Abby Schafer Photography
For Every Milestone In Life
Engagements, Weddings, Maternity, Newborn, Smash Cakes, Senior Portraits, Boudoir, Holidays and every Family event in between!
My Photography Journey:
All of this madness started when I was 4 years old and my mother's boyfriend at the time bought me a pink Barbie camera; and my mother, for some reason, agreed to develop every single roll I handed her.
In middle school my friend group would get together and make videos for Youtube, as pre-teens in the early 2000's were prone to do. Only, I was obsessed with capturing everyone and everything.. I think I have a terabyte of ultra low quality videos from 2005-2010.
When I was a junior in high school I started planning for my senior year internship that was required to graduate from my vocational program called Audio and Video Production. In this program we were encouraged to explore photography, videography, music production, TV production and even movie production. Our senior year internships were to further our knowledge and gain experience in hopes of it helping us get into the college we wanted. I, having stated that I wanted to be a movie director 9 months earlier realized that was a pipe dream and started to look into other areas of interest. My mother suggested that instead of going to college and wasting my first year trying to figure out what I wanted to do, use my senior year to help narrow down my choice. In other words, figure out what I didn't like.
At a family birthday party one of my cousin's suggested that I should do wedding photography because that industry will never die. Fear, panic sweats and my heart dropping to my butt was all I remember as my reaction to that suggestion. 'I couldn't ever take on that responsibility! That is the most important day of a person's life! I don't have the skills, the confidence, the style or the patience to do wedding photography!'... Fast forward -- I have been inducted to the Knot's Hall of Fame for their "Best of Weddings"; which is based on customer reviews of their experiences, voted on by a panel to see if just on their reviews alone they would recommend you to a loved one. You have to win this award 4 times to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. November 19, 2019, I did and was inducted. Thank you to all who've encouraged and supported me to prove my 17 year old self wrong.
But, rewinding a little, I had the opportunity to be an intern at a company on the west side of Cleveland, who won't be named because it ended up being one of the worst experiences of my life during which, I learned every single thing NOT to do as a wedding photographer.
I lasted the summer and 10 weddings, learning, watching, and building up my confidence. I will never diss the experience I gained because it was a huge factor into who I grew into as a professional.
My first two weddings solo were with couples that wanted to give me nothing but support, patience and love. Going out and having the weight of someone's top 10 days of existence on your shoulders is a lot. I was 18, I barely had my makeup situation figured out, let alone wedding photography. But through this support gave me the skilIs to deal with the, uh, 'bridezillas'.
I have had my handful of absolute psycho bridezillas. -- I will put money on that the fact that I have most ridiculous wedding story OF ALL TIME -- Grab a coffee with me, I'll gladly tell it. It takes about 45 minutes to tell. I need to look into getting rights to make a movie of it some day.
So, 2011 Internship = 10
2012 = 12
2013 = 5
2014 = 4
2015 = 10
2016 = 13
2017 = 19
2018 = 8
2019 = 15
2020 = 14
2021 = 6
2022 = 7
In 2017 I decided that I wanted to try and get back to my videography roots and started messing around with taking video after the moment was captured photographically. They would be 10-30 seconds long, I would cut all audio out and overlay the clippings with music. I LOVE the outcome. We call them "Trailers of the Day" Only a handful of couples have requested them, so we are still honing our skills on that, but we are having a blast! It's a new form of art for us -- back to my roots of not wanting to miss any moments. It's hard to capture what people are laughing at with just a single picture. I love having the video to give you a full memory to look back on for the rest of their lives.