Ally Payetta: Top 30 Under 30 in 2016


Ally-Payetta-HeadshotMEET ALLY:

I’m a wedding and lifestyle photographer based in Toronto, ON. This is my second year shooting weddings professionally. But first and foremost, I am a human being. A human being that is full of gratitude, love and happiness. I became a photographer because I LOVE love, and I love people. Photography is my way of capturing the history of others and allowing them to tell their personal story for a lifetime. It is my way of showing others not only how beautiful our world is, but how beautiful love is. There is beauty in everything and everyone. Love is what makes this world go around. I am a strong believer that everyone should feel beautiful and proud of who they are. Everyone in this world is important, and it is important to me to get to know everyone I work with to show them just how special they are. With so many terrible things that go on this world, it is so nice to be able to give back in small ways and focus on making others happy. I cherish every moment.



Tell us what your one must-have piece of gear is and why:

My one must-have piece of gear (other than my eyes and camera) is my 85mm lens. Everyone has their go to lenses and cameras. I find that no one shoot or wedding is the same, therefore my preference of equipment tends to change depending on many factors; who the couple is, the best perspective to shoot that represents them, the venue, the lighting, the emotions that are unfolding during the day, etc. But I always love the way the 85 captures light. It always allows me to capture emotions and a moment exactly how I envision it. Every photo is so soft, crisp, real and natural. I believe it is my one must-have to achieve the feel I try to shoot each wedding and session with.



Tell us what your one must-have piece of software is and why:

My one must-have piece of software is Lightroom. I learned photo editing on Photoshop first. When I first started I actually edited a full wedding on Photoshop! One photo at a time, layer by layer. So you can image how much Lightroom changed my world! I have used AlienSkin and tried other editing software. But Lightroom allows my life as a photographer to flow naturally. The organization and efficiency it provides my workflow is unbeatable. It gives me the results I am looking for in terms of look and feel of my edits. It allows me to upload directly to my website and other platforms. It allows me to send photos to my clients quickly and easily (my client’s happiness is always the most important to me). It organizes all my files and raw files perfectly. I utilize the Slideshow aspect of Lightroom to surprise every client with a slideshow of their photos to music (which always puts a big smile on my face!) Simply put, Lightroom makes my world a lot easier, and makes creating art much more enjoyable!



What’s your advice for someone just starting out?

One tip I wish I knew when I was first starting out was thoroughly managing client expectations. I love photography, I love producing art, and I love producing images that mean something to me. But the reason why I do what I do, and the reason why I love what I do, is the feeling I get when I receive feedback from my couples. It is the most rewarding feeling to know you have captured the essence of someone’s love, that you’ve made them feel beautiful, and that you’ve made them feel important. I have always been focused on customer service, but when I first started out I had a simple contact. I thought every concern and situation I had discussed in person with clients was understood. I also believed some things were common sense. I have been very fortunate that every couple I have worked with so far have all been amazing, but I did have one scenario last summer. I shot a wedding during a tornado; literally a tornado. An outdoor backyard tent wedding, with no where to go other than this tiny tent (the wedding started 2 hours late because of late MUA). Needless say there was lots of challenges in the day and missed photo opportunities due to circumstances. I was able to think quick on my feet and reorganize their itinerary to ensure we captured all necessary portraits. But portraits were limited due to the weather and circumstances. It was an unfortunate day. Afterwards the couple was happy with the photos they had, but felt they didn’t have enough range and felt it was my fault because of the circumstances. Because I had not outlined particular aspects in my contract (acts of god, other vendor and guest behaviour, etc) it was hard for me to have any backup support during their discussions to show what they have agreed to and what was out of my control. Now, my contracts are very thorough, and I am very clear that some aspects are out of our control on the wedding day. I have had the privilege to connect with other photographers and discuss scenarios they have encountered with clients, and I know I am not alone. These things happen, it is important we deal with situations as calmly and kindly as we can, and help in any way we can. I wish I had spoken with other photographers about client expectations before my first wedding to ensure my contract and discussions were guided properly. It is very important to be connected in this industry, to not only learn from other photographers, but feel supported and show your support!   


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