Get to know me! An up-close interview with, Photos by Martina

As some of you know, I went through several changes last year. I was busy raising my beautiful new daughter and my other two kids, while running a business full-time. A few months later, I developed early stages of breast cancer (at the age of 36) that required life-changing surgery. Needless to say, it was a difficult time trying to stay strong. The good news is, I made it through treatment and I’m doing much better now! As a result, I haven't had time to blog in several months. In an effort to get back into writing, I thought it would be fun to do a get-to-know me questionnaire. Here goes, I hope you enjoy:

What is your name?
Martina Villarreal.

What is one little know fact about you?
I am a breast cancer survivor.

If you weren’t a wedding photographer, what would you do?
I would be a veterinarian, or a race car driver. :)

What do you like to do in your spare time?
When I am not busy taking photos, you can find me riding my bike, swimming, watching a zombie movie, listening to metal or hip-hop, and eating spicy food.

If you could take a vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would go to a tropical island, like The Bahamas or Jamaica. I love the beach and warm weather!

What is your favorite thing(s) to shoot? 

I love capturing authentic moments between a couple, when they are laughing and being sweet or silly together. I also love taking creative night-time photos. 

How would you describe your photography style? 

Natural, beautiful, elegant, dramatic

How do you like to connect with your couples?

I love getting to know my couples — who they are, and what matters to them. I connect with my couples over the phone, or meet up in person for coffee. I’m a face-to-face kind of girl. 

What's the best compliment a client has ever given you? 

That I made the couple's small wedding look so extravagant!

What do you do to create that WOW factor at a wedding? 

I create amazing photos and an exceptional experience for my couples, building lasting friendships with them. I love to stay in touch and follow their journeys, after they say “I Do”. 

Tell me about the best wedding you've ever photographed, what made it special? 

I enjoy it when couples mix things up and add in their own personal touches that are unique to them. It’s refreshing to see couples ditch some of the ‘traditional’ elements. One of my favorite couples ended their wedding by jumping into a pool together.

Why do you shoot weddings?  

I photograph weddings because they are so FUN. I believe it’s important to celebrate LOVE in all forms. Weddings bring people & families together to create joy & happiness. I feel honored to be a part of that!

How did you first get into photographing weddings?
I got into wedding photography, by accident. My best friend hired the wrong photographer for her wedding. The photographer wasn’t prepared and his battery died half-way through her wedding. My friend was so devastated and I felt horrible that someone could be so careless on such an important day. I vowed that I would never let that happen to a bride. At the time, I was a hobbyist photographer and (luckily) had my camera in hand. So, I stepped in and saved her day. The rest is history!

During a typically wedding day, what is your favorite part/moment? 

My favorite part is when the couple walks down the aisle together, after the first kiss. 

Do you like shooting alone or with a 2nd shooter? 

I prefer to shoot alone. However, I enjoy working with other talented photographers and I offer packages that include second shooters. ;)

What are your thoughts on engagement sessions? 

I really enjoy engagement sessions because it gives us a chance to work together and capture some amazing photos before your big day (without all the craziness, and limited time on your wedding day). 

What would you say to a couple that is considering working with you? 

I would love an opportunity to meet & get to know you! Choose a photographer that you feel comfortable and confident with. I know I can put your mind at ease, give you a stress-free experience, and we can have a great time in the process.