Why It Is Important To Have Chemistry With Your Photographer

September 27, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Why It Is Important To Have Chemistry With Your Photographer

Has anyone ever told you to treat your search for a wedding photographer like searching for a
new employee? If not, I believe that it is advice that you may want to consider. In order to
capture the moments that you want captured, your photographer needs to know what you like
and what you value. That will allow them to look for the moments that they know are going to
be important to you. So how do you ensure that you’re making the right decision when it
comes to your photographer?

The answer is simple. Just as you would during a job interview, spend a little time with your
photographer. Ask them about their past experience. Look at samples of their work and find
out what their favorite shoots have entailed. These conversations will show you whether the
photographer you are considering is going to be a good fit for your wedding.

You want your wedding to have a certain feel to it. A culture if you will. You have to make sure
that your photographer fits that culture. So talk with them for a little while. Find out what they
like to do outside of photography. Tell them all about yourself and let them get to know you.
If you hit it off, you can be confident that your photographer is going to have a better feel for
capturing the moments that are important to you. Not every photographer will give you this
advice, but I am a big believer in the “feel” of the photo shoot being very important. It allows
both parties to be in the right state of mind, and it allows for the wedding photography to go on
in a sort of “flow state”.

Let me know your thoughts. Like I said, not everyone is going to agree with this advice, but I
think the more chemistry there is between you and the photographer, the better and more
organic your photos are going to turn out.
Until Next Time,

Eli

Be your own kind of beautiful.” -Anonymous

 

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When Is The Best Time Of Day To Take Wedding Photos?

September 20, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

When Is the Best Time To Take Wedding Photos?

Another common question that I frequently receive is, “When is the best time for me to take my wedding photos?”  This is a great question and one that can have a few different answers, but there is one particular time of day that I feel is best.

Are you familiar with the “golden hour”?  This refers to the hour before sunset when the sun is a little bit lower in the sky. This is my favorite time to shoot wedding photos, because it results in warmer tones.  For a wedding, in my opinion, there is nothing better than warm tones.  Weddings are all about love, loyalty, and passion and what better way to portray that than warm tones?

There are other times of day that you can take your photos, of course.  The best strategy to find what you’re looking for is to consult with your photographer and figure out exactly what you want your photos to look like.

Whether you take your pictures during the morning, afternoon, or evening make sure that they are exactly what you are looking for.  There are many recommendations out there on how to take the best wedding photos, but the most important thing is that they are what you’re looking for.

In my opinion, warm tones are the way to go when it comes to wedding photos and to get these tones you are going to want to shoot during the “golden hour”.  Talk with your wedding photographer about the best strategies to get the perfect photos you’re looking for!

Until next time,

EliJ

“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” -Coco Chanel

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How Early Should I Book My Wedding Photographer?

September 12, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Do you want to hear a secret? Wedding planning isn’t easy. Just kidding! That’s no secret. We
all know that it is an extremely difficult and strenuous process. So, when it comes to planning
for entertainment a photography, how far out should this be done? That’s a totally fair
question, and one that I can promise that you are not alone in asking.


When it comes to booking entertainment and photography options, it is best to book these
about six months in advance. This is for a couple of reasons.


The first reason is that since you have booked your photographer, it is now an item of priority.
Because you’re thinking about it, you’ll start planning out how you want your photos to look,
what kind of theme you’re going for, and what types of shots your might want to have taken.
The other reason is that entertainers and photographers are often booked very far in advance.
You’re going to have your short-list of photographers, bands, DJs, and other entertainers and
you’re going to want to make sure that they’re available. It would be a huge bummer if you
went to book your favorite photographer and they weren’t available, you would be devastated.
The moral of the story is, get on booking your entertainment and photography early. It’s better
to book the one you want early and make changes later rather than missing out on the one you
want and having to go with second choices.


I hope this helps all of you out there and wish you the very best in preparing for your perfect
day!


Until Next Time,


Eli :)
“The Earth is art. The photographer is only a witness.” -Anonymous

 


Why It's OK to Have A Nontraditional Wedding

September 06, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Why It's OK to Have A Nontraditional Wedding 

Getting married is a big step.  Not only are you making a lifelong commitment to another person, but throw in a ton of prepping and planning and it can be enough to stress anyone to the point of craziness.

One thing that I constantly hear as a part of the wedding conversation is whether or not to stay true to traditional wedding practices.  Should you get married in a church or not?  Should you invite your entire extended family or not?  The list goes on and on, but one thing that I’ve learned over my time shooting wedding photos is that it’s only important to stay true to tradition if that’s what you want to do.  

The wedding should be all about what makes you happy.  If you don’t want to wear a traditional wedding dress, or you don’t feel that your groom needs to wear a tuxedo, then don’t succumb to the pressure of what a traditional wedding looks like.  If you want to have a destination wedding with only you, your significant other, and a preacher then have at it.  

When you look back at your wedding down the road, you don’t want to regret not having it exactly how you wanted it just because of the “rules” established by previous brides and grooms.

Traditions are great and are a wonderful thing to be upheld, but if tradition is not what is going to make you happy at your wedding, then scrap it.  Create your own wedding, create your own happiness, and create your own perfect wedding!

Until Next Time,

EliJ

“Tradition is the illusion of permanence.” -Woody Allen

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Why It's Important To Have Great Wedding Photos

August 30, 2018  •  1 Comment

Why It's Important To Have Great Wedding Photos

Most brides hold wedding photos to a high importance.  They’ve been dreaming of their big day since they were little girls, and know exactly how they want everything to look.  They’ve already got picture ideas, from the outfits to the back drops and will do whatever it takes to get those perfect looking shots.

Grooms, however, are not always as understanding.  Many times they don’t understand why so much money needs to be spent on photography or why they need to smile in the sweltering sun for hours just for a picture.

Although wedding photos can sometimes be stressful or daunting, as a photographer, I have to stress the importance of properly documenting your big dayJ

You’re going to want to look back on the wedding and the photos are the perfect way to do this. The day goes by like a blur, and a couple weeks after you’re going to want to re-experience the wedding.  

Plus, down the road if you have kids they are going to want to see pictures of your wedding.  They’re going to have questions and they’re going to want to see where their family was begun.

Looking back is one of the most precious things we get to do in this life, and that’s where great photos are going to be a key.  Looking back at how happy you were on your wedding and how beautiful everything was is extremely sentimental and worth the investment in and of itself.

Until Next Time,

EliJ

“In photography, there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more than a reality.”

 

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Destination Wedding Photographers

August 23, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

So what if you’re having a destination wedding?  You’re packing up the dogs, the family, and friends are using their vacation time all to come to your big day.  This can be amazingly beautiful, but it can also be a logistical nightmare without the proper planning.  In regards to a photographer, what if there aren’t any within your budget or desired capabilities in the location of your wedding?

This is a fair questions. However, you’re in luck.  Many wedding photograhpers are willing to travel for destination weddings, and nowadays many even prefer to.  We only have one teensy stipulation.  ASK US WAAAAAAY IN ADVANCE!!  We are always okay to come out to destination weddings and do what we do best, but we have to have it on the calendar so that we are able to coordinate our other jobs and personal lives around the wedding.

Although it can be a difficult thing to accomplish, much like everything else in wedding photography, if you’re organized everything will work out just fine.  Communciate with your photographer and your day will remain as magical as you always dreamt that it would be.

Until Next Time,

EliJ

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How To Pick Your Wedding Photographer

August 16, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

How To Pick Your Wedding Photographer

Recently, we’ve been talking about day of wedding photography practices.  These can be very intimidating, but it all begins with picking the right photographer.  As easy as this may seem, there are a lot of factors that go into picking the    right photographer.  Below are three tips to help ensure that you make the right choice:

  1. Ask for a portfolio of work.  This may seem like a common place, but you would be surprised how many people reach out to me and only ask what I charge.  If you’re only looking for the cheap photographer, but don’t ask for any work samples you may be sadly surprised the day you see your wedding photographer.  Make sure that, no matter what your budget it, you choose a photographer whose work is up to your standards.
  2. Ensure that the photographer that you select has actually shot weddings.  This also seems like a funny tip, but there are many photographers who shoot anything that comes their way.  You have to make sure that the photographer you choose is familiar with wedding backdrops, lighting, and the overall process of shooting a wedding.
  3. Make sure that your photographer is willing to shoot according to the schedule of your wedding day.  Of course, you hope that any photographer would do this, but every now and then you run into a photographer who has a set process that they will not waiver from. At the end of the day, it’s your day and everything should be tailored exactly to your liking.

The bottom line is that you communicate.  If all of the communication is thorough and clear, you will know that you are getting a photographer who is an expert, has shot a wedding before, and will tailor his process exactly to the way you want it done.  Good luck selecting your photographer, and enjoy all of the beautiful, lifelong photos you are going to receiveJ

 

Until next time,

 

Eli 

 

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Photographing the First Look

August 09, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Photographing the First Look

If you’re a future bride reading this post, you’ve probably done a lot of thinking about how you want your first look photographed.  If you’re a future-groom reading this, you’re probably wondering what the heck a first look is.  To clear that up for all of you men out there, the first look is the look on your face when you see each other for the first time.

This is something that every bride or groom wants to have a photo of after their big day, and can be one of the most beautiful and emotional pictures from the wedding.  

Everybody does their first look photograph differently, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. Many people like to wait to see each other for the first time when the bride is walking down the aisle.  Others see each other briefly before the ceremony. 

Either way, this is going to be a truly beautiful moment to capture.  It all goes back to the fundamental rule of COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER!!  No matter how you want to do your first look, make sure that your photographer is aware of this.  Make sure they know when you are going to see each other for the first time, where you are going to see each other for the first time, and that your photographer has time to get set up before your first look.

No matter how you want to do it, it most certainly be beautiful!  Just make sure to communicate with your photographer, and everything will be perfectJ

Until next time,

EliJ

“Just remember, the cake gets eaten, the flowers die, but the wedding photos last forever.” -Unknown

 

 

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How Early Should I Prepare With My Wedding Photographer??

August 02, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

How I Early Should I Prepare With My Wedding Photographer??

Okay, so the big day has finally arrived and you’re in a panic.  Everything from your hair, to your make-up, to your hungover future husband arriving at the alter in time is racing through your mind.  The last thing you want to think about is taking pictures, but you have to capture every moment of your special day!  So how early should you start preparing?

            The answer is that it is all up to you and whatever makes you comfortable.  If you need to start shooting day-of photos six hours before you walk down the aisle, then that’s fine.  If you’re more of a “fly by the seat of your pants” type person, maybe you take these photos as you’re walking out the door.  Either way, it doesn’t matter as long as you’re happy.

            Although your happiness is key, make sure that you’ve communicated when you’re going to start shooting with everyone involved. Tell your bridesmaids, so that they know how early they need to get out of bed and do their hair.  Tell your mom, so that the morning of your wedding she’s not screaming at you telling you don’t include her in anything.  Oh, and tell your photographer.  It’s kind of important that they know when to arrive, so that you can actually take these photosJ

            The moral of the story is, start preparing and taking photos for your big day as early or as late as you want.  If you’re comfortable, everyone will work with you to make you happy.  After all, your wedding is ALL ABOUT YOU.  Just don’t forget to communicate this with everyone involved, and I promise you everything will be okay!

Until next time,

EliJ

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Finding Inspiration For Your Wedding Photos

July 26, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

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 Okay, so it’s that time.  You’re engaged, you’ve set a date, booked a venue, booked a band, and now you have to find a photographer.  And more importantly, you have to decide how you want your wedding photos to look.

This question plagues brides and grooms all over the world on the daily.  You don’t know where to look.  You feel that you’re not creative, or that whatever you decide on won’t be something you look fondly back upon.

Today, I wanted to share a couple of tips with you for finding inspiration for your wedding photos.  It’s nothing extensive, but with today’s online resources, there are so many different ways to find inspiration for you wedding photos.

 The first, and I feel most important way, to find inspiration for your wedding photos is through Pinterest.  There are literally millions of photos on Pinterest at your disposal.  No matter what style of wedding you’re having or what you’re looking for in your photography, I promise that you will be able to find it on Pinterest.  On top of all of this great content being available to you at no cost, you can also create inspiration boards on Pinterest that allow you to save all of your ideas.

 Instagram is another great platform for finding inspiration.  Through the use of different wedding hashtags and wedding photographer accounts you can find inspiration to match any style.  Again, there are literally millions of pieces of content at your disposal, so this is an essential platform for any future bride or groom.

Inspiration doesn’t only lie within social media. There are many different sites that you can venture to find photography inspiration as well.  I have included links to some of my favorites below.

Whatever your style, there is photography inspiration out there somewhere.  Whether it’s through nature, wedding websites, blogs, or social media there is endless quality content that will give you ideas for your wedding.

 As always, I would love to hear from you.  So, if you have any questions or are looking for some help finding inspiration, feel free to contact me at any time.  I will look forward to hearing from you and wish you the best of luck in the planning of your wedding photos!

Have a good one,

Eli

“No place is boring, if you’ve had a good night’s sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film.” -Robert Adams

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Portrait Post-Processing

May 27, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Portrait Post-Processing

Portrait photography is one of the most demanding types of photography because it combines such a great deal of artistry coupled with technical skill. Portraits require time plan a thoughtful and creative shoot, time to shoot a variety of image options, and time to post-process a finished product. Oftentimes, the post processing can be very tedious, and it requires a high level of skill and artistry to produce images that are tasteful, modern, and believable. One way to make this process easier is to have tools designed specifically for editing and retouching portraits.  

I have sometimes felt helpless trying to look for a resource that could give me a helping hand at making my portraits stand out, without costing me hours of my time. Luckily, I have found that the Strike A Pose Portrait Workflow from Sleeklens.com does just this; it empowers me with 62 brushes designed for retouching portraits, as well as 69 presets for Lightroom that make editing portraits beautiful and easy-breezy. This service instantly turns portrait images into amazing shots that will take your breath away.

Portraits sometimes can be very tight shots, so it tends to give you an up close and personal feel for the subject in the image.  With that being said, as you can imagine, your subject will be front and center in the frame.  Having such amazing retouching options, along with a beautifully composed and edited version of your subjects best self will accelerate your portrait photography to a new level.

I cannot say enough how valuable Sleeklens.com is to me.  For more information or for questions on how to use this product, I would love to help!  Be sure to get in touch! <3


How To Dress For Your Spring Headshot

May 25, 2018  •  1 Comment

Professional headshots are always suggested when your goal is to have a visual aide to gain success towards your future goals.  A headshot gives the prospective client the opportunity to have a first impression before they even get to meet you, so it important that it is up to date, and a true representation of the image of your brand.

Your Spring Wardrobe

When preparing for an upcoming headshot photography session, clients will often ask for recommendations on what to wear. I always recommend that clients dress in their very favorite professional outfit, so they feel as confident as possible. Clients should dress to bring out the great person they currently are, as well as the new person they are evolving into (even if we won’t shoot full body).

Prepare Yourself Mentally

I also invite clients to take time on the days leading up to the shoot to meditate and pay attention to their inner dialogues. The camera will always pull out the inner emotions that you are feeling, so it important that the clients take care of their confidence before being in front of the camera. The spring is a great time to step into a new mindset of what you want to call into your life and career. New photos are a true renewal, and some personal work on the clients’ behalf will allow us to take full advantage of this opportunity. 


Using Lightroom Presets

March 18, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Using Lightroom Presets

Us photographers are always trying to find the latest technology, trends, and software to make our photos as perfect as they can be for our clients. In the most recent years, nearly everyone was using Photoshop for editing, and it was a great tool to make photos look exactly as planned. However, the times are changing and new software is making its break. A personal favorite of mine is Adobe Lightroom

I like to call Adobe Lightroom the new Photoshop. It is now the most commonly used editing software for photographers, both amateurs and professional alike. I love Adobe Lightroom because of the convenience that it provides. Because it is a cloud-based service, you can edit literally anywhere. Whether it be on your phone, tablet, or computer, it is accessible anywhere that you have wifi or data. There have been so many times where I have had to change plans because of the long editing to-do list that I had at home. After using Adobe Lightroom, I can edit pictures on the go. Better yet, I can also share these photos with my clients from anywhere as well!

One of the ways to really leverage the power of Lightroom as a quick/batch editing platform is with presets. Lightroom allows you to save your own presets, but as a professional photographer, I often require many different types of presets for different styles and don't have time to go through and develop and refine these. I rely on Sleeklens.com for providing me with professionally developed, beautiful Lightroom presets. Sleeklens is an affordable, efficient, and effective way to edit and organize your photos. 

Adobe Lightroom and Sleeklens are my go-to services for editing photos. Both of these have nearly everything I need to make the photos I take “picture perfect” - literally! 


Ideas For Candid Groomsmen Shots

March 07, 2018  •  1 Comment

When we talk about candid wedding photos it’s always with a sort of half meaning. That is to say, it’s common for a photographer to ask a wedding party to socialize or to start getting dressed for the ceremony, etc., and then start snapping photos; the concept is staged, but individual shots are candid. It’s always a little awkward for a moment, but then people actually get into whatever they’re asked to do, and you can usually pick up some excellent candid photos.

In that spirit, we’ve put together a few ideas for a groom and groomsmen shoot that go beyond the typical posing or putting on suits. Some are a little specific, but for the right wedding party they could be perfect.

Out On A Walk

Out on a walk doesn’t sound that original at first, because plenty of wedding party pictures are taken outside. But the idea of the groomsmen (and groom) simply walking down a path, or dispersing outside somewhere, is a little bit different. We got the inspiration from a bridal site’s rundown of awesome groomsmen photos, which included a mesmerizing shot of seven groomies in kilts and sport coats walking down a beautiful, hazy path. It looks more like the beginning to some curious tale than a staged wedding photo, and is exactly the sort of candid picture so many of us want on this occasion.

At The Bar

It’s not uncommon by any means for groomsmen to have cocktails or beers while they’re being photographed in the final hours before a wedding, getting ready for the occasion. What’s a little more unusual though is a full-fledged happy hour (not that anyone should get too crazy!). If the wedding is being held at any sort of hotel or venue with a bar, think about setting up a situation in which the groomsmen and groom are simply hanging out at the bar counter, talking to one another with drinks in front of them. After a few minutes this will turn into ordinary socializing and you’ll be able to take pictures down the line, capturing the group in what may well be its most natural state.

Playing Cards

It’s a little bit of a cliché, but there’s just something iconic about a group of well-dressed men playing cards. If there’s a suitable table, it can be a great idea to ask the guys to start a game and then take pictures of the action. And actually it can be a fun idea for a pre-wedding activity even if the groomsmen aren’t experts. Most people at least understand the basics of poker, and you can learn the blackjack rules with just a few minutes spent online or at a digital gaming platform. Both can produce great, recognizable images, either of a flop of cards in the middle of the table and groomsmen all around it, or of each individual with a pair of cards, one face-up, one down, hoping to land blackjack.

Watching TV

Occasionally, a wedding party just wants to chill out before the big ceremony starts. Depending of course on the groom’s preferences, that might just mean watching TV or even a favorite movie to loosen up. This kind of moment is actually perfect for candid photos as well. If everyone is dressed and ready, sitting together with eyes on a screen, you can get some very interesting photos that simultaneously show a sense of unity and detachment – like they’re all in it together but not sure what they’re in for (which tends to be the case).

Grooming

It’s fairly traditional as mentioned for groomsmen to be photographed as they’re getting ready – which is to say putting on their suits, etc. But one thing we overlook is that men have to actually get groomed as well. You can find all kinds of grooming tips for men in wedding parties, and a lot of men pay more attention to the finer points of their appearances than they might outwardly let on. Consider making this part of the photography process as well. It’s almost combatting a stereotype, capturing the men prettying themselves up the way we so frequently think of women doing the same!

 

Groomsmen, fun photo, of groomsmen playingGroomsmen- Gratitude to https://www.marklordphotography.co.uk for an awesome photoFun photos of groomsmen playing.


Facial Expressions and the Photographer

February 23, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

 

Facial Expressions and the Photographer

There are two types of people in this world: people who love being in front of the camera, and people who hate it. If you’re anything like me, being in front of the camera makes you nervous, and half of the time you hate the photos once you see them. It can be so frustrating that you just don’t want your photos taken at all. However, special memories with loved ones can’t be replaced. Being able to go back and look at old photos is something that your children and grandchildren will cherish, and it is important that you get pictures taken in order for them to do so. You may ask, “How do I get photos taken without hating the outcome?”

Well, I’m here to help! One of the most common complaints I hear my clients say is, “I don't like my expression in these photos.” Although a photographer can coax a smile or "great expression" out of a client some of the time, there are some things a client can also do to prepare themselves for a great expression. Here are some ways to get the perfect facial expressions that you are hoping for:

One thing you can do is find a photo of you or someone else exemplifying the mood and expression you want to convey. Hold this in your mind and provide it to your photographer. 

Another thing you can do is hold an idea or image in your mind of something that makes you feel relaxed, enamored, or thoughtful, or happy- whatever the emotion/expression you want to display.

Last, practice makes perfect! If you are really struggling to find a comfortable facial expression that you think looks best, try practicing in the mirror! Better yet, take your cell phone out and snap a few photos. Even if you’re not the “selfie” type, you can practice many different facial expressions, and delete the photos afterwards! 

 

Facial Expressions and the Photographer
www.mikhailglabets.com

Facial Expressions and the Photographer
Modeling picture that documents a great facial expression

Facial Expressions and the Photographer
Facial expressions in this image portray the overall mood of the picture

 

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