Did you plan enough time for all your wedding photos?

Wedding Album Designs

Planning a wedding is a huge task and it can be difficult to estimate how much time things are going to take throughout the day.  Most couples will get advice from friends or relatives who recently had their own weddings on how to estimate times and create their wedding day timeline.

Many times I am so disappointed when I learn that the “Formal Photography” portion of the day is just about one hour long.  Typically this is the time between the end of the ceremony and the start of the reception and most often is only 60 minutes, especially when the ceremony and reception are in the same location.  Well, that may be 60 minutes on paper, but it never works out that way in real life.

See, in order to get that full hour that is allotted on the timeline, there can be no deviations whatsoever.  This means no receiving line. No distractions. No talking to anyone after the ceremony. No bathroom or smoke breaks. No eating or drinking anything and everyone must stay together until all the photos are done.  Any deviation from this will throw off the timeline and this time loss must be recovered somewhere.  Unfortunately, the time lost is often recovered from what was originally allotted for the formal photo hour.

It’s sad because couples spend lots and lots of money to plan this important day and in most cases, it’s that very couple who ends up with the least amount of formal photos.  Yes, of course the whole day is about you, the newly married couple and you are being photographed throughout the day, in order to tell the story, but when the formal photography part comes, you are missing out.  If we only have one hour to do all of the formal photos, we start with the entire wedding party (how many do you have?), then immediate families on both sides, extended families on both sides, then smaller groups, etc.  Once all of this is done, then it’s time to photograph just the two of you together…oh wait…we now have 10 minutes left before you have to go line up to be introduced for the reception party. 😦

In order to create a full series of beautiful, artistic and story-telling images of your wedding, we need time.  More than just 10 or 15 minutes.  Let’s not even factor in if we are creating a video as well.  Those wedding films that you see us create, take time to create. Just like in Hollywood, we need to film sequences and sometimes, filming those sequences will require a “Take Two” or “Take Three” if they didn’t come out just right.

Ideally, it would be amazing to have Two Hours to photograph all of the formals.  This may seem like a lot of time, but it really isn’t.  Those couples that do give us this time end up with lots more beautiful, creative and artistic photos and they are so happy they did.

You wouldn’t plan such an important day, invest so much money and pay so much attention to all the details, without allowing enough time for photography or video, would you?  Just remember… after your wedding is over, all you will have left is vague memories of the day, your wedding rings, photos/video and perhaps a wedding album.  We want to be able to capture you at your best and create beautiful wedding album designs like this one shown.  In order to do this, we need time.  The more time we have, the better.

When planning your wedding day, be sure to factor-in enough time for photography and/or video!

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! 🙂

The Honeymoon is over…after 90 days!

(SPOILER ALERT) – Future Brides may not want to read this until after your wedding day.  This is what really happens after your wedding day…

As your wedding day approaches, so does all the excitement about your big day!  All that planning and preparation comes together to create one amazing celebration, filled with little moments and big memories that will last a lifetime.  Your wedding day celebration is the talk of the town, the next big thing and what everyone is looking forward to sharing with you.  One amazing day and one amazing night with one amazing couple. YOU!

(Fast Forward)

Now, your wedding day has come and gone and yes indeed, it was everything you could have dreamed of and more.  But what happens now?  What happens after your wedding day?  Sadly, as each day goes by, little by little the newness and excitement about your amazing wedding begins to wear off…and then it’s back to business as usual. Reality and life sets in.

The question is…how long does this joy, love, excitement and newness of your wedding last?  How long after your wedding day are you still in the Limelight?  How long will it be before your friends and family are no longer sooo excited about your wedding and everything related to it?  Well, I believe the answer is different for different people.  It really depends on who you ask.  Your close friends and family will all likely have a different response to this question.  But how about the guests who attended your wedding?  How long will it be for them before they are “over it”?  Ask them and I bet some of the responses may make you laugh!  Ask yourself too.  How long before you are over it and no longer want to do “wedding stuff” anymore?

You may be wondering why I’m even bringing this up?  Well, now that I have you thinking about how others feel about your wedding, after it’s over… here’s why I bring it up. How long after your wedding day do you think your wedding vendors will still be excited about your wedding day?  (Florist, Priest or JP, Limo Driver, Cake Vendor, DJ, Venue Coordinator, Photographer, Videographer) Again, if you were to poll these other wedding vendors, the response would be a bit different for each of them. (kind of funny when you think about it – right?)  Can you picture any of your other wedding vendor’s excitement about your wedding, once the wedding day is over?  LOL

That’s what I really want to know…how long after your wedding day should (I, Me, Photographer) be excited about your wedding?  1 week?  – 1 month? – 6 months?  When is the “Honeymoon” period of your wedding day over for your photographer?  Well, while I can’t speak for anyone else, I can tell you that for me, the Honeymoon is over…after 90 days.  In some cases, up to 180 days.  If you are reading this before your wedding day, this is also something to keep in mind when you are considering what the cost is for your photography or videography.  To my knowledge, no other wedding vendors are still working on your wedding between 90 – 180 days after that one amazing day.

The “honeymoon is over” sounds a bit cold…so let me try to explain this a little more.

BEFORE THE DAY:  Just as you are, we are SUPER excited about anything and everything related to your wedding!  We are looking forward to seeing and capturing every single moment we can find, in order to provide you with a series of images that will tell the story of your day and allow you and your friends and families to relive every amazing moment, again and again, each time you see your wedding album and other images.

WEDDING DAY:  On the day of your wedding we are full of energy throughout the whole day and we want to help make your day fun, stress free and beautiful.  We are down for whatever it takes to make your whole experience unforgettable and we want your friends, family and guests to also have an unforgettable day.

AFTER THE DAY:  3 weeks after your wedding day, we are still super excited about all the amazing moments we captured.  Your photos are now ready and we can’t wait to show them all to you, have you share them with your friends and family and we can’t wait to get started creating your gorgeous, amazing wedding album, wall portraits and other products you are going to order.  We can’t wait to blog about it and post some of our favorite pics on social media for all the world to see, as we wait for you to choose your wedding album selections. That’s when the waiting game begins, the fun starts to fade and reality sets in for us.

You see, here at our studio, we are very sure to inform each and every one of our wedding couples that they have only 90 days after their wedding to make their selections for their wedding album, gift prints and all other products from their wedding.  It is even stated in our wedding contract.  Now, some of you may say wow, 3 months is a long time!  I don’t need that long…I can get it done way sooner than that.  But believe me, all too often we are sending reminder e-mails, phone calls, texts and even feel like we are nagging some of our couples to get it done within the 3 month period.  Most couples are good about this…while some are not.

Why do we even have the 90 day deadline? For two main reasons.  The first reason is strictly hard drive space.  We have only a limited amount of space on our computer hard drives and servers for so many wedding photos and all of the other photos from our other photography services that we create for our clients.  We are a full service studio and we specialize in weddings, but we also do other types of photography.  A full wedding day takes up by far much more space on our hard drives than anything else we do and as much as we would like to, we can’t keep the photos on there forever.  In order to make room for the upcoming work we have, we have to make room on our hard drives.  How do we do this?  Just like you do it at home.  We go through and (gasp) have to delete the oldest jobs on our hard drives, in order to make room for the new photos and videos that will be coming.  If we didn’t do this, we would need to own an Iron Mountain type company in order to store the many thousands of photos and videos we create each year.

The second reason for our 90 day deadline is because after this time period, we have become extremely busy providing an equally awesome experience for our new clients, that we have to prioritize our workload.  So, the further away your wedding day gets, the less time we have to devote to it.  On your wedding day, you are top priority on our To Do List.  Then, as each new job comes through, that client goes to the top of the priority list and your wedding moves down one notch. Each time we have another new client to photograph, your wedding moves down the list again…and again.

Your wedding photos are at the Top of our To Do List right after your wedding day.

Your wedding photos are at the Top of our To Do List right after your wedding day.

The key to making sure that you stay on the upper end of our to do list, is to do work on your end.  Do your homework.  Pick your thank you card photos, gift prints, wedding album selections and all other products you would like to order, within that 90 day period after you have your proofs and they are also online.  That will ensure you have your products back faster and you don’t end up at the very bottom of our to do list.  The 90 day online gallery that we offer with every wedding package is a good tool to help you keep track of how much time you have left.  You will receive several reminder e-mails about your wedding photo gallery and even one that tells you when you only have 10 days left before the gallery expires.  Once the online gallery expires, so does your place at the top of our to do list.

Don't let your wedding end up at the bottom of the queue!

Don’t let your wedding end up at the bottom of the queue!

Our studio currently photographs approximately 50 weddings each year, not to mention the many other clients and types of photography that we also do each year, so needless to say we are extremely busy.  And when I say (We) I mean (Me) since I am the one who creates the photos, I am the one who processes the photos, I also print them, I design the wedding albums…yes, I do it all and I love every minute of it, except for the waiting part.  I am only one person and there are only so many hours in one day I can devote to work.  Why don’t I just hire more people?  Because then, I would have to raise my prices by a whole lot more and nobody wants that – right? So, you may be able to see why once your wedding has reached that 90 day period, I may not seem to be as excited about it, as I was before your wedding, or on your wedding day.

Don’t get me wrong… I STILL LOVE YOU and I’m looking forward to our future together.  I would love to be your family photographer and continue to grow the friendship we created and have shared to date.  I will always love your wedding photos and cherish those great moments and memories too, but the honeymoon is over and now I need to make time and space for my other clients too.  I absolutely LOVE photographing weddings and everything about it!  It’s my absolute favorite thing to photograph, but in order to provide each and every one of my clients with an equally amazing experience, I need to set some deadlines and I feel that 90 days is quite a reasonable amount of time for every client.

So, there you have it.  Now you know a little bit more about how things go down here (behind the scenes) at DDD.  Beyond just the work, I also need to (and want to) devote some of my time to my wife, my family, expand my creativity and plain old recreation…I do like my video games!!! 🙂

So, what do you think?  Please feel free to chime in, leave a comment below, as I am curious to know how others feel about this.  Do you think a 90 day deadline is a reasonable amount of time after a wedding?  Is it too much time?  Not enough time?  When should the “Honeymoon” period be over for your wedding photographer?  What are your thoughts?

I often hear “Photography is the most important thing to us!”

bride and bridesmaidsWhen I meet with couples about their wedding day, they often tell me that Professional Photography is the most important thing to them!  That is, until they find out what it costs.  So, then I wonder if what they said is really true.

Let’s examine this for a moment and do some comparisons to see what you (personally) feel would be the most important thing to you on your wedding day.

I feel that whatever the most important item on your wedding day checklist is, should go at the top of the list and whatever is the least important to you should go on the bottom.  You should pay for the most important item first and then you have the remainder of your wedding budget to spread out for everything else, right?  Makes sense to me.  (Every item and detail of your wedding is important, but some more than others.)

More often than not, when I meet with couples, they have already bought their Wedding Dress, booked their Location, DJ, Cake, Limo and sometimes even Flowers.  So, by the time they meet with me, more than half of their wedding budget has been spent, or promised…but photography is the most important thing to them. (Hmmm)

If you want to know how important professional photography REALLY is to you, ask yourself these questions:  (Would you pay / Did you pay)

Would you pay / Did you pay more for your Wedding Dress than you’re willing to pay for your photography?

Would you pay / Did you pay more for your Bridal Party Gifts than you’re willing to pay for your photography?

Would you pay / Did you pay more for your Wedding Shoes than you’re willing to pay for your photography?

Will you pay / Did you pay more for your DJ or Band than you’re willing to pay for your photography?

Would you pay / Did you pay more for your Limo (or Limos) than you’re willing to pay for your photography?

Would you pay / Did you pay more for your Flowers than you’re willing to pay for your photography?

Would you pay / Did you pay more for your Wedding Cake than you’re willing to pay for your photography?

Would you pay / Did you pay more for your Reception Venue location than you’re willing to pay for your photography?

Would you pay / Did you pay more for your Dinner Selections than you’re willing to pay for your photography?

Would you pay / Did you pay more for your Wedding Rings than you’re willing to pay for your photography?

If you answered Yes to more than one of these, then really…how important is professional photography to you?

Using the above Ten examples, on a scale from 1 – 10 (1 being the highest importance), where do you have Photography on that list?

If it’s not in the top three, then perhaps photography is not really that important to you…or perhaps you may need to reevaluate your list, or your budget.

Every person is different and will have this list in a different order, which is perfectly fine and that’s what makes us all unique.  Where did you place professional photography on your list?

An experienced, talented, professional photographer that can capture all of the amazing images that will be your fondest memories forever…for some people is Priceless!

Are you one of these people?  If so, then invest more in your Professional Photography and have amazing and beautiful memories that you will cherish for a lifetime.

After all, Professional Photography is the most important thing to you…right?  🙂

Book Your 2013 or 2014 Wedding Photography and Videography at our 2012 Prices!

Book us for your Wedding Photography & Video – Then do your Happy Dance!

 

This Sunday, October 7th we will be at The Original Wedding Expo, Sturbridge Host Hotel in Sturbridge, MA.  (11:00AM – 3:30PM)

Come see us at Booth #52 and you can book your 2013 or 2014 Wedding Photography and Videography packages at our current 2012 prices!  That’s right, you can lock in these prices now and if we raise our prices next year or the year after, you are safe!  You can do your Happy Dance!

As usual, we will also be offering some Expo Only Deals that are for a limited time only, as well as taking part in the giveaway that take place at this event.  You surely don’t want to miss out on any of those prizes!

We are a Certified Professional Photography studio and we specialize in Weddings.  With our long list of extremely happy couples who have entrusted us to capture their wedding celebration, you can’t go wrong by choosing us.

Do you know someone who is recently engaged and searching for Photography or Videography services?  Share this information with them!  In fact, if you are one of our previous wedding clients, take advantage of our referral bonus system and send your friends to us.  It’s perfectly okay that there’s something in it for you too.   LOL

Besides, your friend will thank you for it for years to come!

This is our last wedding expo in 2012, so stop by, ask us your questions and talk with us about your special day.   Let us help you take “PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO” off your To Do List.

Don’t miss out on the huge savings and LOCK-IN your wedding photography at our current rates before they go up!

Hope to see you at the Expo!

Our brides bring their babies to us. – Newborn Baby Portraits. VIP Program

ImageAs most of you know, we specialize in wedding photography. Weddings are what we do most and we love everything about them.  One of the best things we like about our wedding clients is being able to stay in contact with them after all the excitement and glamour of the wedding day has passed.  We primarily stay in touch with our clients via Facebook or Twitter, without which I don’t know what we would all do – right?  LOL.

It’s always so exciting to see one of our clients post the news that they are pregnant and that a child will soon bring new and exciting times into their lives. Even if that child isn’t the first one, there is still much to be excited about!

We primarily photograph weddings, but that is not all we do.  The majority of our brides will return to us to have a maternity portrait session and then a bit later on, a newborn portrait session or baby announcement video and then a family portrait session.  We are a full service photography and video studio and we love to hear from our clients whenever they need professional photography or video services.  Even our clients who were not former brides keep in contact with us and we are so grateful that they keep coming back for their photography and video needs.

Coming soon we are going to implement our new e-newsletter and a newly redesigned V.I.P. program, which will have some great benefits for all our return clients. We are very excited to begin these new programs and we look forward to getting started and keeping in touch with our clients in this new and efficient way.  After several attempts to use traditional newsletters, we have decided to “embrace this digital age” (hahaha) and use e-newsletters to get the word out to our clients.

From Brides, to Boudoir, to Babies, to Business, we create beautiful, professional, timeless portraits and creative storytelling video productions of our client’s weddings, maternity, newborn, family, high school seniors, corporate business and all other important events in their lives.  If you are not one of our clients yet, we welcome you to become part of our photographic family and enjoy the lasting benefits of our upcoming V.I.P. program.

Want to stay in the loop with what we are doing?  Visit our Facebook Page and subscribe to our Newsletters for up to date information on our promotions and specials, plus information on what’s coming up next.

If you are not on Facebook, simply send an e-mail to: info@diazdd.com and in the Subject line just type: SUBSCRIBE ME.  We will take care of the rest.

A million thanks to our newest clients, our current clients and our return clients for keeping us in business, doing what we love the most.

Wedding Reception Entertainment Idea

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We recently had the opportunity to photograph a very beautiful and unique wedding and reception at the Leicester Country Club in Leicester MA.  The decorations were unique, the wedding cake was unique and the entertainment during the reception was also unique.  I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing performer Julie C. Myers, professionally known as “Nearly Nicks”. she is a Stevie Nicks impersonator and does a fantastic job!  Both visually and audibly, she has everything down to the very gestures spot on.  It was a pleasure to be in the audience during this wonderful performance and to be able to capture some great images of this performer. it’s always great.  It’s always great when there’s something unique during the wedding celebration.  Big thanks again to Diane and Sonia Geer for entrusting me with photographing their wedding celebration and creating many memories for them that will last a lifetime.

For anyone looking for something a little different for their wedding reception entertainment, I highly recommend you contact her if you’re a fan of Steve Nicks.  You will indeed be starstruck. 🙂

You may reach Nearly Nick’s by way of her website: http://www.nearlynicks.com