When I put out the call on Facebook for featured sessions, I received dozens of entries, each one beautiful and fabulous and utterly unique. As soon as I saw this submission by Sandra Mikalauskas of White Ivory Photography, I knew I had found “the one!” Over the last week I’ve had the opportunity to email back and forth with Sandra and not only is she super-talented, but she is also super-sweet and I’m so excited to feature her session and interview today.
BEING BOUTIQUE: Hi, Sandra! Tell us a little about yourself?
SANDRA: Hi there! I’m was born and raised in Quebec City, and have been living in the States for the past 11 years. I haven’t always been a photographer. I worked in marketing for many years and then transitioned to graphic design after I earned my degree. My interest in photography only began when I met my husband. I really had no flare for photography when I was young and would usually up take pictures of heads and ceilings. I am happy to say with some hard work, I have gotten better!
BEING BOUTIQUE: What do you feel makes you unique as a photographer?
SANDRA: I definitely don’t like to follow the herd. I like to photograph different perspectives and push myself out of my comfort zone to create interesting composition. I strive to capture the romance and passion between a couple. But mostly, I want to create an experience for them, a place where they can leave everything behind and focus solely on each other.
BEING BOUTIQUE: What are your guiding business principles?
SANDRA: My guiding business principles are based on customer experience and service. I think my past marketing experience has really helped me in this area. I really believe that responsiveness and understanding is paramount in this business. People are buying a service that is very personal to them, so it’s important to guide them through the process and make sure they feel that they are being taken care of.
BEING BOUTIQUE: Speaking of clients, who are your favorite clients to work with?
SANDRA: I love working with couples. I have had several destination wedding clients who travel to my area and are planning from out of state. These couples have always been so much fun to work with. Surprisingly, they are usually less stressed than couples planning a wedding in their own area.
BEING BOUTIQUE: What has been your most rewarding moment as a photographer?
SANDRA: I was over the moon when my portrait image was chosen as second runner-up for the cover of the winter Chic Critique magazine. It was truly an honor!
BEING BOUTIQUE: That was a beautiful picture! So what is your go-to favorite lens?
SANDRA: I have two. My favorite portrait lens is my 85mm 1.8. The second is my 35 mm 1.4 which I use a lot for wide angle but it’s so versatile, I use it for so much more!
BEING BOUTIQUE: Oh my goodness! I am a Trekkie too! Okay, now I have to know, if you weren’t a photographer, what would you want to be?
SANDRA: I would be an interior designer. I love decorating and setting up spaces in my own home with a lot of accent on detail. I think it’s so much fun to express personality through décor.
BEING BOUTIQUE: What are your business goals for this year?
SANDRA: My family just moved from Florida to California a few months ago, so, I’ve been working really hard at promoting my work in the Napa Valley region. This also includes networking with other vendors and create some meaningful connections. It’s hard work and takes some time, but it’s a process that I enjoy a lot!
BEING BOUTIQUE: What made this session so special that you wanted to share it with us?
SANDRA: This session is very special to me because it was the first shoot I did after moving to Napa. Ashley and Kenny were fantastic to work with! They were so loving with each other that it was a piece of cake to capture the emotion. We picked Beringer Vineyards because the grounds are so romantic and the fall colors really made the entire scene pop.
Sandra Mikalauskas is a wedding photographer in Napa Valley who creates a timeless blend of style and romanticism with a fresh and natural aesthetic. She has been featured in CHIC Magazine and is dedicated to providing exceptional creativity and customer service.
Visit Sandra online or see the whole session on Sandra’s blog.
If you have a fantastic article, session, or resource to share, contact Being Boutique to be featured on the blog.