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The Camera Focuses in on Love at SmmS Photography

By Pamela Sosnowski

Most professional photographers specialize in several subjects but for Bethlehem-based wedding photographer Michelle Sturza, love is where it's at for her business.

"My passion is capturing love because that's where it all begins," she explains. "When a baby first laughs and you miss it, you can capture the second laugh and nobody (including you) knows the difference in a few months. At a wedding each moment is unique, beautiful, special. You have one chance to get it right and I love seeing and capturing those little details. I love seeing the groom's face when he looks at his bride for the first time or looking at the father who's tearfully giving away his little girl. It's such a blessing to be a part of the best and most important day of a couple's life."

A wife and mother of two, Sturza discovered her passion for taking photos in high school, developing her work in the school's darkroom and then hanging it in her bedroom. She launched her photography business, SmmS, by first practicing on friends and family and then building her clientele.

"At first, the business started growing mostly through my interaction with clients," she says. "I knew that even if I wasn't the most experienced photographer, the way I made my clients feel will determine if they liked their photographs. It was very important to me that they were having fun and feeling relaxed."

A self-described introvert, Sturza says interacting with her clients has brought her out of her shell and is now her favorite part of her job. She describes her style as "bright and clean", a classic look that suits engagement photos and wedding celebrations. Although she is based in Georgia, she has traveled all over the country to capture a couple's special day, especially as her notoriety has grown.

Getting to know a bit about each couple beforehand is important for Sturza so that their love shines through in every picture. "From the initial inquiry we spend months communicating through e-mails, setting up meetings and an engagement session before the big day with each couple," she says. "Having a high level of customer service is extremely important to me."

The photographer is the one person who will be by your side the entire wedding day. This is why it is very important for you to really like that person and feel comfortable around them."

Sturza's advice for anyone seeking a good photographer is to shop around and peruse their styles until you find one that resonates with you. "These will be the memories you'll hold onto for a lifetime and the images you might one day share with your grandchildren; it is important that your day is captured the way you envision it," she says. "Photographers are like storytellers, you have to find the right one to tell yours!"

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