Emily Montay Photography

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About Emily Montay Photography

Candidly editorial: that is how the work of New York native, Emily Montay, has been described. Through her artful use of natural light, delicate approach in capturing intimate moments, and fashion background, her clients receive fine-art, curated galleries of their most special moments.

After graduating with a master’s degree in psychology and moving to London, Emily decided to channel her love of human interaction towards her true passion, photography. In this, her clients trust that their galleries will never feel artificial, but instead, warm and honest reflections of their wedding day.

Behind the Brand

What draws you to wedding photography?

The majority of my childhood consisted of reading fairy tales. I spent my weekends and summers absolutely engrossed in whatever story I was reading at the time and could easily go through a book a day.

Photographing a wedding day is like temporarily entering a masterfully written short story. And I believe the beauty of photography lies in its story telling. A beautiful image can take you back to a precise moment and place, evoking memories that you may have otherwise forgotten.

I feel honored that my clients allow me into their unique story, and furthermore, trust me to authentically capture it. What I love about wedding photography is that each day is completely different. And it’s wonderfully exciting and fulling to be able to portray each couple’s story and gift it back to them in an album that they can relive whenever they please.

How would you describe your photography style?

I would describe my photography style as candidly editorial, on the darker end of the scale, and always with a bit of magic.

For the first year of my business, I was struggling to put into words the effect I wanted my wedding photography to give, which was editorial, but without feeling cold and forced. I can’t actually take credit for coining the term ‘candidly editorial’, as it was one of my brides who described my work that way. I instantly thought, yes, this is exactly how I’ve been trying to describe my photography. The composition, editing, and overall feeling is editorial, but the photos always are warm, honest, and reflect each individual couple.

As for the editing style, I gravitate towards a darker edit. I love how darkness brings out a lot of details in a photo that would otherwise get lost in overly exposed images. And I also love the juxtaposition between shadows and natural light that you get in a darker edit. I’m careful that my edits don’t follow trends in wedding photography, but instead, are classic with a nod to film photography that will remain timeless in the years to come.

And lastly, I would just like to say that this is a really exciting time for wedding photography. Never before has the industry seen such creative and talented suppliers, and I feel really grateful to have joined during a time where couples are encouraging creatives in the industry to push the boundaries on what’s possible.

What inspires you creatively?

Oh gosh, so many things! Nature has always been one of biggest inspirations. Not necessarily for photography, as I’m much more drawn to photographing people and human interaction, but I love finding ways of organically incorporating nature into portraiture and wedding photography.

I feel really inspired by the colors in film photography. There is something so timeless about the way an old Leiica or Nikon captures colors, they’re incredibly pure and barely need any editing.

And lastly, I’m constantly inspired by the people around me. My beautiful friends, family, and my fiancé who very patiently lets me take photos of him.

What is it that makes an image magical?

I was never one for sports. I used to be a ballerina and that’s about as close I ever got to anything athletically inclined. When I was 8 years old, I went through a short phase of thinking that I wanted to play soccer. It went pretty much as expected: wheezing, panting, and then a stubborn refusal to run anywhere on the field. So then they put me in goal. And to everyone’s surprise, I made a startlingly excellent goalkeeper.

The coach put my goal saving skills down to my ability to predict what the opposing team members were going to do next. I think this is what makes an image magical. Being able to predict the moment and being right in the center of it, ready to capture at the perfect time. And of course, gorgeous natural light always helps!

What advice would you give couples when selecting their wedding photographer?

I would say don’t over think it and go with your gut. Pick a photographer whose work takes your breath away, whose photos you would happily look at for the rest of your life. And secondly, make sure that you get along well with them. You’ll be spending the most important day of your life together, so it’s important that you get each other!

Your dream location to shoot a wedding?

This is really hard because there are so many places that I would love to shoot a wedding. Off the top of my head, I’d say Tulum, Provence, and Lake Como. Although I was lucky enough to visit Australia last year and completely fell in love with it. I brought my camera with me and remember thinking how beautifully the landscape photographs. Definitely bucket-list to go back for a wedding!

Editor Notes

Why we love Emily…

By artfully employing shadow and darker images, Emily’s captures render every detail a potent masterpiece. We love the way she transforms fleeting moments into fine art.

For the couple…

Looking for “candidly editorial” captures, with rich color palettes and a focus on movement and texture that give the appearance of an unfolding story.