INSPIRING WOMAN: Elizabeth Messina

We are so happy to introduce this week’s Inspiring Woman, Elizabeth Messina. Photographer, artist and author, Elizabeth is not only a master of capturing the moment, she’s a true pioneer who has carved out a distinctive niche in the world of wedding photography and risen to the top! Read on to find out what keeps Elizabeth motivated creatively, where she finds her inspiration and how she deals with creative struggles. 

Elizabeth, your work has given rise to a unique genre of artful wedding photography. Can you describe your style and what inspires it?

EM: Thank you. I think my style is intimate and artistic, even moody at times. I am an artist at heart. I adore photographing women and people in love. I am also drawn to capturing beautiful spaces, still moments, longing, sadness, the sky, life…… I’ve had a love affair with natural light and film for sometime now. Arte is air for me. I hope my work evokes an emotional or visceral response from the viewer. I yearn to capture feelings, not just images. Arte provides a bit of grace amongst the mundane demands of day to day life. I put a lot of effort into running my business and being present for my family, but underneath it all, I am always an artist in my heart. Beauty has a place, has meaning in our complicated lives. Arte matters. Weddings are full of such sweetness and joy, it’s an honor to capture people in love.

Did you ever doubt your creative direction? How did you deal with that?

EM: Creativity can often be elusive. This is true not just when I photograph weddings but with all of my work. I am extremely critical of my own images and am very rarely satisfied. I strive to be better and more consistent. Photography is an interactive and constantly changing arte form. I try to remain engaged and thoughtful about light and compassion each time I compose an image.

What sets your photography apart and what about your photography do you take most pride in?

EM: Photography is my passion. I am most proud that I have been able to do it for so long. My first camera was a gift from my mother when I was twelve years old. I was in love instantly with making images. At such a tender age, I did not know photography would be come such an important part of my life. Photography is the language of memories. There is an intangible quality to making photographs that defies language. That is what I love. Each shoot I am in search of a language I do not fully understand, a gesture, something authentic. I hope I can continue to capture memories and make arte for many years to come.

You are constantly around new people in settings where emotions are high. What has being a photographer taught you?

EM: The dance of the unknown. There is great beauty in how a shoot unfolds. Although I feel confident as a photographer, I do not know what or how the day will reveal it self. There is a gentle magic that I want to discover. Sometimes it is how the window light caresses the curve of a cheekbone. Other times, it is the connection between myself and the subject. A shoot for me is a quiet, sacred space. I try to remain present and respond. I strive to create images that honor both my inner voice and each couple’s unique and beautiful wedding day.

Do you have a favorite image you’ve shot, and why is it “the one?”

EM: I could never choose a favorite. There are so many moments and images that are dear to my heart. I’ve chosen a few of those to share with you in this interview. The images that linger with me are ones that capture something I cannot put into words but rather encapsulate a feeling.

Thank you for sharing, Elizabeth!

Elizabeth has been a true inspiration creatively, and we feel very lucky to have had the chance to work with her and experience her magic first hand! (We’ll be posting some of our favorite shots from our past shoot with her on IG this week!) We hope you enjoyed learning about her creative process much as we did. Below you will find ways to keep up with all the beautiful projects Elizabeth Messina has to come!

Website: Elizabeth Messina

Shop: The Arte Department

Instagram: @elizabethmessina