Follow Us

Categories

Archives

Search Tags

Who Owns The Rights to Your Wedding Photos? Hint: It’s Not You

When you book your wedding photographer, you will need to sign a contract. Part of the contract will include a clause about copyrights, and another clause will be about permission to share your photos. Both are VERY important.
 

Let’s start with sharing your photos. All photographers will have a clause asking if you would be ok with your photographer sharing your photos on social media, on their website, in their marketing materials, or with other blogs such as yours truly. For example, all the couples featured in our Featured Love Story galleries have signed that release with their photographer.
 

But it’s TOTALLY ok for you to say no, and photographers understand. I did not give permission. Not because I was trying to be mean, but because my husband and I are very private and wanted to maintain that sense of privacy.
 

In addition, that contract will discuss copyright and will spell out exactly what you have the right to do, and what you DON’T have the right to do, with your photos.
 

The post below is written by Hannah Servidio of  Hannah Nicole Photography to explain photo copywrites  and why they are so important…

 

 

Photo copyrights…No one really understands them but everyone needs them.
 

The technical definition of Copyright is the rights given to creators for their literary and artistic work. In simple terms, whoever pushes the shutter owns the image.
 

I know it sounds crazy because you’re probably thinking “But that’s ME in that photo! How can they own ME?!”
 

Well obviously we can’t own you personally, but the reason copyrights are given to photographers for their photos is that Photographers spend years perfecting their style and hours perfecting each image. That photo is their trademark AND their brand.
 

Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

When you put that Instagram filter on a wedding photo, you are actually infringing on the Copyright.
 

Don’t get me wrong I love me some Valencia filter on the ‘Gram but the reality is your photographer just spent a lot of time (which you paid them to do) perfecting every pixel of that image and putting a filter over it is offensive.
 

Besides the hurting of someone’s feelings, when you put that image up and your friends ask who did your photos, and you name your photographer in your comment, your photographer will not be happy with that. Its false advertising and not the brand that the photographer wants to be seen.
 

Other things that infringe on Copyright include scanning and printing photos. Seriously. While that should go without saying I’m just going to leave that there.
 

Printing rights are something a lot of photographers give their clients and that is different from Copyright.
 

That would be a whole other blog post but in brief ‘printing rights’ is just that. You have the right to print the photos. NOT edit them! NOT sell them! Simply just print them and hang, frame, or show them off.
 

Sometimes when you go to a drugstore to print your digital files the worker will ask to see your print release. This is to protect your photographer from having clients take the photos and print without their knowledge.
 

I know this all seems very one-sided toward the photographer but unfortunately, this is the photographers’ living.
 

Editor’s Note: The Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit is a weekly series (through December) where the some of the Hudson Valley’s top wedding photographers and videographers share their insights on the most commonly asked questions about wedding photography and videography. This is not a sponsored post. Join us next week as our Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit continues with more great advice from Hudson Valley wedding photographers as they answer the most commonly asked photography questions.

 

Featured Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

 
Hannah Nicole Photography

Read More

7 questions you need to ask your wedding DJ

If you’ve been a faithful follower of the blog, you know that our main purpose is to help eliminate the learning curve many couples face. One of the best ways to eliminate that learning curve is by knowing what questions to ask. Not all questions are created equal. You can go online and download lists of questions to ask your particular vendors, such as a photographer or florist, but that only gets you so far.
 

The thing is if you ask the questions, do you even know what answer you should be looking for in return? If a photographer says they use a certain type of equipment, do you know anything about that piece of equipment or what it does? If a venue says they supply a certain type of chair or tables, do you know what those chairs or tables look like and why they are better than other tables or chairs?
 

Pat Mahan, owner and DJ at Digital Musicians Entertainment in New Windsor says “Everyone always asks ‘What kind of equipment do you use?’, ‘What kind of lighting do you have?’, ‘What are your backups…?’ Those are great questions but are a bit generic. Asking the right questions AND knowing what answers to expect is essential for hiring the right vendors. Andrew “Enriquez” Nikola, DJ and president of Enriquez Entertainment in Marlboro says “Knowledge comes with experience…Be sure to ask the right questions.”
 

Weddings are expensive, and the last thing you want is to invest a lot of money and have regrets at the end.
 

So, today, we’ve asked top Hudson Valley DJ’s to share the questions you really should be asking when choosing your wedding DJ AND the answers you should expect to receive.
 

How long have you been in business and what kind of events to you DJ the most?

 

Experience is key and comes with a price. That’s part of what you need to consider in your investment. Being underpriced could be a red flag that your DJ is new to the industry and are low-balling their rates to book couples fast just build up their experience and portfolio. But do you really want to pay less for inexperience, or do you want to invest more to ensure your day is one in which people really enjoy themselves? In addition to low-balling their price, you can tell how much experience a wedding DJ has based on the questions they ask YOU! Nikola says “Make sure the DJ isn’t just selling you too hard. If they truly want to be engaged in entertaining your guests, they will be interested in what the couples have to say.”
 

RELATED: WHY HIRING AN EXPERIENCED DJ FOR YOUR WEDDING IS A BAD IDEA

 

Joey Garcia (DJ Joey G.), owner of Jade DJ Entertainment in New Paltz says that asking your DJ what kind of events they usually work will also tell you a lot about the value you get with your investment. For example, if they primarily work in clubs or do a lot of charity galas or birthday parties, you are going to get a different type of “entertainment” than if you hired a DJ that does strictly weddings, with a few of those other events on the side.
 

Looking at their reviews online will help a lot with determining what types of events they do. This research allows you to see what their presence is in the wedding world. Hiring a DJ in the same vicinity of your wedding is important. Domenic Trocino, owner of DJ Domenic Entertainment in Poughkeepsie says “Local is important. Have they been to the venue? Do they know where they set up?” If you have an experienced DJ, who may not have been to your venue because maybe it’s a new venue, the DJ should ask to come to a site visit with you or ask for a contact at the venue to set up their own site visit. You want them to do this, but they should be suggesting that first. See if they do. If they do, you know they are on top of their game.
 

How do you entertain?

 

Trocino says “Another important question to ask is how they entertain…do they talk and entertain your guests to get them engaged?” Some DJ’s are more outgoing than others. Let’s face it, people are different. Some people are quiet and laid back, some are outgoing and the life of the party. Some people are introverts, some are extroverts. And guess what? Whatever type of person your DJ is comes out through their style of MCing and entertaining. And guess what else? Introverted and extroverted people make AWESOME DJ’s! Sometimes, you may just want someone to play music and not speak too much or interact with your guests. Sometimes, you may want a DJ that really gets involved with the guests and interacts with them all night. Sometimes, you may want someone in the middle. There’s a DJ for every type of couple, but it’s important to know that information before you book. If you want a lively off-the-hook party, you want to hire a DJ with that same personality, otherwise, you may be in for a surprise.
 

Where do you get your music from?

 

Have you ever thought about where music comes from? Mahan says “Another question people need to ask is ‘Where do you get your music?’ Is it ripped off YouTube or Videos?” Back in the day, I remember uploading all my CDs to iTunes so that I could listen to them digitally on the go. But did you know that professional DJs subscribe to different websites and organizations that provide them with the best quality version of songs? Your DJ should not be getting their music from sources that are not made specifically for industry professionals. The quality just won’t be as good, not to mention, ripping music from somewhere is unethical.
 

Richie Schneider (DJ Richie Styles), DJ and manager of Music Speaks Volumes in Wappingers Falls says to also ask how the DJ mixes their music. He says “Make sure the DJ is mixing the music live and not using a prerecorded mix. Mixing live at an event is when you are actually blending the two songs together to make them sound like one. It helps to build that energy and that vibe and getting people dancing.”
 

RELATED: THE ONE MISTAKE COUPLES MAKE WHEN HIRING THIER DJ

 

Who’s coming to my wedding?

 

In the DJ industry, just like with many other vendors, they can be a “Single-Op” company, meaning one DJ runs the company and is the DJ that will be at your wedding, or a “Multi-Op” company meaning there are many DJ’s working for the same company. You want to ask this question so you make sure that the person you are speaking to during the planning process is also the same person who will be at your wedding. Why is this important? DJ Bri Swatek, owner of Spinning with Style in Wappingers Falls says, “This is the person who is going to announce your name over the microphone, interact with your guests, do things like move you from entrance to first dance to toast, to parent dances, in a style that fits what you want as a couple. And then this is the person who is going to pick music for you and your friends to dance to.” Essentially, you want to build that rapport with your DJ throughout your entire planning process.
 

Do you have insurance and what kind?

 

All wedding vendors should have insurance. If they don’t, that’s a big red flag and you should walk away. In fact, many wedding venues won’t work with a vendor unless they have insurance. DJs, at a bare minimum, should have liability insurance, but many will have more. Why do they need insurance if they are just playing music? Well, it’s protecting you and them from the “What if’s”. What if…someone trips and falls on their wiring? What if…someone has a reaction to the fog machine? You can never be too careful and everyone wants to make sure they are protected from the unforeseen.
 

Do you bring backup equipment and where do you keep it?

 

You should always ask your DJ if they have backup equipment and they should always say yes. However, that’s not the end of that question. Where they keep their backup equipment is just as important. Mahan says you want to know this because “What happens, if, heaven forbid, your first dance cuts out? What would they do? What’s their process? What do they have in place to happen if your first dance cuts out?” He says their backups should always be set up and ready to go and not packed in their van. If we take his example of your first dance cutting out, and their backup equipment is in the car, then everything is put on hold because they have to go to their car, unload, set-up and then start again. If their backup system is set up and ready to go, they can easily make that switch so seamlessly that you may not even realize there was a problem in the first place.
 

RELATED: AVOID THESE 3 MISTAKES WHEN CHOOSING MUSIC FOR YOUR WEDDING

 

How long should a “Must Play” or “Do Not Play” list be?

 

We spoke in another blog post about how you need to be able to trust your DJ to play songs that you like and that will bring your guests to their feet and give everyone a night they will enjoy. However, there are some songs that a couple loves and really wants them played as well some songs couples can’t stand and don’t want to be played at all! Swatek says “Couples should ask how long a must play or a do not play list should be.” He says 10 to 15 songs is a good amount to give a DJ because it gives the DJ a good direction of where to go with the music while giving a couple a say in music.
 

Have you found your DJ? Were they able to answer all your questions? Did they say anything to you that cause a red flag to go up?

 

Featured Photo Credit: DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style

 

Read More

Expert Ideas For Creative And Unique Wedding Photos

Today’s author is Kathryn Cooper of Kathryn Cooper Weddings

 

Whether you’ve paged through wedding magazines or avoided wedding photography research until this very moment, you’ve probably seen hundreds of wedding photos throughout your lifetime.

 

When planning your wedding or just scrolling around on Facebook, it’s impossible to avoid seeing your friends’ celebratory photos nearly every weekend. Have you noticed anything in common? Oh, they’re all pretty much the same? I hear you.

 

As a creative photojournalist, one characteristic of my photography is that I always try to do something creative, unique, or fun to make sure your photos don’t look like the cookie-cutter images swimming around online. So if you’re looking for a way to get extra-memorable images (or video!) that stand out from the rest, I have quite a few ideas up my sleeve!

 

 

First, you don’t have to know what you want, but you have make sure your photographer/videographer is the kind of person who has creative experience and wants to do such a thing! If the person has a ho-hum portfolio, chances are that person won’t have spectacularly creative ideas. I make sure the first few images my clients see when visiting my site demonstrate my adventuresome and creative style, so I have a duo emerging from their helicopter ride, a bride and groom upside-down in a room (well…you’ll just have to see it to understand it!), brides from other countries, and couples underwater. People understand that I’m not average right away!

 

Second, you need to have a bit of time in your schedule for a creative photo or video shoot. Now, if you want something creative but don’t have the time or budget for such a thing, a truly creative photographer or videographer can still do a lot with a little.

 

Again, looking carefully at their portfolios will reveal a lot. There are always unique perspectives, themes, and distinct personalities that the best of the best can show—while still focusing on you, of course! But…if you have time, consider putting aside several hours or even part of a day to go do a pre- or post-wedding shoot.

 

RELATED: HIRING A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER? 6 RED FLAGS YOU NEED TO BE AWARE OF

 

Creative engagement shoots and elopements are awesome as well! I absolutely love when I have a separate session with my clients, because I can take them to amazing places for amazing shots. I love when couples are adventuresome and just trust me to do a fun experiment or take them somewhere amazing! I’ve taken couples to other countries, gone on ski lifts with clients, and hung out on boats while groomsmen waterskied. Seriously!

 

Third, here are a bunch of ideas (finally, I know!) I’ve done or want to do—and I have plenty more ideas up my sleeve. Creative ideas for wedding photography and videography include:

 

· Completing a high ropes course, going zip lining, or doing a trapeze workshop: How awesome would it be to have wedding photos of you two flying through the air?

 

· Paint splatters: This is a great one if you have kids, would like to involve your family, or just want to have fun making a mess. You can use regular paint, paint-filled balloons, or even Holi powder to throw color on each other. The action shots alone are so much fun, and the final result is a mess of color that’s hard to forget.

 

· On or near a mountain: Amazing backdrops in the morning or evening make for beautiful images, and can be done almost anywhere in the world. Well…maybe not in Nebraska.

 

· With glow sticks or flashlights at night: Photographers can do fun long exposures that allow you to “write” in the sky or make cool, one-of-a-kind patterns swirling around you.

 

· In a helicopter or on a small plane: You don’t have to go skydiving, but if you do, could you take me with you? But really, going on a private helicopter ride, getting video and photos from a small plane, or flying to a secluded island is as awesome as it sounds.

 

· At a carnival: Why not have a shoot at a local fair or amusement park? You can get GoPro footage on a roller coaster, have a unique ceremony on a Ferris wheel (imagine the views!), or do a super fun shoot on bumper cars while enjoying fried dough and more.

 

· In a bubble: I’ve photographed couples behind, in front of, and nearly in giant bubbles, and it can be quite romantic and easy. This is a great idea if you only have 5 minutes for something creative.

 

· At a pet shelter. For animal lovers, it’s hard to beat time in a puppy playroom. You won’t have fake smiles with all those little guys begging for affection! Plus, there will be a lot of oohing and ahhing over your photos, and you’ll probably end up with a new fur family member.

 

· Nighttime in the desert: Even if you don’t have a desert nearby, you can still find a clear night to do some amazing silhouette or flash shots with stars in the background. With neat desert tree shapes like those found in Joshua Tree National Park, you can get incredible shapes and unique images while exploring a beautiful place.

 

RELATED: WHY DOES WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY COST SO MUCH (AND WHAT DO I GET FOR MY MONEY)?

 

As you can see, the opportunities for making exceptionally creative photos are nearly limitless. The truth is, even with very little time, a great photographer or videographer can make something amazing out of little—as long as you give that person the creative freedom with which to do so. A gust of wind in a veil can make for a beautiful image, and a couple jumping into the ocean or kissing underwater makes for super fun, creative photos.

 

Everyone out there has seen enough regular kisses and snuggles on a bench, so when you’re looking to do something different, brainstorm with a great photographer or videographer to make it happen! I can pretty much guarantee you one thing: You won’t be disappointed.

 

Editor’s Note: The Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit is a weekly series (through December) where the some of the Hudson Valley’s top wedding photographers and videographers share their insights on the most commonly asked questions about wedding photography and videography. This is not a sponsored post. Join us next week as our Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit continues with more great advice from Hudson Valley wedding photographers as they answer the most commonly asked photography questions. 


Read More

What Is A Bridechilla And Are You One?

You all are familiar with the term “Bride-Zill-A”, but have you ever hear of a “Bride-Chill-A”? Maybe you have but just aren’t really sure what it means. Well, think of a “’Chilla” as the complete opposite of a “’Zilla”.
 

A “’Zilla” is everything you would imagine. A mean, overly stressed, micromanaging, yelling and screaming mess. She is very concerned with the day defining who she is. The sad part is that many times, “’Zilla’s” are a product of the situation brides are put in. They expect perfection, and why not? It’s their wedding day. However, the constant need for perfection is unrealistic and can really lead to a ton of increased stress. With increased stress, comes increased tension, and with increased tension comes snippy, on edge attitudes.
 

A “’Chilla”, on the other hand is really laid back. I mean REALLY laid back. So laid back that she really hasn’t done much in the way of planning any details because they are relying on their wedding vendors to take care of most everything. They know and trust that everything will work out.
 

Just like “’Zilla’s”, “’Chilla’s” sometimes are created because of many outside factors. Perhaps the bride works long hours and is just not into planning. Perhaps she doesn’t necessarily want to hire a planner, nor does she really worry about too many details because she sometimes sees the bigger picture and is just not focused on one day. Maybe she’s been in a long-term relationship and considers herself “married” already, so a wedding may just be a “formality”. Whatever the case, they are go-with-the-flow.
 

However, the downside to being a “Bride-Chill-A” is that being too laid back can be just as bad as being too micromanaging. Being too laid back actually creates more stress. Not necessarily for the bride, but for those around her. The bridal party, friends, family and vendors all need some sort of direction. They are there to help you, but unless they know what you want, they can’t do much.
 

Ideally, you want to be somewhere right in the middle…not too micromanaging and not too laid back. To find out what kind of bride you are, take this fun little quiz and let us know what answer you got!
 

Featured Photo Credit: The Ramsdens
 

Read More
Hudson Valley Wedding Photography Alicia King Photography

4 Extra Benefits Of Hiring A Professional Wedding Photographer

When you book your wedding vendors you assume you’re hiring them to do a specific job. For example, you hire a DJ to play music, you hire a videographer to take video, you hire a planner to plan and keep things running smoothly, and you hire a photographer to take photos.

 

What actually happens is that your vendors do MUCH more than what their ‘title’ tells you they should be doing. Professional and experienced wedding vendors actually become part of your inner circle and part of your family for the months leading up to your wedding and even longer. They all play peacekeeper, therapist, planner, and friend.

 

Your photographer, specifically, when you hire an experienced one, really goes far above and beyond what they ‘should’ be doing.
 
Alicia King of Alicia King Photography says when you are looking at the investment you make for photography, you need to consider your photographer will be doing these things as well:
 

 

They will help you with your wedding-day timeline

 

Hudson Valley 

<p Wedding Photography Alicia King Photography

An experienced photographer will know how long it takes for pictures. For example, they’ll know how long to take for family photos or first look photos. If you are going to different locations, they’ll know travel time and time to spend at each location. They’ll know what time to arrive at your house and what time everyone should be getting ready based on the time your ceremony starts. If you are stressing over your timeline, ask your photographer for help.

 

RELATED: WHY DOES WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY COST SO MUCH (AND WHAT DO YOU GET FOR YOUR MONEY)

 

They will suggest other vendors

 

Experienced Hudson Valley wedding photographers have been in the industry for a long time, and have been to many weddings. Having worked so many weddings, your photographer has seen a lot and gets to know the other vendors at all these weddings. If you’re stuck finding a specific vendor or would like to know more about a specific vendor, your photographer will be able to help you with suggestions based on what they’ve seen and who they know.

 

They will be your creative partner

 

Experienced wedding photographers will know how to properly and professionally handle any situation that may come up with regards to the final outcome of your photos. Just like you don’t want to give your DJ your full playlist because you need to trust them to do their job, the same goes for photographers. Give them your MUST have shot list, but then let their creative juices flow. They’ll also know, based on location, time of day or lighting, what may or may not work in terms of getting the perfect shot. They’ll also be able to handle any last minute weather-related issues such as rain or snow and come up with shot ideas perfectly suited for any weather

RELATED: HIRING A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER? 6 RED FLAGS YOU NEED TO BE AWARE OF

 

They become your personal assistant

 

Hudson Valley Wedding Photography Alicia King Photography

Your photographer is the one vendor that will be with you from morning to night. They will be attached at your hip all day, so a professional photographer will end up being your personal assistant as well. Throughout the day, they’ll be fixing your veil, maybe helping you put on your veil, helping fluff or bustle your train, fixing any stray or flyaway hairs, pinning boutonnieres, and most importantly, they’ll be making sure you have time to eat and have something to drink.

 

In addition, they’ll be the ones to coordinate key points of the day and will be the ones to wrangle your family and friends for portraits, your first look, and any other photos that require more than just the two of you

 

Lastly, an experienced photographer will ensure you stay calm, happy, and stress-free. They’ll be like your therapist for the day. They know taking pictures doesn’t come naturally for some, so they’ll be putting you at ease and making you comfortable all day.
 

Featured Photo Credit: Alicia King Photography

 

Editor’s Note: The Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit is a weekly series (through December) where the some of the Hudson Valley’s top wedding photographers and videographers share their insights on the most commonly asked questions about wedding photography and videography. This is not a sponsored post. Join us next week as our Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit continues with more great advice from Hudson Valley wedding photographers as they answer the most commonly asked photography questions.
 

 

Read More

Creative Ways To Make A Wedding Guest Book You’ll Love For Years To Come

For the longest time, I never really got the point of a wedding guest book.

 

I mean, you know who you’re inviting to your wedding, you know who’s coming to your wedding, and between your shower and wedding, every guest gives you a card with a nice sentiment written in it, so why do you need a guest book? Right?

 

Well, in the last 7-10 years, guest books have really taken on a life of their own. This once minute and somewhat boring detail of a wedding has now really grown into something really special and personal. No longer are they a formality, but a very personal creative keepsake of your wedding day. From thumbprint trees to puzzles and everything in between, guest books are rarely ever books anymore.

 

Because this detail is often something that’s very personal, many couples tend to DIY it, or at least purchase one on Etsy, made by someone else. Since it’s a very crafty and creative element of your day, we decided to reach out the largest DIY wedding resource to get their insights into what you can do for your guest book at your wedding.

 

RELATED: DIY WEDDINGS: 5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW NOW

 

Do you need a guest book?

 

wedding guest book

Photo Credit: Emma Cleary Photo and Video

The short answer is no. You can have whatever you want at your wedding, and you can also eliminate whatever you want at your wedding. Actually, most of the weddings I’ve gone to haven’t had a guest book at all! Remember, like I always say, there are no ‘rules’ when it comes to weddings.

 

Why have a guest book?

 

“Guest Books are a staple piece for the bride and groom so they can remember who came to their wedding or wedding shower,” says Debbie Louis, owner of the DIY Bride website and chief wedding planner and designer of A La Mode Events .“It also allows the guest the opportunity to share a memorable message (congratulatory or well wishes) to the couple… It can also be creative to represent the theme of the wedding.”

 

Just like your photos, your guest book is a tangible memento from your day. It’s really cool to look back years later at something people sign or create on the day of your wedding. Imagine your little flower girl or ring bearer signing their name the way little kids do, and then looking back at it 10 years later when that little guy or girl is now a teenager. Imagine seeing a message in your grandparent’s own handwriting and having that sentiment to keep forever.

 

RELATED: WHAT IS IT REALLY LIKE TO BE A DIY BRIDE?

 

What kind of guest book should you have?

 

If you are going to do a guest book, I’m a big proponent of not having anything at your wedding that you can’t reuse again. So, I’m always in favor of having a guest book that you can actually use or display in your home. My first thought is to make this something fun. Look at your style, your passions, interest or decorating style to give you an inspirational starting point. Louis says “I Love pictures that tell a story, colors or a theme. You can get über creative with these simple three things. But you should dig deep and figure out what you love in order to properly personalize.”

 

Photo Credit: Majestic Studios

For example, my husband loves baseball, especially the New York Yankees. Knowing that I didn’t want just a plain old book, I thought about something that was a bit of a novelty, something that was different, and something that we could hang in our new home. After doing a bit of research, we decided that our guest book would be a baseball bat with our names and date etched into it that everyone could sign. It was a HUGE hit!! People loved it and were talking about it for weeks after. In fact, one guest wrote on the knob (the bottom part of the bat) “Best guest book ever!” It’s now hanging in our home office. I guess we knocked that one ‘out of the park!’ Sorry, more bad puns…I can’t help myself.

 

Anyway…take a look at your overall theme, what makes you happy and choose something that really depicts your personality and something that will be fun for your guests as well.

 

What are some unique, easy and personal types of guest books?

 

“Some really cool guest book ideas are puzzle pieces,” says Louis. She also suggests if you love to travel, you can have people sign decorated globes, or another idea is to have guests sign a photo mat surrounding an engagement photo which you can then frame and hang in your home. You can make a photo book and have everyone sign it. “Also the photo strips from a photo booth are usually easy and classic,” Louis says.

 

So, we want to know if you are having a guest book, and, if so, what type of ‘book’ is it going to be?

 

Featured Photo Credit: Emma Cleary Photo and Video

Read More

Why Does Wedding Photography Cost So Much (And What Do I Get For My Money)?

Today’s article is written by Doug Madden, Duetimage Photography – Hudson Valley Wedding Photographers

 

Here’s a question we get all the time:  “Why is wedding photography so expensive?”  Once, a groom actually put the question to us like this: “Why does taking some blank wedding pictures cost so blankety-blank much — my blankety-blank 9-year-old niece can press a button too!”
 

It’s a good question, but one not easily answered because of the way that the general public perceives photography. Photographers are asked to justify their prices more than any other contractor because to most people, the equipment and the skills needed to produce images are deemed to be widely available.
 

If your car breaks down, you’re not likely to ask a mechanic why his labor charges are the way they are.  Or if your sink won’t drain, you don’t ask the plumber to justify the amount he’ll charge to clear it.  The mechanic will disappear into the garage with your car and your plumber will disappear under the sink, and you’ll never know exactly what tools or knowledge they will use to get the job done.  And you won’t care either because you need your stuff operational and you can’t do it yourself.
 

 

Professional Experience

 

Since wedding photography — like other forms of art — is not exactly a need, the mind is more willing to question what it is you’ll be paying for.  If you’re in the market for an oil painting of your family, or a marble bust of yourself, you know it’s going to be expensive because these kinds of artists usually come with years of experience and special training.  Photographers though … anybody can walk into a Target and purchase a DSLR, and smartphones can take pretty good pictures too.  So in your mind you’re pretty much paying someone to press a button, otherwise, you’ll look strange carrying a selfie-stick during your first dance.
 

Not quite.  Especially not if you’re dreaming about the sort of wedding photography that you see featured on many blogs, or if you have your heart set on an heirloom album.  This work figures into the prices photographers charge and, depending on their business models, not all photographers offer the same services.
 

Types of Photographers

 

duetimage-hudson-valley-wedding-photographers

Photo Credit: Duetimage Photography

Wedding photographers generally fall into one of two categories:  Shoot-and-Burn or Full-Service.

 

Shoot-and-Burners get their name from the practice of burning their wedding coverage to a DVD and delivering just that.  Although photos are more and more delivered via download or by USB keys these days, the term still sticks. Usually, these photographers are viewed as more affordable because they charge less upfront, but couples are responsible for their own image editing and processing.
 

The Full-Service Studio Photographer is one who will handle all aspects of your photography, including curation, album and artwork production, and digital file delivery.  As the name implies, there are more services provided and generally, the cost is higher.
 

While we at Duetimage Photography are a full-service studio, we always stress that there is no “correct” business model.  Each has its pros and cons, and ultimately couples must choose the photographer with the business model that is right for them.
 

Shoot-and-Burn

 

Within the shoot-and-burn model, there are varying levels of service which will affect your pricing.
 

Some shoot-and-burners will come home from your wedding and transfer all of your photos directly to disk without even looking at them.  You’ll get everything fast, including lens caps and shots of your photographer’s shoes.  There will be no color correction or tweaking of exposure: the images are yours to sort out and manipulate as you wish, and the photographer’s job is done.
 

Other shoot-and-burners will lightly curate the coverage selecting only the best shots, and maybe even adjust for basic exposure. These photographers will charge more for the time it takes to do this.
 

Before choosing the rock bottom shoot-and-burn photographer who returns images straight out of the camera, ask yourself if you have the time and the talent to edit your own images.  If not, then spending a little more on a photographer who will provide a light edit is worth its weight in gold.
 

The Full-Service Studio

 

duetimage-hudson-valley-wedding-photographers

Photo Credit: Duetimage Photography

Photographers functioning on the full-service model will not only provide a basic proofing of your images.  They will also curate your coverage, engage in artistic editing that reflects their unique style, and produce your wedding albums, canvases, metal prints, and other forms of artwork.

 

In addition to their image capturing skills, full-service photographers are also graphic designers and digital technicians.  They understand how shapes, colors, and tones interact harmoniously on an album spread.  They also know how to process an image for optimum print output.  Full-service photographers know their labs and have good working relationships with the people there to ensure that your artwork is produced to the highest standard.
 

Post-production work can require many hours of the photographer’s time long after your wedding, which leads us to a paradox: the full-service photographer who charges more can actually earn less per hour than the shoot-and-burn photographer who provides fewer services.
 

Now you might be asking, why is this important to me as someone about to get married?  The answer is passion.  Many full-service photographers are exclusively photographers.  They live to create imagery and they fuss over every detail in ways that can sometimes be comical (it’s no surprise that the fictional photographer Felix Unger on the sitcom The Odd Couple was a fussbudget).  I once asked a colleague why he chose to shoot and burn instead of providing full-service, and his response was: “I need to preserve my sanity”.  If you’re curious about the backend value of a full-service photographer, there you have it.
 

Added Value On Your Wedding Day

 

Finally, speaking of sanity, another hidden value of your photographer is his or her ability to play psychologist on your wedding day.
 

As we’re all aware when we’re planning an event, things can and will go wrong.  With so much money being spent, there’s a lot of stress on the part of couples and their families.  All too often, stress can manifest itself in unforeseen ways.  The bride might have an argument with her mother-in-law.  The groom might be vexed over tying his bowtie.  Dad could have an argument with a vendor.  At one of our weddings, the groomsmen were involved in a fender bender at the entrance to the venue.
 

All this can show in your wedding photos if the photographer doesn’t have his finger on the pulse of the moment. A good photographer/psychologist knows how to calm things down.  Even when the bride wants to clonk her new husband over the head because he’s disappeared right before family formals, the photographer/psychologist can get everyone laughing again.
 

The photographer who knows how to make you laugh and feel comfortable is bringing a skill to the table that cannot be valued on a price sheet because it is truly priceless.  So consider your photographer’s personality along with his or her business model when choosing who gets to shoot your big day.
 

Editor’s Note: The Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit is a weekly series (through December) where the some of the Hudson Valley’s top wedding photographers and videographers share their insights on the most commonly asked questions about wedding photography and videography. This is not a sponsored post. Join us next week as our Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit continues with more great advice from Hudson Valley wedding photographers as they answer the most commonly asked photography questions.
 

Featured Photo Credit: Duetimage Photography – Hudson Valley Wedding Photographers

 

Read More

Featured Couple: Chen and Ethan

Their Love Story…

 

“Ethan and I met through mutual friends,” says Chen Rosenberg. “My roommate of four years all through medical school was dating (and is now married to) one of Ethan’s close friends from college. We hit it off celebrating Match Day, which is a day, a few months prior to graduation from medical school, when medical students find out where they match for residency training.”

 

The Proposal…

 

Chen had a super romantic Eurpoean proposal. “Ethan and I were dating for two years when we took a trip to Paris,” she says. “We had left at night from New York and got into Paris early. I think he planned to propose later that night at dinner (he had booked a dinner cruise), but he said the ring was burning a hole in his pocket, so he proposed while we were taking a stroll along the Seine.”

 

Why the Hudson Valley…?

 

Hudson Valley Wedding Red Maple Vineyard Sarah Tew Photography

Photo Credit: Sarah Tew Photography

It was love at first sight for both Chen and Ethan. Chen says “Both of us were living in New York City at the time, and for one Valentine’s Day, we had spent a weekend away at a bed and breakfast in the Hudson Valley and fell in love with the area. We wanted to get married in New York in a natural and beautiful setting that wasn’t too hard for our family and friends to get to. We entertained the idea of looking at venues in New York City, but they were quite expensive and not exactly what we envisioned. The Hudson Valley area was the only place we wanted to look.”

 

Wedding Theme…

 

While Chen and Ethan’s wedding didn’t have a ‘formal’ theme, Chen says “…I think as wedding planning got underway, we ended up having a wedding that was natural, intimate, relaxed, and fun.”

 

Advice for Engaged Couples…

 

Hudson Valley Wedding Red Maple Vineyard Sarah Tew Photography

Photo Credit: Sarah Tew Photography

“Plan the day as a celebration of the two of you,” says Chen. “Don’t feel like you have to follow a specific set of traditions. Set your own traditions. When the married couple is at ease and having fun, the entire wedding atmosphere will reflect that. For example, I don’t like cake and thus, for dessert, we served several varieties of pie.” (You can find ways to make your day special and unique here)

 

Chen also received some really great advice. “…during the cocktail hour and the reception, don’t leave each other’s side. Greet and thank all your guests together so you can spend more time together.”

 

Most Memorable Moment…

 

Chen says her most memorable moment was “Our first dance as husband and wife.”

 

Vendors…

 

Venue:  Red Maple Vineyard

Wedding Day-of Coordinator:  Michelle Marmo (with Red Maple Vineyard)

Hair:  StylesOnB

Makeup: Makeup and Hair by Celia Aurora

Music: Bud Maltin Metropolitan Music

Officiant:  Jeddah Vailakis

Floral Design:  Floresta

Catering & PIE:  Red Maple Vineyard

Transportation:  Mahogany Ridge Transportation

 

Photo Credit to All: Sarah Tew Photography

Read More

make this mistake and you’ll ruin your fall wedding

 

Fall is FINALLY here! If you are a Hudson Valley couple dreaming of getting married in the fall and are in the midst of planning your wedding, you probably realized very quickly that just because summer is over, it doesn’t mean wedding ‘season’ is over.

 

In fact, it’s far from over. If you think about it, fall is the perfect time to get married in the Hudson Valley. The heat and humidity are both usually all gone by now (which is good, because we learned that you most-likely will be running hot all day), Mother Nature gives you beautiful fall foliage as the perfect backdrop to your photos, the ‘rush’ of the summer with everyone going on vacation has come to an end, and pumpkin and apple spice is in!

 

I was a fall bride, October to be exact, and for me, getting married in the fall was a no-brainer! My husband and I both have birthdays in October (in fact, in just October alone, half the month is full of birthdays…15 birthdays in one month!), so it was only fitting that we add to the festivities with a wedding.

 

Thankfully, we had a somewhat long engagement, which to us, seemed perfectly reasonable. We wanted to take our time and not be stressed, but the other part of that reasoning was because we wanted a fall wedding. But not just any fall wedding, a Hudson Valley fall wedding and we quickly found out what that meant!

 

RELATED: 13 OF THE MOST COMMON MISTAKES ENGAGED COUPLES MAKE REVEALED

 

I’m going to tell you what that means in a second, but first, the biggest mistake you can make when planning your Hudson Valley fall wedding is NOT GIVING YOURSELF ENOUGH TIME AND NOT PLANNING AHEAD! If you don’t follow this simple rule, you will be setting yourself up for a ton of stress and possible heartache.

 

Here’s why…

 

Fall is the new summer

 

September is the busiest month for weddings, followed by June and October which are tied as the second busiest months. Yes, October is the new June. Just check out these stats:

 

In 2016, just in Dutchess, Ulster, Orange and Putnam Counties alone, 728 weddings took place in September, and 623 weddings took place in BOTH June AND October (Source: The Wedding Report)

 

That means competition! Competition for fall dates with other Hudson Valley couples, and competition with other couples NOT from the Hudson Valley who want to get married here at the same time you do.

 

If you truly want a fall wedding, you need to give yourself the appropriate time to plan.

 

Vendors book fast

 

Because of this competition and this wedding version of supply and demand, the ratio of weddings to weekends to vendors is disproportionate. That means, your vendors will book FAST for fall weddings!

 

Photo Credit: Sweet Alice Photography

This was a great shock to me when I attended my first wedding expo to hear vendors, in January, saying they were booked for October of the same year. Hence our extended engagement. We wanted October, no if’s, and’s or but’s about it, so we had to wait. However, if the time of year doesn’t really matter to you, you have a lot more flexibility.

 

Now, if you’re vendor has multiple people working for them, otherwise known as a multi-op, such as DJs or photographers, you may have a little better luck simply because they have more people who can service more weddings on the same day. However, if your vendor is like most, it is one person, who can only be at one place at one time.

 

Before you choose your fall date, I highly recommend you call or visit a few vendors to get a feel for what their calendar looks like to see what dates are available. The last thing you want is to get your heart set on a date, and then find out all your dream vendors and venue are booked.

 

It is a bit of a dance at first, but it’s totally and completely worth it if you want a fall wedding in the Hudson Valley.

 

RELATED:  9 CRUCIAL THINGS YOU NEED TO DO FOR YOUR WEDDING VENDORS

 

Hotels can sell out

 

Remember, your wedding is not the only event in town, and fall in the Hudson Valley means an influx of tourism. People travel from all over to view the beautiful fall foliage, and that means they are likely staying for more than one day, which means they are lodging in area hotels, B&B’s, inns, etc., the same ones where your guests will need to stay.

 

“Everyone wants to visit Dutchess County in the Fall, and who can blame them?” said Melaine Rottkamp, vice president of Dutchess Tourism, Inc. “The same beautiful foliage and weather that attract couples wanting to get married here, also attract other visitors and as a result, hotels fill up very quickly.”

 

You also have all the several dozen colleges in the area who are hosting parent weekends, alumni and homecoming weekends, football games and the like. Those parents and alumni also need a place to stay.

 

This is where planning ahead to beat the ‘competition’ comes in handy. The first thing you should do once you secure your date and your venue is to call local lodging venues to secure a room block. By securing your room block, it ensures that those rooms are saved for your guests, so, no matter how full the lodging venue gets, your guests will still have a place to stay. In many cases, your venue will already work with an affiliated hotel and will set this up for you. If they don’t you need to act right away.

 

Each lodging area will have its own rules when it comes to room blocks, but it’s always better to book more rooms than you think you will need. For example, if you book at a hotel, most of the time they will book 10 rooms at a time and then give you another 10 once the original 10 are full. However, If they book 10 rooms and you know you’ll only need five, keep the 10 just in case. You can always get rid of rooms closer to your date, but it’s harder to add. Also, you will be given a code specific to your room block that you can give your guests so that when they book, they get one of those reserved rooms, which may or may not be discounted based on the facility.

 

Are you having a fall wedding? What tips do you have for couples who want a fall wedding? What has been challenging or easy for you in terms of planning your fall wedding?

Featured Photo Credit: Christine Ashburn Wedding

Read More

Hiring A Wedding Videographer? 5 Red Flags You Need To Be Aware Of

Today’s contributing author is Lynette Romero of Pioneer Media

 

Your photographer and videographer are the only two vendors that will provide you with tangible memories of your wedding that you can watch and look at for years to come. They are the only ones that will provide the keepsakes you can share with your kids and grandkids. Long after your flowers have died, your photos of them remain. Long after the dance floor empties, the video of your family and friends remains. Your vows and the special moments of your ceremony will always be brought back to life each time you look at your photos or video.

 

Video is often a last-minute addition, mainly because couples aren’t sure if they can afford it, but I URGE you to budget for it right from the beginning. Not having a proper video of your wedding is the number one regret many brides/couples have. I can vouch for that because I am one of those brides.

 

Long gone are the days of videos being simply video of what is going on with the videographer going around to each table with a microphone getting all your guests to send their wishes. Today, wedding videos are mini cinematic masterpieces. Something you will treasure forever.

 

Now while video is important, your wedding is not the time to hire an amateur or an inexperienced professional. You only get one chance and one day, there are no do-overs.

 

We spoke a few weeks ago about red flags to look out for when hiring a wedding photographer, and today, Lynette Romero of Pioneer Media shares red flags you need to watch out for when hiring a videographer.

 

Lack of wedding experience

 

Pioneer Media Hudson Valley Weddings

Photo Credit: Pioneer Media

“As is true with any wedding professional you hire, you want to ask about your videographers wedding experience,” says Romero. “An experienced videographer anticipates the key moments of a wedding day, has backups in place, is able to see potential challenges before they happen and finds solutions when the unexpected comes up. How many weddings has your videographer shot? Ask to see videos, and not only short “teaser” videos or highlight reels, but a full wedding video.”
 

Single shooter or unknown shooter?

 

Romero says, “There are so many moving parts when capturing video and high-quality audio on a wedding day. It is extremely difficult to deliver a quality wedding video as a ‘one-man (or one-woman) show’. Will your videographer bring along an assistant or second shooter, or will they try to do it all on their own? And for that matter, do you know who the videographer will be on your wedding day? Will it be the person you met with or any one of the company’s many contracted videographers that happens to be available on your date?
 

 

They promise a specific length

 

“The length of a wedding video should depend on variables like hours of coverage, length of the ceremony, number and length of toasts at the reception, etc., etc.,” says Romero. “Without knowing these factors, we can’t guarantee how long a video will be. Sure — we could set a camera to record in a corner of the room for four hours to deliver a four-hour video, but how many times would you watch it? Our goal is to make every wedding video only as long as it is entertaining.”
 

On-camera video light

 

Pioneer Media Hudson Valley Weddings

Photo Credit: Pioneer Media

This is very indicative of ‘old school’ videos. Romero says, “On-camera video lights can be very distracting and obtrusive. They produce harsh, unflattering and inferior image quality. Does your videographer plan on using on-camera light during the ceremony, reception or otherwise?”
 

Aerial footage without license

 

Pioneer Media specializes in drone footage, and so, if you are hiring a company that offers that, you need to take note of certain laws to avoid being slapped with fines. Ignorance is not an excuse. “Many video companies have started to offer aerial “drone” footage to their wedding clients,” says Romero. “A couple should be concerned when a company offers aerial footage without a licensed UAS (unmanned aerial system) pilot. The video company that flies a drone commercially without meeting certain requirements can face huge fines for flying illegally. Surprisingly, even the unknowing couple who hires them can be fined. Does your videography company fly legally? Ask to see the UAS license.”

 

Are you hiring a videographer for your wedding? What made you decide to invest in video?

 

Editor’s Note: The Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit is a weekly series (through December) where the some of the Hudson Valley’s top wedding photographers and videographers share their insights on the most commonly asked questions about wedding photography and videography. This is not a sponsored post. Join us next week as our Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit continues with more great advice from Hudson Valley wedding photographers as they answer the most commonly asked photography questions.

 

Read More