2021

Stylized Wedding Shoot Wednesday: Ashley & Rai

This week, we’ve got a unique story on Virginia weddings ideas. Instead of a real wedding, we’re talking stylized shoots, as modeled by models Ashley and Rai, a fantastic pair who happily worked with talented photographer Jose Yustiz.

I asked Jose some questions about his work as a photographer, the concept of stylized shoots for couples and this particular shoot.

RITA: Tell us about the stylized shoots you’ve done in the past.

JOSE: I had done a few styled shoots before this one. I originally started my photography journey as an editorial photographer but have recently changed my niche more towards couples/weddings. With my past experience, I’ve been able to do more editorial shoots that have been featured on a couple of magazines and it’s taught me a lot about the value of connecting with your local vendors and how I can even grow my own business.

RITA: How can styled shoots benefit couples?

JOSE: Doing styled shoots allows potential couples I work with to envision my style, my process, expectations and how I’ll be able to capture every special moment for their big day. Not only that, but it will also reassure them that they’re hiring someone who knows what they’re doing.

RITA: What happens during a styled shoot (for your portfolio or for clients)?

JOSE: A lot of planning is actually done behind styled shoots. As the photographer, it is my job to make sure everyone participating (vendors and models) are aware of what my concept is and everyone’s schedule plans out just right. As I get more creative with these styled shoots, this allows me to have more content for my portfolio which also allows me to reach out to my targeted audience which is couples who are wanting to elope or have a big wedding ceremony. 

RITA: What are some tips and advice you’d offer for couples as they prepare for wedding photography sessions?

JOSE: I want my couples to remember that as their photographer, my mission is to capture their love and their true authentic selves. After all, when it comes to my couples and their special day, I also want them to be open with me and if there is anything specific they’d like to do to make their special day even better, I will be there for them to make it happen. 

RITA: How did you get into photography, and specifically working with couples on their big day?

JOSE: After finally narrowing down my niche with my photography, I realized capturing love between two souls is what gives me so much joy. Coming from a background where my sexual orientation was not supported or accepted, it’s made me look at people from a different perspective. It’s taught me to pour out my heart to my clients as I document and help them celebrate their love and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

RITA: How did you come to work with these models for the shoot?

JOSE: I’ve known Ashley for a few years as she has been a model for some time in the Virginia Beach area and we have worked together a couple of times prior to the styled shoot. It was my first time meeting Rai for this shoot and before meeting, I had interviewed both models indicating the type of shoot this would be and all the details behind it.

I had done a few styled shoots before this one as I originally started my photography journey as an editorial photographer but have recently changed my niche more towards couples/weddings. Thanks to networking and doing several shoots in my past, I was able to meet the vendors that were part of this shoot and it couldn’t have been possible without their help.

Vendor Credits:

Photographer: Jose Yustiz

Hair & Makeup: Jordan Artistry

Staging: Dishelved Decor LLC

Flowers: Rosanna’s Meadow

Models: Ashley & Rai

The author: rita

Rita Juanita Pike is the granddaughter of aviatrix, Jerrie Mock, first woman to pilot an airplane around the world. Rita has taken inspiration from her grandmother’s life and flight and pursued many of her own dreams in theatre, podcasting, novel writing, and cooking up delicious food from around the world. She now writes on food, travel, pets, faith, and the arts. She’s happily married to Matt, and faithfully serves the very fluffy kitten queen, Lady Stardust.
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