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Elyssa Kivus

Contact Elyssa Kivus

I was a divorce attorney.  
I had brain surgery. 
I became a wedding photographer.  
Long story short, I was a college journalist who thought I needed to go to law school and be a successful attorney to be a successful person. If not for a brain tumor I would likely still be miserable practicing law. But that cancer diagnosis (and removal! yay!) completely reset my priorities and I returned to my cameras, finding that photographing weddings brought me SO MUCH JOY.  
What I learned is that our time is truly valuable. And not just from a productivity/hustle culture perspective. From a "this life is amazing and it's really fucking short" perspective.  
Because life is fucking short y'all. And we should be embracing every magical moment and we should be loving the hell out of our people. And yes, we should be working hard, but we should be joyful, not miserable. And we should be capturing that joy as often as possible so we can remember it for as long as possible.  
So yeah. Capturing the magic of joyful lives is what I'm all about.

Where are you located? Do you charge a travel fee for weddings not in your location?

Based in Raleigh, NC. Happily travel anywhere and everywhere; travel fees may apply for locations more than 100 miles from Raleigh.

How long have you been in business? How many weddings have you photographed as the main photographer?

I've been a photographer for over 15 years, and been shooting weddings for about 6 years.

Describe your "style" of wedding photography.

I started my photography career in journalism, so the foundation from which I'm working is a documentary approach. I'm there to capture incredible moments for you, and I'm known to say "it's your wedding, not my photoshoot" - most of the time, I'm just letting things happen and making incredible art while it's happening.  
But I'm not documentary the whole day. I also believe that a solid understanding of lighting and posing is critical for a wedding photographer. So, during the portrait periods of the wedding day, I will definitely be hands-on, helping you feel and look your best. Don't worry - it won't be forced and awkward!! I'll direct you into a pose and then you'll be interacting with one another and I'll capture real, fun, happy moments within a gorgeous pose.  
Along the same fun lines, I'm really drawn to striking, bold colors, and love to capture the energy of all the beautiful colors on your wedding day.

What's the typical wedding coverage package that you offer? What is the price?

Our most popular wedding collection includes 10 hours of wedding coverage from 2 photographers, an heirloom wedding album, and a pre- or post-wedding portrait session (engagement, bridal, boudoir, anniversary, etc.). It is $4500

Do you have a studio where we can meet? Do you use Skype?

All of my photography is done on location! I love to meet couples for a drink for them to get me to know me whenever possible, but I'm also happy to jump on zoom or skype instead.


2 Fearless Awards


3 Featured Couples

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