Juliana Cole has been in the wedding industry for seven years, documenting the story of each individual couples day. Based in Upstate NY, Juliana Cole travels for most of her work, including to NYC and the Catskills, the Adirondacks, or flying internationally for destination elopements, weddings and events.
Her style is journalistic, with a touch of editorial. "It’s really important to me that I’m in the background of the day and capture those emotions and moments as they come. The longer I shoot weddings, I realize more that they don’t require staging – there’s so much emotion unfolding naturally. There are parts of the day when Juliana steals a few moments with the couple to capture their connection. "If I can simultaneously direct them while fading into the background, I’m able to capture a genuine connection between my couples."
Juliana always tells her couples that she is shooting with their future selves in mind. "Knowing that the photos that I take of my clients on their wedding days will be the tangible testament of their stories, as they look back and share the photos, gives me so much purpose. I’m always looking for the moments that really encapsulate how their celebration felt, hoping that moment I’ve captured will tell a story in the future."
Offering a number of packages, Juliana's top pick is her full weekend event coverage. "It's a great package for all of my couples, but in particular for my destination wedding couples. They’ve invited their most cherished group of people to gather with them for a celebration of a lifetime. Full coverage captures all the events that the couple puts so much work into planning, and that deserves to be documented. There’s nothing like it. Especially the welcome dinner or party – the huge laughs and hugs as everyone from different spheres of the couples lives are reuniting – I love it."
Juliana has traveled extensively for her work with a career highlight being a week-long celebration in the British Virgin Islands. "The couple essentially adopted my second shooter and I, as well as their family and guests, and welcomed us into capturing every little moment. The entire group was so joyful and celebratory. We spent the week capturing everything with them, from exploring caves and beaches to their sunset wedding ceremony on a rocky cliff of the island. It was such a high and there was constant beauty and joy to capture, paired with a couple who were fully present and able to just forget that cameras were there. It was a photographer’s dream."
Inspired by nature, with a love of the sea and mountains, Italy has a special place in Juliana's heart. "Italy is my favorite work and travel destination. Specifically, the Amalfi Coast. I’m so creatively inspired by vibrant color and water, which the towns on the Amalfi Coast have lots of. I love to stay in the smaller towns that surround the more popular tourist destinations to avoid crowds and eat the best food. Closer to home, Juliana loves the lakes in the Adirondack Mountains, in Upstate NY. Lake George is my favorite. These two destinations both combine elements that I think are photo worthy perfection; deep rich greens, blue green water, surrounded by mountain blues."
Some other sources of inspiration for Juliana are light, water and colour. "My home is filled with books of fashion photography, and I love to study the work of the greats who’ve been doing this decades before I pick up a camera. My favorite photographer at the moment is Slim Aarons – I love the way he poses his subjects, the light and water and colors in his work. Since picking up a film camera and starting to learn to master (still far from that) that method of photography, I’ve learned so much more about the way that light really makes any photo, as well as the study of color."
Juliana's dream client values the experience of the day and prioritises enjoying the day with their special people as well as soulful over staged moments. "My dream couples plan a wedding in one of their favorite places and want to invite their guests into an experience. They value the details that go into making an experience beautiful and have timeless taste, but at the end of the celebration, their wedding gallery is full of joy, gorgeous details and special moments with their friends and family."
What is Juliana's advice to couples getting married? "Trust your gut. So many couples go into planning with a clear idea of what feels right to them, only to lose that feeling as they’re caught up in the planning and all the trends of weddings. The best day you can have is a day that you’ve crafted to really celebrate and highlight you two as a couple. Trends come and go, but if you plan a wedding that is based purely off of what inspires, excites and represents you, you’ll leave the day feeling like you truly created something unique."