Exploring the Creative Alchemy with Juliana and Brandon Polkey of Peony Photography
- Author: Natali Grace Levine
- Reading time: 2 min 1 sec
- Publication date: 02/02/2024
- Updated: 02/02/2024
"Juliana started photographing her high school senior friends," Juliana and Brandon Polkey of Peony Photography recall. "Within only a month, she was asked to photograph a small wedding and immediately fell in love with it!" Juliana’s journey in photography commenced at the age of 16. Her passion led her to pursue studies in marketing and art, further enriching her photographic skills and artistic vision. Brandon has degrees in Accounting and Finance, but it wasn't hard for him to use those skills in the photography business and team up with Juliana full-time. Together, they photograph weddings around the world!
Developing a Unique Photography Style
Together, they have crafted a distinct style that defines Peony Photography. “We've always been dedicated to fun, dynamic, documentary-style photos that could still be presented as timeless art,” Juliana describes.
Discussing their gear, they share, “Brandon shoots Nikon mirrorless and Juliana shoots with her GFX 100s.” They also incorporate a variety of film cameras, including Contax 645, Contax g2, and Holgas, to add depth and texture to their photographs.
Brandon is the primary editor for their digital images. “He'll typically use Goodlight Presets or Jose Villa Presets on our digital images,” Juliana says. For their film photography, they rely on PhotoVision for scanning, ensuring that each image retains its unique character and quality.
“We love seeing a scene through our cameras. There's something about just knowing that we're going to create magic that our clients can't see yet is like an adrenaline rush all on its own. Their faces and responses when they get a final gallery back is SO rewarding!” they share.
“The connection with people is everything,” Juliana emphasizes. “Our work is meant to be emotional and raw. That's why doing our homework when it comes to learning about our clients and locations is so important.” They stress the importance of understanding their clients and the wedding locations, which helps them set clear expectations and capture candid moments that truly reflect their clients.
Juliana advises, “Ask questions. Ask for portfolio work. Ask for outfit opinions. Ask for location recommendations. Don't be afraid to educate yourself!” She also humorously adds, “Also, have a drink beforehand ;-)”
Peony Photography typically covers 30 weddings a year, dedicating 10-12 hours to each event. They always work with couples to create custom packages that meet their specific needs because every wedding is unique.
“We allow for up to 5 destination weddings per year,” Juliana says. “California is always a favorite of ours because it's a great domestic trip with nearly perfect weather every time! Also, coming from a very flat landscape here in New Orleans, California's terrain is a nice change of scenery!” They prefer destinations closer to the U.S. to balance their professional commitments with family life.
Through their dedication, skill, and unique approach, Juliana and Brandon of Peony Photography have carved a niche in the world of New Orleans wedding photography, capturing moments that not only tell stories but also evoke the emotions and ambiance of the special day.