Leah Fisher Arsenault used her background in art direction to start her photography business. A stint at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies paved the way for
How did you get started in photography?
I started photography by shooting film cameras with friends while I was living in Alaska. I bought a ton of different old cameras and loved trying them. I worked as an art director at an advertising agency and regularly worked with photographers, which led to some of my closest friendships. From there I decided I wanted to dedicate time to immerse myself in shooting, so I moved back to Maine to go to the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies.
What do you love about wedding photography?
There’s so much to love. Mainly I love working with and meeting all the couples coming from all over to get married in Maine and New England. I love seeing how happy everyone is on their wedding day and being able to provide a memory for that. I love all the flowers, sunsets, dresses, food, and amazing vendors I get to work with every weekend, too. There’s also a challenge I enjoy to be in a different location every weekend and make beautiful images no matter the time, weather or setting.
What is the biggest challenge you face when shooting a wedding?
I’ll admit it: probably not crying if someone gives a really emotional speech...
What should clients know about your style of photography?
I really love making images of couples on their wedding day beyond posed portraits. I don’t need a lot of time to do this, but I do love when people trust me. I’ve been known to ask people to climb on rocks/through trees for the right images, and I really love couples with a slightly adventurous side to them.
When you're not behind the camera, what do you like to do?
When I’m not behind my camera at a wedding, I’m likely behind a different camera, hiking, at the beach, or wandering around with my dog. I travel and cook a lot in the winters. I also have a massive collection of houseplants that I’m constantly adding to. I go to flea markets and antique stores looking for more objects I can put plants in.
How can the couple help YOU on their wedding day?
Hopefully nothing on their wedding day! But the best thing a couple can do to help me leading up to their wedding is to communicate a lot beforehand, and let me get to know them beyond just their wedding day timeline. I make it a priority to facilitate this. It’s important to me that couples feel really comfortable around me.
How has your photography style changed over the years?
When I started I was very much a documentary photographer, and I still am in a lot of ways. Over the years I’ve learned the benefit of interacting a lot more, and styling certain details to document them as beautifully as possible.
What sorts of things inspire you when you pick up your camera?
Human emotion mainly, but I also love style, details, and scenery. I desire to make images that make people feel beautiful and like themselves. I love trying to make everything as beautiful as possible.
Where will your business be in the next 5 years?
Do people know the answer to this?! I have a lot of ideas surrounding this question and I think about it all the time. I’d love to expand into a different market in the winters, I’d love to travel more, and I’d also just love to stay in Maine forever. I’ll definitely still be making photographs.
See more of Leah's work here:
Romance & Revelry: Meg & Jordan
Aislinn & Charlie's Portland, Maine Wedding