Ethereal, effortless and timeless. These are the words that wedding photographer Jadie Jo lives and breathes by. Her love of natural light and all things natural means she’s often up at dawn chasing the sunrise with brides-to-be. After capturing the soft glow of morning’s rays, she’s off to photograph celebrations of love with not a second to waste. Such is the life of wedding photographers.
To showcase her work in the industry, and bid farewell to the final days of the 2021 wedding season, we chatted with Jo about her delicate editing style, future projects and advice for newlyweds.
UBG: Tell us about how you got started in photography. What sparked your passion?
I picked up a camera my last year of high school for an art class I decided to take for extra credit, and I ended up falling in love with it. Not long after graduation my friends started asking me for portraits and it just went from there. I never really considered a specific field, I just ran with opportunities that came my way. A friend of mine would photograph weddings every now and then, so I asked him if I could shadow him. From there I began to get confident handling equipment on my own. Soon I realized “Oh I am an official wedding photographer now!”
UBG: You work in many different fields: weddings, portraits, fashion and editorial. What is the full range of projects you work on?
I do anything with people, mostly lifestyle. I take family portraits and editorials during the off-season but I definitely specialize in weddings. I also like to put together styled shoots where I get creative control to put an idea together. Most things I do connect in some way to the wedding industry, I would say weddings are definitely my jam. It’s just such a beautiful thing that I get to photograph people on the happiest day of their life celebrating.
UBG: Just looking through your portfolio, your editing style seems to be very bright and airy, yet refined and soft. How would you describe your style?
Exactly that, light and airy yet clear and crisp, and always timeless. That’s a big word for me. I love that I can look back at my work from ten years ago and say that my style still holds up.
UBG: Can you talk more about “natural light” photography and why you are drawn to that style?
I don’t necessarily know why I’m drawn so much to natural light. Studio light is neat and fun to play around with. But there is something about the softness of natural light that is unlike anything else. The elegant glow of natural light sets the tone for gorgeous photos every time.
UBG: Considering how much you work with natural light, when are the best times to go out and shoot?
I like to go out a of couple hours before the sun sets, but my favorite favorite favorite is a sunrise. There is nothing like sunrise light, it’s usually more crisp than evening. Of course sunset glows are gorgeous, and there are usually different colors mixed in so you never know what you’re going to get. But the morning light has a clean look, almost a white aura if that makes sense.
UBG: This year is just the beginning of what’s sure to be a wedding boom. What has been your experience navigating the 2021 wedding season?
It’s been “go, go, go,” and I’m currently catching my breath. Of course it was a great year after little to no weddings, and I welcomed it. I had a lot of fun this year and was reminded constantly why I love doing what I do.
UBG: Do you have a favorite or most memorable project, either wedding related or not?
There are so many I can’t even pick just one. But I did shoot a wedding over the weekend that was probably up there. The bride was from the South so the whole day had a sort of Southern charm. Her colors were blue and white, so it was very aesthetically pleasing and I was able to photograph so many beautiful tiny details.
UBG: You’ve traveled around the world capturing intimate moments between loving couples, are there any that stand out to you when you think back?
Cabo was beautiful and really fun to photograph on the beach. I also love going to the East Coast and to California. Anywhere with water seems to call to me [laughs].
UBG: Do you have any upcoming projects or shoots that you can share with us?
Oh my goodness, well usually during my slow season I set up styled shoots that allow me to keep creative juices flowing and add to my portfolio. It’s been such an insane year I haven’t had much time to think about it, but once I settle down and catch up on editing I will definitely get to work on projects.
UBG: I’m interested to hear about your styled shoots, what kind of aesthetic or mood do you lean towards?
Really whatever I’m feeling creatively. I have a really good friend that I love collaborating with, her brand is called Wild Rose. Her aesthetic is very Anthropologie, Free People and just always outside the box but very beautiful. So I’ll try anything, whether that’s a new location or a dress that is gray instead of white.
UBG: What is one piece of advice you would offer an engaged couple?
My biggest advice would be to not listen to what everyone else wants for your wedding and do exactly what you want. Don’t worry about offending people— it’s your day and should be exactly how you’ve dreamt it.
You can find more photographers in our Behind the Lens series here.