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Meet Emily Reiter

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily Reiter.

Hi Emily, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I founded Anna Delores Photography, a wedding photography studio, in 2012 — we’ve grown to a team of four photographers and we have over 400 weddings under our belts! Anna Delores (named after my grandmothers) serves over 50 couples every year for their Southern and Central California wedding celebrations. I’m also a wedding photography educator who empowers fellow creatives to grow their businesses with elevated styling skills, connections with wedding vendors and publications, and entrepreneurial savvy to maximize long-term success. Former careers in visual merchandising and a business startup have provided me a unique skillset ideal for creative entrepreneurship, and I’m passionate about sharing what I’ve learned with other wedding professionals. Whether through in-person workshops, online courses, or one-on-one mentoring, I love to see other photographers thrive and grow in the wedding industry.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
As I considered exit strategies from my day job after about 18 months working a miserable position for a terrible boss, I turned to my lifelong interest in photography as a career possibility. I started working on my Anna Delores website at work and ended up getting fired because they could tell I wasn’t “in it” anymore. Getting fired was traumatizing (I’m a teacher’s pet and A-student so it felt like a failure) but also the best thing that ever happened to me because it pushed me into photography before I might’ve otherwise “felt ready.” I had a mentor session with a wedding photographer I met through a friend who had gotten married, and it was full speed ahead from there! I moved in with my parents to start Anna Delores from scratch. It was very humbling to move back in with my parents as a 28 years old, but I was excited about pursuing my combined passions of weddings, photojournalism, and growing a business.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
As a full-service wedding photography studio, my team and I prioritize a supportive wedding day experience for our clients. We balance being professional team players with capturing the essence of the unfolding celebration in the most authentic way possible, then curate a beautiful collection of images for couples (and future generations) to relive the day over and over. Wedding photos aren’t just a visual record of the day; the ultimate goal for our clients is that they are transported back to the anticipation of getting ready, the surreal moment of exchanging vows, and the incomparable joy of partying with all the people they love in one place. I’m extremely proud of the feedback we get from couples who say their wedding images enable them to relive those emotions and memories. What additionally sets Anna Delores apart is our ability to guide couples to look their best and simultaneously make our clients so comfortable, they can sometimes forget they’re having their photo taken in the first place! Our attention to detail is exceptional, as well — I’ve always been REALLY drawn to the aesthetic details of a wedding day.

I worked in visual merchandising while I was in college and I’ve just always loved the arrangement of personal items, flowers, décor choices, and so on. Part of our jobs as wedding photographers is to document every single element of the wedding day, and that includes the choices that couples are making about what shoes they’re wearing, the flowers they’ve chosen with their florist, and the color palette they selected to create a mood for their guests. Wedding photography is such a unique genre because we really need to be good at SO MANY different elements: family portraits, couple’s portraits, photojournalism so we can capture candid moments… and one of those elements includes the design details of the day. A wedding offers lots of design and décor choices that contribute to the vibes of the celebration, and those choices are important to our clients. And just as we pose our clients to look their best in photos, we also style their details to look their best in photos!

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
My very first mentor in the wedding industry was Mark Brooke Photography. I met with Mark and his wife, Candice, before I’d even made the decision to go full time, and everything I learned in that session guided me in my first few weddings (and beyond!). My associate team is incredible and I’m so thankful I can trust them to represent Anna Delores Photography with integrity and talent. The wedding industry in Ventura County and Santa Barbara is incredibly supportive and I’m not sure I’d be as successful without the encouragement of so many fellow professionals! Finally, my fiancé is my biggest cheerleader and advocate, and even though we didn’t meet until I’d already been in business for five years, I lean on him a LOT now, and I’m so happy to have a partner who is so patient and supportive with the craziness of being with a creative business owner!

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Marissa Hyland Photography (photo of me), Anna Delores Photography (portfolio images)

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