Kayla Yestal is a fine art wedding photographer with a passion for capturing relationships in a way that showcases how they are natural, effortless, and authentic! She focuses on building real friendships with my clients in order to capture their smallest joys and quirks in a way that allows them to look back on their wedding day feeling their absolute best!
How long have you been working in the wedding industry? Almost five years. That is so insane to actually write down. It has gone by so quickly!
What makes your business unique? I'm a hybrid photographer, which means that I not only photograph with digital cameras but also with medium format film. Shooting with film gives my images a really timeless quality with beautiful glowing skin tones and that bright and airy look that so many brides are striving for.
Favourite part of your business? It may sound cheesy, but building friendships with my clients. I love that my job acts as a weird little meet-cute when it comes to meeting brides who end up being close friends after their weddings are over. One of my favourite brides from this last wedding season sends me dog videos at least once a week and I seriously can't imagine not having her in my life now. It's crazy how something like picking your photographer can have such an impact on your life and theirs as well!
What inspires you? So many things! Visually, though, anything natural and organic. There's a long running joke with a lot of my brides that you should only hire me if you love photos of ferns, hahaha! I'm just so taken in by movement, shape and pattern, and can always really see that reflected in my work.
Who is your mentor/hero in the industry? This is so hard to answer! There are so many people doing amazing things in the industry right now! If I have to narrow it down to just one, though, Erich McVey is the first person who comes to mind. Seeing his work was one of the driving forces behind me transitioning from a digital photographer to a film photographer. I was lucky enough to attend one of his workshops two years ago and learning from him and his wife, Amy, was a huge turning point in my business! They are not only talented but also incredibly humble, and I don't think I can ever thank them enough for how open they were with me when I was so fresh in the industry!
On your day off...where would we find you? My boyfriend and I actually have somewhat of a day off ritual! We always get up early and take our two dogs Gus and Ollie to the dog park and then follow it up with breakfast burritos at our favourite local breakfast spot! Afterward, it would be pretty likely that you'd find me watching Parks and Recreation in sweat pants on our living room couch or hitting up a hot yoga class!
If you weren't a wedding vendor, what would be your dream job? Oddly enough, I think some sort of relationship counselor! I've always been really fascinated by human behaviors and almost pursued a career in psychology right after high school. I think that this fascination of mine eventually lent itself to how I photograph relationships now, because my brain still has that analytical way of seeing how people interact and express their emotions through body language.
What great wedding trends are you seeing this year? Greenery! I know it's extra trendy this year because of Pantone's Colour of the Year selection, but I've noticed for the last few years that floral design is being put in the spotlight when it comes to wedding decor. I absolutely love when my clients think outside of the box when it comes to their floral design and I'm excited that blogs and magazines are starting to really emphasize this!
Do you have any practical advice for couples planning a wedding? I may be the exact definition of biased when it comes to this, but don't settle for less when it comes to your wedding photography! Your photos are one of the only things that are going to last beyond the day of your wedding, and opting to save a little bit of money now may result in you being unhappy with them for years to come. Preserving the memories of one of the best days of your life should always be a top priority.