OMG! You’re Engaged! Where do you start?!

Engagement PhotoCongratulations ladies!  (stealing from Beyonce’)  he liked it and he put a ring on it!  So, now what?  Where do you start after getting engaged?  There is so much to do that it can be overwhelming if you just sit and think about it.  But don’t get stressed.  After all the initial excitement from telling both sides of your families and friends, you are going to have a whole lot to do!  Most couples don’t know where to start!  No worries!  We can help.  Here is a list of 11 important things to do to get things started.

1- CHOOSE A SEASON.  Think about what your favorite season is.  Talk with your fiance’ about what time of year is best.  When are you generally feeling the happiest? Are you a “snow bunny”?  Perhaps Winter is your favorite season.  Do you love Spring flowers?  Is Summer your time to shine? Do you love the bright colors, coolness, cozy and delicious scents of Autumn?  Figure out when you are at your absolute best and mark that as the season you will be married.

2- PICK A DATE (range).  While you may think it will be too hard right now to pick a date, try to come up with a few possible dates within your chosen season.  You can worry about narrowing it down later, but for now have a couple of dates in mind for now.

3- DO YOUR RESEARCH (Financial)!  Find out what it’s going to take to make this happen?  How much money will you need to pull this off?  What does it cost to book a wedding venue, a photographer, church or JP, DJ, Limo and anything else you have in mind for your wedding…and don’t forget you will need to purchase or rent your gown!  Will you be getting financial help from your family or will it be funded by just the two of you? Is your wedding going to be this year or will you need to push it out in order to get your finances in order?   Make sure you have a clear understanding of this before you go on.

4- CHOOSE A BUDGET (range).  Now that you have an idea of what stuff costs, what’s going to be your budget?  It may sound weird to say “choose a budget”, but that is actually what you need to do.  Choose a (budget range)…but know that you are most likely going to need to adjust it, unless you already know exactly what everything you want and need costs.  I hear people saying that they can’t afford this, or can’t afford that…but that’s not really the case.  You see, people have money for the things they really want.  You really want that $700 tablet – right?  Then you save your money and you buy it.  Or, you say $700 is too much for me to spend on a tablet and you don’t buy it.  When you say you can’t afford something, you are just saying that you don’t want it that bad.  Because if you save up for it, you would have it.  So, choose how much you are willing to invest in your wedding in total…and also break it down into sections.  How much for the location, how much for the photographer, how much for the cake, etc.  How badly do you want each of these?  Then once you have that amount, later you can readjust or reallocate if need be.  Then start saving!!!

5- LOCATION LOCATION.  Where do you envision your dream wedding to be?  Does that location fit into your budget range?  If not, do you need to reevaluate your budget or choose another location?  Ask if they are available for the date (ranges) you have in mind. Again, ask yourself, how badly do I want this location?

6- PHOTOGRAPHY-VIDEOGRAPHY.  Why is this step so far up on the list?  Because the best and most popular wedding Photographers/Videographers will book up fast.  What does fast mean?  Well, typically 12-24 months before your wedding day your photographer is booking up their calendar.  For some, it’s even prior to that.  For instance, we were already booking weddings for 2015 during the Fall season of 2013.  And if your wedding date is during a popular month (May, June, September, October) there will be lots of other brides looking for those dates as well.  Talk with your photographer about your date ranges and see if they are available.  Remember to choose someone who’s work you love, but also someone you can connect with.  This will make your whole wedding day experience so much better. Do you need to readjust your budget or reallocate funds to get this photographer?  That depends on how important your wedding photography & videography is to you and how badly you want that vendor.  We can even help with recommendations on other vendors we have worked with in the past.

7- OTHER VENDORS.  The best vendors book up first, so once you know what you need, DJ, Entertainment, Cake, Flowers, etc…contact them right away.  Most will take a small deposit to reserve your date.  Get a better chance of having  your #1 choice on each of your vendors if you don’t wait until a later time to book them.

8- SAY YES TO A DRESS.  But before you do, pick up some bridal magazines and get inspired with the different styles and designs available for your season.  Don’t just settle for the strapless gowns that you see practically everywhere.  Strapless wedding gowns look beautiful on some women, but not on all women.  Find the perfect gown that fits great and looks great on you based on your body type.  Straps, sleeves, lace or a combination of all can be both elegant and compliment your figure.  Most dresses will need alterations and this can take time, so get a jump on this so you’ll have your dress in plenty of time before your wedding day.

9- GET HELP.  Who else is also very excited about your wedding?  Let them help you with the multitude of things you have to do?  Get ideas from your friends and family who are super excited about your big day and willing to do whatever it takes to make that day your best day ever!  Use their ideas as your inspiration and make it your own.

10- ONE DAY AT A TIME.  A complete wedding celebration isn’t built in one day or one week.  Don’t even try to get it all done in a month.  Dedicate a calendar to your wedding and figure out beforehand  when each milestone needs to be crossed off.  Some online wedding websites have a calendar feature and can help you get organized and have a plan of action.  Don’t worry too much if your miss a milestone either.  As long as you are close to the date chosen to complete each task, you are in good shape and you will be less stressed when your wedding date gets closer.

11- IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU (both).  Remember it’s all about you and your future spouse.  I can’t stress this enough.  Family and friends can overload you with their advice and suggestions on what you should do.  Try not to get all wrapped up in what everyone else thinks you should do or wants you to do on your wedding day.  Make it about you both and you will love everything about your wedding day.  Remember it’s a celebration so keep the stress level down.

Make the planning process fun, by getting ahead of it and not waiting til it’s crunch time.  With enough time, you can make this day one of the best days of your life.  Get your future spouse involved if you can and have fun with it.

Best Wishes!

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What Comes Before Black Friday? – White Sunday!

Before the Black Friday Sales - Come in for our White Sunday Sale!

Before the Black Friday Sales – Come in for our White Sunday Sale!

Later this month, get a head start before all the craziness of shopping for the perfect gifts for your family this holiday season.

Take advantage of our White Sunday Sale and book a Mini Portrait Session (30 minutes) with us and get some great photos that are perfect for holiday cards and gift giving.

30 minutes, One outfit, White background and you’ll be all set for the holiday season.

We have a large selection of options and samples for holiday cards this year, so come on in and take a look all our great card samples.

We have something for everyone and we can customize your cards to say whatever you wish.  Best of all, we will have your cards ready fast, so you can send them out early (envelopes included with most of our card selections).

This is the perfect time to check out Diaz Digital Discoveries at a fraction of our regular portrait session cost and get some beautiful portraits of you and your family

that you can keep and also share with your loved ones this holiday.  Our White Sunday Mini Portrait Session is only $50.

Our White Sunday Sale is One Day Only, so call today to reserve your appointment time!

Sunday, November 24th with appointment times between 10AM and 7PM.

These won’t last long, so call today or contact us by e-mail to setup your appointment or for more info.

Looking forward to seeing you at our studio!

508-216-5898 or email: info@DiazDD.com

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!

When To Plan Your Family Portrait Session

The best time to plan your family portrait session is now!

The best time to plan your family portrait session is right now!

 

I often get phone calls from people asking me when is the best time to have their family portraits done.  My answer is always the same for each family and is quite true.  The best time to have your family portraits done is right now. Yes, right now, while you are thinking of it.  That doesn’t mean that you have to book your family portrait session for this week.  It means that it’s always a good time to start the process.  Call to make your pre-session consultation with us and get the ball rolling.  There are lots of things to consider.  What season of the year would you like? Start thinking about location options.  Would you like your photo session to be in our studio, at your home, at a nice park, at the beach?  There are many options when it comes to this. What will you all wear?  Do you need haircuts, hairstyles or anything else to prepare before that day?  When you meet with us for your session consultation, we will go over all of these options, share ideas with you and make recommendations to you based on your needs and desires.  Then we will choose a date for your session.  The sooner you book this, the more availability we will have.  Our calendar books up fast and during our busy season, we will have very limited open dates for family portraits.  If you book early, you can choose a date and time that will be most convenient for you, then you can start getting ready for the big day.

Whatever your wishes are, we can help you in the planning process to ensure that your family portraits are a beautiful and timeless addition to your home, that you and your family will cherish forever.  Don’t wait until your kids get older, you loose weight,  dye your hair, the weather is just right, you have extra money (what’s EXTRA money anyway?), or any of the other excuses we all use to talk ourselves out of things.  With proper planning, you can finally take “Family Portraits” off your To Do List and put them on your walls!

With Tax Returns arriving (extra money?), our appointments are booking up now for the rest of the seasons in 2013.  So, don’t delay, make your appointment to meet with us and book your family portrait session now, for the best flexibility in choosing your month/date.  Our new portrait package options make it very easy for you to choose, because they all include the session, either indoors or outdoors at our studio or at a local location at no extra charge. Plus, all of our packages include a product credit, so you can build your own package and get exactly what you want, from our selection of options, including framed wall portraits, canvas artwork, gift prints, family albums, photo books, holiday ornaments, holiday cards and lots of other fun and unique products we offer.  Book and pay for your package now, and there’s no need to worry about having money to pay for your order later.  It’s included! 🙂

Call today to book your no-cost session consultation and get started on accomplishing this goal.  Your family portrait become more and more valuable as the years pass! You and your family will be so glad you did this!  When’s the best time to book your family portrait session?  Right now!  Don’t wait. Do it now!  Call 508-216-5898 or e-mail us: info@DiazDD.com for more information and to schedule your pre-session consultation.

We look forward to creating many beautiful and cherished memories that you and your family will treasure forever!  We hope to see you soon!

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

 

Photo Contest – Recently Engaged – Upload your photo for a chance to win!

Photo Contest

Our photo contest is underway and still going.  If you haven’t heard about it yet, here is the information.

If you are an engaged couple, upload a photo of you and your fiance’ to us on our Facebook fan page, then tell all your friends and family about it and have them vote for your photo.  There’s no obligation and it doesn’t cost anything to enter.  All you have to do is visit our Facebook page, LIKE our page if you haven’t already and follow the instructions to submit a photo of you and your sweetheart to be eligible to win.  You can use any camera, phone, tablet or other device to capture the photo. At the end of the contest, the photo with the most votes wins a FREE Engagement Session with us!

That’s all!  The only conditions are these:

1. The photo must be of you and your sweetheart.

2. You must be engaged to be married.

3. You must NOT use a copyrighted professional photograph.

Enter your photo today and tell all your friends and family to vote for you on our Facebook Fan Page:  www.facebook.com/diazdigitaldiscoveries

Good luck!  Contest Ends 2/18/2013 and winner will be notified shortly after that date.

We’re Engaged! – Photo Contest. Upload your photo for a chance to win!

Engagement Photo

Free Engagement Photo Session – Enter to Win!

To celebrate all the newly engaged couples, we are holding a “We’re Engaged” – Photo Contest. This one’s gonna be easy to enter folks!  If you are an engaged couple, upload a photo to us on our Facebook fan page, then tell all your friends and family about it and have them vote for your photo.  There’s no obligation and it doesn’t cost anything to enter.  All you have to do is visit our Facebook page, LIKE our page if you haven’t already and follow the instructions to submit a photo of you and your sweetheart to be eligible to win.  You can use any camera, phone, tablet or other device to capture the photo. At the end of the contest, the photo with the most votes wins a FREE Engagement Session with us!

That’s all!  The only conditions are these:

1. The photo must be of you and your sweetheart.

2. You must be engaged to be married.

3. You must NOT use a copyrighted professional photograph.

Enter your photo today and tell all your friends and family to vote for you on our Facebook Fan Page:  www.facebook.com/diazdigitaldiscoveries

Good luck!  Contest Ends 2/18/2013 and winner will be notified shortly after that date.