How to Capture Your Personal Style—Tips from Wedding Photographer Natalya DeSena

When it comes to designing a wedding that will match your personal style, you want to work with wedding vendors who can mirror and celebrate that flair too.

If you’re a bride with a strong sense of style and an adventurous side who loves the outdoors—we have found your wedding photographer. Natalya DeSena is a wedding photographer based in Portland, Maine and she specializes in capturing stylish and candid images.

Since Natalya has lived in both New York City and Colorado, her spirit is a balance of city panache and out west edge. This style shows up in her photographs and in the energy she brings to her clients.

What we love most about Natalya is her passion for photography and her drive to provide gorgeous images for her couples. Oh and did we mention she’s a huge fan of couples who write their own wedding vows?

For all you Northeast couples, check out our interview with Natalya to learn more about how you can customize your wedding day. You’ll be inspired to choose a wedding photographer who can capture your unique and personal style.  

Tell us about your business. How did you get started? 

I started my business in 2017. My biggest passion has always been photography but growing up I felt pressure to pursue a corporate career.

I went to University of Colorado at Boulder and studied business administration and then spent 10 years in the corporate world.

When I turned 30 I told myself that I needed to follow my passions no matter what. I was terrified but I jumped in heart first. I decided to leave the corporate life and pursue my wedding photography business. It's been hard work but extremely rewarding. This is my first season as a full-time wedding photographer and I have 18 weddings booked.

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What kind of couples do you work with?

Many of my couples are from from Boston or New York. Their vision is often elegant or trendy—I get a mix of the two.

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My couples usually come from a corporate or entrepreneurial background and they're extremely stylish in their personal lives. The couples I work with are also pretty adventurous and love the outdoors. I specialize in high-end outdoor weddings so I think that's why I attract couples that love nature. 

How would you describe your photography style? 

I capture all my images with style, heart, and soul. Since I grew up in New York City, I think my style is a bit editorial. However, I spent eight years living in Colorado so it's also adventurous, candid, and fun. 

One of your specialties is destination elopements. What is your favorite thing about this style of a wedding?

I love destination elopements because they're extremely intimate and you can really capture the emotions between the couple. When it's just me and the couple in a beautiful destination I have the space to get creative with the imagery. This allows for stunning and epic photographs. It's harder to capture these types of images with a larger wedding. 

How can couples make their wedding day more personalized to feel like them?

I think writing personal vows is the best way to make a wedding feel personal. It's genuine, heart felt, and vulnerable which I think is absolutely beautiful. 

What are your favorite ways that you've seen couples customize their wedding ceremony?

Most of my couples write custom vows which already customizes the ceremony.

Other ways that I've seen ceremonies customized is through cultural traditions, ceremony location, and having the officiant be a family member or someone that truly knows the couple. 

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How do you feel about couples doing custom wedding vows versus traditional wedding vows? 

No one will ever regret writing custom wedding vows but they might regret traditional wedding vows.

Custom wedding vows explain the why and I think that's extremely important. If things get hard down the road, personalized wedding vows are a great way to remind yourself of why you fell in love in the first place. 

What advice do you give couples on their actual wedding day?

My number one piece of advice is a quote. 

"In the midst of of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you." –Deepak Chopra

Although weddings are extremely fun, they are also very busy. It's so important to breathe and remember why you're doing all of this. It's important to trust in the process, and professionals, to let go and to focus on the honest and genuine love that you have for the person you're marrying. 

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