Some of my very favorite moments are those that are so unexpected. It’s moments like having the best day despite the fact that its pouring or discovering that you absolutely love doing something that you never gave much consideration that make life so much fun. However, there are also those activities, like photography, that you may have grown up watching someone else do without realizing it’s exactly what you are going to love doing, too.
Growing up, Onada’s father took photos of her, and he took them often. As a result, she has a host of photos to reminisce about and look back upon from her childhood through her years as a teen. Onada happened to bring along a fun accessory – a Nikon SLR camera – to a friend’s wedding in Jamaica, which was a great decision because she was asked to take a few photos of the bride getting ready due to a (very) tardy photographer. Even though photography played such a huge part in her life, it wasn’t until that unexpected moment that Onada learned she also loved capturing photos, especially wedding photos. Needless to say, she found what she loves, and now her career centers around the same thing her father enabled her to do – freezing timeless moments so couples can look back fondly too.
In today’s Q&A, Onada talks wedding photography trends; favorite Philly places to capture engagement shots (Philly charmers Old City and Rittenhouse Square top her list); as well as a story about a groom who proposed for the second time during a sweet (literally!) engagement shoot in our neighboring city, NYC. Clearly, it wouldn’t be a post about a photographer without photos, and Onada also shares some additional info, so read on and enjoy.
Going to the Chapel: Do you favor classic shots or current photography trends? Does Philadelphia play a part in what you like and what’s popular?
Onada: To be honest I don’t really favor any trends in particular. I just do what I love and what I think works for a particular set of photos. My style varies, I like to try new things but at the same time I don’t like to be excessive so I stay away from heavily edited images. Philadelphia definitely plays a part in my photography – It’s such a beautiful city and I love taking advantage of its beautiful scenery in my photography. I’ve discovered so many gem locations and I’m sure there are many many more – I can’t wait to find them.
GTTC: What are some of your favorite places to visit in Philadelphia to photograph couples?
Onada: Old City is my absolute favorite photography area in Philadelphia, it has so much character – from South Street to Washington square to Elfreth Alley to all the little gardens and pathways – it’s so beautiful. Next is Rittenhouse area – it can get pretty crowded but it’s classic Philadelphia. Other places I love include Boat House Row, Valley Forge Area and Haddonfield in South Jersey.
GTTC: What should couples consider when choosing their location in the Philadelphia area? Will you travel to multiple locations during their session?
Onada: I think couples should feel comfortable wherever they decide to have their engagement session taken, whether it be at home or in the middle of broad street. I love taking pictures at locations that mean something to couples because it sparks conversation and the smiles and giggles come out which makes for perfect photos! I’m very open to travelling to multiple locations – I usually do 2 locations with couples.
GTTC: So many of the couples featured on blogs and in magazines look so natural on camera. How can couples look candid in their photos rather than posed?
Onada: The most important thing is being comfortable, talk with your photographer before and during the session, relax and focus on having a good time, don’t be afraid to be silly either. I personally feel like there’s no structure around getting your engagement photos taken and your photographer will guide you into relaxed and candid poses everything else will just come naturally.
GTTC: Do you have a story (and photos!) about a couple whose session you really enjoyed photographing?
Onada: Vanessa and Joe choose to have their engagement session photographed in NYC. Towards the end of the session we headed over to Sprinkles Bake Shop in the Upper East Side of Manhattan and thought it would be a good idea to take some pictures in there so we bought some cupcakes and then I got this great idea to take a couple photos of the engagement ring in a cupcake. Vanessa took off her ring and handed it to Joe who couldn’t find a seat so he was kneeling in front of her so it looked like he was proposing. All of a sudden we heard a shriek “ THEY ARE GETTING ENGAGED” and saw a lady with two little girls jumping up and down. The whole store went quiet – it was so funny. We played along with it though.
If you would like to learn more about Onada, you can visit her website and learn more about her, view the photos she has taken, and the packages she offers. Like me, Onada also writes a blog, The Fab Bride, so be sure to check out her site as well.
Did you and your groom share a totally unexpected funny moment during your engagement or wedding day shoot that helped you relax? Make sure to comment below and share your story!
*all photos courtesy Onada Photography