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?  🙂

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!

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!

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. 🙂

 

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!

Bouquet Toss. Action Shot! Real-Time Wedding Photo.

Image

Here’s another priceless moment from a wedding that we love to photograph!  As I wrote in my last post, I am going to be sharing some “real-time” wedding images with you. These are moments that were not posed or staged, but moments that we were ready for, because of our years of experience specializing in wedding photography.

The Bouquet Toss is a time of excitement and it’s so much fun at a wedding because you never know what will happen!  I could tell you some stories about the many funny things that have happened during the bouquet toss…(can’t share photos of those!) 😉  There are so many unknowns!  Where will the bride throw it?  Which way will it go? Who will be the lucky girl to catch it? What will happen next?  All of these unknowns really add to the excitement of this great milestone event. For instance, when you look at this image, does it tell the story of what happened?  Where did the bride throw it? Which way did it go? Who caught it? What happened next?  I think this image tells a story, don’t you?  LOL.

We love to capture all of the important events during your wedding day and we will be ready for them.  Even if we don’t know exactly how it will happen, we know we will get the shot. This priceless moment in the image above will be in the heart, mind (and wedding album) of this couple forever.  I’m sure that every time they see it, it will bring a smile to their faces again, as they recall how much fun they had at their wedding celebration.

Important moments like this and all of the many others throughout your wedding celebration are the images you get to keep after the limo, cake, reception hall and guests are all gone.  Keep that in mind when you are budgeting, investing and selecting a photographer for your wedding. If your wedding photos are very important to you, choose a photographer with experience in weddings, invest a bit more in your photography, get many beautiful and priceless memories and be worry-free.

(Call Now!  Operators are standing by!)  😉