WiTW Hearts…Elena Popa

Showcasing amazing talent is something we are hugely passionate about here at Wed in The Wild…after all, fostering as sense of love, support and kindness is paramount in an industry where love is the order of the day!

Elena first got in touch with us to submit her amazing Lulworth Cove elopement (which you can see here), and we have been hooked on her talent for capturing beautiful, unique and detailed weddings ever since. Covering Surrey and the rest of the UK, she’s such a lovely soul and we’re so excited to follow her journey.

Without further ado, this week we heart…Elena Popa!

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How did you come to be doing what you do?

When I was 14, my at-the-time favourite rock band had a gig nearby where I lived. I asked my dad if he would buy me a point and shoot soap-shaped 4 megapixel digital camera to photograph what was – obviously –  the most important day of my life and since then I never really put it down.

Fast-forward a decade or so, friends and family started to ask me if I would photograph their weddings and I’m so glad they did! Because I certainly would not have planned for this to happen and I would have never found out how much I enjoy shooting weddings! I shot my very first wedding nearly 3 years ago and I got totally hooked.

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I don’t often share this, but I switched to weddings from science – I’m a fully qualified research scientist with a PhD in biology under my belt. It was super scary to make the switch from this polar opposite environment but I know for sure it was the right decision and I’ve not looked back since!

Erm, wow…now that’s an amazing switch!

What aspects of weddings do you love the most?

It’s always such an honour and pleasure to be part of someone’s wedding celebrations. Simply knowing that a couple chose me to come along and document it is an amazing feeling and means a great deal to me.

Overall, it’s a mixture of so many things I love about a wedding day, like getting to know my couples and their stories, hearing about all the things they’re planning for their big day,  witnessing all the emotion, perfect and imperfect moments of a wedding day. And for sure one of the highlights of working as a wedding photographer is getting a happy email from a couple saying just how much they love the photos I delivered to them! Nothing really beats that feeling 🙂

Wed in the Wild pics

What is your USP? How do you set yourself apart in the market?

I love working with couples who would rather break free from tradition and do things their own way. I’m a big lover of nature and I try to incorporate wild and dramatic landscapes into my work whenever possible.

The vast majority of people who get in touch with me share the same interests and values – (they are lovers of nature and travel, most likely own at least one dog!), and also comment on the mood in my photos, which I like to describe as atmospheric. 

Wed in the Wild pics

Are you keen to or have plans to launch any other products or services?

So funny you should ask! I have been quietly working on a side-show for a while and plan to launch later this year. I won’t say much about it now, aside from the fact that it’s got to do with my interest in hands!

Elena…filling us with all the suspense!

What do you love most about the wedding industry?

I absolutely love the community and how open to collaboration everyone is. I love there are directories for all the different styles of weddings – outdoor weddings, boho weddings, luxe weddings, there’s such a diverse array of styles and it’s so easy to get in touch with like-minded people and create inspirational images. If I were a bride right now I’d be inundated with choice – which I absolutely love.

Describe your ideal wedding?

Intimate, closest family and friends, somewhere in nature, by the sea or in a cabin in the mountains, lots of good food, freedom to do what I want, and sweaty drunk dancing all night long! (we actually had all this at our own wedding except we had to stop the party at midnight).

Wed in the Wild pics

Which celebrity wedding style do you love?

I think I shield myself away from the celebrity world to know too much about celebrity weddings, but I do follow Quigley and I’m absolutely in love with her! I love the images of her modelling gorgeous Rue de Seine dresses in crazy cool locations.

We LOVE Quigley, too!

What do you think is the biggest issue in the wedding industry?

I guess it depends whose point of view we’re looking at here…

Personally I wish the older generations would put less pressure on couples getting married to abide by societal norms rather than accepting new traditions. Weddings should be all about the couple and expectations from other people can really take the fun out of wedding planning!

Wed in the Wild pics

Also if I had the power to change anything I’d probably pass the law for couples to be able to get married anywhere in England and Wales (not sure where the 2018 Budget discussions led to on this one!).

What does love mean to you…

Selflessness. Compromise. Kindness.

We couldn’t agree more, my love – thank you so much for sharing your story with us Elena!

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