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The Forgotten Benefits of Hiring a Second Photogrpaher

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

 

Whether you’re having 300 guests at your wedding or 98 guests, a second photographer can greatly impact your final wedding images. In the past year alone, I can think of several specific instances that my second photographer got a shot that became invaluable to the entire collection. Shots that would have never happened if I were shooting alone. It was actually after one of those instances that I decided I was shooting with a second photographer pretty much exclusively. Even for a smaller wedding where the thought of a second photographer might seem a bit overkill.
 

 

Starting right from the beginning of the day 2 photographers has it’s biggest advantage; I’m with one (generally the bride) and the 2nd is with the other (groom). Now we have photos of everyone getting ready, which might not seem like a big deal until you see your final wedding images in their entirety. Seeing your day, the progression from start to finish really completes the collection of images. And guys, getting ready pictures are a lot more than just getting dressed. Laughing at raunchy jokes together, playing cards, sipping whiskey, maybe playing a quick pickup game of basketball or whiffle ball before they head out to the ceremony. There a lot of things you’re doing before the ceremony that might seem meaningless and trivial at the time, but there’s a lot more meaning when the day is done and you’re looking back at it in its entirety. Shooting by myself, unless the couple is getting ready at the same hotel or in the same house, those memories would never be captured. Moments that would be missing from your day.
 

RELATED: 4 EXTRA BENEFITS OF HIRING A PROFESSIONAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

 

Now, at a wedding with a couple deciding to do a first look; 2 photographers = 2 different views and angles of the same moments of seeing each other for the first time. Getting the reaction of both the bride and the groom are nearly impossible with only one photographer. And from there as we continue on with the formal style portraits, 2 different sets of eyes taking portraits at the same time will give us more options for your final wedding photo delivery. Everyone sees a situation differently, especially 2 photographers. As much as we may have a similar shooting style, our inspirations for a situation may be coming from different places resulting in 2 completely different images from the same moment.
 

Photo Credit: Cody Tatro for Jeremiah Shaffer

A wedding that doesn’t utilize a first look will benefit even greater from 2 photographers. As the wedding begins and the bride starts walking down the aisle, I can photograph her reaction as my second photographer is capturing the groom’s reaction simultaneously. And afterward, since we didn’t do your portraits before the ceremony, we have to do them before the reception begins. During the time we’re getting portraits, my second photographer is photographing all of the reception details before guests start getting comfortable at their seats. Your place cards, centerpieces, table settings, etc… all of the little details that you’ve lost sleep over since you began planning your wedding. That way, when your reception is set to begin, we have all of those details captured so we can now concentrate on your grand entrance into your reception.
 

During your reception is another area of your day where you might not think a second photographer is necessary if you’re planning a smaller wedding. A perfect example I can think of is during the first dance. While my attention might be on the couple dancing, I may miss a moment of parents looking on, smiling at their children as they dance for the first time as a married couple. That’s an incredible moment that certainly can’t be missed, which might be if there was only one photographer on hand.

 

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: Cody Tatro for Jeremiah Shaffer

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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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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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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.

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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
 

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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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What It’s Really Like To Have Your Dog In Your Wedding

“She came right up to us and leaned on my leg, and right then and there, I knew she was the one!” Everyone who has a pet likely has a story similar to this of when their pet stole their heart. Janel Solanki, who got married last year at The Grandview in Poughkeepsie, shared this love story she and her husband Nick have with their dog Sadie, the adorable 9-year-old German Shepherd/Collie rescue in the image above. “Even though we’ve only had her for two years,” Solanki says, “I feel like she’s been with us forever…She is wholeheartedly a member of our family!”
 

“We wanted him to be at our wedding because he is always by our side during our daily lives and why would we want our wedding day to be any different?” says Natalie Feist about her dog Brego, who’s been a part of her and her husband Mike’s lives since he was eight weeks old and played an important role in their wedding at Crested Hen Farms last year.
 

There’s no denying pets bring a special kind of love into our lives, and of course, it’s natural to want them to be part of the biggest day of our lives, but we learned that having your pet in your wedding is not always as easy as it sounds. There are many variables that play into you being able to have your “best friend” by your side. From the venue, to the sights and sounds, to your pet’s personality, there are many things to consider.
 

RELATED: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE INCLUDING YOUR DOG IN YOUR WEDDING

 

We spoke to Janel and Natalie to learn more about the roles Sadie and Brego played on their special day and tips and advice they have for any couple who wants their dog in their wedding.
 

What role should your dog have in your wedding?

 

Photo Credit: Arius Photography

There are hundreds of wedding venues in the Hudson Valley, but the majority are not pet-friendly. That doesn’t mean that venue owners don’t love pets, it just means that the venue may not be the safest or most comfortable for a dog to hang out in for hours at a time (except, of course, if it’s a service animal). If having your dog in your wedding is a deal-breaker for choosing the venue, the first thing you need to do is to check with the venue first to see if it’s pet-friendly.
 

“I loved the idea of having her in our wedding, either carrying our rings or standing up with us while exchanging our vows,” says Solanki, who ended up not having Sadie in her wedding. Many things came into play for them to decide to keep Sadie home that night. What the venue allowed, the 200-plus guest list, and the formal evening affair made them reconsider. However, not all was lost as they made Sadie a prominent fixture in many of their photos which were taken at home prior to the ceremony.
 

Brego, on the other hand, was living it up at Feist’s wedding, since Crested Hen Farms is a pet-friendly location partly because it has a lot of acreage for a dog to run around on. “Brego walked Mike down the aisle. While we were getting ready he ran around exploring Crested Hen Farms, and occasionally would run back to the bridal suite to check in with us,” says Feist.
 

What do you do with your dog during the reception?

 

Photo Credit: Arius Photography

The ceremony is just one part of your wedding. If you want your dog in your wedding, you need to have a plan for the dog during the ceremony, which can last another five to six hours after the ceremony and can make for a very long day for a dog to be away from their familiar surroundings.
 

“Our dog is accustomed to large crowds and loud music, so he handled it fairly well,” said Feist. However, as the night went on, things changed. Feist says, “We noticed later in the evening, as the party got more raucous, he started to become stressed, so we had a friend take him home.”
 

For Solanki, who kept Sadie home that day, they asked their neighbors to watch her. “Sadie is so well house-trained that we left her at my parents’ house where we were staying and had a neighbor check in on her throughout the night.”
 

Do you have a plan for your dog? Do you have a neighbor willing to pet-sit for the night? Do you have a friend willing to leave the party to take your dog home? If any of these questions make you worry about creating an “escape route” for your dog, you might want to reconsider their role in your wedding.
 

Tips for having your dog in your wedding

 

Both Solanki and Feist, who had very different experiences with their dogs, have some great, practical advice for any couple thinking of having their dog in their wedding.
 

Personality

 

Photo Credit: Arius Photography

Every dog is different, so it’s never a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to “rules” for having a dog in your wedding. Personality is huge! Solanki says some questions to consider are: “Is he well socialized? Does he get nervous and skittish around crowds of people, kids, loud music?  Is he well trained in basic obedience or does he jump on everyone he sees?…Is he a constant barker? A counter surfer?  Imagine your dog trying to take a bite out of your wedding cake!” If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might want to be safe than sorry and leave your dog home, and have them in pictures only.
 

Pet-sitters

 

Feist says pet-sitters are a must! Remember, you don’t want to be in charge of your dog that night; you want to have fun. She says, “Ask multiple people if they are willing to take turns as leash-holders, that way one person doesn’t get stuck with the job all night!” She also says to make sure the leash-holders are also familiar with the dog and willing to leave the premises if necessary to take the dog somewhere more comfortable. “We asked people who were familiar with our dog and how he signals his needs. Also, make sure that there is someone available to take your pet to a safe and quiet space if necessary,” says Feist.
 

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

 

Your guests

 

“While you may love dogs, your guests may not,” says Solanki. That’s a very valid point. Just like with music…just because you love heavy metal, that doesn’t mean your guests will and so you need to play music everyone will like. Just because you love dogs, and many people do, not everyone does. What if you have a young child at your wedding petrified of big dogs, or someone who sneezes at just the thought of a dog. These are things you may not think of, but need to take into consideration.
 

The “formality” of your wedding

 

Solanki also says to take a look at the “formality” of your wedding. “A formal indoor evening event won’t be appropriate for a dog, no matter how quiet and well behaved he may be,” she said. “But an outdoor, casual afternoon celebration might!   Ultimately, the venue, type of wedding, and personality of your dog will determine if he should be part of your day.”
 

So, we want to know if you are having your dog in your wedding. What made you decide to have him/her be part of your day or what made you decide to keep him/her home? What role is your dog going to play in your wedding?
 

Featured Photo Credit: Red Pepper Shots

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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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12 Wedding Traditions You Can Skip…And 5 You Should Keep (part 2)

This is the second part of a 2-part series

 

If you’ve been to many weddings, you’ll know there’s a certain ebb and flow to them and certain main elements you can rely on, mainly being that weddings have some type of ceremony with some type of celebration after. What those end up looking like is totally up to you and your personal style and taste.

I mentioned I am a traditionalist, to an extent. I love the formality of weddings, but I also love it when couples change up tradition to match their personal preference, taste and personality. What’s great about weddings being full of traditions, is that, by definition, means that they aren’t rules. You can basically do whatever you want. While there are some traditions that can totally be skipped or changed up, there are 5 that, in my opinion need to stay:

RELATED: 12 WEDDING TRADITIONS YOU CAN SKIP…AND 5 YOU SHOULD KEEP

Wedding Tradition: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue

 

Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

What’s great about this tradition is that it’s vague enough that a bride can make it as obvious or as subtle as she wants. That’s why it’s a tradition I think should always be kept…more so than keeping a white dress. Why? Because fashion changes, times change, styles change. A dress is something that will be memorialized in photos and is one of the outwardly obvious indications of the bride’s personality so she should choose what she likes and what makes her comfortable and radiant.

This is such a time-honored tradition that I think any bride, no matter how traditional or off-beat will agree, is something she won’t be walking down the aisle without doing. The something new is almost always a wedding dress, so that can be ticked off a bride’s list right away. The something blue can be something subtle like blue shoes or blue stickers on the bottom of her shoes spelling out “I do” to something more obvious…maybe a blue dress or blue flowers or even blue hair!

Something borrowed can be absolutely anything and sometimes, can be combined with something old. For me, my old and borrowed item was a brooch my grandmother always wore which I had attached to my bouquet.

Wedding Tradition: Keeping the ceremony a ceremony

 

Back in the day, almost all wedding ceremonies took place in a house of worship. Now, more and more ceremonies are taking place outside or in non-secular locations. Either way, they are beautiful in their own right. However, every once in a while you hear about the couple that gets married under water, gets married while sky diving, or gets married doing some sort of non-traditional activity. While I do agree it’s your wedding and you can do what you want with it, it’s VERY, VERY important to not make light of the situation. A wedding is a sacred, special, meaningful day, and the ceremony itself is so life-changing that it needs the proper attention, formality, and dignity it (and your relationship) deserves. There are other times during the day you can express your love of diving, running or any other activity you enjoy, but the ceremony needs to be a ceremony…dignified and formal (however you define it).

Wedding Tradition: Mailing out paper invitations

 

Photo Credit: WCHV

I know couples are strapped for cash and sometimes, invitations can get expensive, so especially now, in this tech-based society, many couples are opting for paperless invitations. While I understand the financial aspect of it, and understand most people just throw them out afterward, it kind of goes back to my last point about keeping your ceremony formal and dignified. Now, does that mean you need to spend $10 a piece on invites? Heck no! You can print them yourself. What that does mean is seeing your wedding in the bigger picture. Are all your guests going to be able to navigate an e-vite? Are you going to want pictures of your invite? Are you going to want to keep some for framing?

Now, there are things you can do so save paper and money. Maybe send electronic Save the Dates, or have guests RSVP electronically to save money on postage, but sending a paper RSVP to grandma instead. You could even try sending post card invites and then include all pertinent information on your wedding website. Whatever you decide, sending an invitation sends a message to your guests that it is a special event.

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

Wedding Tradition: Hiring professional vendors

 

In this day in age, it’s very easy to say “I’m going to have a friend take our photos” or “I’m just going to play my iTunes playlist” or “I’m going to cook all my food,” and while that’s all well and good, you have to think about the end result, and what that all really means.

While it’s not really tradition, it is something you shouldn’t skimp out on. Is your Itunes play list going to give you the type of entertainment you want? Who’s going to announce you, or announce the speeches or announce the cake cutting or last dance? Are your friends’ photos going to capture every moment you want? Do you want your friend to work or have a good time? How long will it take to the photos back? Will they be edited? How are you going to get an album? Same with the food…are you going to cook or get married? You can’t really do both without having to work on your wedding day. Who’s going to set up?

So, that’s why the professionals are there, to help you enjoy your day and make it everything you dreamed of.

Wedding Tradition: Honoring those who have passed

 

At most weddings, there is either something said about those who couldn’t be there physically with you, something written about them, a candle symbolizing your loved ones or even a table with photos of your loved ones. However you want to recognize your loved ones is up to you, but it’s a tradition that needs to be kept. Remember, your wedding is about two families coming together, sharing love, and honoring your loved ones reminds everyone of their love for you and how their loved shaped you into who you are today.

What wedding traditions would you keep? Would you trade one of these for another tradition? What traditions are you keeping in your wedding? We’d love to know.

Featured Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

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Featured Couple: Melissa & Kaveh

Their Love Story…

 

Photo Credit: Emma Cleary Photo & Video

Their story started out as a series of missed moments. Melissa says, “Kaveh and I spent years just missing each other, as a mutual friend kept trying to set us up, but the timing never quite worked for both of us. Then about 4 years ago we were invited to the same holiday party where we met for the first time and have been together ever since.”

 

The Proposal…

 

Their proposal didn’t go quite as planned but worked out perfectly in the end. “Kaveh had been working on planning a proposal for just before my 30th birthday,” Melissa says, “however I got sick and threw a bit of a wrench in his plans. I insisted on staying home to rest up and he switched gears and prepared to do it another time. We ordered sushi and had a picnic in our living room, surrounded by tissues and tea. It was there that he ended up proposing, saying it was those moments that made him want to spend our lives together so what better way to ask.”

 

Wedding Theme…

 

“We didn’t really have a theme,” Melissa says, “but I love rustic elements and pastels.”

Photo Credit: Emma Cleary Photo & Video


 

Why the Hudson Valley?…

 

Melissa says, “I have family that lives in the Hudson Valley and growing up it was always one of my favorite places to visit. With so many happy memories there it was a natural fit for our wedding.”

 

Most Memorable Moment…

 

Melissa says the most memorable moment for her was during their first dance. “It was when my nerves melted away,” she says, “and it was just me and Kaveh surround by our cheering friends and family.”

 

Hudson Valley Professionals…

 

Venue – The Garrison (Garrison)

Photography/VideographyEmma Cleary Photo and Video (New York City)

FloristFloral Fantasies By Sara (Rhinebeck)

HairAnnaliese & Co. (Fishkill)
Makeup
Bridal by Alexandria (Fishkill)

 

Photo Credit to all: Emma Cleary Photo and Video (Click images for larger view)

 

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Featured Couple: Sandy & Steven

Their Love Story…

 

Sandy and Steven were college sweethearts. “We met in college during the first few weeks of our first year through mutual friends,” says Sandy. “We became really close over the years as we shared so many of the same interests. We didn’t hang out too often but when we did, we made a big deal about it. Ultimately, we graduated sitting side by side with the same majors (Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Spanish Liberal Arts). The rest is history.”

 

The Proposal…

 

bride in wedding dress

Photo Credit: Myles Studio Photography

Christmas was the setting for their proposal, which is a very special time for both Sandy and Steven as they usually set aside one day to buy decorations and put the Christmas tree up, usually with a movie playing in the background. Sandy also loves to make Christmas cards for the family, so Steven used taking their Christmas card photo as the perfect decoy.

“I got home (from work) and he had the holiday decorations out and ready,” says Sandy. “We put on a movie and got straight to it. We wanted to take our holiday picture after we were done and Steven suggested we prop the cell phone up and record it and then screen shot the phone screen when we like a certain pose… I thought he was a genius for it.”

After the decorating was done, it was time for their photos. Sandy quickly put on some jewelry and Steven said he was going to run to the bedroom to “choose a watch to wear” for the photo. On his way to the bedroom, he hit record, for what Sandy thought was to screen shot a photo for their cards, but was really to capture the proposal. “He came out and it all happened in slow motion, I could tell he was so very nervous and he got on one knee and asked me the big question… I said yes immediately,” said Sandy.

After Sandy said yes, Steven had one more surprise. Letters to Sandy he wrote every day since he purchased the ring a few weeks before over Thanksgiving weekend. “We quickly started calling family who was in-the-know and our close friends who were over the moon excited.

The next day, we went out to lunch to celebrate, as we walked into La Stazione (one of our favorite New Paltz restaurants) our families were waiting for us, filled with so much joy!”

 

Wedding Theme…

 

“We wanted a rustic theme,” said Sandy. “We are very big on nature, light, woods, flowers and burlap. We both love trees and the metaphor trees provide. My dad always has analogies that have to do with trees and nature. We also included lots of lanterns. Our color scheme was a blush rosy pink, mint and hints of gold.”

 

Why the Hudson Valley?…

 

groom

Photo Credit: Myles Studio Photography

“I was raised in The Bronx and Steven in Long Island. We both came to SUNY New Paltz for school in 2007,” Sandy says. “We fell in love with the picturesque views and tranquility of our college town and lived there through college. We tried to live back home with our families after graduation, but that was very brief. We both started looking for jobs up here (Hudson Valley) and have never left. We have no family up here but there was just no way we would get married anywhere else. The Hudson Valley is our home and it was such an honor to share the natural riches of our home with family and friends for our special weekend. For a lot of our college friends, it must’ve felt like a homecoming of sorts.”

 

Most Memorable Moment…

 

For Sandy, there were many moments that really stood out. “Walking down the aisle was very special, Steven was very giddy and I, whom everyone expected to be a mess of tears, was all smiles and excitement.” Sandy also says, “Our first dance was so special because Steven learned the words to our song and whispered them in my ear whilst we danced.”

In addition, Sandy says, “We both got blessing from our parents before getting married in Saint Joseph’s in New Paltz. Steven got a special blessing from his grandmother who was able to make the trip from Colombia.”

Family really made the day special for them. “We had family come from so many places (Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, and Spain); it was so special to see these loved ones after quite some time.”

 

Hudson Valley Professionals…

 

Venues: Saint Joseph’s Church (New Paltz) & Christos Catering (Poughkeepsie)

Photography: Myles Studio Photography (Highland)

Hair & Makeup: Bridal by Alexandria (Poughkeepsie)

Cake: Pastry Garden (Poughkeepsie)

Flowers: Osborne’s Flower Shoppe (Poughkeepsie)

Transportation: A Hudson Valley Limousine, Inc. (Pine Bush)

Photo Credit to All: Myles Studio Photography

 

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wedding makeup

Experts share best advice for flawless wedding day skin

On your wedding day, you will be a blushing bride. There’s something about the day that just makes you glow and beam. But there is a way to make that glow even better, and that is by skin treatments. No, I’m not talking expensive invasive treatments; I’m talking about treatments that can be done at a salon.

 

wedding makeup

Photo Credit: Myles Studio Photography

You know the importance of having professional makeup done for your wedding, and you know why wedding makeup is slightly different than what you wear every day. Treating and prepping your skin prior to your wedding, though, not only helps your radiant glow, but, like makeup, it also makes the photos look better and most importantly, it helps your makeup last longer and look better.

 

RELATED: This is The One Mistake That Can Ruin Your Wedding Photos 

 

However, before you start any sort of skin treatment, there are things you need to know. First, what is mentioned here is just for informational purposes. If you have any reservation about skin treatments or have a skin condition, I encourage you to seek medical advice before trying any of the treatments listed below. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

 

That being said, we asked local experts for their advice, and here are some things they’d like you to know to get your skin beautified for your wedding day.

 

Make sure you nourish your skin year-round

 

A wedding is a great excuse to get motivated to get in shape, lose some extra pounds you’ve always been wanting to get rid of, or start a skin routine. However, taking care of your skin is something you should be doing every day, regardless of whether or not you have a wedding to plan.

 

Ada Seymore, Owner of Salon Lucere in Chester, says the best way to do this is “hydration, hydration, hydration.” We all know how important drinking water is on a daily basis, but it has a dramatic effect on your skin as well. Seymore says to “make sure your skin is clean, that you are eating well, and that you are drinking plenty of fluids (preferably water), and that you are generally just taking care of yourself.”

 

I’d also add, using a daily SPF lotion is good not just for your wedding day, but is a good health practice all together as it prevents sun damage or worse, melanoma.

 

Why should you take extra care of your skin before your wedding?

 

wedding makeup

Photo Credit: Christine Ashburn Wedding Photography

Skin treatments not only hydrate your skin and clean your pores, but they also reduce the appearance of fine lines and dark spots, giving you an all-around even tone.

 

Stephanie Jones, owner of The Blushery in Beacon, says, “You should always prep your skin, because, first of all, if your skin is dry or dehydrated, the makeup won’t look very nice. It’ll either look a little flaky, it could settle into some lines, and it may not wear as well or as long throughout the day.”

 

How far in advance should you start facial treatments?

 

All our experts agree: NEVER start a skin treatment you haven’t tried before anytime close to your wedding day. You need to give yourself time … sometimes a lot of time.

 

Seymore recommends “not anywhere before the two-week mark.” Rebecca Lee, owner of Bella Luci Salon in Poughkeepsie, says, “You don’t want to do too much with your skin for the first time close to your wedding…to do a series of facials three months before your wedding day, your skin will be prepped and smooth and healthy before the wedding.”

 

“I always say when you get engaged…it’s never too soon,” says Jones. “If you want to start coming in and treating your skin at that point, you’ll have beautiful skin for your wedding day. You don’t want to come in a week before your wedding and get a facial because you don’t know how your skin is going to react. So start early on – that could be a year, that could be six months – it doesn’t have to be so, so far in advance; but give it a few months, at least, and start doing monthly facials.”

 

What kind of treatment is best for you?

 

The list is endless and it really depends on your goal, your skin type, what the condition of your skin is now and the time you have to devote to treatments. You should speak with your aesthetician to see what is best for you. No matter what you do, know that treated skin allows skin care products to penetrate deeper so they work better because they don’t have a layer of dead skin to go through.

 

wedding makeup

Photo Credit: Christine Ashburn Wedding Photography

“You should always get rid of some of your dead skin,” says Jones, “and with that, a microderm abrasion is very good to do. If a bride has brown spots, oily skin or acne, we can try to control that for them. So if they come in a few months in advance, five to six months, they can do five to six facials.”

 

So what is a microderm abrasion? Jones says a “microderm abrasion is a mechanical exfoliation, so it uses a machine; it’s pretty much like a vacuum. It has a little tip that feels like sandpaper, and you move it back and forth across the skin, like an eraser. The wand has a long tube attached to the machine, and that sucks up all the dry skin and you’ll feel immediate results.”

 

Over time, microderm abrasions also help with fine lines. However, Jones says getting them done is not a one-and-done treatment. You need to get it done regularly to really reduce the appearance of fine lines or sun spots.

 

Other skin treatments include waxing and spray tans, which are very popular with brides (wedding season or not). “A spray tan will give you a natural glow,” says Lee, who suggests coming in 48 hours before your wedding so you can properly give the spray time to settle and have time to wash the residual spray off your skin so it doesn’t rub off on clothing.  She also suggests waxing first, otherwise, the spray will come off with the wax.

 

Waxing is a great temporary fix to remove hair; I’m sure many, if not all of you, have had it done before. However, if you want a more permanent solution to hair removal, you can do laser hair removal. “If you start six to eight months ahead of your wedding date. You could do laser hair removal and be hair-free by your honeymoon or have most of the hair significantly reduced,” says Jones.

 

So we’d like to know if you are doing any skin treatments, which ones, and how do you like it so far? What advice do you have for brides who want to start a skin treatment?
 

Featured Photo Credit: Christine Ashburn Photography

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Featured Engagement: Gabby & Mike

Their Love Story…

 

Hudson Valley Engagement

Photo Credit: Sweet Alice Photography

Gabby: “We met at Hollow Brook Golf Club, where both of us worked. Mike is the assistant golf pro, and I am the Food and Beverage Manager. Our love story started off as co-workers that grew into friends and then into a relationship. We were friends for 5 years before the time became right for us to turn our friendship into a relationship. Mike was always a person that in my eyes had the gift to light up a room full of people with his humor. He was the friend that started off by just making me smile and slowly turn into the person I wanted to share everything with. After, a long work week we would have pizza on Sundays together. These pizza meals together became the best part of my week”

 

Mike: “My love story with Gabby starts with coffee. Might sound weird until I explain. I never drank coffee, like ever. But at the place we work, she is often found in an area where the coffee is. So naturally I started drinking coffee. But since I didn’t like coffee it was more like 3/4 milk and 1/4 coffee. But it was the only way for me to keep seeing her without seeming too eager to spend time together. So I now am an avid coffee drinker. With less milk and more coffee…and still a lot of Gabby.”

 

The Proposal…

Photo Credit: Gabby and Mike

 

Gabby: “It was on July 17, 2016, on my birthday. I was running a wedding at work, and Mike was helping me out by bartending for the event. As the wedding was about to finish, Mike came up to me and said he was going to leave early because his knee was bothering him. I thought nothing of it and said, ‘OK, see you at home.’ Well, when I got home I open our apartment door to orange rose petals and candles leading to him where he was on one knee and popped the question. For me the whole thing is a little of a blur…..I was so excited and surprised I started to cry.”

 

Mike: “From the moment I got the ring I knew exactly when it was that I was going to propose. What better day than the date of our 1-year anniversary and her birthday? Since I had recent issues with my knee, I absolutely knew I could use that to send her thoughts into another direction. So my plan was solid. I told only the closest friends at work my plan so they could keep her distracted and on track. Gabby asked me to help her out and cover someone for bartending at a wedding she was running. Toward the end of the wedding, I told her my knee was acting up and wanted to get home and ice it.

 

“I raced home and set up my GoPro, put down some rose petals and lit some small candles leading a trail for her to find me in the living room. I played our favorite song when she walked in. I was so nervous I almost couldn’t get the words out. But I knew that this was going to be the most special day of my life, so I reached into my heart and asked the woman of my dreams to spend the rest of her life with me.”

 

What They Are Most Excited About…

 

Hudson Valley Engagement

Photo Credit: Sweet Alice Photography

Gabby: “I am excited to spend our forever together. For me, getting married is our beginning. I can’t wait to plan all the adventures our future as for us.”

 

Mike: ” I think the thing I’m most looking forward to is everything. When you finally meet the person who makes you smile when you’re sad, the person who picks you up when you fall, when you find that one person who makes you feel complete, you get excited about everything. Nobody knows what the future holds, and that’s a good thing. But having a person like Gabby by my side, nothing can ever be that heavy.”

 

Advice For Engaged Couples…

 

Gabby: “The process can get stressful with all the details and family and friends’ opinions. But remember the big picture is the two of you celebrating your love.”

 

Mike: “The months, weeks, days leading up to your wedding can be some of the most stressful times a couple is going to go through. It seems like everyone comes out of the woods with an opinion. While all these opinions come from a good place with the heart in mind. You must remember to do what makes both of you happy. This is your day. Do everything the way you want to do it. They are not getting married— YOU ARE! Enjoy the process and smile the entire time. Come the morning of your wedding day, leave nothing behind and keep an eye on your future.”

 

Check back later in the year when we circle back with Gabby and Mike on their wedding day

 

Photo credit to all: Sweet Alice Photography

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wedding makeup

This is the one mistake that can ruin your wedding photos

Did you know having professional makeup done for your wedding has a direct effect on wedding photography? If you were thinking of doing your own makeup for your wedding, I strongly encourage you to reconsider.

 

You might be thinking makeup could be an area where you can save money by doing it yourself. While saving money is great, try to find other areas to make the cut. It’s crucial you don’t forgo the importance of professionally applied makeup.

 

Professional makeup vs. DIY makeup

 

wedding makeup

Photo Credit: Myles Studio Photography

First, let’s start with the basics. We asked some of the Hudson Valley’s top hair and makeup professionals to break down the benefits of professionally applied makeup versus doing your own.

 

Ada Seymour, Owner and Salon Coordinator of Salon Lucere in Chester says professionally applied wedding makeup helps every aspect of your wedding day: “It helps your gown look better. It makes your photos come out better. It makes your day better because you’re not constantly touching up. Touch-ups are not necessary if it’s done professionally.”

 

wedding makeup

Photo Credit: Salon Lucere

To be specific, professionals go by that name because they are experts in that field. Just as with all the other professionals you hire for your wedding day, makeup artists are no different.

 

Rebecca Lee, Owner of Bella Luci Salon in Poughkeepsie, explains, “With doing makeup yourself, you tend to not have that eye for where the colors lay and how they mix well with your face to enhance your look.” She also says the untrained person may not necessarily know how to enhance her features or skin tone the way a professionally trained makeup artist will. “Even the small amount of makeup, with a trained eye of a makeup artist, it can create big changes that you don’t necessarily know how to do yourself,” Lee says.

 

Why professional makeup is best for wedding photos

 

wedding makeup

This is me giving a thumbs up on a great job at Bella Luci Salon! My MOH took this photo the morning of my wedding

Wedding makeup goes far being just making you look good; it serves a bigger purpose. Professional makeup balances you out. “When you’re doing wedding makeup,” Lee says, “you really need to take into account pictures, photography with lighting and flash, and things that reflect off your skin differently.”

 

You want your skin looking smooth and your complexion enhanced so you don’t look washed out. “Some things that we do with the contouring of the face are so minimal…but in a picture completely enhances your face,” says Lee.

 

I mentioned in my post earlier this week that, at least when it comes to DIY crafting, doing it yourself is not always cheaper. The same applies to wedding makeup. It might be cheaper that day, but in the long run will cost you in the form of regret. “Pictures last forever,” says Cheryl Conklin, Platinum Stylist and Bridal Coordinator also of Salon Lucere. “Of course you remember the day; but really, when you look back on that day, you look at the photos…and you want to look like what you think is perfect…that wouldn’t be the place where you should cut back.”

 

The photographers’ opinions

 

wedding makeup

Photo Credit: Myles Studio Photography

Still not convinced hiring a professional is a good idea? We asked Hudson Valley photographers to share their thoughts on professional wedding makeup, and you may be surprised at what they have to say.

 

Myles Pinkney, Owner of Myles Studio Photography in Highland, says having professional makeup done serves many purposes. First, it makes the day run so much smoother. “Often times, when brides do their own makeup,” he says, “difficulties arise because they can’t find the right color, or lose track of their mascara, because they have so many other things to worry about.”

 

Secondly, he says not all makeup is created equal and may look different when photographed. “A true professional,” he says, “will have the appropriate makeup to look good in photos, and often will have makeup that will last longer. They also know what makeup looks best with certain skin tones.”

 

wedding makeup

Photo Credit: Christine Ashburn Wedding Photography

Christine Ashburn, of Christine Ashburn Wedding Photography in Cold Spring, says looking great in person and looking great on camera are equally important. “A professional makeup artist knows what looks good on camera, the importance of matching the right foundation to your skin tone and what colors and contouring to use that will make your features pop,” she said.

 

Beyond outward looks, there’s so much work that goes on behind the scenes, in editing, if makeup is not done properly and professionally. Ashburn says, “There is nothing worse than having to color correct every single photo of a bride because her foundation color was off and she looks orange in pictures. Worse is having to Photoshop a bride’s photos whose foundation is not blended well and reflects artificial light poorly resulting in a ghosting, washed out look, or a spotty look in the photos.”

 
Are you having your makeup professionally done? What made you decide to get it done professionally? We’d love to know.

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Social Media and Your Wedding: What You Need to Know

It’s hard to remember a time before social media was such a big part of daily life. It’s almost second nature now to go directly to your favorite social media outlet and share news, especially exciting news, like your wedding.

 

When you got engaged, the first thing that probably came to mind was to immediately change your status. Got a gorgeous ring? Then you need to show it off? Got your invites? Went for a tasting? Booked a venue? Got your dress? Got your tuxedo? Then people need to know, right? Wrong!

 

Getting engaged is an exciting and life-changing moment – there’s no doubt about that – and being able to share your wedding planning journey and eventual wedding day with others is a normal and natural response. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not to say that social media is bad; but when it comes to your wedding day, there are some things to consider when it comes to social media, regardless how “social” you are in your normal everyday doings.

 

When it comes to your engagement…

 

Photo Credit: Majestic Studios

It’s completely normal to want to share your good news with everyone, but think about the people connected to you on social media. How many of them are really good friends and how many are just really good acquaintances? How many do you see or speak to on a regular basis? Does everyone need to know that instant? Do you REALLY want all those people to know, or do you just like the feeling you get when you get acknowledgments and likes? I don’t mean to sound harsh here, but think about what your urgency is to want to post on social media right away.

 

If you do want to post the good news, make sure you set the privacy setting so only those you really want to know can see. If you only want certain people to know, you might just want to pick up the phone and call them. I, for one, would much rather find out through a phone call that my friend got engaged than to see it online first, then get a call. There’s something very distant and informal about sending such great news via the Internet instead of face-to-face (or via phone call or Skype or Facetime).

 

When it comes to wedding planning…

 

Photo Credit: Majestic Studios

Posting every detail about your wedding planning, while you mean it to be innocent, can have adverse effects. Some people may automatically assume since you are sharing all your planning details with them on Facebook they will be invited to your wedding. Then, what happens if they aren’t? Just try to put yourself in their shoes. While most may not care, some may. Think about the folks that you are ‘friends’ with and how many of them will actually be invited. Again, not to sound harsh here, but unless your friends or family are in the wedding or helping you plan it, most people don’t really care about every little detail. It may come across as annoying or gloating to folks, even though you don’t mean it to be.

 

When it comes to your wedding…

 

Posting pictures of your wedding day kind of goes along the same lines as proclaiming your engagement. For your online “friends” who thought they might be invited, but who weren’t – because, let’s face it, every wedding guest list has to be cut at some point – you may be causing a lot of hurt and resentment.

 

Also, if you are like me and value privacy, sharing wedding day photos to your friends online means you are really sharing them with the world. If someone you know shares one of your photos, do you know who they are sharing it with? Anyone can save that photo and do whatever they want with it. Do you really want complete strangers seeing photos of your private, personal day? If that may be a concern for you, don’t post. It’s best just to email people some photos, or invite them to view your album online from the photographer.

 

Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

Also, this is MAJOR, beware of copyrights. If you plan on sharing photos on social media, make sure you own the copyrights or have written permission from the photographer to do so. Most Photographers will put a watermark on photos and will say that if you want to use photos on social media to please keep the watermark on for that reason. If they say you can use the photos and they don’t have a watermark, make sure you give kudos to the photographer anyway. When you think about it, you are giving them free publicity, so pay it forward and make sure you tag them in the photo or post.

 

Lastly, you know your guests are going to take photos. However, if you do not want photos of your day shared online, you need to make it specifically clear to them either in the invitation or at the wedding (such as in your program or signage at the event). Otherwise, it will happen. If you don’t mind that guests share your photos, you can make it known to your guests that it’s ok by creating a hashtag and posting that hashtag in the same way.

 

What are your thoughts? Are you, or have you, shared photos or details of your wedding on social media? What was the feedback you received?

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