AP Spotlight | New York Photographer Petronella Lugemwa

Kunbi O / Friday March 28, 2014
Image by Kat Harris
TGIF! So, every now and then we spotlight an awesome wedding vendor we think you should know. Today’s feature is on the über talented Petronella of By Petronella Photography (check out her aisle perfect feature: Jammy and Zach’s Perfect NYC Proposal). By Petronella Photography is a New York based photography studio specializing in photo-journalistic captures of love’s special moments. Enjoy!

Tell us a bit about your brand: Petronella Photography is an international wedding photography studio based in the New York area that specializes in African, Caribbean, Latin and multicultural weddings. I believe in celebrating who you are and I love helping others do that through photojournalistic photography that vividly details your love story including: your cultural heritage, family and traditions!

Describe your photography packages? Do you travel ( (1) Within US (2) International):
I specialize in multicultural weddings which are usually very unique and non-traditional, so each wedding collection is customized to fit the couple’s needs, but my current 2014 collections include a second photographer and full coverage of the “white-dress wedding.” I love to travel and have shot weddings across the United States and internationally, so I’m always up for the adventure. Shoot me an email via my website and let’s make it happen!!
Price Range: The 2014 wedding collections start at $3800, but because I shoot multicultural weddings which can include multi-day ceremonies, different guest sized events, travel, etc, no wedding is exactly the same, so I customize each collection to fit my client’s needs.
What inspired you to go into photography?
I’m fairly quiet and reserved in person, so ever since I was a little girl, photography has always been my way of communicating my thoughts. In 2011, a friend asked me to photograph her wedding and I rediscovered my love of telling stories through photographs. I photographed her wedding in Mexico and fell madly in love with all things wedding related: the couple’s story, traditions, culture, details and family dynamics.
What is your favorite thing about wedding photography?
 I love photographing the first look, which is when the groom sees the bride for the first time before their wedding ceremony. I scout the wedding ceremony location for an intimate setting so the couple can really be vulnerable and share an intimate moment. In my experience, the groom is usually much more expressive and emotional during the first look than when the bride walks down the aisle since there aren’t many spectators watching him to see if he’ll shed a tear. I get so fired up photographing this special, emotional moment.
Name some of your favorite places you have shot:
My favorite place to shoot a wedding was my birth country of Uganda!! It was wonderful not only to be home, but to also capture the culture, colors and traditions of a Ugandan kwanjula (traditional engagement ceremony) and wedding. In the future, I’d be floored if I received the opportunity to be flown out to shoot a wedding in Zanzibar, the island of Culebra, Madagascar or Cuernavaca, México.
Any advice for brides on the wedding planning process?
The biggest “uh oh” I notice is when wedding clients don’t create an accurate wedding timeline that takes into account all the elements that eat up time like bridal party makeup, so I strongly advise every couple to hire a wedding planner to help with the schedule because they have the experience to know that a 15min drive to your venue will actually take 60min because eg: the streets are blocked due to a neighborhood parade, and I also recommend chatting with your wedding photographer in advance about how much time to build for amazing wedding photographs and delegate someone to be what I call the “Gladiator TimeKeeper.” I give all my clients a wedding prep guide that has a lot of insights on having a great wedding day photography experience!
By Petronella Photography
AP Spotlight is a monthly feature on awesome wedding vendors we love and trust. Vendors must have published work on the blog and be nominated by a former bride or colleague. Click here to see our previously featured spotlights.