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The story of legendary wedding photographer, Elizabeth Messina

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Photo taken by Elizabeth Messina

Long before she became a celebrated wedding photographer to the stars, Elizabeth Messina fell in love with photography at the tender age of 12. It was not until she attended the San Francisco Art Institute, however, that she started nurturing her craft. Soon after graduation, Elizabeth took photos of a friend's wedding, the first of countless celebrations she has documented over the years.

As a self-proclaimed romantic, wedding photography came naturally for Elizabeth. "I am enamoured with the rituals at weddings. I am often moved personally when I see a couple kiss for the first time after exchanging vows or during the first dance. These sweet moments in life are treasures. In the end, I think the wedding industry chose me."

What makes her work so special is how she manages to capture heartfelt moments in such a dreamy yet natural that is unmistakably hers. "I do not let myself get swept up in trends. I am in my heart an artist, and I let that guide me when I am making photographs. I strive to capture couples in natural moments of affection and happiness," said Elizabeth.

Her steadfast commitment to follow her heart also extends to her medium of choice. Although she now owns several digital cameras, most of her photographs are still taken using film cameras. "My work always has been and continues to be intrinsically connected with film. I adore the tones and quality of film and I love the way film captures natural light."

Looking at her beautiful photos, you would think that every wedding she captured was absolutely flawless. Surprisingly, Elizabeth thinks that brides should not always aim for perfection. "Something will always go 'wrong' at a wedding, but it is the unexpected issues that can be a source of sweetness and laughter. It doesn't matter if your flower girl is shy walking down the aisle or you struggle putting the ring on your spouse's finger, it is how you handle these moments that will impact the overall feel of a wedding day," she said.

For all you Elizabeth Messina fans out there, she will be sharing her tips and experiences at Bridestory and The Wedding Atelier's very own workshop for wedding vendors in Bali. "The most exciting project I have coming up is the Asia Pacific Wedding Master Class, which I think will be such a unique and amazing experience. This will be such an intimate educational and creative experience. I am honoured to be part of it."

See below for some of Elizabeth's works.

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