An Editorial Approach with a Storytelling Lens
Kate Thompson believes there’s a right photographer for every couple and when you find that match, your wedding photos encapsulate a sense of ease and natural expression. After photographing 200 weddings from India to Iceland and California to Charlottesville, Kate says her couples are all about being present on their wedding day, connecting with friends and family while Kate moves into the right lighting at the right moments.
As a regular freelance photographer for the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, Kate lends a unique journalistic eye to the day. She sees each wedding as a collaborative opportunity and keeps creativity alive with a rotation of a dozen different film cameras.
“I tend to get a lot of clients who are more fashion forward and design knowledgeable,” she says. “They’re looking for someone with a more creative approach. Almost like hiring an artist to come to your wedding over your usual wedding photographer.”
Kate’s editorial storytelling approach draws her lens to moments beyond the predetermined wedding day timeline and shot list. She loves capturing the quiet getting ready moments between family, candid laughter during wedding party portraits and the beautiful unscripted flashes newlyweds share.
“A lot of the most interesting things happen outside of the shot list,” she says. “I have that anticipatory eye for composition. That ability to capture artistic moments without staging them.”
A client questionnaire — asking things like what’s the best wedding you’ve ever been to and why — and in-person meetings allow Kate to get to know her couples. She gathers clues about what’s most important to them. Is it the food experience or the energy of the dance floor? Are there family dynamics to be aware of or a grandparent with a mobility issue to consider?
For Kate, it’s really about tapping into creative flow and cultivating an energy of awareness. She has honed the art of knowing when to step in and give direction and when to be a fly on the wall. Couples often comment on her calming presence and ability to read the room.
Her Charlottesville wedding photography packages include a second photographer and Kate always packs two to five film cameras. Editing is light and natural, with no heavy filters or color corrections.
“More and more couples like having the mix of digital and film,” Kate says. “Film can tell an emotional truth sometimes that digital is almost too clean to capture.”
Real Talk with
Wedding Photographer Kate Thompson
The best weddings are…
ones where couples feel like they can really be present. I’ve been to weddings where the couple was really stressed and constantly looking over their shoulder managing vendors. And I’ve been to weddings where the couple was really relaxed and having a great time. A couple’s ability to relax really sets the tone for guests.
My biggest piece of advice is…
be intentional and follow your gut when hiring vendors. Trusting your team on your day will make a huge difference.
I always have…
a few film cameras with me.
The shot I love to get is…
moments when some people might put their cameras down or away. It’s the in-between snapshots of laughter and seeing a couple’s genuine love for each other. I have three kids and my kids are going to be looking at my wedding photos when they get older. I imagine the ones they’ll love will be the ones of my husband and me laughing together.
My favorite camera is...
Mamiya 7 and Leica Q
My favorite special wedding moment is...
I love a really well-written toast. I’ve heard a lot of toasts in my time and the great ones stick with you.
I try and remind people to not take themselves too seriously. I don’t take myself too seriously. We’re all here to have fun and relax and to be with each other.
Wedding Collections Featuring this Vendor
Featuring this Vendor
Browse Similar Wedding Vendors
Ashley Eagleson Photography
Candidly capturing all the wedding day emotion.
Amber Mae Photography
Wedding photography that feels magical.