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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.
 

 

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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

 

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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

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Why You Will Never See All Your Wedding Photos

Today’s contributing author is Hannah Servidio from Hannah Nicole Photography

 

On your wedding day, your photographer will be capturing every magical moment, even moments you may not have even realized happened. You know they are probably taking hundreds and hundreds (if not thousands) of photos, so why then are you seeing much fewer photos when your proofs come back?

 

Hudson Valley wedding photography Culinary Institute of America Hannah Nicole Photography

Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

We spoke a few weeks ago about how many photos are usually taken and how many you get to choose for your album, but there are many reasons why you don’t see all the photos your photographer takes.

 

RELATED: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WEDDING PHOTOS TAKEN AND IMAGES CHOSEN

 

Before we get into that, Servidio wants you to know one thing. “Before you think that we are holding precious memories hostage please be aware we are not,” she says.

 

Second, you need to know that photographers will rarely if ever, give you back unedited photos. Servidio says “Sometimes a photo looks absolutely awful before we edit it and who wants to see that.”

 

In fact, she has a great analogy. “Let’s say you go to a really nice restaurant and order the chicken,” she says. It comes, it’s beautiful and it tastes great but then you ask the chef if he can just give you the raw chicken. Doesn’t make sense right? That’s exactly how photographers feel when you ask the see “the other” photos from your wedding/session, and truthfully you’re not missing much.”

 

 

While Servidio understands FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a real concern for some couples, she says this is what you are actually missing out in the photos you don’t get back, otherwise known as “throwaway photos”. “Blinking, unflattering poses, photo repeats and my personal favorite, sneezing. Not only that but truthfully, some photographers do mess up. It’s totally normal and it happens. Whether we miss focus, the lighting is bad, or it’s just really not an interesting photo, there’s plenty of reasons we never give you a photo.”

 

Hudson Valley wedding photography Culinary Institute of America Hannah Nicole Photography

Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

So if you’re wondering why you’re only getting back a few hundred of the many hundred photos you know were taken and freaking out over that, don’t.

 

Why? Servidio says, at the end of the day, you need to know your photographer is giving you photos that not only meet their expert approval, but will also meet your approval, and are of the highest and best standards. She says “We sit down at our computers and meticulously go through your photos. Every photo is looked at closely and edited to the styling you are accustomed to.” At the end of the day, she says “The job of a photographer is to give you all of the images that tell a cohesive story. Trust your photographer.”

 

RELATED: 6 IMPORTANT THINGS YOU NEED TO TELL YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER

 

That being said, she says “If you distinctly remember taking a particular photo it doesn’t hurt to ask about it.” There’s probably a good reason why your photographer didn’t include it in your proofs, but if it’s one you really want to see, it never hurts to ask. What you have to remember is that it might not have come out well, so be prepared and know that not all photos taken are going to be absolutely perfect!

 

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. 

 
Hannah Nicole Photography

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Hudson Valley Balloon Festival Barton Orchards Poughquag Engagement Photos by Jeremiah Shaffer

Featured Engagement: Stephanie & Jay

Their love story…

 

“There are usually two things to remember at the workplace,” says Stephanie, “One, don’t put anything in the refrigerator and two, never, ever, date your boss.Unfortunately, nobody ever mentioned the protocol for falling in love with him.”
 

Well, Stephanie and Jay might have followed rule number one, but rule number two was a different story. “I didn’t believe in office romance but Jay quickly became my mentor, my rock, and most importantly my best friend. Of course, we proceeded with caution seeing we were in the corporate world and all, but it’s hard to resist your boss’s charm! Not to mention, office romances are frowned upon in most places.”
 

We all know what happens when people find out. “People at work love a bit of gossip,” says Stephanie, “Because there’s not much going on in a workplace other than work and any interesting news is definitely worth talking about. We even had to go as far as signing a ‘love contract’!”
 

Stephanie says, “Forming a relationship with a coworker is the ultimate mix of business with pleasure. At times, the recipe results in a toxic mess between two Type A personalities (like ourselves). But other times, things work out. You briefly become the power couple of the company and your desk-mate might just turn out to be your soulmate. I can’t wait to sign an official love contract with him this coming October.”
 

The proposal…

 

Hudson Valley Balloon Festival Barton Orchards Poughquag Engagement Photos by Jeremiah Shaffer

Photo Credit: Jeremiah Shaffer

The Holidays are such a magical time, as we’ve seen time and time again. “Jay proposed to me on November 26th of 2016,” says Stephanie. “It was one of those cold wintery nights where all you want to do is snuggle in, so we decided to decorate our apartment and put up our Christmas tree. Jay specifically wanted to save a certain ornament for last that had a picture of us in it. He was acting very strange, might I add, so I had a feeling something was up! By the time I turned around after placing that ornament near the top of our tree, he was down on one knee. So many emotions ran through me at that moment the tears started flowing. Not to mention, I was wearing baggy sweatpants with no makeup on so he heard about that later! Our proposal was intimate and perfect because it was just us. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”
 

What are they most excited about?…

 

Stephanie says, “I am most excited about marrying my best friend and beginning this exciting new chapter in our lives, but if I have to pick a certain moment that I am looking forward to, it would be our “First Look”. Similar to our proposal, it will be a moment that is going to just be intimate. Our venue has an unbelievable space that was designed just for this. Gilbertsville Farmhouse will also have a ‘glamping site’ set up for us and our bridal party. Rather than one day of celebrations, we will have the entire weekend with our favorite people ‘glamorously camping’.
 

Advice for engaged couples?…

 

“The biggest piece of advice I have for engaged couples is to enjoy the moment and this period in your lives,” says Stephanie. “Jay and I personally took the route of a long engagement, because we did not want the stressors of planning a wedding to get in the way of the excitement. For example, the joys of creating more Pinterest boards than any bride truly needs. At the end of the day, it is about a marriage and building a life together. We have had the luxury of time in searching for the right venue, caterer, vendors, dress, and all of the other details that can normally cause minor headaches make us happy. Stay in the present.”
 

Photo Credit to All: Jeremiah Shaffer

 

 

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Hiring a Wedding Photographer? 6 Red Flags You Need To Be Aware Of

Today’s author is Kathryn Cooper of Kathryn Cooper Weddings

 

When planning your wedding, many couples spend quite a bit of time researching venues, tasting foods, and listening to bands. But given that the photos from your day (and video, for a percentage of couples) are the only real keepsake from your wedding, it’s vital that you research and find the right photographer for you two.
 

I’ve worked for years as a professional photographer, and have shot well over 100 weddings all around the country and the world. I absolutely love what I do, and when I’m not working for myself, I’m working with and for other photographers in New York and beyond. In my time working with dozens of other normal and, shall we say, quirky photographers, I’ve seen the good, the bad, the lovely, and the downright rude! I’ve seen photographers throw temper tantrums, yell at couples, and get drunk. There is a vast range of styles, personalities, prices, delivery options, and more to be on the lookout for when hiring a photographer for any event, and when it comes to your wedding, it’s more important than anything that you get it right.
 

 

Now then, here are some red flags you should be on the lookout for when hiring your photographer for the day:
 

Personality:

 

Photographers can sometimes be pushy, rude, or just plain bored and uncreative. See how open the photographer is to your ideas, and how friendly he or she seems to be on the phone. Meet in person or even on Skype if possible, and make sure your personalities match. Remember: This person will be with you all day long during one of the most important—and often most stressful—days of your lives, so it’s important to go with your gut.
 

Is the person responsive to what you want and is he/she lending promising ideas? Would the person get along well with guests? I’ve worked with photographers who have actually yelled at crowds or gotten angry at people, and quite frankly, that’s unprofessional. We’re there to provide amazing shots and experiences for you, not instigate your guests! I’ve also seen shooters bring their significant others to weddings, start fighting, and really make everyone uncomfortable.
 

Similarly, you want to make sure your photographer captures YOU. A bored photographer will shoot each wedding in the same way. You’ll get good images, but they’ll sometimes seem average. A good photographer will manage to capture you: Your smiles, your reactions, and your interactions with the people you love around you. Take a look at a full wedding gallery or recent wedding on each photography site (almost all have these) and make sure you see the kinds of images you desire. I always make sure I’m listening carefully to my clients so I can guarantee they’re having a wonderful time! It’s extremely gratifying to have grooms come up to me and say, “I was stressed out and thought the photos were going to be an awful experience, but you made it all so fun!”
 

RELATED: 3 WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY PITFALLS TO AVOID

 

Equipment:

 

Hudson Valley wedding photographer Kathryn Cooper Weddings

Photo Credit: Kathryn Cooper Weddings

Even if you know nothing about photography equipment, it’s important to know a few factors. And don’t get me wrong—you definitely don’t want to question every lens and piece of equipment your photographer has. But one point that is quite important is that your photographer have TWO sets of equipment. Like all gear, things can break, stall, or just suddenly stop working at the most inopportune times. Imagine you’re about to walk down the aisle and your photographer runs up to you saying his camera is broken and he can’t capture anything. What would you do? Make sure the person you choose to work with has a backup camera or a second shooter because it’s too easy for equipment to just go on the fritz.
 

Price:

 

Make sure you know the final price before signing any contract. Many photographers add a tax on top of the packages offered or try to upsell you with prints, second shooters, or albums. If you’re interested in an engagement session and album or have a large wedding that’s great, but if you’re not, make sure you choose a photographer who isn’t pushy and can provide a package that matches what you desire. Is your photographer going to make you pay for every photo you want on top of paying for time? Know what you’re getting into before you commit.
 

Shooting Style:

 

Though many people know a bit about what they’re looking for, the majority of people don’t know just how different photography styles can be. Look thoroughly at each person’s portfolio, and make sure you know how your photographer describes him or herself. I’m a creative photojournalist, for example, but there are many types out there. Examples of photography styles include photojournalist/documentary, fine art, film, film/digital hybrid, artistic, traditional, and more. Just make sure you know if you want your day documented with lots of reaction shots, posed with a lot of lights, or something else entirely.
 

Red flags to watch out for can be seen in many portfolios, and they’re styles that are, well, never really in style. Too many tilted or skewed photos can look amateurish, and colorized photos—for example, a rose that’s red while the rest of the photo is black and white—look very amateurish. Do the photos have a lot of weird shadows (indicative of a poorly used flash)? You want your photos to look classy decades down the road, so make sure you’re not hiring an amateur, a student, or that random hobbyist your Aunt Betsy used to work with back in the ‘60s.
 

RELATED: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WEDDING PHOTOS TAKEN AND IMAGES CHOSEN

 

Editing Style:

 

Hudson Valley wedding photographer Kathryn Cooper Weddings

Photo Credit: Kathryn Cooper Weddings

In terms of editing styles, there are so many different ones: Dark and moody, film-like, natural, light, and more. I edit minimally and with a very natural editing style, but some photographers Photoshop your face to look like a porcelain doll, so to me, that’s a red flag. If you’re looking for a high-fashion model-like wedding experience, then maybe that’s up your alley, but hey, that’s just me.
 

Almost every photographer has a unique editing style. There are even many people who edit using colorization similar to Instagram filters, so if you’re into that, great—but make sure you truly love the photographer’s final style! If you’re having a ceremony in a castle and are hiring a fine art photographer to take fancy portraits, that person will probably also edit you and your face to look quite different. Verify that you desire that, and that you’re not hiring someone who is going to make you look and feel like someone you’re not!
 

Image Delivery:

 

It’s hard to trust reviews since many review sites can be doctored these days. I also know plenty of great photographers who have almost no reviews or testimonials—there’s very little correlation! What is important, however, is that customers are happy. One thing customers often get unhappy about, however, is late delivery. I know photographers who still haven’t delivered images 9 months or a year down the road, and I’ve heard in forums of clients having photographers disappear on them. This is of course quite rare, but make sure you have a contract that states when the images will be delivered, and approximately how many images you’ll receive.
 

There’s really no excuse to wait for images for 6 or 8 months. 1-3 months is average because all of the organizing and editing from a 10-hour wedding day takes quite a long time. Still, no one wants to wait a year to see wedding photos! You might speak with a former customer first, look at the contract, or ask how long it will take to get your final images.
 

In general, having your wedding photos taken should be fun, not stressful. I don’t love having photos taken myself, so when I have clients who feel the same, I empathize and make them as comfortable as possible. I try to be upfront and myself with all my clients throughout the process. If you feel your photographer is moody, bossy, uninterested, irresponsible, or bored, your photos will likely reflect that. Choose a photographer who will capture incredible photos for you two to treasure for the rest of your lives!
 

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. 

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How Much Time Should You Allow In Your Day For Your Wedding Photos?

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.

 

Today’s contributing author is Rose Schaller of Rose Schaller Photo

 

 

If you don’t have a planner for your wedding, your wedding photographer is your next best resource for helping you plan a wedding day timeline. Why? Because they are the only other wedding vendor that will be with you all day. They know how long photos take and based on the timing and location of your ceremony and reception, can help you work backwards to figure out how much time you need to build in for photos, when you should start to get ready, how long you need for family and styled photos and how many places you can go for photos based on the time you have.

 

For example, I had a three-hour break between my ceremony and reception. I had 5 places on my list for photos, and our photographer was educated enough to tell us that even though three hours may seem like a lot of time, it actually goes by much faster than you think. Those three hours included time for posed shots with family and our bridal party, included travel, and included time to pose everyone, which, depending on how large your bridal party is, could eat up some time. He also wanted us to make sure we were at our venue in time to enjoy cocktail hour.

 

RELATED: 6 IMPORTANT THINGS YOU NEED TO TELL YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER

 

Hudson Valley wedding photography Rose Schaller Photography

Photo Credit: Rose Schaller Photo

His insight was invaluable as he helped us narrow down our choices of locations to those closest to our venue instead of locations further away. The end result was that we weren’t rushed, we had plenty of time to take photos and a few fun ones, and made it back in time for cocktail hour.

 

Today, we’re speaking to Rose Schaller of Rose Schaller Photography to help you plan how much time you should include into your wedding day timeline for posed and styled photos. Each couple and each wedding will have a different timeline, so this is merely a starting point to give you an idea of what to expect. It’s very important that you speak to your photography to set up the perfect timeline for you.

 

Despite the fact that each wedding is different, they are similar in that they all have the same “parts” or “stages”. Schaller says “Images are captured all throughout your wedding day so time should be allowed during each part to take photos. Not all photos will be staged and posed but still, having time in your timeline for them will allow the photographer to capture those little moments that you may forget.”

 

RELATED: AVOID THESE 3 WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY PITFALLS

 

So, what are these stages? Well, outside of the obvious ceremony and reception, there are three areas that are usually designated for posed and candid shots. These are:

 

Getting ready:

 

Hudson Valley wedding photography Rose Schaller Photography

Photo Credit: Rose Schaller Photo

“I would add 30 mins to your getting ready time schedule to allow your photographer time to take photos of you getting ready, as well as your bridal party getting ready and celebrating, and maybe even seeing you for the first time with your veil on and ready to walk down the aisle,” says Schaller. “Having that extra time in your getting ready section of your day allows the ability for these moments to take place.”

 

First look:

 

“The next block of time that I ask for is the First look,” Schaller says. “Again, a half hour is more than enough time and we will probably not use all that time but the longer you have, the more time the two of you will have alone prior to the wedding.”

 

Formal portraits (which can happen before or after the ceremony):

 

Hudson Valley wedding photography Rose Schaller Photography

Photo Credit: Rose Schaller Photo

Formal portraits can be broken down into four categories: Couples photos, wedding party, family, and maybe some friends. Schaller says “I usually recommend to set aside an hour to an hour and a half. If you see each other beforehand for a first look, you (couple, wedding party, family) will want to all be back in your suite 30 mins prior to your service. That is when guests start to arrive.” What if you don’t want a First Look? “If you decide not to see each other ahead of time,” says Schaller, “then the cocktail hour would be when these (formal) photos would be happening.”

 

But here’s the most important piece of advice. ALWAYS PLAN EXTRA TIME! Schaller says, “If you plan an extra 15 –20 mins throughout your day you will have plenty of time to relax and

enjoy your family and guests and that is where the true moments are captured.” She says it’s impossible to plan every second of your day because, if you do, she says “You won’t have a second to stop and enjoy your day. It will go by fast enough without every minute being planned. Free time at your wedding is a wonderful thing!”

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

Destination Weddings: What You Need to Know About Hiring Your Photographer

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.
 

Today’s author is Hannah Servidio from Hannah Nicole Photography

 

Hudson Valley Wedding Photographer Hannah Nicole Photography

Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

People have a destination wedding for so many different reasons. Whether it be you love the beach, you want an intimate moment or you love the idea of (kind of) stress-free planning, for whatever reason you choose the question remains who will your vendors be? More specifically, your photographer.

 

No matter where you go in the world, there will always be a photographer, and with enough Google-searching, chances are you’ll find one. You may not love them but they come with the resort, or they fit your budget so you take them anyway. I mean, it’s just your wedding, right?
 

NO! Get that idea out of your mind. Resort photographers are not always the best option for you. While their work may be good, they may not fit your style, and you are under no obligation to use them.
 

There are so many variables and pros and cons that go into bringing a Hudson Valley photographer. Bringing a photographer from home can be beneficial for so many reasons. From personal and professional experience, here are some key things to think about:
 

RELATED: 6 IMPORTANT THINGS YOU NEED TO TELL YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER

 

A chance to build a rapport

 

Hudson Valley Wedding Photographer Hannah Nicole Photography

Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

Most photographers get to know the couple before the big day as it helps to already have a rapport with that person. You’ll feel more comfortable, and in turn, not only will the photographer make you look like a professional model in front of that lens, but you’ll also feel more natural and comfortable with them once you establish that relationship.

 

A rapport extends beyond the wedding as well. When hiring local, you now have a photographer that you’ve built a relationship with that you can use for future photo sessions such as family photos or anniversary photos. You have someone whose work you love and have officially built a long-lasting relationship with.
 

Styling

 

One word with such strong meaning. If you want a certain style, hiring local means you can be sure your photographer has the same style you like, because you have many photographers to choose from. For example, I prefer a light and airy look rather than a moodier feel. All my clients know that, and it’s what they’ll expect. Rather than going into it settling for a style you’re not a huge fan of just because it’s easier to choose the resort photographer, you can be sure that your photographer will match your style.
 

Easier communication

 

One of the best things about hiring local is you have easier access to info as needed. Want to meet up with your photographer and have a cup of coffee and go over ideas? You can because they are right around the corner!
 

Also, a somewhat uncomfortable but necessary thing to talk about is what happens IF there is a legal issue. With a local photographer, you can deal with it on U.S. soil. That being said, I hope that never happens to you; but if so, it’s good to know that person is local to you.
 

Lastly, a local photographer speaks the same language as you. While I am not saying the photographer at your destination may not speak English, there is a chance they may not speak it clearly, which could lead to miscommunication.  Your wedding day is a day you want to make sure everything goes smoothly.
 

 

Creative inspiration

 

Photographers LOVE to shoot in new locations. Seriously! It is like Christmas for us. Shooting somewhere new sparks something inside of our creative heart. While some couples may say, “I want a photographer who knows the area where we are getting married,” to that I say, I understand, but maybe the person who knows the area is bored of shooting in that area in which case gives you generic and passionless photos. As a destination photographer, I always arrive a few days earlier, and I location scout to find the most beautiful locations to shoot.
 
So now the “bad” news.

 

Hudson Valley Wedding Photographer Hannah Nicole Photography

Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

While I only have one, it’s not necessarily a con. I feel like it is more of a reality. Every photographer is different, and I CANNOT speak for all of us but rather myself and a few other destination vendors I know.

 

RELATED:  AVOID THESE 3 WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY PITFALLS

 

The cost

 

It is understood that you, the couple, will cover airfare, hotel and transportation costs. (Again, just speaking for myself and a few other destination vendors I know.)
 

This is an additional cost to the photographic services you invest in, but sometimes your photographer may be willing to work within your budget just to shoot in a new area, creative crack for us photographers!
 

Sometimes the photographer will also ask you to cover meals (I am not one because I eat like a college student). So, be aware it can be an additional cost. If you are having your wedding at an all-inclusive resort, this can be the cheapest and most cost-effective option since that covers transportation and food.
 

If all of the pros outweigh the con for you, I suggest you start searching for the photographers in your area to start chatting with. It never hurts to ask if they are willing to travel. This is your wedding. It’s not some random day of the week. These are photos you will look back on for eternity and smile at, so your photographer and photography should be seen as an investment.
 

 

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

6 Important Things You Need to Tell Your Photographer

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; no compensation was received or exchanged for this blog post or the promotion of the photographer.
 

Today’s contributing writer is Alicia King from Alicia King Photography

 

When it comes to your wedding day, all your vendors are important, but perhaps one of the most important is your photographer. Now, I’m not just saying that because this is a post on photography, I’m saying it because it’s true. They are one of the most important vendors because they are one of the first vendors you need to book, they are one of the vendors you spend the most time with, they will be with you almost all day during some of the most private and emotional points of the day, they will help you create a timeline (if you don’t have a planner), and they are the ones who will create the family keepsakes you will treasure for a lifetime.
 

If you have a photographer and you haven’t been communicating with them, you need to start now. If you think that just telling them when and where to show up is enough, you are mistaken. Photographers need to know waaaaaaaaay more than you think, and to help you with this process, we’ve asked Alicia King, Owner, and Photographer at Alicia King Photography, to share with you exactly what you need to be telling your photographer to make sure they capture everything you want them to on that day, the day you don’t get to do over.
 

Details, details, details

 

Hudson Valley Wedding Photography Alicia King Photography

Photo Credit: Alicia King Photography

Since I was a DIY bride, I had so many details that I wanted photos of. I made sure our photographer knew of everything I wanted a memory of. King says “The first thing I would highly suggest telling your photographer about would be if you have any special family heirlooms you are incorporating into your day that you want to be photographed. This could include a special charm or fabric wrapped around your bouquet or a necklace that belonged to someone important. If it’s something that means something to you, let your photographer know!! That goes for other details as well. Even if a specific detail isn’t an heirloom, if it’s dear to you, and you want a photograph of it, make sure to mention it!”

 

RELATED: 3 WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY PITFALLS TO AVOID

 

Any special or unique moments of your day

 

King says “It’s also helpful to let your photographer know if you have chosen to incorporate anything special or unique into your ceremony or reception. For example, a sand mixing ceremony, the Hora, or singing happy birthday to a guest if the wedding date happens to fall on the same day.” Our wedding day was also the birthday of a special little guest who was turning 6. We wanted to do something special at the reception for him, so we purchased a big cupcake for him and had everyone sing happy birthday as the staff brought out the cupcake with six candles on it. If we hadn’t have mentioned that to our photographer (or our DJ too, for that matter), he could have possibly missed the whole thing. By telling him in advance, he knew to expect it. King also says “Some church ceremonies also include the first kiss in the middle of the service instead of at the very end so that would also be something to tell your photographer if you know ahead of time!”
 

Who your family members are

 

“You may also want to let your photographer know if there are key family members coming that you want photographs of or with,” says King. So, this may seem silly but think about it. Your photographer knows you, maybe your parents, but he doesn’t know who your cousins are, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. You want to make sure you give him or her a list of all the important people in your family you want pictures with. They don’t have to know what they look like, because they will announce who they want to have pose for photos, but if your grandma is there and if they don’t know who your grandmother is or if you want a photo with her, that’s a photo op you will most likely regret getting.
 

 

Special spots

 

“I always like to ask my couples if there are any special spots at their venue that they would really love to take photos,” says King. “Sometimes they say no and want me to choose (which is totally fine!) but sometimes they say yes! It is always my goal to take pictures the couple really wants, so knowing what spots stick out in their mind as important helps tremendously!”
 

Venue restrictions

 

Hudson Valley Wedding Photography Alicia King Photography

Photo Credit: Alicia King Photography

You may not realize it but venues may have restrictions in terms of where and how something can be photographed. “Most times,” says King, “Churches have strict rules about what a photographer can and cannot do. It is a good idea to find out from whoever is performing the ceremony if there is anything your photographer needs to know.” For example, King says “Some churches have balconies that photographers are not permitted to use for photography. If you have asked your photographer to take a picture from the balcony, and they are not permitted to go up there, it would be better to know that ahead of time then expect it and not receive it.” As a related topic, this is a question you want to make sure you ask your venue about. Some may tell you, but if they don’t make sure you ask to be double sure.

 

RELATED: 5 WAYS TO GET BEAUTIFUL WEDDING PHOTOS ON A TIGHT BUDGET

 

Officiant restrictions

 

“It is also a good idea to ask whoever is officiating your ceremony if they personally have any restrictions,” says King. Everyone knows that your ceremony is the most important part of your day, and so, because of that, your officiant may have restrictions such as no flash photography during the ceremony.
 

In the end, your photographer needs to know almost as much as you do about your wedding day. King says “It sort of sounds funny but keeping them in the loop will make your day go as smooth as possible!”
 

Read More

Avoid These 3 Wedding Photography Pitfalls

Editor’s Note: The Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit is a weekly post 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. Each week through December, learn from the very best so you can make smart and educated decisions when it comes to preserving your special day. Click on any photo to be taken to the photographer’s website. This is not a sponsored post; no compensation was received or exchanged for the purpose of this blog post or for the promotion of the photographer.

 

 

Today’s post is written by Doug Madden of Duetimage Photography

 

Everyone makes mistakes.  And sometimes mistakes are not due to simple carelessness or bad judgment.  Mistakes can come about through good intentions too, and this is how I think some couples are undercutting their wedding photography.

 

Here are three examples of how couples can wind up shortchanging themselves when planning their wedding photography timetable, and some practical advice for avoiding these pitfalls.

 

The Friend Factor

 

Hudson Valley wedding Photography

Photo Credit: Duetimage

Quite often, when talking to prospective clients for the first time, we hear the phrase: “We want great wedding photos, but not of us.  We mostly want candids of our friends.”

 

Now I get it.  Your wedding posse will likely include good friends from college and high school.  Maybe even further back, to elementary school, playschool, possibly the neonatal unit.  You love your BFF’s and you want to remember their camaraderie on the biggest day of your life.  But I can think of no worse plan for your wedding photography than making your images all about them and not about yourself.

 

Wedding photographers can seem hung up on portraiture and there’s a good reason for this.  That’s because weddings are about beauty, about looking your best on a day when you’re spending a lot of money on stunning venues, elegant decor, a knockout dress, and everything else that goes into a wedding.  Your photographer wants you to look as gorgeous as all that.  And even more importantly, your photographer wants to capture the love that shines in the eyes of you and your spouse on the day that you formally commit to each other.

 

At our studio, we always recommend that the bride and groom set aside at least one hour for their portraits.  When clients hear this, they usually want to head for the hills. That hour is easily imagined as a very long shooting time, and many clients are often concerned about stepping away from their friends for so long and missing out on the party.

 

The good news is that you don’t have to.  If you’re concerned about being a good host to your besties, plan your wedding portraiture before your guests arrive.  If your friends are in the wedding party and will be present all day, then explain to them your intention to take wedding photos alone as a couple.  It’s a pretty sure bet that they will understand and they’ll find plenty of ways to occupy their time while you’re working with your photographer.  And since wedding minutes go by faster than normal minutes, your couples portraits will likely be over before you even know it.

 

RELATED: WHAT ARE CURRENT PHOTOGRAPHY TRENDS & WHAT IS A HIGHLIGHT REEL VIDEO

 

The Live Audience

 

Hudson Valley wedding Photography

Photo Credit: Duetimage

Sometimes couples have no problem setting aside time for their portraits.  Where things start to go wrong is in the crowd control department.  More often than not, members of your wedding party might want to trail along while shooting things like first looks and couples portraits.  These are moments that should be set aside exclusively for the bride and groom, and their photographer, and here’s why.

 

Mothers of the bride can be notorious for making an insensitive comment to their daughters that deflates their confidence when the cameras are clicking.

 

Bridesmaids, in their enthusiasm, can start giving camera directions that run contrary to what the photographer is trying to achieve.

 

Large groups of friends watching from the sidelines can get rowdy, and especially with a drink or two, they’re likely to get loud and tease you all in good fun.  And it is good fun, except that it eats up time and diminishes the sense of intimacy that bride and groom photos require.

 

If first looks and portraiture are important to you — if that’s the kind of imagery you’ve been looking at for months on Pinterest and wedding blogs — then you can’t be shy about demanding your “me” time.   Tell Mom that you love her.  Thank your bridesmaids for being there.  And tell your friends they can tease you when you show them your wedding album.  But your camera time belongs to you and your spouse alone because the moment can’t be repeated.

 

They’re Just Formals, Nothing Personal

 

Hudson Valley wedding Photography

Photo Credit: Duetimage

So, you’ve set aside time for portraiture and you’ve drawn a clear line in the sand when it comes to crowd control.  So now you’re going to make it up to everybody by including each and every guest in a 100 or so formal shots.  Right?

 

Quite often, when our clients create their photography schedules, they tend to use family formals as a time to acknowledge each and every guest at their event.  The lists of guests to be photographed can be quite extensive, ranging from relatives to kindergarten friends, to relatively new work colleagues.  Sometimes couples are pressured to have formals with friends and colleagues of their parents, who they don’t really know.  And sometimes guests end up on the formals list because so-and-so is on the list, and the other people might get insulted if they’re not included too.

 

The thing to remember is that while formals look simple, each group to be photographed takes time to setup and pose.  It all comes down to minutes, which as I’ve already said are shorter on wedding days than on regular days.

 

We recommend choosing the subjects of your formals very carefully.  Narrow the list down to the really important people in your life, namely your parents, siblings, and grandparents, plus any aunts or uncles who’ve been a positive force in your upbringing.  Friends who have stuck with you through thick and thin, or who were instrumental in bringing the bride and groom together, certainly deserve a formal too.  As do guests who have traveled to your wedding from very far away.

 

Making the final selection can be painstaking for couples who are concerned about bruising the feelings of their guests.  If this sounds like you, keep in mind that most people will understand the need to keep your list small.  Everybody gets it that time on a wedding day is limited, and chances are they’re planning to take their own selfie with you anyway.

 

RELATED: 5 WAYS TO GET BEAUTIFUL WEDDING PHOTOS ON A TIGHT BUDGET

 

It’s All About You

 

As you might have noticed, in each of the examples above, the solution is to keep the focus on you and your spouse as a couple.  And that’s the way it should be.  Weddings are a formal declaration of a union, broadcast to the world at large by way of those present at the moment you say, “I do”.  Let your wedding photos say: we are here … we are one … and this is our time.

 

 

 

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 questions.

Read More

5 Ways to Get Beautiful Wedding Photos on a Tight Budget

Editor’s Note: The Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit is a weekly post 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. Each week through December, learn from the very best so you can make smart and educated decisions when it comes to preserving your special day. Click on any photo to be taken to the photographer’s website. This is not a sponsored post; no compensation was received or exchanged for the purpose of this blog post or for the promotion of the photographer.

 

Today’s contributor is Erica Leman of Sweet Alice Photography

 

We all know that weddings are expensive and today, many couples find themselves paying for most, if not all of it themselves. Many couples today also have other financial obligations to take care of such as student loans, rent or savings for a down payment on a house, or even family or child-related expenses.

 

wedding photos tight budget

Photo Credit: Sweet Alice Photography

With all of that, budgets are tight, and some are extremely tight, but no matter how tight your budget gets, the one thing you should never eliminate from your wedding budget is photography.

 

It’s very easy to say you’ll have a friend or family member take them, but in the end, you will most likely regret that decision when you are looking back at your album years later and see subpar photos. Unless your friend is a professional, you aren’t going to get the photos you really want or deserve to have as part of your legacy. Do you really want your friend or family member taking your photos instead of enjoying their night? Remember, they want to enjoy their day, and can’t really enjoy themselves if they are photographing you all night and “working”. It also puts a lot of pressure on them as well.

 

RELATED: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT  WEDDING PHOTOS TAKEN AND IMAGES CHOSEN

 

Additionally, and most importantly, your photos are not a purchase, they are an INVESTMENT you are making to yourself, your memories, and your family. Don’t think that just because you don’t have that much money to invest, you can’t hire a great photographer. In fact, the opposite is true.

 

We spoke to Erica Leman, lead photographer for Sweet Alice Photography, about what couples who are on a very tight budget can do about saving money on wedding photography.

 

 

Why is she the perfect person to answer this question? Because she was a bride on a budget. She says “Believe me, I totally understand tight budgets! I was the bride who had everything in a spreadsheet to make sure we didn’t go over our budget and had to finance my own wedding dress. I cried when I didn’t think I could find a photographer in our budget – and I was a wedding photographer! Budgets are a big piece of wedding planning, and ensuring that you don’t overspend is key when you are starting a life together.”

 

RELATED: PHOTOGRAPHY TRENDS AND HIGHLIGHT VIDEOS – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

 

wedding photos tight budget

Photo Credit: Sweet Alice Photography

What are some conversations you can have with your photographer if you are on a tight budget?

 

As a photographer and a budget-conscious bride, Leman says don’t assume you can’t afford a photographer just because you have that much budgeted for it. Having a conversation with your photographer is a must and these are some things she suggests:

 

Think about the hours of coverage you want? “If you don’t need an entire day’s worth of photography coverage, ask your photographer what type of hourly options may be available,” she says.
 

Think about your album. Leman says “If your photographer includes an album as a part of your wedding package, ask if that may be taken out, either to save money or in favor of more hourly coverage.” I might even add asking if you could purchase your album at a later date when you have more money to invest in one. Maybe as a nice first-year anniversary gift. That’s what I did (after thinking that I would make my album myself and realized it was never going to happen). 

 

Ask about second photographers. “If your photographer shoots with a second photographer, ask if their hours can either be reduced or completely negated,” says Leman.

 

How about a trade? Leman has a great thought. She says “If you offer a good or service yourself, ask your photographer if they may be willing to accept a partial barter as a portion of the payment.” Of course, this all has to be agreed upon beforehand and spoken about in depth prior to signing any contract. Plus, not all photographers may be interested in doing that.

 

Keep an open mind. Leman says “When looking for ways to stay on budget with your photographer, please be open to their suggestions, as well as the fact that they may not be able to accommodate your request. Not every photographer likes to shoot weddings solo, and they may not be able to accept barters as a form of payment. It’s ok to move on, and find someone who may better fit your financial needs.”

 

We’d love to know, if you are a couple who had a candid conversation with your photographer about your budget, what are you doing to keep your budget in tact?

 

Please join us next week when we hear from another great Hudson Valley Photographer answering the most common photo/video questions couples have

Read More

Photography Trends and Highlight Videos – What You Need To Know

Editor’s Note: The Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit is a weekly post 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. Each week through December, learn from the very best so you can make smart and educated decisions when it comes to preserving your special day. Click on any photo to be taken to the photographer’s website. This is not a sponsored post; no compensation was received or exchanged for the purpose of this blog post or for the promotion of the photographer.
 

Today’s contributor is Lynette Romero of Pioneer Media
 

Photography and videography go hand in hand when it comes to your wedding. Photos are great for capturing snapshot moments of the day, while video captures the sound, movement and the essence of your wedding day. Photos are a must when it comes to capturing your special day, but your memories go up a notch when you have video capturing your conversations, your voices and everything that makes these precious moments such a great legacy and a treasured heirloom.
 

Hudson Valley Wedding Photography

Photo Credit: Pioneer Media

Today, we spoke to Lynette Romero (photographer), who, together with her husband Bryndon (videographer), co-own Pioneer Media in Newburgh. In our conversation, Lynette discusses current photography trends as well as explains the difference between a traditional wedding video and a highlight reel.

 

Photo trends

 

Photography trends change over time. Just look at what you’re seeing on Pinterest compared to what your parent’s album looks like. Today, couples are asking for more intimate and personal moments to be captured and not so much of the formalized portraiture you saw 15-20 years ago.

 

Photographers love capturing those special moments on film because they not only make each wedding unique but also creates a really special keepsake that’s so much fun for the couple to look back on. Many of these special moments happen the morning of your wedding (or during the ‘getting ready’ phase of the day).

 

WCHV: What are couples doing the morning of their wedding that makes for such memorial moments? 
 

Romero: “Many couples mark the unofficial start of the wedding day by exchanging gifts or cards and reading their notes to each other for the video and photo. Since the morning of the wedding sometimes can be stressful or busy, reading love notes from each other focuses the couple back on each other. It sets the tone for the first time they see each other, and adds great content to their wedding video and photo album.”
 

WCHV: What are some ways couples have personalized that moment?

 

Romero: “At a recent wedding, our groom wrote a love note on the bottom of his bride’s shoe. We saw a variation of this idea at another recent wedding, where the whole bridal party signed and wrote little notes on the bottom of our bride’s shoe.”

 


 

Video

 

Hudson Valley Wedding Photography

Photo Credit: Pioneer Media

When it comes to videography, there are two main types. There’s documentary style which is more traditional and captures longer moments. Think of this as the type of video you would take on your phone. You are capturing the moment live, without edits. Then there is cinematography style, which is video edited with the addition of music for entertainment value to make your day look more like a movie.

 

Cinematography style is one of the hottest trends, and most of the examples you see online are highlight reels. Think of them as the “movie trailer” for your wedding

 

WCHV: What exactly is a highlight reel and how is it different than a regular video?

 

Romero: “Our highlight reels are typically one song length, three to five minutes. They are very cinematic and include the most emotional and entertaining content from the day. Our full videos are much longer, normally at least a half hour, but have the same cinematic style, with shorter clips and set to music. In both cases the audio (can be the card readings, the vows, the toasts, etc.) drive the story of the video.
 

What are some of the moments you want to be captured on your wedding that goes beyond the traditional? What special moments do you and your spouse-to-be have planned? We’d love to know. 

 

Please join us next week when we hear from another great Hudson Valley Photographer answering the most common photo/video questions couples have
 

Read More

What you need to know about wedding photos taken and images chosen

Editor’s Note: The Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit is a weekly post 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. Each week through December, you’ll learn from the very best so you can make smart and educated decisions when it comes to preserving your special day. Click on any photo to be taken to the photographer’s website. Bios are featured at the end to give credit to the photographer for their time and participation. This is not a sponsored post; no compensation was received or exchanged for the purpose of this blog post or for the promotion of the photographer.

 
Today’s blog post is written by Jeremiah Shaffer, Photographer
 

Photo Credit: Jeremiah Shaffer

As a professional who has himself experienced a wedding of his own, I know how important it is to capture every special detail of a wedding day. That being said, I spend a lot of time clicking away as events unfold, and then sorting through to select all the photographs that best represent the magic of the day as it actually happened. How many pictures I take is a very loaded question filled with ifs, ands, and buts. There are a lot of factors that go into how many pictures I take during a wedding day and I’d like to break it down the best way I can, in relation to how I shoot.

 

Now please keep in mind, other photographers may not do things like I do, which is great. Variety is the spice of life. There are certainly a lot of really fantastic photographers in our beautiful Hudson Valley, and I know that they all do their own thing a little differently and have very happy clients. They might take more photos or fewer photos, depending on their shooting style and what they guarantee their clients.

 

What determines how many images are taken?

 

For me, there are three big factors that will impact how many images I will ultimately take.

 

First, I generally always shoot with a second photographer but sometimes at smaller weddings, a second photographer might just be redundant. If I shoot alone, I naturally have about half as many photographs at the end of a wedding.

 

The second factor in how many images I take is for how long I’m booked at a wedding. You’d be right to think that I take more images when I’m booked for 10 hours compared to an eight-hour booking.

 

The third factor is the size of your bridal party. Obviously, if you have six bridesmaids and six groomsmen, you’ll receive more photos than someone with two and two.

 

 

How many photos are taken and why so many?

 

Photo Credit: Jeremiah Shaffer

Generally during a wedding day — from me arriving, to me packing up — I will snap anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000 pictures. But please beware, this is a very skewed number. Every time I take a photo of people (which is primarily what I’m doing all day) I take three or four shots of that one photo. Why? Because someone will ALWAYS blink. This is something that I learned very early on in my wedding career. I’d get home and start editing a wedding and in some of the best portraits of the bride and groom or guests at the wedding, one or more of the people I was photographing in a shot was blinking. Or mid-blink. Or about to blink. Or sneezing. And we can’t do them again. EVER. So, a trick I learned was taking three or four snaps each time I took a photo of people. So, with that being said, there are maybe about only about 1,500 to 3,000 actual individual shots. I don’t set limits for myself on how many photographs I take, rather I leave it up to how the day plays out to ensure I capture all the memories that may occur.

 

Do we get all those photos?

 

Not quite. Of those, maybe my camera’s focus was off for a shot or maybe the shot was a bit too dark. Maybe Uncle Tommy has a piece of cake hanging out of his mouth in the background of a picture. Those images will never see the light of day (unless it’s one of those “too good” pictures). I don’t give couples a “magic number” of photos that they will receive. What my clients will get is 500+ fantastic images of their wedding day.

 

If there are more, they get more. I see no advantage to me holding onto awesome pictures and not releasing them. So, if I’m your photographer, and you book me for 10 hours with two photographers and you have a medium-sized bridal party, you could expect to receive 600 to 800 final great images.

 

How many images do I need to pick for my wedding album?

 

Again, another loaded question and here’s why: Typically, when a client gets an album from me, I have them choose 30+ images to put in it. That’s about 20 pages worth of photos. However, your album can be as many pages as you want and there are a bunch of sizes available. They can be anywhere from 6” x 6” to 12” x 15”. And you’d be right again to think that I can put more images in a 12” x 15” album than I can a 6” x 6” album. 

Please join us next week when we hear from another great Hudson Valley Photographer answering the most common photo/video questions couples have

 

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Featured Couple: Dana & Martin

Their Love Story…

 

Photo Credit: Emma Cleary Photo & Video

Dana, an event planner, had just recently moved to Westchester for her job, which was based in Connecticut. Since she was new to the area, and as a way to meet new friends, she decided to get a part-time job as a bartender at a local Italian restaurant in Stamford, CT. One of her new colleagues, who she met on her first day, was her future husband-to-be, Martin. A few months later, some of her coworkers from the restaurant were going out for drinks and Martin asked Dana if she wanted to join them. However, Dana quickly realized as they were closing the restaurant that she and Martin were the only ones heading out. The following week, Martin asked Dana out for dinner, and the week after that Dana cooked dinner for Martin. “The rest,” as Dana says, “is history.” As the old saying goes, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!

 

The Proposal…

 

Miami has always held a special part in their lives. It was the site of their first vacation as a couple, and it was the place they eventually moved to. “It was a tradition of ours to do a nice Christmas Eve dinner at a special restaurant,” says Dana, and they wanted to keep that tradition alive, especially now that they had moved to Florida. So, on Christmas Eve, Martin took Dana to a restaurant they visited one Valentine’s Day in Key Biscayne and proposed.

 

Why the Hudson Valley?

 

Photo Credit: Emma Cleary Photo & Video

Dana grew up in the Hudson Valley and always dreamed of getting married here. “The scenery of the Hudson Valley can’t be beat,” Dana says. “Finding a venue that provided those stunning unforgettable view, as well as a local farm-to-table food concept, was exactly what we imagined. As an event planner the food and beverage needed to be above average and that’s exactly what we received.”

 

Wedding theme…

 

Rustic

 

Most Memorable Moment…

 
Dana says “having my future husband’s mother from Uruguay come from her country for the first time and attend our wedding. She was able to meet my mother and make a connection with my family regardless of her not speaking our language.”

 

Hudson Valley Professionals…

 

Wedding Planner: Dana Prytula (the bride)

Flowers
: Floral Fantasies by Sara (Rhinebeck)

Cake: The Pastry Garden (Poughkeepsie) and Floral Fantasies by Sara (Flowers)

Hair
: Hair Design by Danielle (Middletown)

Makeup
: Makeup by Danee (Marlboro)

DJ and Lighting
: DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style (Wappingers Falls)

 

Photo credit to all: Emma Cleary Photo & Video

(Click image for larger view)

 

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Featured Couple: Kristen & AJ

Their Love Story…

 

“We found love in a hopeless place … and, yes, that was the song that we walked into as we were introduced,” says Kristen. “That has been our ‘theme song’ since we started dating.  We used to work together at a bank … dating someone you were working with was frowned upon!  So needless to say we kept it a secret for a long time … to the point when people ask us how long we have been together we really don’t have a solid answer.” Hiding their relationship was no easy feat because even out in public, Kristen was afraid someone from work would see them.

 

“AJ eventually switched locations and we were no longer at the same branch … so one night when we were out, we texted our boss and came clean! Felt so much better!” Soon after they came clean to their boss, AJ surprised Kristen with Broadway tickets to see Mary Poppins, which was Kristen’s favorite movie as a kid. “That’s when he made it official that we were dating, so if we need a date that we started dating we use January 28, 2012!  We were honestly friends first … and the rest is history! We wouldn’t change a thing!”

 

The Proposal…

 

Photo from bride’s personal collection

“His proposal was perfect!” says Kristen. “It was our official 3-year dating anniversary.  AJ got up in the morning before me and had breakfast on the table with flowers by the time I got up. We ate breakfast, got ready and both headed to work.  It was a normal day.” The day progressed as usual — a trip home during lunch to grab her food and walk their dog, Tex. Toward the end of the day, AJ started texting Kristen wanting to know when she was coming home. She texted him and when she got home and was in for quite a surprise.

 

“I opened the screen door to the house to a Post-It above the lock, with the following: ‘Hey, baby! Welcome home … may want to have your camera out … card first … Tex is fine (upstairs) … Happy Anniversary!!!’ ” When Kristen opened the door, she found flowers on the table, presents next to the flowers, rose petals and candles everywhere, and ‘We Found Love’ playing in the background.”

 

“There were more instructions in the card in regards to the presents.  I decided to skip the presents and go find him. … Our bedroom door was closed with rose petals leading to it, the word ‘Love’ spelled out on the door, and I finally picked up on what was happening!” says Kristen. “I opened our bedroom door to more candles and petals, and there he was.  He started to talk to me. … I started to cry but held it together!  He got down on one knee, opened the box, I lost my breath, and he said those four words every girl wants to hear.  And bam, we were engaged.”

 

Wedding Theme…

 

Photo Credit: Majestic Studios

“Our theme was all about us!” says Kristen. “I love the bling, but it was a simple, elegant bling.  Everything that we had that night in the Grandview had a meaning behind it!” For example, each table centerpiece had three vases on them which has significant meaning. “The most important part of that is that there were three on every table, three for love!  It was always something my grandparents and parents always said to each other and to us, and it was something we wanted to incorporate into our special day.”

 

Why the Hudson Valley?

 

Kristen says “Hudson Valley is home … and we simply fell in love with the Grandview. Couples panic about their venue; I panicked because we only looked at one! They had and offered everything we wanted — perfect venue, Shadows next door for the after party, hotel rooms for all of our 246 guests with transportation … it was honestly perfect for us!”

 

Most Memorable Moment…

 

Photo Credit: Majestic Studios

“Honestly, if you asked us separately, at different times, we would both say the same thing: the first time we saw each other!” says Kristen. “He (AJ) was up at the altar, and I was walking down the aisle with my parents. …  I swore I wouldn’t cry, and I didn’t, I was just smiling from ear to ear.  My smile couldn’t get any bigger when I looked at him, and then I saw his lip quiver.  I looked away from him for a second to kind of regroup and the next person I made eye contact with was my Aunt Pat, who by the way was hysterically crying! I remember laughing in my head!  Everyone tells me that they were all looking at AJ when I walked down the isle and that makes me happy because his reaction was by far the best ever.  I’m proud of him for not crying but he will always tell me ‘You cut me deep, babe!'”

 

Hudson Valley Vendors…

 

Venue – The Grandview (Poughkeepsie)

Photographer – Majestic Studios (Hopewell Junction)

Florist – Annex Florist (Pawling)

DJ – Jimmy Dee Music Productions (Briarcliff Manor)
 

Photo credit to all: Majestic Studios (click photo for larger view)

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