Hello, I’m Petronella, owner and lead photographer of Petronella Photography, a wedding and marriage proposal studio based out of the New York – New Jersey area.
As a Ugandan – American, I personally understand the struggle that most multicultural couples face: how to celebrate their cultural heritage, honor their parents, traditions and do it all in a modern way, which is partly WHY I specialize in helping multicultural couples celebrate their love in a modern way. Read more below for the full WHY of what I do.
If you’re looking for simply beautiful, vibrant photography that tells your love story and celebrates ALL of who you are including your heritage in a way that’s modern and authentic, you’re in the right place.
HOW I GOT INTO PHOTOGRAPHY
In 2011, when a friend asked me to photograph her wedding in Mexico after seeing my personal photography work, I discovered what I’d always loved doing as a little girl: using my dad’s film camera to express my ideas and thoughts, but this time as a wedding photographer.
After photographing her wedding, I fell madly in love with telling a couple’s wedding story: how they met / their excitement/ the details / the traditions/ the family dynamics, all thrill me. And Petronella Photography was born.
I’m fairly quiet and reserved in person and prefer to listen and observe, but something happens when I’m behind the camera. I come ALIVE. I’m a little louder and more uninhibited.
WHY I SPECIALIZE IN MULTICULTURAL WEDDINGS
“I believe that what makes you different makes your beautiful. But I didn’t always believe this was true.”
I was born in a tiny African village in Uganda (despite what my accent may suggest) and grew up in Zimbabwe. When I was 10 years old, I arrived in Birmingham, Alabama together with my mother, sister and 2 suitcases, excited to join my father and start a new life in America.
As a blossoming teenager, I struggled with how to stay true to my parent’s traditions and/or assimilate to my new Southern American environment. Because I never saw or experienced people of different cultures being celebrated and negative talk about foreigners, I believed my cultural identity wasn’t worthy of being celebrated and learned to hide parts of myself. I hid my last name “Lugemwa,” wore Birkenstocks gifted to me by my parents for Christmas so I could be like my classmates, adopted a Southern-ish accent and rarely mentioned my birthplace. That habit stayed with me for many years until a good friend called me out that I began to slowly celebrate my cultural identity. Thus began the transformation to where I am now, comfortable celebrating all of who I am.
WORKING WITH PETRONELLA PHOTOGRAPHY
- Schedule a Phone Consult
- Review Your Online Booking Proposal
- Finalize Booking
- Planning for Your Big Day
- The Big Day
- Album Consult
One of my favorite things to do is to bring to life a couple’s love story in an album.
I believe that printing your images in a high quality heirloom wedding album brings to life your story in a way that digital images in an online gallery cannot replicate.
Your images are meant to be seen, touched and hung up on your walls as powerful reminders of your love and life story. Interested in learning more? Let’s chat.