Tuesday, February 25, 2014

7 Things you didn’t know you were paying your Wedding Photographer for: Originally Posted by Manifesto Photography

Original Post by Manifesto Photography

Did you know that there is far more to Wedding Photography than what comes in the neatly laid out wedding package you purchased? Below is a list of 7 things you didn’t know you were paying your wedding photographer for, but will be glad that you did!
Anyone can buy a camera and take a picture, so what makes a “professional” photographer so special? Understanding weddings and the expectations that couples have only comes with experience.
Besides grabbing shots of those emotional first looks, and your mother’s tear rolling down her cheek after you say “I do,” your photographer has a lot more on their mind. Behind the scenes, they are making sure your timeline stays on track, putting out emotional fires between your MOH and your BFF, and liaising with your other vendors to make sure things go as smoothly as possible.
A photographer with experience will know how to prepare for any lighting or weather condition, and know that exact moment to grab you during the reception for that incredible sunset shot!
The time you’re paying your photographer for is not just for the amount of hours they’ve covered your wedding. It’s their correspondence, booking, prep, engagement session, travel, in person viewings, importing, editing, exporting and ordering photos, designing samples, creating products, delivery and shipping. The average wedding for us takes 80 hours of work from the first point of correspondence to its completion. Not to mention that being a small business owner entails many time consuming tasks that us creative types are not huge fans of (*yay* accounting).
Creative Brainstorming
Any photographer worth their salt is going to take time to get to know your style, personalities, and relationship in order to create moments that will portray you in the best way possible. This includes helping you find locations, making wardrobe suggestions, and helping you pick just the right product to fit that empty wall in your hallway.
Continuing Education
Photographers work in a field that is constantly changing. They have to keep up to date on the latest technology, techniques, and trends. This includes participating in mentoring relationshipsworkshops, online forums, reading, and studying their target market.
Gear & Upgrades
Pro level digital cameras run from $3000 – $7000 and the average pro level lens costs around $2000. Now imagine needing at least two camera bodies, three to six great lenses… it adds up quickly! That’s not taking into consideration computers, editing software, off camera flashes, radio transmitters, camera bags, diffusors etc… And then when new and better gear comes out, we buy more.
Your photographer should be insured to protect themselves against stolen, lost, or broken gear, as well as liability insurance in case a guest trips over their bag and breaks their arm.
amber j photography
Photo By Amber J Photography

Redundancy From Start to Finish
What happens when things go wrong? A professional needs to be prepared for the worst case scenario. Your photographer should have multiples of everything! A backup camera, several lenses, multiple flashes. Modern pro-level DSLRs shoot to multiple memory cards at once, allowing photos to be backed up from the moment they’re taken. And speaking of backing up files, after the wedding your images are backed up multiple times for safe keeping. We actually keep a copy in a fireproof safe!
I really loved this quote from Nikki Wagner:
“Yes, it seems like a lot of money for one day, but one day isn’t all we spend on your photographs or on our business. You will spend thousands of dollars on a wedding dress or flowers or a venue or on catering which you are going to have for only one day, but your photographs will be the only thing you have to remember that one day for the rest of your lives.”

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Upstate NY Photographer: Athletes, Fashion Shows and the Hokey Pokey... Miracle Part 2

It will cost only $5 to walk through the door on March 28 at 7 pm for our fashion show at Sixty State Place in Albany, NY. It's been a large undertaking, but every time I step into the boys and girls club on Saturday mornings, I am recharged to keep this vision going.  Every ticket sale profit goes straight into the hands of The Capital Region Miracle League in East Greenbush.

As my Saturdays have changed dynamically since meeting the athletes of the Miracle League so has my perspective.  Additionally, I shared my heart with a few female student athletes at Middleburgh Central School and I'm pretty sure my heart melted with their response.

I asked if they want to participate and help out with this program, just once.  This would be mean giving up Saturday mornings, driving an hour and then driving back - obviously taking up at least half of their Saturday.

No questions. No hesitations. No excuses. Just about every girl from the Middleburgh basketball team took on the challenge.

Personally, I love when athletics and photography overlap.  It's my two greatest interests combining and creating beautiful moments.

Here are some of the most beautiful moments I had the privilege to be a part of ...
oh and the finale of the basketball program was this past Saturday in which there was a little bit of basketball and a whole lot of dancing...video of the hokey pokey...in coming ;)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Upstate NY Photographer: The Miracle League Part 1

I have been sitting on this blog post awhile. It's beautifully impossible to correctly choose the words to compose this post. I hope the images will translate.
Back in November, I followed our girls' basketball team to a game in downtown Albany. I drove separately because of work engagements and in my travels got stuck in rush hour traffic.  I sat impatiently staring at the white van ahead of me and the bumper sticker caught my eye. Just a simple www.capitalregionmiracleleague.com with a logo.
It caught my eye, then it caught my heart when I looked it up on line the next day.

 So every Saturday, the Boys and Girls club in East Greenbush,  NY hosts basketball games. You can check them out here: www.capitalregionmiracleleague.com . Volunteers help the physically and mentally challenged, but beautiful human beings play basketball, even Austin (age 7) and Andrew (age 11) are given helpful jobs to do while the games go on.  Please visit the site to get the full backstory.

I want to introduce you to this gem of a program.  It will be the focus of a number of projects to come especially on the side of Amber J Seniors.
For now I would like you to meet: my heart's extension.

Until next time.... I have a very special group of girls for you to meet :)

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Real Reason I Love This Business Has Little To Do With Holding A Camera:

 Yup, there's me. I started this whole business adventure not to long ago. I had no idea the people I would meet or the places I would go. Dr. Suess said it best:
“You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. but mostly they're darked.
But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?”

 Let’s face it, if you love photography for the sole artistry of it all, then owning your business is the last thing you want to do.
The people that have come along side me and put their hands and hearts to work are the very reason this entire idea keeps pumping.
Myself and Shelly!
Bailee and Gia!
It’s hard work. However, when clients come to me for weddings or for senior portraits they instantly gain a group of professional friends that are in it to make their event and all of the days leading up to it, simply fantastic.
After you get through knowing and hiring me

I bring along my fabulous friend and professional photographer Shelly. (Shelly Wood Studios)She comes along to capture the details of all the weddings and creates the fun and engaging atmosphere on our senior shoots.

Next up? If you are going with hair and make up, then you get to meet Bailee and Gia. Not only do these girls work with me and are phenomenal in their own fields, they are my friends, they are girls I trust and most importantly, we all have fun and drink coffee very well.

Along the way you will probably meet Erin from Erin Bremer Photography.  She’s a pro at maternity and babies, but she has been on several shoots and I plan on keeping her awesomeness close by!

The ever so talented Erin

Then, there is Kathleen Kiernan a coordinator of all things fashionable and supportive.  All the cute clothes you will see in our senior shoots have a lot to do with this girl. She has reached out and integrated our work into the capital region like a firestorm.  She owns her own business at www.closettherapyforyou.com

Shelly, myself, Gia, Bailee, Erika and Kathleen

Kennedy and Chelsie - we love them!
Once upon the time they were models and now they are a key component to our business.  Chelsie modeled for us last year and now helps us with fashion blogging.  Kennedy also modeled for us last year and is been phenomenal at introducing us to more clients.  We love having them stay on board and as we progress toward our fashion show we hope you get to see more of them.
 On ward and upward we go with senior styles shoots and weddings booked out until the end of the year and into 2015.
God has blessed this little venture, but nothing so precious as the friends you find along the way.