INFLUENCER: Meet Jacquelina Paiva

An entrepreneurial spirit runs through everything this RI wedding photographer does – even while preparing for her own big day


What made you gravitate towards  photography in the first place? 

Growing up, my mom was very into photography. She had a giant chest filled with printed photographs, and I always loved going through them. She always bought me disposable cameras to play with, but when I got my first job in high school, I decided I wanted to buy my own camera and recreate all the photos I’d always loved seeing. I began taking photos of my classmates for their senior portraits  and my love for it never stopped!

What is your number one tip for couples for posing, so they feel comfortable and confident? 

Find a photographer that feels like a friend. You’re going to be spending your entire day with this person, so if you don’t feel 1,000 percent comfortable with the person after your engagement photos, keep looking! The right fit is out there.

You’ve recently started First Look Decor, a service for renting trendy wedding accessories. What prompted this and what do you offer? 

My fiance Justin and I just started First Look and we are incredibly excited. I am a person that loves to collect vintage and cool items for my home – it’s my favorite hobby. We don’t have a big basement to store everything we want for our wedding, so we thought, how nice would it be to just pick everything you could possibly want for your event in a catalog and be able to return it after? We offer anything from a table napkin to a donut wall! 

A little bird told us you are walking down the aisle soon. Any advice for newly engaged couples starting to plan their big day? 

I’m not going to lie, even being in the industry, it’s daunting. My advice is to take your time. Don’t overwhelm yourself. And especially, don’t let anyone else dictate what your wedding should and should not be. It’s all about you and your partner!

What’s your favorite type of photo to take at a wedding and why?

I honestly don’t think there’s anything better than a candid photo. Don’t get me wrong, you can get some amazing photos posing people and getting the light just right. But personally, I think it’s best when a couple can look back on a photo and recall the moment and either laugh, smile, or end up with a nice little happy tear.

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