! But beyond just working with nice people (which I almost always do — the “bridezilla” thing is highly exaggerated, most of the time), I look for clients who just know the importance of good wedding photography. Your wedding pictures will be with you the rest of your life, and I want clients who are excited to think about showing their pics off for years to come. I know it’s cliche, but that’s because it’s true: after the big day is over, all that’s left is your memories and your photographs.

CR: What song can you currently not get enough of?

Julie: Oh man, this is way tougher than the wedding questions… a couple months ago, I would seek out Brad Paisley’s “Then” on the radio — it made me cry! But I always go back to the late 90s rock… just a product of my generation, I guess!

For more on Julie, her photography, and information on booking her, please visit her website and blog at www.jsnphoto.com/blog

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