Interview with Perry Vaile, Film Photographer in the Carolinas

We are so thrilled to feature one of our favorite film photographers located in the Carolinas, Perry Vaile. Perry is not only a dear friend but an incredible artist and wedding photographer!


Perry, thank you so much for chatting with us today. Please introduce yourself to those who may not be familiar with you and your work.

I always like to say that I’m a wedding photographer for the most interesting person in the room. I’ve worked for years to develop a distinct style that is timeless and captivating and have found that the clients who seek me out are some of the most enthusiastic, discerning, motivated people I know. I’m always in awe of the people who choose me to capture one of the most important days of their lives. Over the years I’ve gotten to shoot everything from big celebrity type bashes to small, intimate elopements on mountaintops. I’ve been featured in Brides Magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine, Southern Weddings Magazine and so many more. My pinch me moments have come as I photographed the wedding of a Victoria’s Secret Supermodel, or the son of Johnny Cash and June Carter, or when one of the best ballerinas of our generation married a Broadway choreographer in front of my lens. Just as important though, are the clients who have no fan-pages, no following on Instagram, who wholeheartedly come to me with enthusiasm and trust. No matter who they are – those type of clients are who I strive for.

How did you get into wedding photography?

I was the photographer and editor on our yearbook staff in high school, and I was always the friend taking the pretty photos of our trips in college. Pretty soon I was working toward my Masters in History and I found myself writing a thesis about early American photographers and their motivations/approaches. I was always drawn to the story-telling aspect of wedding photography – the history in action. I shot my first wedding shortly thereafter and was hooked for good.


What is your favorite part of a wedding day?

Photography wise, I love the private time of a couple spent together. The quiet moments together where I can take some time to encourage them to stop and take it all in. It results in some of the most beautiful imagery of the day. Personal experience wise, I think I love toasts the most. My heart fills with all the words these people say to their loved ones in this sort of forum. Hearing about my clients, and falling in love with who they are based on the words of the ones who know them best is a special kind of magic. Once its all said and done I am most fulfilled at the end of the night when I hug my clients goodbye and they tell me what an incredible day its been, LIFE-GIVING!


What was the highlight of your year in 2018?

Oh man! SO MANY! It has been an incredible year. One of my most recent weddings before 2018 ended, I shot the wedding of Sara Mearns and Josh Bergasse – she’s a principal ballerina with the NYCB and considered by many to be the best ballerina of our generation, he’s an incredible Broadway choreographer currently touring the world. It was cool of course, to see these two very prominent people get married and choose me to do it – but really what touched me the most was how both of them, and their entire entourage of loved ones, were so incredibly good to each other. They took their day slowly, soaked it in. Felt it all. In the midst of everything they were so gracious, they applauded each other and truly taught me personally a lot about how to show grace and warmth. Every single person I encountered on their wedding day – all the vendors, the venue, the wedding parties, the couple themselves – all exhibited so much kindness and joy. What a day!


What advice do you have for couples on the hunt for their photographer?

I have very strong feelings about this one! haha! First and foremost FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING THAT IS GOOD look at multiple full galleries of REAL weddings. I cannot stress enough how these days Instagram is presenting a false front with pretend weddings. There are some incredible photographers who prove it in consistent, beautiful galleries, and no matter what your budget there will be a range of skill available – find the very best! 🙂 Second to that would be to MEET with your options on video chat if possible. If someone doesn’t want to take the time to do that, it should be a warning sign. It’s so important to feel comfortable with the person or team who will be spending your wedding day with you. Find someone whose galleries you love, and whose personality/nature you adore and want to spend time with!

Thank you, Perry, for sharing your journey and insight with us! Follow along to see all of Perry’s lovely work: website & Instagram.
Photography by Perry Vaile

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