7 Tips to Shine in Front of the Lens (If You Don’t Like Being Photographed)

February 12, 2020  •  1 Comment

Many people would rather eat a lemon than get their picture taken.  I should know.  I'm one of them.  As a professional photographer, I still feel awkward in front of the camera.  My face freezes.  What do I do with my mouth?  Where do I look?  And what the heck am I supposed to do with my hands?  

However, after taking portraits of thousands of people, many of them camera-shy, I can share these 7 tips for feeling more comfortable in front of a camera:

 

1.    Preparation

Have a good morning before a shoot.  Make sure you slept well, have a good breakfast, go to the gym--whatever helps you show up with energy and in good spirits.

 

2.    Clothing

Wear something that you feel good, strong, and comfortable in.  Most important, wear something that feels like YOU. Your favorite sweater?  Those lucky earrings? That red shirt that fits just so? Your comfort will come across.

 

3.    Trust Your Photographer

Good portrait photographers know how to elicit the right expressions from you.  

I often ask clients to lipsynch to their favorite song or dance during a session.  When we’re in movement, our faces are more relaxed, and the photos feel more lively.

A good photographer knows how to direct you, your face, where you look, so that you’re putting your best face forward.  And remember, the photographer is on your side!

 

4.    Body Pose

Leonardo da Vinci never painted anyone head-on.  That’s because standing stiffly like you’re taking a passport photo makes for a lifeless image.

Instead of posing with your chest directly facing the camera, position yourself at a slight angle to the lens.  Instead of standing with your weight evenly on both feet, try favoring one leg. (This is what the ancient Greek sculptors called contrapposto.)  

This creates fluid lines through the body, and a more dynamic composition overall.

 

5.    Screw Up Your Face, Then Release It!

If you screw up your face really tight (like you just stepped on a nail) and release the muscles, your face will soften and relax.  Do this a few times before the camera starts shooting.  The expressions will come much more naturally.

 

6.    Really Smile

If you’re smiling, really smile.  Not the clenched smile you give someone squeezing next to you in the elevator.  

A real smile engages the muscles of the eyes, not just the mouth.  Those seeing your photo can tell the difference between a genuine smile and a social, polite smile.  

Smile like you were just handed a balloon.  Smile like you just smelled warm apple pie.  Smile like you're seeing an old flame you haven't seen since that summer in Italy.

 

7.      Look Into the Camera, Not At It

When you look into the lens, imagine that you’re looking, not at a piece of equipment, but at a person.  Someone you’re trying to communicate with. What would you like to say to them, without words?  

Instead of worrying about your eyes or mouth or your nose as separate elements, feel inside first what you would like to communicate.  Warmth? Confidence? Naughtiness?  

Your eyes and face will carry that feeling without you having to manage each specific feature.

 

*****

 

Let's look at Ilya as an example.  

Here, he's just getting used to the camera.  His expression seems hesitant, his mouth is tight, and though he's facing the camera straight on, he's leaning back a bit protectively.
Let's look at Ilya for an example. Here, he's just getting used to the camera. His expression seems hesitant, his mouth is tight, and he's facing the camera straight on, but is leaning up a bit protectively.

Now he's smiling, but it's a social smile.  The eyes are just starting to engage.  

 
There!  A real smile!  Look at those eyes.  The face is opened up.  It's a genuine, radiant moment!
There! That's a real smile! Look at those eyes. The face is opened up. It's a genuine, radiant moment!

And now, look at the difference from the first photo.  He's standing at a slight angle, he's really engaging the viewer.  The eyes connect.  The posture, head angle, and expression all seamless form a compelling portrait.  
And now, look at the difference from the first photo. He's standing at a slight angle, he's really engaging the viewer. The eyes connect. The posture, head angle, and expression all seamless form a compelling portrait. Good work, Ilya!

Good work, Ilya!

 


5 Essential Moments to Have Captured for Your Wedding Day

December 09, 2019  •  1 Comment

As a soon to be bride I can tell you that I am beyond excited about my wedding day and at the same time overwhelmed with all the planning that has to be done. That is why having a videographer capturing the best moments of my wedding is an essential part of my planning process. I know that my day is going to be special, but I want a video, to remember all the details of my wedding. A video that captures the essence of my wedding, something that I worked and planned on for such a long time. Eli and his team are wonderful at bringing your special day to life. From rustic charm to sophisticated elegance, Eli and his team not only captures the feel of your wedding but, they also capture the most important aspect, the love that is shared between you and your partner! For the family who cannot attend or for the generations to come, a wedding video is a wonderful memoir to share with loved ones. Below are five different types of moments that are excellent to have captured to remember your special day.

  •  Location, Location, Location

Locations can be the most expensive part of your wedding but, it says a lot about who you are and describes your taste. Showing off the location is a wonderful way to capture the vibe for your wedding!

  •  Capturing the Friendship 

Getting ready with your groomsmen/bridesmaids is such a special moment between friends. Getting ready for that big day together is the ultimate sign of friendship.

  • The Beautiful Dress - Or Suit

For some women, the wedding dress is something you dream about from a young age. It's a beautiful piece of art and we believe it needs a special moment in your video to show just how spectacular your special dress is and for the fellas, that suite has never looked better!

  • The Vows 

A video highlighting the vows, one of the best memories of any wedding, the special words that are shared, promises between two people, in front of loved ones is just magical. A moment that needs to be remembered!

Noah & Jessica-6161Noah & Jessica-6161

  • Did Someone Say PARTY?

 Last but certainly not least. You have to get those dance moves captured, whether it is your first dance with your loved one as a married couple or your uncles’ wacky moves having them on video is essential!

What are the essential moments that you want to be captured? Whatever is most important to you on your wedding day, let the videographer know so they can capture the memories of your dreams! 

Here is a link to wedding videos done by Eli and his team: https://www.elizphotography.com/videos

Written by Laura Donohue 

 


Why You Need To Be The CEO Of Your Wedding

December 27, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Why You Need To Be the CEO Of Your Wedding

Isn't it just the worst when you see a bride who is so stressed out she can barely even function by the time her wedding day comes along?    She's been going crazy for the last year trying to get everything in order and hasn't slept right for the past six months.  I get it.  It's so easy to get wrapped up in all of the planning for your wedding, because you want your wedding day to go perfectly.  It's extremely important that it does, but there is a way to have everything go right without losing sleep or even worse friends throughout the process.  With the Holiday weekend coming up, I'm going to keep it short and sweet.  But, there is one key that overshadows all of the other things you need to do to make sure that everything goes smoothly while being stress free.  That key is to have a team!

In business, it's imperative that you have a team.  You don't run a business with one person doing all of the work.  You have a CEO who heads up all of the company relationships with investors and maintains the overall trajectory of the company.  You have a CFO who make sure that everything is in line financially.  Those are only a couple of the key players that make the world go around in a business, but without the division of responsibility the place would burn to the ground.

The same is true with your wedding day.  If you are in charge of coordinating the venue, the music, the food, the outfits, the seating chart, the wedding favors, the photographer, and the million other things that have to get done before the big day, it will not be a process upon which you look back with fond memories. You will look back remembering how stressed and how tired you were while you were planning.

A better strategy for this whole thing is to divide the responsibility.  That doesn't mean you don't oversee it or have input on everything.  Remember, in a business there is a CEO.  They have a say in everything that happens, but they have others complete the work.  Have someone else take care of arranging the caterers.  Have someone else coordinate the photographers and the DJ.  Have your annoying little sister come up with a seating charts so that Aunt Mary and Aunt June aren't sitting by each other fighting about who makes a better sweet potato casserole.  BE THE CEO OF YOUR WEDDING.

Have a plan.  Make sure that eveything is going according to plan.  But give everyone some responsibility so that you aren't running around like a chicken with your head cut off for an entire year before the wedding!

Now, before I go I want to thank you all for such a great 2018.  I truly appreciate all of your that read my blog, enjoy my photos, and give me your support.  You are all the reasons that I get to do what I do for a living and I'm so excited to see what 2019 has in store.

I hope that you all have a safe and wonderful long weekend and I will be back next week with my first post of the New Year!

Until next time,

Eli:)

 

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Why You Should Plan A December Wedding

December 20, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Why You Should Plan A December Wedding

Can you believe that it is already almost Christmas?  This year is flying by and we are rapidly approaching 2019!  Throughout the year, I am always intrigued by how different wedding plans seem to be during different months.  In honor of the Holiday season, I wanted to take this week to talk about why December weddings can be so beautiful and how December can be one of the easier months of the year to plan your big day.  This post is not necessarily to say that December is better than any other month to plan your wedding, but to encourage you that if you’ve been thinking about having your wedding during December, IT’S OKAY!! Keep reading below to see why I think December can be a great month to plan your wedding.

1. It’s easier to get your ideal venue- Because December is a slower wedding month, it can much easier and cheaper to book your wedding date in your first choice of venue.  People are extremely busy with families in town, holiday parties, wrapping up the year for work, and of course the actual Holidays.  Many people don’t have the time or energy to be planning a wedding, so if you are one of the few who can do it you are going to have great luck making it exactly what you want at a great price!

2. You don’t have to deal with hot weather- There’s nothing worse than Grandma standing in the corner, sweating and waving a fan while she complains about how it’s so hot outside that she can barely think.  People get agitated and impatient very easily in the heat and it can make for a more stressful day.  Nobody wants their wedding day to be stressful and this can cause bad memories of your big day.

3. There are so many options for decorations-  As we all know, Holiday decorations are so vast. You can go with any theme you want and within those themes are so many different decoration options.  It can be such a beautiful time to decorate for a wedding and because there are so many options it can make it a lot less stressful!

4. People tend to be less stressed-The Holiday season is a perfect time for events like weddings, because people are in “Holiday mode”.  They are filled with Christmas cookies, egg nog, and winter cheerJ  Weddings can definitely be a stressful time, so having everyone be involved during a time when they are less on edge is always a great option!

As I said above, I’m not saying that December is the best month to have a wedding or trying to convince anyone to move their wedding date.  Everyone has their own opinions when it comes to the best time to have their weddings, but if someone told you not to do it during December, I want you to know that you still can have a very beautiful wedding day during the month of December.  On top of the price and convenience benefits, people are going to be in a much more cheery mood during your wedding.  It is a great time to celebrate and create lifelong memories with the people you love most.  Not only that, but riding off into the sunset as newlyweds isn’t a bad way to ring into the new year!  I’ll be back with you all next Thursday, but for those of you who celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a merry Christmas and will see you next week!

Until next time,

EliJ

 

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How To Nail Your Proposal Photos

December 13, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

How To Nail Your Proposal Pictures

One of the coolest things about getting to do wedding photography is the opportunity to be a part of the entire process.  Not only do I get to shoot the big wedding day, but many times, I get to be a part of the proposal, engagement pictures, showers, parties, and many other parts of the process.  Not only do I love the diversity of what I get to shoot, but I love getting to know a couple and their family.  Being a part of the entire process allows us to become friends, and it also creates for better pictures.  Once we know each other and trust each other, the shots become much more organic and relaxed.

Today I want to talk to you about the proposal pictures.  Men, listen up!  This can be one of the most pressure-filled events of the wedding process and I want to be sure that you get it right when it comes to the photography.  Typically, there are elements of surprise when it comes to the proposal pictures, so you want to make sure that everything is spelled and planned out to a tee.  Below are three things that are absolutely imperative while planning your proposal photography:

1. Meet with your photographer beforehand-Going online, looking at the Yelp reviews, and booking an appointment with a photographer isn’t going to work in this situation.  There’s too many things that need planned out.  Plus, you need to know each other.  You’re going to have to let your photographer know the intimate details of how you want things done and why you want them done the way you do.  Meeting beforehand will allow you to get to know your photographer and allow them to get to know you.  It will allow you to come up with a set-in-stone plan of how the event will go and will give you confidence that everything will go smoothly.

2. Go to the proposal spot with your photographer-I’ve heard of many crazy things happening for proposal shots.  From photographers hiding in trees, and under rocks, to sitting far off in the woods, it is something that has to be planned. Allow your photographer the time that he needs to find the spots that will allow for the best shots of your proposal. On top of that, this will allow him to determine what kind of equipment he’s going to need to bring and how he is going to need to dress for the big event.

3. Let your photographer do their job- Of course, you need to communicate with your photographer what exactly you are looking for and how you want things to be done.  But, allow them to show you what kind of shots are going to come out best in the setting that you have chosen.  Allow them to show you what locations and spots are going to give you the best lighting and the most opportunity for romantic shots. They do this for a living and they want your photos to be the most memorable photos that they can be.  Be open with each other and communicate what both of you think will turn out most in line with your expectations and I can guarantee you that you will be far happier than you ever would’ve been controlling everything yourself.

The proposal photos can be so much fun.  There is so much emotion involved because of the magnitude of the event and the elements of surprise that are often involved.  Communication and planning are key when you are doing this and will allow for far less stress on the day of the event.  Get to know your photographer, so that you know what to expect of each other. Show them the spot that it is happening and communicate what you’re looking for while listening to what they think is going to turn out best.  Doing these things will give you the least amount of stress and the best experience you could ever imagine for your proposal photos!

Until next time,

EliJ

 

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What To Pack For A Destination Wedding

December 06, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

What to Pack For A Destination Wedding

Has anyone been to a destination wedding lately?  They can be so beautiful.  There’s nothing quite like the view of looking across the ocean at sunset, or the bride and groom sharing their first kiss as a married couple on the top of a cliff in Barbados.  Not only do you get to spend a little vacation time in a magical place watching two of your loved ones tie the knot, but you also get to unwind and have a good time yourself in what could possibly be a new place.

Destination weddings are great, however they can offer their share of stress and inconveniences.  How to find someone to do your hair and makeup, how to find caterers, and what venues are the best to go with may be at the forefront of your mind.  But, another thing that you may not think about is how to pack for a destination wedding. Although this seems trivial, it is very important that you do this correctly.

While packing, think of all of the events you are going to be attending below and all of the things you are going to be doing.  Some of them are very easy to overlook, and all too often I have seen people make mistakes on what was needed at the wedding:

1. The Big Day- Obviously, you need your proper outfit for the day of the wedding.  I think that this goes without saying, but I can’t leave it out.   You can forget everything else, but do not forget your matching bowtie to the rest of the groomsmen or your bridesmaid dress.  This would be a complete and utter disaster, but I have unfortunately seen it happen.

2. The Gift- This one happens all the time.  Do I have my tooth brush?  Do I have my belt that matches my shoes for the wedding ceremony?  If you’ve answered yes to both of those questions, you think you’re good to go.  But, the moment the wheels touch the ground in Maui you realize you forgot the gift for the bride and groom.  Ahhhhhhhhh, if only you had some sort of checklist before leavingJ

3. Climate-Appropriate Clothing- Headed to Southern California or the Caribbean for a wedding? It’s best you pack shorts, festive summer shorts, and some sunscreen for your trip.  This may not be the case if the two love birds are getting married in the Rocky Mountains in January.  Then you may want a hat, some gloves, and large, winter parka.  The point is, make sure that you are equipped with the type of clothing that is going to match the weather you are going to be in.

4. Travel Outfits- You know what would look really funny?  A sunburnt bridesmaid flying from Jamaica to Ohio in a smelly, wrinkled bridesmaid’s dress!  Make sure that you take your travel days into consideration and don’t only pack for the big day.  Not bringing travel clothes could result in some serious discomfort and embarrassment.

It goes without saying, pack all of your toiletries and necessary medicines.  Smelly breath and allergic reactions are no longer cool at weddings, in case you missed the memo.  My recommendation is to make a checklist before leaving for the wedding.

I’ve been to a lot of different weddings, and I have definitely been the one to forget things.  I have forgotten clothing, toiletries, and even photography equipment.  Oh yeah that reminds me… If you have a specific job at the wedding, remember the equipment that is necessary to fulfill your dutiesJNeedless to say, a checklist will help to remind you of even the most obvious things that you may have forgotten, and will ensure that you have a wonderful time at your destination wedding!

Until next time,

Eli:)

 

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How To Become A Photographer

November 29, 2018  •  1 Comment

How To Become A Photographer

It seems that in today’s age, everyone wants to be an entrepreneur.  I get questions all the time about how to become a photographer, so I thought that in today’s post I would address a few steps to get to get started in your photography journey.  Before getting into how you get started, I want to preface it with the fact that it is not easy.  You are going to face many challenges along the way.  There is a lot of uncertainty.  You are going to be in a field with lots of competition and lots of photographers who have far more experience than you do.  It is important that in spite of all of these things, you chase your dream.  Perseverance always prevails when it comes to entrepreneurship and if you can start with the advice below and continue to work hard through the ups and downs, you will be able to find success as a photographer!  So, without further ado, here are five tips to starting your career as a photographer:

1. Master your skill rather than worrying about your equipment-It is important that instead of going out and buying all of the best equipment, you spend time and money learning how to become a better photographer.  An archer with the finest arrows in the world who lacks the skills to hunt will not be able to bring meat home to his family.  Do you see what I mean?  Even if you have the nicest camera on the market and a killer studio, but you don’t know the basics of photography, you won’t ever become a top-of-the-industry photographer.

2. Find a niche-Kevin Kelly’s “A Thousand True Fans” is a good place to start for this one.  Rather than taking any shoot that comes your way, find an area of expertise and begin to corner the market.  If you have a portfolio full of shots in one or two industries you are going to be viewed as more of an expert than the person who has a conglomerate of random photos.  At the beginning, shoot in different industries.  Find out what you’re passionate about and where your skills are. This will allow you to find a niche in which you can truly succeed.

3.Be Active On Social Media-  I think that this goes without saying in 2018, but social media is important.  With almost 90% of purchases starting with an online search, it is important that you are a brand rather than just a business. An easy and cost-effective way to become a brand is through the use of social media.  Provide free, valuable content to your audience, and you will watch it grow more rapidly than you could imagine.

4.Follow Up With Past Clients-They may not currently need your services, but it will keep you at the forefront of their minds as their photographer.  Don’t follow up in a “slimy, salesy” way, but a way that provides them value.  Show them you care about them and genuinely want to check in on how they are doing. This is going to be your referral gold mine!

5.Network with other photographers- At the end of the day, we are all here to help each other become better and make the world a more enjoyable place to live. Competing with each other is fine, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from each other.  Go to networking events.  Set up a time to grab a drink or coffee with another photographer.  You never know what you can learn or what kind of golden nuggets you can find and provide from spending time with other photographers.

There are plenty of ways to grow a business, but these will be a great start.  Remember, it’s not going to be easy.  Being an entrepreneur can be uncertain and scary, but there is nothing more worthwhile.  It gives you a chance to travel the world and see things that you would have never imagined. Keep in mind that as you are building your business, you want to portray yourself as an expert.  The more valuable content that you put out to your audience, the better.  Provide value, find a niche, persevere and I can promise you that you will have long, beautiful career as a photographer.

Until next time,

EliJ

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This Year's Most Popular Wedding Favors

November 22, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

This Year's Most Popular Wedding Favors

Well, it’s 2018. Another year means another list of trendy wedding favors.  Wedding favors seem to be some of the most talked about but debated aspects of a wedding. While shooting weddings, I hear people talking all the time about how much they love, or sometimes don’t love the wedding favors that are given at the wedding.  I know this blog doesn’t necessarily touch on photography, but it seems to be an extremely important topic so I wanted to let you know the most popular wedding favors this year.

As with everything I talk about, it is important that your wedding favors reflect the theme that you are looking for and that they make you happy.  It’s important that your wedding favors aren’t done just to impress the people at your wedding.  Below are some ideas of what this year’s most popular wedding favors have been, but make sure that if you are going to use some of them, you are making them your own!

 

  1. Personalized tile coasters-They sit on everyone’s side tables at their house, and everyone uses them.  Does anyone else’s dad still yell at them to use a coaster when you go home to visit?  Mine sure does!  These are great, because they’re big enough that there is room to make them truly personal and reflective of the theme of your wedding.

 

  1. Scrabble Magnets-I had to put these on the list, because they are just so creative.  Most people have magnets of some kind on their refrigerator, but I’ve rarely seen personalized scrabble letters.  Being that you make words with scrabble magnets, you can get extremely creative with what you make out of these for your guests.

 

  1. Coffee Mugs- Sure, you’ve probably seen coffee mugs given as wedding favors in the past.  But, they are so useful.  Almost everybody I know drinks coffee or tea and always has a use for another coffee mug. Your guests will love that the mugs are personalized and remind them of you every time they use it.

 

  1. Popcorn-You can get any flavor you want and decorate the packaging in any way that you see fit.  You can make this really personal to the theme of your wedding, and the best part is that your wedding guests will be taking home a delicious snack to remember you by.  Remember, the key to the heart is foodJ

 

  1. Holiday Ornaments-Want people to remember your wedding?  Send them home with a personalized Holiday ornament that they stick on their tree every year.  Every year they will remember what a great time they had at your wedding, and they will tell all of their friends about how you gave the best wedding favors of any wedding they have ever been to!

 

  1. Water Bottles- Here’s another idea of something that is just flat out useful.  Everyone loves another water bottle that they can throw in their car on the way to work or the gym.  It’s important to remember when you’re giving wedding favors that people want to take something home from a wedding that they can actually use, and water bottles are a great option for this.

 

  1. Mini Champagne Bottles- Okay, you’ve definitely seen these before, but you can never go wrong with alcohol.  Nobody will ever get a bottle of champagne and complain about it.  Send your guests home with a wedding favor that will make them think of you the next time they go to celebrate with a glass of champagne.

 

There are literally thousands of different ideas for wedding favors, and these are just a couple of the most popular from 2018.  Whatever you decide to use for your wedding favors, there are a couple of important things to remember that will ensure success.  The first is to make sure they are true to what you want.  Doing anything you don’t truly want at your wedding will only stress you out and make you unhappy, so it’s best to just go with what you actually want to do.  The second is to make sure that what you’re using is interesting and useful.  Nobody wants to take something home that they are just going to throw away or put into a closet upstairs and never see it again.

I hope this helps you if you’ve been thinking about what to do for your wedding favors.  Take these ideas and run with them.  If you really like one of the ideas from above, then make it your own and use it.  Or, get creative and come up with something completely unique to you!  Either way, I know that you are going to kill itJ

Until next time,

EliJ

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How To Get Rid Of Camera Shyness Before the Wedding

November 15, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

How To Get Rid of Camera Shyness Before the Wedding

In today’s social media dominated environment, it can sometimes seem that everyone is a professional at having their photos taken.  There are millions of photos out there of people that you know smiling and acting like they’ve done this a thousand times.  But in reality, there are still many people who are extremely shy about having their pictures taken.  When the camera is broken out at a party, a work function, or even their own wedding they are the first to run and hide.  Obviously, you want to look back on your wedding photos as a fond memory, and reminisce on how beautiful your wedding day was, so here are three tips on how to get rid of camera shyness before your big day:

1. Take a bunch of pictures before the wedding-Remember the old adage, “practice makes perfect?”  Well in this case, it couldn’t be more true.  If you’re not into having your photo taken, then before the wedding just start taking pictures.  Nobody but you has to see them, but it is important that you get comfortable smiling at the camera and looking at the pictures that were taken of you.

2. Pick a wedding photographer who makes you feel comfortable-If you’re already uncomfortable taking pictures, then a photographer who doesn’t make you feel comfortable is only going to make matters worse.  Make sure that when you’re selecting your photographer they are a good fit for your personality and they keep everything light-hearted enough that you can feel comfortable during your photos.

3. Remember that your wedding day is about YOU!-This one sounds self-explanatory and obvious, but it’s so true.  Too many people are so self-conscious during their wedding photos because they’re worried that other people are judging them while they’re being taken.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  Everyone at your wedding is there to celebrate you and they are so happy for you on your special day.  Remember that as you are having your photos taken and find joy in it!  And also, remember that these are YOUR photos.  You are going to look back on them down the road and remember how much fun and how special your wedding day was!

As a photographer, I see this all the time.  I understand that many people are camera shy and don’t want to have their picture taken, but the above tips can really help ease some of the pressure that you would normally feel on your wedding day.  As long as your get some practice before the wedding, pick a photographer who makes you feel comfortable, and remember that your photos are about you and only you, then you are sure to have amazing success with your wedding photos!

Until next time,

Eli:)

 

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Why It's A Myth That Everything Needs To Be Perfect On Your Wedding Day

November 08, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Myth: Everything Needs To Be Perfect On Your Wedding Day

One of the most common occurrences I see at weddings is that everyone involved has the expectation that everything should go perfectly throughout the wedding day.  Although this would be ideal, most of the time this doesn’t happen.  Maybe a DJ says the wrong name during an announcement, someone is late, or any of the other million things that could go wrong throughout the day.  Whatever it is, it’s important to understand that things will go wrong.  

This doesn’t mean that the day is ruined.  The little things that go wrong throughout the wedding day are things that you won’t even notice if you have the right attitude going into your day.  However, if you go into your day expecting perfection, it will create massive stress when something does go wrong.

Nobody wants to be stressed out on their wedding day.  You want to look back on this day as one of the greatest and most memorable days of your life.  There are many ways to do this, but after all of the weddings that I have been fortunate enough to be a part of I have found that there is one fundamental way to avoid the stress of needing everything to go perfectly on your wedding day.

LET EVERYONE DO THEIR JOB!

You have spent the last year of your life hiring experts in their field to make sure that your wedding day is exactly how you want it to be.  You have hired a wedding planner, a makeup and hair stylist, a DJ, a photographer, and caterers that all are up to your standard.  As difficult as it may be, try to let them do what they are paid to do.  I know that you’re going to want to try and control everything to make sure that your day is exactly what you want, but if you avoid stressing about this and let everyone do their jobs, your day will end up going exactly how you want it to anyway.

As I said before, you can break it down and find all of the different things that you need to do to make sure that you don’t stress about everything going perfectly.  Or, you could take the easy way out.  Let everyone do the jobs that they were hired to do and trust that you made the right decisions and your day will be exactly what you want it to be!

Until next time,

EliJ

 

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Why I Love Wedding Photography

November 01, 2018  •  3 Comments

Why I Love Wedding Photography

It seems like every week I come at you guys with another tip on what to do for some aspect of your wedding or wedding photography.  However, it seems to have slipped my mind to ever spend time telling why I love photographing weddings and why I am so passionate about it.

The reason I am so passionate about wedding photography and being a part of other peoples’ big days is because it’s something that will last with them for their entire lives. Other photos come and go.  If I shoot business headshots, that’s great. But, once it’s time to move on to another job or update their LinkedIn profile, those photographs become forgotten. But wedding photos are never forgotten.

It’s so inspiring to me that in thirty years, a couple could be showing their kids or their grandkids the photographs that I shot and telling them all about their wedding day. The stories that are behind the photos are what truly inspire me.

Not only am I inspired by how long the photos will last, but I love being able to catch such intimate moments on camera.  It is said that photographers are able to capture moments through a lens that would otherwise be forgotten.  This is another aspect of wedding photography that keeps me going.  Being able to catch a couple’s first look on camera, or their first kiss as a married couple is one of the most beautiful things to me.

I, of course, will continue to shoot all kinds of events and am passionate about all types of photography. But, I felt that with the amount of wedding content that I bring you every week, I owed you an explanation for why I am so passionate about it.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this and will be back next week with my typical post!

Until next time,

EliJ

 

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How To Have Smooth Reception Photography

October 25, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

How To Have Smooth Reception Photography

So, we’ve touched on a lot of topics relating to the wedding photography activities, but we haven’t talked about how to go about the photography at your reception.  Of course, as in everything we talk about, there are a million different ways you can do it.  But, in my opinion, the best way to do it is to act natural and let the photographers do their thing.

Recently, at a wedding I was able to witness the perfect balance of the reception and the wedding photographers.  There were many things that made this wedding go smoothly, but below are a few things that allowed it to go so swimmingly:

The bride, groom, and photographers had a plan.  The bride and groom had communicated with the photographers exactly what they wanted.  The photographers knew how much video to get, what types of shots to get, and the perfect places to get the best lighting in the venue.  A plan is essential to there being no stress with your reception photography.

The second thing is, the main photographer had a team.  This was perfect, because the photographer wasn’t rushing around and taking mediocre shots just to get everything done.  Make sure that if you’re having even a medium sized wedding that you have multiple photographers.

Last but not least, everyone acted natural.  Everyone in the wedding party made it a priority to not be posing just for the pictures.  Everyone danced exactly as if they would have if there were no photographers and it allowed for the shots to come out very beautiful and organic.

It is essential to make sure that you do these things if you’re going to have quality reception photography.  It is something that can easily be overlooked, but something you will definiltey regret if it doesn’t go well.  Make sure that as you prepare for your wedding reception photography that you are looking for a team of photographers, that you have a plan, and that you act perfectly natural throughout the process.

Until next time,

EliJ

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What To Do If You're Having A Destination Wedding

October 18, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

What To Do If You’re Having a Destination Wedding

Okay, so you want a small wedding.  You want to reduce the costs of paying for a huge venue and catering food for hundreds of people.  So, you go with a destination wedding!  Destination weddings are becoming more and more popular of a decision for brides and grooms all over the world.  Not only is it possible to save some money with a destination wedding, but you also have the opportunity to have your wedding in some very beautiful places!  Although there are many benefits to a destination wedding, there are also many things that have to be accounted for.  How do you get your hair done?  What are you going to do about the food?  And, most importantly, who is going to take the pictures? (At least I think that’s most importantJ) Below are a few things to keep in mind when you’re deciding what to do about pictures for your destination wedding:

1. Think about any photographers that you know-Although all of us photographers want your business, if you know a photographer personally who will do work that is up to your standards, then use them! When getting a photographer for a destination wedding you have to pay the travel along with the actual photography work.  So, if you know someone this can be a great cost savings!

2. Find photographers with destination wedding experience-It is very important that you have a photographer who is experienced with destination weddings.  This will ensure that they have no issues with the travel and that they know how to properly take care of their equipment while traveling.

3. Find the best bang for your buck-Part of the reason you may be doing a destination wedding is to save some money.  However, while looking for a photographer, you don’t want to sacrifice quality.  Make sure that while you’re comparing prices of photographers, that their quality of work matches their price.

There are so many great photographers out there, and there are so many photographers who have lots of destination wedding experience.  Make sure that you find a photographer whose portfolio matches the style that you are looking for.  As long as you find a photographer who matches your budget, is willing to travel to your destination, and has work that matches the quality and style that you are looking for.

Of course, as always, if you have any questions please reach out and I would be more than happy to help you find the right photographer that will meet the needs of your special day!

Until Next Time,

EliJ

“When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear.” -Alfred Stieglitz

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What To Do If It Rains On Your Wedding Day

October 11, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

What To Do If It Rains During Your Wedding Day

The constant fear that brides and grooms have is that it will rain during their wedding day.  You’ve spent all of this money on a venue, a photographer, caterers, dresses, and everything else under the sun only to find that the forecast is looking dark and gloomy on your wedding day.

Typically I come to you with lots of tips on how to go about different wedding day practices, but this week I’m going to keep it short and sweet.

The answer to the issue of rain on your wedding day is to book a venue that has an indoor space that you will be happy with.  The one thing that you can’t control is the weather.  So make sure that you will be happy with a ceremony and pictures inside. Make sure that you like the lighting, make sure that you like the flooring and paint colors, and please oh please make sure that you have enough space for everyone coming to the ceremony!

If you can find a venue that satisfies these needs, then I can promise that you will have a great wedding day even if it rainsJ

Until next time,

EliJ

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Questions To Ask Before Booking Your Wedding Venue

October 04, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Questions To Ask Your Wedding Venue Before Booking

Have you every planned a wedding?  Although it’s fun, it can be a daunting question and it seems like there are endless questions that need to be answered before all of the planning is done. Typically, I talk about what needs to be done in order to have a successful photography experience.  But what about your venue?  I want to spend this post talking about questions to ask your wedding venue before booking it, because many times as a photographer I have had awkward or stressful experiences due to lack of planning with a venue.

So what questions do you need to ask before getting everything booked?  Obviously, you want to ask what dates are available, what their cancellation polices are, and how much they require for a deposit.  But there are some questions that you might forget about.  Below are three questions you may not think to ask:

  1. Is the venue handicapped friendly?-  You may or may not have someone attending your wedding who is physically handicapped, but either way it is a good question to ask.  It is always good to know that, if needed, there is handicapped access at your wedding venue.
  2. What is the weather contingency plan?- If it rains, is there an indoor space for your ceremony?  Do you get a refund if it rains and there isn’t an indoor space?  Although these questions will seem like common sense when it begins to rain, it is easy to forget during the planning process.
  3. Are you able to do a food tasting prior to finalizing the menu?- Again, this would seem like common sense when you are thinking about it, but during the planning process it can be very easy to overlook.  But, wouldn’t it be awful to forget to do a tasting and then have food that you don’t like?

The bottom line is, account for everything.  When you think you’ve asked every question there is to ask, find some more to ask. Planning is the key to everything running smoothly and everything running smoothly is the key to you having a happy wedding day.  Cover all of your bases, and I can promise everything will be perfect!

Until next time,

EliJ

“I don’t shoot what it looks like, I shoot what it feels like.” -Anonymous

 

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