About Heather || FAQs
"If you think you aren't photogenic, you haven't been in front of the right photographer! Let's change that."
Want to know all about Heather McKay? Awesome! That’s me!
McKay’s Photography documents down to earth couples and budding families that cherish images that capture the essence of the person in the frame. If you are the kind of person that values experiences over things, the marriage over the wedding and also wants to look back on your wedding day with ecstatic memories of the people present then you are a member of the McKay’s Photography clan.
Hey there, My name is Heather and I’m an international award-winning, a full-time wedding photographer in Rochester NY. I’m also passionate about running an eco-friendly business and leading a healthy lifestyle. My specialty is in an artistically documenting fun, offbeat weddings, day-in-the-life family portraits and small business consulting in the Rochester, Buffalo, Adirondacks and Finger Lakes areas.
As a Rochester wedding photographer, I’m a master at dealing with the quick pace, personality dynamics and structure of all weddings. My training is in fine-art photography, therefore I take a documentary approach to my coverage of your event while ensuring that Mom and Grandma get those family pictures they crave.
A little more about me… I’m a Leo, a middle child, a fake redhead and recently named one of the Top 20 Wedding Photographers in NY! Staying fresh and creating killer tangible heirlooms you don’t even know you can’t live without is what drives me after all these years. Email today so I can learn about what you have planned and we can take the next step. Popular Saturdays book up quickly!
How would you describe your photography style?
I’m a fine-art wedding photographer who specializes in a documentary style of wedding photography as well as life-style based family portraits. A friend described my work as artistically real and I love it!
What sets you apart from other photographers?
Well, to be honest, it is that I have your best interests in mind and that I’ve been doing this a while. Though this is possibly your first wedding, it isn’t my first rodeo. I’m very hands on during the wedding planning process to ensure that your timeline is ideal for maximum fun potential and cool-as-hell photo ops.
Will you be our actual photographer?
100% yes. I photograph every wedding that is booked and everything on my website was captured by me.
How about a second photographer?
An additional photographer is available by request and may incur an additional fee. However, frequently I bring a lighting assistant and I personally find that to be a much better value. After all, why use the sous chef when you can have the chef?
How do we book you?
I require a $1000 non-refundable retainer and a signed contract to hold a wedding date. Smaller jobs are typically 50% of the total bill as a retainer.
How long have you been a photographer?
I’ve been a photographer for over 30 years and professionally since 2002. This is one arena where experience does matter.
How did you get into photography?
When I was young, I’d dress my little sisters up in funny outfits and take pictures of them in the driveway. In middle school, I took metal shop as an elective… there, I found a closet and I asked what was in it…. “a darkroom” my teacher replied. “What’s that?” I responded. “If you clean it out, I’ll show you how to use it!” he told me. And the rest is history. My High School ended up having to invent another level of photography class for me to take because I went through all the regular ones. Unfortunately for me, RIT ended up being review, basically. Oh, but the people I met.… and the person I became…
Why did you start your business?
Honestly, it began with the culmination of 3 things. One, I was working at a photo lab and saw the atrocious work that some wedding photographers in the area were producing (lack of basic photography knowledge). Two, my friends were getting married and couldn’t find anyone they really wanted as their wedding photographer, so they begged me. Lastly, I had a minor health issue that left me in debt while I was also trying to figure out how to quit my terrible job. The rest as they say, is history!
Though it was sort of an accidental career choice, I’ve been amazed at how much I love photographing weddings and also how perfect my personality and experience fits the demands of the job!
What is your favorite part?
Delivering the final wedding album is seriously my favorite part. Photographically, my favorite thing is capturing an image of someone and hearing it is the best photo they’ve ever had taken of them. yesssss!
What kind of photography and lighting equipment do you use?
I use all professional grade Nikon and Fuji equipment and any available light source. Available light to me is the sun, on and off camera flash, video lights, window lights, your guests flashes, and the moon!
Can I give you a shot list?
Please don’t! We will work very closely together before the wedding to ensure that all of your desired images are created and captured. I will be very honest with you as to the logistics needed to capture anything you have in mind.
That being said, the favorite images of my past couples are ones they never thought to list. Like your parents laughing and dancing together at the reception, your Grandpa being….. Grandpa, your college friends dominating the dance floor and a secret romantic moment between the two of you.
Have you ever worked at my venue before?
Search my blog for your venue name or be sure to add it to your contact form and I’ll send you a link. After 14 years, I’ve pretty much seen and done it all by now….
What is included?
All of my weddings include my wedding planning & brainstorming services, a private web gallery with all images, a 10×8 press printed proof book with all images and myself as your photographer.
Do you have any formal training?
Tons! I’m a Certified Professional Photographer by the Professional Photographers of America, a certified eco-friendly business by Greener Photography and I have a Bachelors in Fine Art Photography by the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Not only that, I still attend photography workshops around the world, follow current trends, submit my work for peer review by way of contests and am an active member in many photography organizations.
Wine or beer?
Craft beer or red wine, but whiskey is my fave!