To Feed or Not to Feed…That is the Question…

I have seen several articles online written about whether or not a wedding couple should provide their vendors with a meal or not.  Personally, I don’t understand where the confusion lies when it comes to this matter.  I feel it’s pretty simple and sort of a common-sense matter, but nevertheless, there are still many articles that continue to debate this.  Some say yes, you should feed your vendors, some say no, you are paying them, you shouldn’t have to feed them too.

Since I have seen so many of these articles lately and the responses, beliefs and practices all seem to differ, I felt it important enough for me to chime-in with what I feel is the only correct answer to these questions that are so eluding to everyone.  For me, it’s just a common sense thing…if you put yourself in the vendor’s perspective.  Here is how we answer the questions:

Do you require a meal break?  If yes, do you require that the wedding couple provide your meal?

Yes, we do require a meal break.  Although we do not require you to provide us with a meal, we would greatly appreciate it if you did.  We really LIKE food!  Especially during a long day of working.  At most every wedding reception we work, we are each provided with a vendor meal.  This is the norm at  most reception venues.

If you do not plan to provide us with a meal, we just need to know this prior to your wedding day, so we can plan accordingly and bring our own food.  Our team works incredibly hard throughout your wedding day.  We can get pretty hungry during an 8 – 12 hour day of shooting.  You wouldn’t want to work all day long without eating would you??  So, all we ask is that you let us know whether you plan to provide each of us with a meal, or not.

How many breaks do you usually take throughout the day?

We may rest briefly at times during the day if there is downtime, or during dinner time, but otherwise, we are continuously working throughout the day and evening.

Plain and simple – right?  It’s a simple matter of communication.  If you are going to provide us with a meal, let us know.  If you are not going to provide us with a meal, let us know.  That way we will know what to expect and what to do.

So that should answer these questions for anyone and everyone who keeps wondering what they should do.   Communicate with your vendors and also with your reception venue, so that they know exactly how many vendor meals to provide, if you have chosen to feed your vendors during your wedding reception.  And if you have chosen to feed us….thank you very much in advance! 🙂

Advertisements

Pinterest, Wedding Inspiration or Duplication?

One of the things I love the most about being a professional wedding photographer is the ability to create beautiful, memorable images for my clients.  Although we photograph many weddings each year, lots of times going back to the same locations over and over again, I strive to make each wedding unique by creating different looking images for my clients.  My reasons for this are twofold.  First, I want to make each of my weddings unique and provide fun, creative and artistic images for my clients, that they will cherish for a lifetime.  If you put all of my wedding albums from the same location together in a row, you would see that the images differ a bit and are not the same pose, same place.  The other reason is purely selfish.  I feel that in order to better myself as an artist and keep things interesting, I need to try to create new imagery, making images at the same location, but not making the same image.  This is what keeps things fresh and feeds my love for wedding photography.  So, at each wedding I photograph, I try to make the images different, even when I’m at the same location.

Where do I seek inspiration for my newly created images? Pinterest.com of course.  I also gain inspiration from other sources, but mostly the Pinterest website.  With the extensive library of the Pinterest website, there is an unlimited supply of  images to be inspired by and I love going there to see all the great wedding images and feed my inspiration.  However, I do have a Love/Hate relationship with Pinterest and here’s why…

Lately,  (this is happening a lot more often) I have been getting several shot lists, and links to Pinterest boards, both from perspective and future clients, with photos that they saw on Pinterest that they want me to do.  While I have no problem giving our clients what they want and I will certainly do so, this practice is killing the creative process of wedding photography.   Perhaps there is some confusion between the two words: Inspiration and Duplication.  I love to get INSPIRED by photos that I see, not only on Pinterest, but from many other sources.  But my goal is not to DUPLICATE the images that I see, but to use that as a basis for my own take on it.  Use it to inspire me to create my own images.   Because if I did try to duplicate an image, that does not help me grow as an artist.  It just teaches me how to copy someone else’s work.  It also doesn’t get my clients excited about my work…because it isn’t my work.  Of the times I have duplicated and image that a client requested from Pinterest, once the client sees the image, there is no emotional connection or impact.  It’s simply bland.  Yup, okay good…you got that one.  Yes, you got that one too.  But when they see the images that I have created, that they were not expecting, that came from within me at that very moment, then I’ll get the WOW, OMG and OOHs, they have a much greater impact and are treasured much more by my clients, because they have not seen them before.  They are emotionally connected to the image because it brings back memories of their special day.

Photo by Mattnnat.com, Pennsylvania

Photo by Mattnnat.com, Pennsylvania

Duplicated Photo from Pinterest

My Duplicated Photo for the client.

I feel my clients are drawn to me and my style of photography because they like what I see when I look into my camera.  They like my creativity.  This is the reason they choose me to capture their wedding memories.  But sometimes, someone will show me a bunch of photos they found on Pinterest and say, I want you to do this photo and this one…oh and this one too, etc…  There goes my creativity! 😦  If I have to worry about a shot-list:  gotta do this shot, then gotta do this one, oh and can’t forget this one, checking off each one on the list so I don’t forget any…then the entire wedding will be a duplication of other peoples photos and will not be a true representation of the reason the clients hired me in the first place.  There will be no time for me to be creative, if I’m constantly looking at a list, or some Pinterest photos that I need to copy.  The end result will be a wedding that doesn’t match my style and doesn’t represent my work and doesn’t provide that emotional connection for my clients.

So, I just wanted to voice this to any future brides out there reading this blog.  If you hire a professional photographer because you like their style and the images they have created, then allow them to WOW you with their talent.  Providing a list of Pinterest photos that you want them to duplicate will totally squash their creativity and in the end, you will not like the images as much as you may have thought you would.  A wedding is an Amazing Day and should be filled with images that make you say WOW, OMG and remind you of that amazing experience, not images that make you just say, yup…okay…got it…good.

I feel that Pinterest is a great tool for gaining INSPIRATION.  I don’t feel it should be used for DUPLICATION of images that someone else has already created.  Ask your photographer to look at the images that you like and that you are drawn to.  We can be inspired by them to create something unique and quite possibly better than the images that you saw and those images will have a better emotional connection and timeless impact than anything that can be duplicated.

Thanks for reading.

Excuse me Miss, but your Pad is showing!

I absolutely LOVE being a full-time professional photographer and I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do than photograph people’s weddings  and their milestone moments.  But at the same time, I think one of the most difficult jobs out there nowadays is to be a professional wedding photographer. What with the onslaught of consumer point-and-shoot cameras, mobile phones, tablets, digital capture devices, personal video recording devices and more,  it’s an extremely difficult task to get a really great image of the bride and groom throughout the day.  Why is it so tough?  Because lately, more and more guests at a wedding are not being very considerate of the bride and groom.

how your guests ruin your wedding photos

Excuse me Miss, your pad is showing!

While I don’t usually mind the many guests at a wedding taking multiple photographs during the ceremony and reception,  it’s particularly stressful and also a pet peeve of mine when I’m trying to get a really awesome and memorable shot of the bride and her dad coming down the aisle, (such as this one posted here) only for it to be ruined by somebody’s digital device being stuck out into the aisle right in front of my camera view, ruining both the moment and the photograph.

A wedding is one of those milestone events that you only have one chance to get right.  There are no do overs!  When the moment is gone, it’s lost forever.  That’s why this is a source of great stress for the professional photographer (me) trying to capture that magical moment that my clients invested very good money for!  I’m in position, I’m ready, here comes the moment…and there goes someone ruining it.  I feel sad for the wedding couple, because they won’t get to enjoy and cherish these photos now.

how your guests can ruin your wedding photos

Groomsman suffering from facebook-interruptus during the ceremony

The shots shown here are by no means an isolated incident. A quick search online to news sites like the Huffington Post and CNN, will confirm that more and more wedding memories are being lost due to others interfering with the professional photographers shots.  There are hundreds more photographs, just like these here that end up in my computer’s recycling bin instead of as part of the bride and grooms most memorable and treasured collection.

With the myriad of digital devices getting bigger and bigger screens, this problem is getting even worse!  So, what can we do to put a stop to this?  I do understand that the guests of the wedding are anxious and excited to take photos of the bride and groom, but is it so important that they need to ruin the bride’s memories of her special day?  There’s got to be another way!  Do we return to the old ways and put it into our photography contracts that no one else is allowed to take photographs?

In the past, professional photographers such as myself had it written into our contracts that no other people were allowed to take photos during the Ceremony or the Formals.  Over the years,  this became frowned upon due to the fact that most of the guests carried with them point and shoot cameras, mobile phones with cameras and nowadays, tablets with cameras.  But these old-day rules were put into the contract for good reason.  We photographers work incredibly hard to try to capture every special moment and lots of those moments are ruined either by some other camera’s flash, or by someone jerking out their device in front, just to get a shot.  These bigger screen digital devices truly are disruptive to the wedding and ruin many photos throughout the day as you see from these shots.  It’s gotten to be so bad that even the wedding party is pulling out phones or devices, just to get a “live” shot to upload to social media.  Do you suffer from Facebook Interruptus?

I find it hard to believe that guests of a wedding cannot see how wrong this is.  Think of all the shots that we professionals have to throw away because of this.  There isn’t just one person at the wedding doing this either, there are many, many people doing this all at the same time.  You may even wonder sometimes how the professional gets any good shots at all.  There has to be a happy medium somewhere that will please both the guests and not ruin the professional’s images.  Personally, I feel it is up to the married couple to set the ground rules on this one.  Don’t let your guests ruin your wedding photos!  Tell them that you are having an “Unplugged Wedding”.  What’s an unplugged wedding?  Simply put, no digital capture devices.  Invite your guests to enjoy the wedding, hear the beautiful words that are being shared and feel the love in the room during the ceremony.  Most professional photographers will post the wedding images online and all of your guests will have the chance to see all the amazing photos taken throughout the day.  They are even available for purchase, if guests want to have a keepsake of your wedding day.

I chose to blog about this today, after having this happen to me at some recent weddings and after reading several online news stories about this happening at other weddings too.  My goal is only to bring some awareness to any of my future wedding clients who are reading this.  As the married couple,  you have every right to make special requests on your wedding day.  The simplest way to take control of the situation and avoid this happening during your wedding would be to include a note to your invited guests within your wedding invitation, stating the you do not wish your guests to use their digital cameras, tablets, or otherwise during the ceremony, formals, or otherwise interfere with the professional photographers photos.

You see, this information coming directly from your professional photographer to your guests, would be received in a very negative way, thereby making him or her out to be a bad/mean person.  But merely all we are trying to do is ensure that you get the very best value and amazing, memorable images throughout your day, which is what you paid me top dollar to do.  We work extremely hard and are 100% invested into your wedding, trying to make it the experience of your lifetime.  It is very, very sad when an amazing and heart-warming image that would take your breath away, is ruined by someone with a mobile device and long arms, or someone Photo-Bombing during a milestone occasion, such as the Cake Cutting.

cake-bombing

wedding guest cake-bombing

So, if you agree with me and if your wedding  photography is very important to you, you may consider sending a note to your guests, along with the invitation stating that your wedding be an “Unplugged” occasion.  This means asking them to refrain from using electronic devices and thereby placing them in the photographer’s way during the ceremony and formal photos.  They will have plenty of opportunities to photograph the bride and groom during the reception.  Unplugged weddings are gaining popularity and are the best way to get to most out of your wedding  images.

If you don’t agree with me and if photography is not that important, then please be forewarned that although we will do our very best to get all the great moments and images we can, some of your once-in-a-lifetime, heart-stopping, most memorable, unable to be done over, moments may be lost forever, because someone’s pad is showing, someone is photo-bombing or someone otherwise ruined the photos.

(Stepping off my soapbox)

Off I go to my next wedding, with fingers crossed and hoping no one photo bombs it!

Thanks for reading!

Photo Contest – We’re Engaged – Last few days to enter!

Photo Contest - Enter to Win!

 

 

Wow!  There is less than one week left in our photo contest and the competition is getting fierce!  Now things are getting interesting!

The contest is open to any and all engaged couples who submit a photo to us.  The winner will receive a FREE Engagement Session with us. ($150 Value)

Now it’s “crunch-time” as we get closer to the deadline for this contest so it’s extremely important to get all of your friends and family involved in the voting process.  Use your social media popularity and get your friends to vote for your photo!  Feel free to post a link on your facebook and twitter profiles and get people voting.  The winner of this contest will be the photo with the most votes.  Don’t delay, upload your photo and then get everyone you know involved in the voting process.  To vote, all they need to do is visit our Facebook fan page and LIKE the page if they haven’t already.  Then vote as many times as they would like to vote for your photo (once per day), until someone wins!

Here is the link:  https://www.facebook.com/DiazDigitalDiscoveries?sk=app_479313368760498

Will it be you?  That’s up to you and your friends.  Yes, you can vote for your own photo!  So, what are you waiting for?  Go upload your photo today and get voting!

Hurry!  The contest ends on Monday February 18, 2013!

Good luck to everyone who has entered and to all those new entries as well.

Here is the link again:  https://www.facebook.com/DiazDigitalDiscoveries?sk=app_479313368760498

 

Don’t Trash the Dress, Glam the Dress!

Bridal Portrait on the Beach

Don’t Trash the Dress, Glam the Dress!

If you have been keeping up with the news stories, there has been a lot of debate about brides wanting to do a Trash the Dress photo session after their wedding. There are lots of stories and probably thousands of Youtube videos showing what can and sometimes does go wrong during these sessions. If you have time to kill, you can spend about a weeks time watching all the videos.

We love doing TTD sessions, and we love to be creative about them. But, we also believe that a Trash the Dress session isn’t for everyone. Not everyone wants to jump into a river, climb a tree, dive into mud, or slide into home-plate with their wedding dress. Especially if you paid lots of money for your wedding dress! So, before you store that dress away in that box, under your bed, or up in the attic…keep reading!

What can you do with your dress after the wedding that won’t ruin it, but will still be exciting, fun and can reward you with gorgeous, stunning wall art and stylish images that you will cherish forever? Don’t Trash the dress, Glam the dress! Our Glamour Photography sessions are the perfect way to get more from your wedding dress than the short period of time of your wedding day. Perhaps you didn’t have enough time to get those awesome images you had in mind on your wedding day because things were too hectic or were running behind schedule. Perhaps the weather wasn’t perfect and you had to go to Plan B for your wedding and have it indoors instead of outside. Whatever your reasons were, you can truly get some fun, fashionable, beautiful images in your wedding dress, when you book a Glamour Session with us. You can pick a location, or we can do your photo shoot in our studio. Our no-obligation, pre-session planning meeting will help you prepare for your photo shoot. We will talk about hair, makeup, how to prepare and what to expect on the day of your shoot. Then, we will schedule a date to create the Magic that is You!

Contact us now to book your Glamour Photography Session with us, even if we didn’t photograph your wedding. We’d love to create the images of your dreams and beyond. What’s better than lots of high fashion, stunning images of you? Lots of high fashion, stunning images of you – created by us! 🙂

Call today to book your Glam Session. Who knows, your glamour bridal portraits may be picked to be in one of our local bridal magazines or be an entry into our photography competitions! (Major Bragging Rights there!)

Click on the photo above or visit our website to book your session!   www.DiazDD.com

We’re Serious About Your Wedding Photography!

MY PRECIOUS!

Although we love to photograph weddings and have so much fun doing so, we take our job very seriously!  As you can see from the photo above, some of our best experiences are with clients such as these, who like to have fun on their special day.  After all, your wedding day has many elements to it, but when you sum them all up, it’s a Celebration.  The best celebrations are the ones that are filled with fun moments throughout the day.

We are serious about your photography, because we know how important the day is to you, your family and everyone else who chose to join in your celebration.  That’s why we keep our equipment and our skills up to date.  There are no do-overs in weddings and so when it comes to photography, you get what you get.  So, make sure that you choose a professional that is serious about wedding photography, with a proven track record of success.  Just make sure they are not too serious to have fun with you and your guests!  Our easy-going and relaxed way will help you get through the day and after it’s all done, you will have lots and lots of great moments that you will cherish for a lifetime.

I get asked a lot of the time “what’s your style?”  Well, I don’t really have one.  Why not you may ask?  Because your wedding day should not be about what MY style is.  Your wedding day should be about what YOUR style is.  What do you like?  Do you prefer Traditional photography?  We do Traditional.  Do you like Artistic?  We do Artistic.  Are you all about Fashion?  We do Fashion.  Are you a joke-ster and always up to Antics?  We do Antics.  How about All of the Above?  Yes, we do that too.  If you just are not sure what you like, we’ll mix it up and do a little of everything, that way you’ll get the best of it all.  Whatever your style, we will match your wedding photography to fit you perfectly.

When choosing a wedding photographer, it’s important to choose someone that not only loves what they do, but also someone who will love whatever you want to do.  To find that perfect photographer for you…the one that’s going to produce those images of your dreams, first find someone who’s personality you like.  Then find someone who is excited to capture your wedding, whether it’s “Old School” or “New School”.  But most importantly, make sure that they are excited about photographing your wedding celebration and make sure they have the experience to be able to provide you with gorgeous, images of your wedding day that will make you smile, laugh and cry tears of joy, over and over again. We may not be the least expensive wedding photography, but we will make sure that we are worth every penny you invest in us!

Contact us and let’s talk about your wedding day wishes and dreams. 🙂

 

Wachusett Mountain Wedding Photography

Hello Blog fans!

I have a few favorite images to share with you from a recent Snowboarding themed wedding we photographed at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area in Princeton, Massachusetts.

It’s not every day that we get to do something unique like this and I was very excited to be able to capture this wedding day celebration!  We had lots of fun and we got lots of great images that showcase the fun and emotions shared throughout their special day.

The staff at Wachusett Mountain always do a great job with the place settings and details. Their service can’t be beat!  Oh, and the food is amazing as well!  Just look at how delicious this looks!  Take it from me, (I got to taste it) it tastes as good as it looks!

I even got to sample the awesomely delicious cupcakes served from The Cake Spot in Quincy, Ma.
These little delights were made in Heaven!  The flavor?  Strawberry Shortcake, with Coconut over the top of the frosting.  Mmmm, I can almost taste them again right now!  Get yourself down to The Cake Spot for a few of these amazing cupcakes!

Albert and Lisa (Groom and Bride) had a cute little snowball fight and I think you’ll agree from this shot here that Lisa may have won the battle.  Better luck next time Albert!

Albert and Lisa, thank you both very much for choosing us for this unique and fun celebration!  We had a blast and hope you did too!

Coming Soon…video highlights of their wedding celebration will be posted on our website: www.DiazDD.com under the VIDEO tab.

For now, enjoy the images.

Beauty Discovered.