This week we are featuring the lovely Valorie Darling. We had the pleasure of getting to know Valorie over matcha lattes and avocado toast at Rose Cafe in Santa Monica and were immediately impressed by this talented photographer! She does fashion + lifestyle, specializing in weddings, and we hear that she has some pretty high profile clientele (hey bach girls!). We were so excited to talk to her about how she got her start and how she became a major BOSSFOX in the photography scene.
N A M E / Valorie Darling
H O M E T O W N / Spokane, WA
C U R R E N T L O C A T I O N / Los Angeles
photography by Mario Masitti
How did you get your start in photography?
Back in 2010 I co-founded a non-profit, SoCal HeARTs, and we were always needing photographers for the events so by 2012 we had used up all our favors. I always loved taking photos, so I decided to upgrade my camera and take a stab at shooting one of the events myself. I had so much fun and haven’t put down my camera since.
SO cool that you photograph the bachelor girls...how did you get involved?
I saw that I was neighbors with Lauren Bushnell (she was currently on the show and it was around the final 4) and knowing she was originally from Oregon and I went to college there so I figured I’d DMed her on Instagram and see if she’d want to work together.
But I guess my involvement really started when I photographed Desiree Hartsock's Bridal Shower (back in 2014 through Be Inspired PR). Since then, I've photographed Ali Fedotowsky's birth of her daughter, Mollie Manno. Her baby came 2 weeks early and it just so happened to be on the same day as my shoot with Becca Tilley and Jojo Fletcher. I was with them at the hospital in the wee hours in the morning during her labor until she was born and then rushed back to the westside to make it in time for makeup and styling. It was an insane day and I remember thinking what a crazy thing to capture a Bachelorette searching for love and a former Bachelorette bringing her bundle of joy into the world in the same day. It was pretty full circle and just kept snowballing from there...
What is your favorite event/subject to shoot?
I love to mix it up and think shooting fashion and lifestyle helps when capturing a wedding story. As much work as weddings are, I really feel honored to be a part of those intimate moments of a couple starting their life together as husband and wife.
What is one of your favorite photoshoot memories?
It was in the early days of shooting weddings. It was before “first looks” with Dads was a thing (or at least I hadn't heard of them). The Dad was so emotional and holding a little handkerchief. We were standing there waiting for her and his voice cracked when he was talking about her. We were both teared up... It was the sweetest moment when he finally turned and saw his little girl as a bride for the first time. I will never forget that moment.
What is your favorite place that you have traveled to?
I have so many places that I love for so many different reasons, but Haiti has my heart. It’s the first place I saw bioluminescence and it’s been something I’ve dreamt of seeing practically my entire life. It doesn’t hurt that it's also where I shared my first kiss with my now boyfriend (we've been friends since middle school), but night swimming in the biolumies (as I call them) it was as if I was seeing him for the first time too. It felt and looked like the galaxy was under the water dancing with us. Definitely the most romantic moment of my life up until then...
What is your guilty pleasure?
Cheese! How ironic that photographers are always telling people to say “cheese”?!
Want Valorie to capture your next big moment? Yeah, us too. Check out her website and send her an email!