Sunday, January 31, 2016

Preparing For Your Maternity Shoot!


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

My tips for the most important day of your life!

    So I was inspired to write this because of a couple of recent conversations that I have had. Everyone wants picture perfect wedding photos, I want to give you, brides (and grooms), some tips on how to ensure you have the best wedding possible. First off I do not know all, in fact I don't even know if my tips are a standard among other photographers. These tips are solely based on my experiences and my personal preference. I am a natural light photographer and although I do have experience with studio work, I prefer the look of natural lighting and finding ways to make the available sun light work for me, but I do bring lighting for reception use :)
    Lets talk about the planning (insert dun-dun-dun sound effect), you have dreamed about this moment your whole life or at least the moment you got engaged. How do people expect you to know how to get all these details perfect  down to what napkin to use? You know what? They don't! Nobody will know you picked the trendy cream linens lined with fringed burlap over the more traditional black monogrammed ones! So relax a little! Trust me, I would have looked more relaxed walking down the isle if I hadn't thrown a major temper tantrum moments before. You see, right before I was to walk down the isle, my flower lady handed me cream colored flowers, "Ummmm those aren't mine, I ordered WHITE flowers", seriously my whole wedding was a disaster, they gave me cream flowers instead of white! LOL Listen go with the flow, after looking at my flowers in my pictures AFTER the wedding, I thought "Wow, white flowers would of looked terrible"! So any mistakes that are made, nobody but you and your partner will know.
    Okay by the time you are calling me, most of you have a location in mind and the theme for your wedding (insert peach dresses, purple peonies, and a flash mob). And if you don't, do not worry, you have time! At your consult, you are going to want to ask me some questions, you are interviewing me for one of the most important days of your life! Here are some questions to get you started before you book and after.

1. Is my wedding date available?
2. How far in advance do I need to book you?
3. How will you be dressed that day? (some brides do have request not to wear certain colors or garments)
4. Do you shoot more than one wedding a day?
5. Have you ever shot at my venue before?
6. Will you visit my venue before my wedding?
7. Can you give me a list of references?
8. How would you describe your style of wedding photography and your style of shooting?
9. What equipment do you use?
10. Do you shoot film or digital?
11. Do you use a shot list and can I request certain images?
12. What packages do you offer?
13. Do you offer customized packages?
14. Will you require a traveling fee if my venue is out of your shooting area?
15. Do you include engagement pictures or bridal photos in your packages?
16. Do you offer albums and if so do I assist you in making it?
17. Will you be posting our pictures on social media?
18. How long does it take to get our pictures back and will there be any communication about our pictures after he wedding and before you send them out?
19. When will I receive the written contract?
20. What is your refund and cancellation policy?
21. What do you do in case of a severe illness or emergency?
22. Do you care if other people take photos during the wedding particularity during the ceremony?
23. If my event last longer than expected, will you stay or will you charge me extra?
24. How long do you normally stay at an event?
25. What do you need me to do before the wedding?

So there you have it! Some questions to get you started. That way you can get to know the photographer and what to expect! So after the consultation and booking you should feel very comfortable with your photographer, if you have any questions, do not be scared to ask, it is your day, and you deserve the very best.
    So lets get back to my tips on helping you have the very best day ever!  Lets talk TIME of wedding, the time for me is crucial. I highly recommend getting married, meaning your "I do's" at least an hour before sunset, at the latest. If you are planning a year in advance, google sunset for the month and year you are getting married (go ahead I'll wait) and use that time as a guide. Lets say sunset is at 6:53 on your wedding day, that does not mean it needs to be at 5:53 to get awesome pictures, it just means that after 7pm, you are in the dark and that's not good for me or for those picture perfect wedding photos you hired me to capture! As your photographer it is my responsibility to share with you my overall timeline of your wedding day. Once we establish the date, time, and location I will give you a time line. That way you will know whats going on at all times throughout your day and you can relax knowing that I am going to help you stay on time and keep everything and everybody on track.
     So we all want to look and feel AH-MAZING for the wedding, here are some things you can do before the wedding day that will help you achieve your amazingness. First off don't expect to make everyone happy, everybody has an opinion, yours is the only one that matters, well you and your partners. Try to include as many friends and family in YOUR process, meaning let them know you are using your own idea but would love their help in making your vision happen. I know for a fact there are some people who feel left out, hold a DIY decoration party and get any of those projects done early, you get to include people that are not part of the wedding AND cross things off of your to-do list. Speaking of the to-do list, write a list of vendor phone numbers, phone numbers of your entire wedding party, and make an itinerary, make copies and hand it out to your wedding party. You can easily make these lists at the doctors office, riding in the car, or waiting on your puppy to be groomed. It doesn't need to be fancy, write it down, make copies, or email it so everyone has it on their phone. Have a designated person for your vendors to contact the day of your wedding, the last thing you need is to be worried that the flower lady misplaced a boutonniere. That person should have a copy of your list and a map for the vendors just in case they have never been to that particular venue.
    The days leading up to your wedding will probably be the most stressful, that's why getting things done in advance will help you feel a little bit calmer. The night before, do not drink too much, having blood shot eyes, feeling bloated and smelling like alcohol, and being dehydrated is just not a good look. Get plenty of sleep, get to bed early and even schedule yourself a nap the day of the wedding. That does not mean you have to sleep, it just gives you time to chill, relax, and feel refreshed for the ceremony. Even though I say get plenty of rest, you really should get up really early the day of the wedding, the hours go by fast and you can sleep in tomorrow or at least on your first day of your honeymoon. And my number one tip, this is such a major one, I can't even begin to tell you what a difference this makes, EAT! Eat breakfast, a snack, lunch, a snack, and dang it bring a snack during pictures and a snack before the ceremony. Once the ceremony is over and the photographer whisks you away to do pictures, it could be over an hour before your scheduled dinner. I have had many brides forgo pictures because they were starving. Remember we don't get that time or that lighting back. Last but certainly not least this is your day, it will go by fast, the only thing that matters in the end is that you just married your best friend and the love of your life. I hope this helps, again this is just based off my opinions and my experiences.