GILBERT — Photographer Abby Holkko is all about helping people capture those little — and huge — moments in time.
Just as importantly: “I want to be accessible to everyone.”
The mother of three (soon-to-be four) likes to say: “Photos shouldn’t be out of reach for anyone. … Everyone should have the opportunity to capture their moments.”
Holkko has been doing just that for many years via her business, A Little Photography by Abigail Holkko.
While her studio is based in Gilbert, the photographer will travel far to tell clients’ stories through her lens. “There is no limit,” she said on a recent day.
It helps that she’s also a travel agent.
Holkko envisions her business as “the whole package … a one-stop shop” — for destination weddings, for instance — such as the memorable one she shot in Cancún, Mexico. The Cancún beach was an ideal atmosphere for an up-close photo of the bride’s bouquet, with the couple in the background.
Weddings are among her favorite events to photograph, and she especially enjoys taking images that detail a couple’s wedding rings displayed in creative settings.
Of course, there is plenty of shoreline and spectacular scenery in the region and state — the backdrop of the majority of her photography.
Holkko likes to keep it “very natural” and “real,” she said. “I pride myself in not using Photoshop.”
In addition to weddings and engagements, Holkko specializes in all sorts of lifestyle photography — families, graduates, newborns, labor and delivery, maternity.
When her own children get older and are likely to be in athletic activities — they are currently ages 10, 9, and 8 months, with another due in May — Holkko will probably add sports photography to her repertoire, she said.
She has already worked in action photography, taking many snow-cross photos and dabbling with images of Mixed Martial Arts events.
She also did a moving “last days” photo session with a grandpa, who was battling Stage 4 cancer, surrounded by his family. She worked quickly on the post-processing so the man could see the photos in his last days.
“If you wonder if it can be done, just ask,” Holkko said.
Holkko said she took photos for her school yearbook, but really picked up photography while living in Washington state from 2006 to 2008. The area’s “gorgeous landscape” was a natural draw to document.
She soon began taking photos of events and people. One day a co-worker requested Holkko’s talents for her wedding photos after being disappointed with a previous photographer. “I tried it and it took off from there,” Holkko says with her trademark smile and giggle.
She opened her first studio in 2013 in the T Squared building in Virginia, and moved once before landing in Gilbert in 2017. A Little Photography currently shares space with photographer Amy Flannigan’s Shady Pines Photography.
Holkko said she prefers to be the type of photographer who supports others.
It’s simply in her nature to “be there for people.” And that includes her clients, to whom she demonstrates her affinity for accessibility. “If that means a payment agreement needs to be put in place to accomplish a shoot of any kind, I want to work with them to figure it out,” she said.
A Little Photography is currently wrapping up fall mini sessions, and customers can “keep an eye out for Christmas minis.” Holkko donates one-third of proceeds from holiday mini sessions toward purchasing presents for a local family in need or for Toys for Tots.
“That’s a big thing — giving back to the community,” she noted.
The photographer will also run Black Friday specials, including deals for weddings and family sessions, which can be used throughout the following year.
Typical post-processing takes two to five days, and two to five weeks for weddings, Holkko added.
She enjoys every photo shoot, the photographer said, smiling. “Each one has something awesome about it.”
And she has become friends with many of her clients. The best part, she said, is when she’s asked back to take photos of a family’s future milestones.
One time on a photo shoot Holkko even — well — rescued a stray kitten. The orange tabby with no owner was found while she photographed a wedding on a farm about four hours from the Iron Range. “That’s how we got our Benji.”
Holkko said she plans to continue with photography for as long as it remains fun. “When it feels like a job, I don’t want to do it anymore.”
However, that’s something she expects will never happen.
For more information, visit A Little Photography by Abigail Holkko’s Facebook page or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.