Elyssa Kivus (Kivus & Camera)

“My shooting style on the wedding day is photojournalistic, except for portraits,” says Elyssa Kivus. “I stay close throughout the day when I’m photographing the moments—getting ready, ceremony, reception—because I want everyone to get used to me, so they’ll let their guard down. I photograph in the action as opposed to at the action. I of course do my best to create great compositions with every frame, but my priority is to always capture ‘the moment.’ ”

Kivus says her work is not pure photojournalism because she will open or close a curtain or clear trash from a frame, and she does stage details for couples who have expressed interest in that type of flat-lay detail shot. For portraits, Kivus says, “my style is that of a director rather than a poser. Directing couples, often with prompts or activities, is the best way to capture genuine moments and emotions.”

Kivus wants the finished gallery to be colorful and true to the couple’s wedding day, so, for example, “if the sky was blue on their wedding day, it will be blue in the photos…except for the black-and-white images, which I’m delivering more of lately, especially when it makes a moment more powerful.”