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I must admit, I enjoy designing the wedding album almost as much as I do shooting the actual wedding. I get to put my images into a book and lay them out in such a way to tell a story. I always know when I’m shooting what images are going to look great in the album. Some of my clients even give me full control on the selection of the images that go into the album, which is hard because I always like more than I am supposed to choose to fit in the album. Seeing the images in the album however, is much than looking at the images individually. When the images are in the album, they are not constrained by the image edges, it is a composite piece of the page, much like a magazine. This is why they call it magazine-style layout.
I like to share some of my designs from time to time, because I do not use templates when I design each album, so every album I design is unique. In the end, I am always proud of the design work, but I am more proud of the images I am able to put into the album. That is what makes the album priceless.
Kimberly came to me over a year ago accompanied by her Mother and decided to book her future wedding with me. She was up from Texas where she lived at the time with her fiancé Mark, whom I had not met until a week before the wedding. They both moved to Maryland a month before their wedding date, as if the anticipation of the wedding was not stressful enough. It was because of that move closer to Long Island which is why I was able to meet Mark before the wedding date. This is important to me and the couple to know who they will be working with on this special day. With all that was going on with the two of them, I could not have met a more down to earth couple.
I was able to get some really nice preparation shots at Kimberly’s mother’s house where the bridal party was getting ready. Wedding party formals at Captree and Ceremony/Reception at Timber Point Country Club. It was hot, but at least it didn’t rain. Here are just a few of the highlights from this awesome day.
Congratulations Kimberly and Mark. It was an honor and a pleasure to document your special day.
Engagement shoots have to be the most fun part about shooting a wedding. They are usually scheduled during good weather. We had a very clear day for our shoot on Friday. The humidity was down and that was key because we did our share of walking.
Joanna & Xavier are full of life and energy. They enjoy spending time together and working out together. So we headed to Norm Levy Park in Merrick for a little exercise.
Aaaaaaaaah sun glare………love it!
We had a great day and I hope the weather for the wedding is as awesome as the engagement shoot. Congratulations Joanna & Xavier!
The wedding album is the icing on the cake. It’s the last time I touch the images from that shoot and move on to other shoots and projects. It’s the way it is. Which is why I prefer to design all albums myself instead of outsourcing to someone no matter how busy I am. They would probably do a good job, but do not know the images like I do. They don’t know why or how I took a particular image.
I’ve been the busiest I have ever been and I still manage to design all the albums for all my clients. This is another album I recently finished for a great couple.
I covered my first Mitzvah reception about 5 years ago. Before then, I had never even been to a Mitzvah and didn’t really know much about it. I was just starting out as a photographer and needed to get some event experience to test my skills. So I contacted the brother of a friend who owns a DJ company and he agreed to let me work to get some experience for almost no pay. I really just wanted the experience, because I wasn’t a photographer…….yet. I began working for him as a zap shooter. Those are the people that work for the DJ company and take pictures to put them up on the projection screen or plasma while the reception is in progress. They are not usually photographers, but someone using the DJ’s camera equipment to take still pictures.
Well, I learned more that day than any other time in my career. Event photography is not just walking around with a camera on auto and composing shots. I learned how to push my camera to its limits given the low light situation of a quite large, yet almost pitch dark catering room. A lot of my pictures in the beginning were blurry as a result, but they did get better. If it were me, I would not have hired me to shoot another day unless I was working for free and there were a more experienced shooter present. Well, the DJ dude didn’t actually look at the pictures I took and gave me several more jobs. I have to say, although he did not pay attention to the quality of the product he was delivering to his clients, it gave me an opportunity to grow with this craft and I knew I needed to do this exponentially with each assignment. I was reading everything I could get my hands on that spoke about photography, but nothing ever proves your understanding of it until your doing it yourself.
I have had the pleasure of covering quite a few Mitzvah ceremony’s and receptions in my career. I cover as many mitzvah events as I do weddings each year, and from my approach, they are almost no different. In fact, covering the mitzvah assignments is how I gained the experience and confidence to start shooting weddings. I keep a very similar mind set when covering these events. There are plenty of family present, a beautiful and structured ceremony and reception, lots of portraits and plenty of tender moments to find and capture.
My clients have been very good to me as my business has grown by word of mouth. I am thankful for the opportunity that my friends brother has given me to get started and for my wonderful clients that I have grown to know over the years. Here are some pictures from a recent mitzvah. I had a blast covering it and I look forward to many more this year.
If so, congratulations to you both. Your wedding day is a day you should both look forward to. It’s hard enough trying to remember everything that has happened on this day. Heaven forbid something was to go wrong, you will be sure not to forget it. For most of us, it is the most important day we have been part of at that point in our lives. Tons of planning and anticipation leading up to one special day. In our minds we act out what the day might bring and it is always perfect, as it should be. Enjoy the anticipation and take time with your planning.
I have had the experience to shoot beside a wealth of different people in the wedding entertainment and service business and am very careful as to who I would actually label a professional in their field. Every catering hall has unique offerings and everyone does things their own way. Most of these people are business people and the smile on their face when you meet them simply means nothing more than “Can I have your money please?”. I speak from experience which I will not go into detail about here, but I will offer a few suggestions that I strongly feel are some of the most important questions people never ask?
- Ask your limo company exactly how much time you have the car(s) for and what time the driver needs to leave. Most companies book events back to back, so if you are running just a little bit late, you do not even have the luxury of offering the driver extra money for sticking around an additional hour. I’ve seen drivers get cursed out for being to pushy when trying to manage a tight schedule. You also need to consider your schedule. What time you should be ready, is the limo driver waiting for you to finish the ceremony, extra time for pictures after the ceremony, and is the driver taking you to a remote location to take pictures prior to the reception. Putting together a timeline and bringing it with you at the time of booking is not a bad idea.
- Make sure you leave time between the ceremony and reception for pictures, or just so you are not rushing around on a day you are supposed to be enjoying. Some couples elect to take either the formal or Bride and Groom pictures or both before the ceremony. This is usually a good plan and is a result of the fast-paced New York style weddings that we can never get used to, as long as you don’t mind seeing each other before the ceremony, which for some couples is not an option. Have you ever been to a wedding outside New York……totally different.
- Ask to manager at the catering venue how many events at most could be occurring at the time of your wedding. This is an extremely important question. If there are several parties going on at the time of your wedding, this may limit your use of the beautiful lobby or outdoor landscapes that they offer and assisted in your decision for selecting the venue. If there is another wedding occurring as the same time as your and the other wedding booked the bigger, more expensive room, they will have no problems dismissing your requests to take pictures at a location that is being used by another party.
Just some things to think about. If you ask these questions before you actually book, it will only assure you are getting what you paid for.