While Patricia “Patty” Solis is a Midwest photographer, she shares her talents with Solis Photography worldwide. It’s not a surprise as this “professional coffee drinker” and “devoted pasta lover” was born in Spain and fell in love with her craft while studying in Sweden.
605 Weddings caught up with Patty on her favorite places in South Dakota, her wedding photography style, and her recent re-brand.
When did you get into photography and when did you know you wanted to start a business?
In 2011, after years of taking photos for myself as a hobby, I invested in my first professional camera and started my business. Little did I know that would be the start of my wonderful journey through the “American dream!”
I photographed my first solo wedding in 2012. I loved the experience, the romance, and the beauty of the moment. That year I booked three more weddings. By 2013, three weddings turned into eight, eight turned into 15 in 2014, and so on.
I have discovered a lot about myself on this journey. My style has changed over time, and I’ve gained experience and improved my skills, but one thing remains the same: I want to give my couples memories that will last more than a lifetime!
What is your style with photography and working with couples?
I define myself with three words: Romantic, Real, and You. My style is light, airy and timeless. I like to capture the colors as they are, as my brides want to remember them. I help my couples pose during the shoot, of course, but I like to give them time to be themselves, too—to be real. A perfect combination of posed and candid photos is what everyone should have on their wedding day.
Tell us about your recent rebrand.
During the last eight years, I have grown a lot, personally and professionally. My style, equipment and ways to do shoots have evolved with every wedding I have done. I am not the same person that I was eight years ago. I am a mom now, and I have more experience. I felt that it was time for my brand to mature, too.
My ideal client has also changed. Year after year, I have been attracting a very specific kind of bride, and my business needed to reflect all that change. I tried to include parts of my childhood in it. The olive tree [in the logo] is a symbol of my region in Spain. The leaves represent the members of my family. Everything about this new brand is a reflection of me and my world.
You have a free wedding planning guide on your website. Tell us about that.
During my time as a wedding photographer, there are always questions that my couples ask me, and they keep surprising me with new ones over the years. I realized that it was time for me to give them those answers before they even met me. So I put those questions all together in a free guide anyone can download from my website.
5 Fun Facts About Patty
+ I am completely bilingual, so yes, I speak with a funny accent.
+ If you want to make me happy, don’t give me wine. Give me Starbucks.
+ I cry every time the groom dances with his mom, and there is nothing I can do about it.
+ I know the lyrics to almost every single Disney song ever done. I am up for a challenge anytime.
+ I am a hugger and a toucher. If you don’t like to be touched, don’t hire me, because I am going to hug you. And your dad. And pretty much anyone that steps in my way on the day of your wedding.
What is one of your favorite moments shooting weddings?
I am a hopeless romantic, so I love the portraits of the couple. Having those 20 to 30 minutes alone with them to capture their true love is my favorite part of the day. Give me a couple in love, a wedding dress and good sunset light, and I am in heaven!
Do you have any habits/traditions when you shoot weddings, like shots that are really important to you or something you like to do with couples?
I take the time to get to know my couples and be sure we are a perfect fit. I make a point of it. I am in contact with them during the planning. They text me. They call me. I send them personal notes. I even have inside jokes with them. I work with them before the big day and try to learn as much as I can about the kind of people they are. This helps tremendously on their wedding day. How comfortable they feel when they see me arrive the morning of is totally reflected in their pictures.
I also never start a wedding day without stopping at Starbucks first. This is just tradition!
What is your favorite part about shooting in South Dakota?
The light and the seasons are the best. We have incredible light to work with in South Dakota, and the same location changes drastically with every season. I just love it.
Tell us about your travels and some shoots you’ve done outside of the Midwest.
Traveling is one of my biggest pleasures, and in the last few years, I have been lucky enough to have couples give me the opportunity to capture love stories not only in the Midwest, but in many other places as well. This year, Paris and Cuba have been the cherry on top of my ice cream, and I already have Mexico and London waiting for me in 2020.
My bucket list of ideal locations goes pretty much worldwide, so I am excited to keep going. My passport is always ready!
Solis Photography’s Top Advice for Booking a Photographer
+ Choose your photographer based on style, quality, and experience, not pricing. Your memories are in their hands, and once the wedding is over, that is all that is left.
+ Meet with them and be sure your personalities actually fit. You are going to spend a very stressful day with your photographer. It would be a disaster if they just add more stress to that, don’t you think?
What are some of your favorite places in South Dakota for dining or for entertainment?
My husband and I are crazy about food! We try to go to a new restaurant every time we can, but overall, we love Parker’s Bistro and MacKenzie River [Pizza] in downtown Sioux Falls.
What’s something in weddings you wish you saw more of?
Rentals! There are many companies in town and online that would rent anything you need for your wedding day, from real china to decorations. They drop it off and then pick it up! They look very high end and photograph beautifully. I really think couples should stop by these places before setting foot in a craft store and save themselves many hours of labor.
What are some wedding trends you’re loving right now?
It looks like 2020 keeps going with the trend of loose, garden-style bouquets with a touch of greenery, and I am in heaven. I am a floral nerd and always push my couples to get real flowers on their big day. So for me, the bigger the bouquet, the better!
For more information, visit solisphoto.com.