Cramer Photo

Photographer
Charlottesville, VA

Capturing the Magical Hidden Moments

Sarah Cramer was always that kid at slumber parties and football games. The one with the Olympus point and shoot, squeezing everyone together into a grinning frame, documenting the day. She credits her parents’ support — they allowanced the 10-year-old one roll of film a week — for her incredibly successful wedding photography business.
 
Cramer Photo launched in 2005 after Sarah fell in love with shooting friends’ weddings. A UVA grad with a degree in cultural anthropology and fine art, she socked away every penny from nanny gigs, bartending and waitressing to buy camera equipment.
 
“I’ve been a storyteller since I was a little kid,” Sarah says. “I see the light and beauty in everything. I always have. I still can’t believe I get to do this for a living.”
 
Parallel with her active on-the-go family and personal life, Sarah’s work style is energized and intentional. She describes it as a back and forth of pure joy, constantly moving throughout wedding day spaces, putting couples at ease and asking questions to trigger genuine emotion.
 
“Pictures are stressful for a lot of people,” she says. “I’m very efficient. I know where the best light is at every venue. And I can work quickly.”
 
Sarah’s lens is always on the lookout for the real moments that tell the story. A shared smile over an inside joke. A father’s single proud tear. A grandmother’s touch. Those tiny glimpses in between the bigger events are the fabric that tell the most personal tales. When you look at your wedding photos ten years from now, Sarah says, you’ll know what the weather was like, which people were interacting, how they enjoyed the food, who rocked the dance floor.
 
“We’re not going for that posed or fake shot. We’re not posing in a field for the cover of Bride magazine,” she says. “A wedding day is fluid. I like it to be very honest and very real.”
 
Real Talk with Wedding Photographer Sarah Cramer Shields
 
The best weddings are…ones where you show up and it feels exactly like the couple. He wore a kilt. She’s wearing high tops. That is the coolest thing ever. When they really infuse themselves into the day.
 
My biggest piece of advice is…don’t take all of this so seriously that you aren’t enjoying the journey. If you have a crazy fun idea, you should definitely do it. Don’t worry about what Emily Post thinks.
 
I always have…hummingbird food. A lot of people I work with call me a hummingbird. I’m always buzzing around in a happy space. I always have good yummy snacks.
 
The shot I love to get is…that quiet moment right after they’re married where they’re alone for a split second and they’re like oh my gosh, we did it. We’re married.
 
Pulled quote: **“I like to laugh and smile and have fun. I am 115 percent elated that I’m there and get to capture these moments.” —Wedding Photographer Sarah Cramer
 
**Details + Digits

Years in the Biz: 18
Weddings Per Year: 20
**Favorite Camera: **Nikon D6
 
**Favorite Special Wedding Moment: **First looks are so tender and intimate. There’s so much planning and emotion that went into it. It’s like I’m not even there; it’s just very raw and lovely.

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Meet the team
Sarah Cramer Shields
Founder & Lead Photographer

Client Testimonials

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