If you told me ten years ago that I'd be a wedding photographer today, I would have drawn a blank face.
You see, ten years ago, I was knee-deep in academia. I was a researcher, studying parenting. I was having babies (three). I was moving from Toronto to Kingston then to the Netherlands to pursue said studies...
All my life I've loved to draw, to write fiction, and to make music. But I tried to put those things aside when I turned 18 because it was the 'sensible' thing to do.
I got a BSc and an MSc and a PhD. With every extra letter, my soul died a little bit more.
That all changed in late 2015 when I photographed my friend's baby being born. For money. The same amount of money I had to pay the university monthly just so I could use their crappy little office space and feel alone. It was the birth of an idea.
Five years later, I'm happily knee-deep in photography (sometimes literally wading through water or mud to do the stuff I do).
My kids are older now, which means I can take more time away from home, to develop my career, attend workshops, retreats, and faraway weddings.
Without trying to be cliche, wedding photography energizes me. I look forward to Saturdays and Sundays because I know that I'll be dead the next day, but in a good way. Because I give it my ALL. I relish the 'wedding hangover'. Crazy? I dunno.
I take inspiration in photography, not from other wedding photographers. While there are a lot of brilliant photographers in this field, it's also full of trends and fads. It's nothing I want to be involved in.
My favourite photographers of all time include Storm Thorgerson, Max Pinckers, Alain Laboile, Richard Billingham, and Elinor Carucci (whom I've been mentored by).
Next year, I hope to be mentored by David Allan Harvey, who is another idol of mine.
I believe that all people are beautiful and have become a sap in my older years (I'm 38). Maybe I've always been a sap.
I get super emo while photographing weddings, and not always at the parts that you might expect.
I love to see families rallying around the couple, helping them, sharing tenderness and love. This is why I love to photograph the getting ready & the dance party. I feel people are at their most genuine and care-free state during those parts of the day.
12 Awards for Documentary Wedding Photography
3 Diamond Awards for Engagement Portraits
2 Awards from the Artistic Guild of Wedding Photojournalists
1 TOP Wedding Photographer Titles
The WPJA proudly recognizes Viara Mileva as a TOP International Wedding Photographer. Members holding the most contest points at the end of each year are ranked as TOP Wedding Photographers or, in some cases POY - Photographer of the Year.