On this beautiful snowy day, we decided to take you back to one of our favorite winter weddings of all time. On December 15, 2007, the entire town of Highland, KS was covered in ice and snow [look at those ice covered branches!], and was completely out of power. Did that stop Tessa and Tobias? Not a chance. The wedding went on, as planned [outside in a heated tent, no less], and it was magical. There is truly no other word to describe it. Don’t let the fear of snow stop you from planning a winter wedding. Your day could end up being just as stunning as this one.
Well, the #1 most popular day to get engaged has now passed us by [Valentine's Day, in case you were wondering]. So what does that mean? It means that all those lovebirds have now moved on to the official planning stage for their big days. And here at Jason Domingues Photography, we’ve got some awesome new surprises for our couples this year. We just love teasing you…
Ladies and gentlemen, introducing Alyssa and Brett. Stunning, aren’t they? And what a fun couple, who are totally and completely head over heels in love with each other. And they knew it, after only a couple short months. She likes Coke, he likes Diet Coke. He LOVES his denim vest, and she’s….not so sure about it. And in the words of Meghan Trainor, “It’s all about….the balloons.” Let’s just say balloons played an integral role in “Operation Ring Drop”, a.k.a. the proposal. You can head on over to http://clients.jasondomingues.com/alyssaandbrettengagement/ to see some of that fun stuff. Congrats guys! We can’t wait for your big day!!!
“Being too busy to worry about backup, is like being too busy driving a car to put on the seatbelt.” ~ T.E. Ronneberg
O.M.G! My wedding photographer lost all my pictures!!!!!!! If you are planning a wedding or know someone who has recently planned a wedding [and even if neither one of those applies to you], you’ve likely heard a story like this somewhere in recent months. All you have to do is talk to people you know, turn on the local news, or search Google, to find [way too much] info on this growing trend. With the wedding photography market becoming extremely saturated in recent years, we are, sadly, hearing more and more of these stories every day. It became such a huge problem a little while back, that we even had to come up with special pricing just to help out all of the couples who were calling and emailing us asking if we could do an “after wedding” session because they ended up with nothing from the photographers they had originally booked. Seriously?!? Yep.
So, why is this happening, and what should you do about it if you are currently looking at photographers for your upcoming wedding? Well, the #1 reason this happens is…inexperience. Plain and simple. Now, don’t get me wrong. We all started somewhere, and many years ago, we were the new photographers on the block. And my oh my. Some of those earliest photos are “interesting” enough that we could have a few friends over, pour some drinks, put on a slideshow, and provide a full evening of pretty sweet entertainment. Heck…we could probably even charge admission. How much would YOU pay? But all kidding aside, even though our skill has become so much more refined over the years [as it should], there is one thing that we have always had in place….right from that very first wedding. And that is a SOLID BACKUP PROCESS.
Weddings are the one thing that never give any of us the opportunity for a do-over, and your wedding photos are the one and only thing that will be left when your day is over. Your cake will be eaten, your flowers will die, your dress will be packed away. But your photos will remain…or at least they should. So it is absolutely imperative that you KNOW that the person [or people] you are entrusting to document your day, knows what they are doing with your photos after the wedding. Yes. After the wedding. Even though when the day comes to a close, for you and your guests, it feels like it is over, for your photographer, it is just beginning. After your big day is when the huge and oh so detailed process, that is called post production, is just getting started.
Here is an example of how it SHOULD look:
~On the wedding day, your photographer uses many different compact flash cards to store your wedding photos [rather than one card with a large amount of storage space]. This spreads all the photos from the day onto multiple cards, so even if one card goes down, the entire wedding isn’t lost. *These cards should also be formatted several times prior to your photographer using them at your wedding in case there is a defective card. By formatting them, your photographer will be able to spot any problems in advance.
~Your photographer brings adequate equipment to your wedding [multiple camera bodies, multiple lenses] in the case of equipment failure. We like to call ours the “Oh shit! bag”. We’ve never had to use it, but it’s always there in case we do.
~Your photographer will keep all cards ON HIS PERSON throughout your wedding day. Not in his camera bag over in the corner, not in his car. On. His. Body. Theft of photography equipment at weddings is also becoming a huge problem, and even though cameras can be replaced, your images cannot.
~Immediately after the wedding, all raw photos are loaded into main backup system [which should be a system of multiple hard drives...we have 8...that mirror each other]. If one hard drive crashes [photographers have hard drive crashes all the time due to the massive amounts of information we are processing], we can just pull out the bad one, insert a new one, and it will automatically write onto it from the other 7. Pretty cool, huh?
~Raw photos are culled down to all the “keepers”. Those are then converted to JPEG and loaded again into the main system.
~JPEG files are then loaded onto an external hard drive that is cycled [with others] between multiple locations. In our case, our studio, our home, and a safe deposit box at the bank. This offers an extra layer of protection in case of theft or fire.
~Final images are edited, and then loaded AGAIN to all hard drives.
~Your beautiful wooden flash drive is loaded with your awesome edited images, and it is sent on it’s merry way! Oh happy day when you get your photos!!!
How it SHOULD NOT look:
~Photographer shows up at wedding with a camera or two and one card to store all your images on ["But it makes so much more sense to keep everything organized on this one little card! "...said no knowledgeable photographer ever].
~Photographer leaves your wedding and goes about his life, leaving his camera [and the card containing your images] in his car, only to have it all stolen while he’s in the store [or the restaurant or the bar or wherever].
~OR photographer loads your images onto her laptop [only], and the laptop gets stolen, dropped, stops working, etc. Poof. Images gone.
~OR photographer is kind of on the right path, and loads your images into his main computer, but doesn’t have an adequate system to back up your images several times. Hard drive crashes [it's happened to every single person at some time or another], and bye bye pretty pictures.
~Photographer calls/emails you [if she doesn't just disappear, never to be heard from again], and breaks the bad news to you that you will have to relive your day only from the memories in your head.
Long story short, there are a MILLION ways things can go wrong and images can be destroyed or lost, and there are also a MILLION little things your photographer SHOULD be doing to ensure that doesn’t happen. We always share this info with our couples during consultations. Not to scare them [and 99% of them tell us this is something they never even thought of], but rather to let them know that it is OUR job to know how to not only take great photos for them, but also how to properly handle those photos throughout the entire process. And we want them to know that they can rest easy knowing that we have these measures already in place to prevent disaster from striking.
There are lots of great photographers out there, and the ones that truly know how to manage your wedding day to make it a seamless and stress free experience, as well as how to properly load, back up, and archive your images AFTER your wedding, are the only ones you should put on your short list. Even if it costs a little more. Paying for something to be done right once is always cheaper than paying for something to be done mediocre twice.
Look at lots of photos, meet photographers in person to make sure you “click”, and for goodness sake, ask about the backup process. If you get a detailed and solid answer, you should be good to go. If you get a blank stare and lots of “Um, well….it’s very complicated. But I promise I know what I’m doing”, move it right along. After all, this is your wedding. Your one and only wedding. So put a seatbelt on it, and then go for the ride of your life.
We have had a blog for a long time now. About 10 years. And throughout that time, we have let our photos do most of the “talking”. Partly because, for Jason [the photographer], that is his language, of sorts. He always felt that there was no need for a bunch of talk, because that would take away from the power of the images, and what he was trying to convey with them. I [Allison], on the other hand, love the power of words, as well. And…drumroll please….after much discussion….we have decided to take the blog to a new level and combine both of our talents, to give our readers/followers a little bit of both! Yay for really awesome teamwork!
So, in the coming months, you will start to see some changes around here. Of course, we will still be sharing our photos…because a good photo really is worth a thousand words. But we will be working to add other great content, as well….helpful articles for couples planning their weddings, interviews and info from other great KC wedding vendors, and much much more. We are so excited, and hope you will add us to your blog feed [we totally know you have already done that...duh]. But just in case you haven’t, you can go and do it now. Like for real…go now.
So, without further ado [yes, this is the proper way of saying this], we present to you some of our very favorite wedding moments from 2014. Moments and images that really do speak a thousand words. Enjoy!
Greetings! Wedding booking season is upon us, and brides and grooms all over the country have begun their searches for all the vendors who will come together to make their days the very best they can be. After you have selected your date and chosen your venue[s], one of the next most important decisions you will make is who is going to document the day for you. As you know [hopefully], after your wedding day is over, the cake will be eaten, the dress will be packed away, and the flowers will die. But your photographs will remain. Forever. They are the one thing that will help you remember all of the awesome moments and special touches from your big day. And they will help make sure your love story is passed down through all the future generations of your family. There are so many reasons that making sure you have the best possible photographer for your day is so important, so we thought we’d share a really good read we recently came across. I couldn’t have said it better myself!
The Art of Choosing a Wedding Photographer
First and most importantly are the character and personality of the individual who you will hire to capture your day, and invite as a guest to your wedding. These characteristics may not be the first thing you think about when choosing a photographer, however, it will definitely be the most important factor in the decision-making process.
The most obvious component is to determine whether or not you like the images and style that this particular photographer has to show you. Before you even schedule an in-person consultation, it may be helpful to browse through that photographer’s website. After you have scoured pages and pages of samples, your instincts will help you eliminate those photographers you don’t want to see and help you to figure out which ones you do. It is definitely important to be intrigued or excited by the images a photographer has to offer. If you have made an appointment or decided to visit the photographer, chances are you already are interested in their work but this is not always the most important factor.
What is? Personality.
Now that you are in this person’s studio or space,
the questions you have to ask yourself are:
Do I like this person?
Do I trust them to handle such an important day in my life?
Do I feel comfortable with this person?
Will my friends and family like him?
Would I invite him or her to my wedding?
You could find the Ansel Adams of wedding photographers, but if he or she annoys you in any way and you are determined to politely overlook that fact, the only person who is going to suffer is you. The bottom line is, if you don’t like your photographer for any reason, your wedding images and your memories are going to be reflected upon as if looking into a tarnished mirror.
The second element and almost as equally important as personality is the photographer’s eye. That is, the way he or she sees and captures the wedding day. This unique trait separates one photographer from the next, and is considered “the photographer’s fingerprint.” In other words, a photographer can copy another’s style, but the fact is no two photographers see exactly the same way. Therefore, when looking at different photographer’s work, really take notice of how and what they see.
Do the images move you?
Are they emotional?
Do they tell a complete story?
Are they artistic and creative?
Are they real, and do the people look comfortable?
Finally, out of all the photographers you met with, whose images did you gravitate towards the most? Usually, the answer to these questions, and the definitive question “Who is the right photographer for me?” is only an inner voice away. Just listen and trust.
Finally, the last deciding factor is usually the cost. You have likely spent hours, if not days, of your time interviewing photographer after photographer and now you have found the perfect one for you. The images are amazing and he or she has a great personality, and it all feels right. However, your inner voice picked someone who is a little out of your budget. What do you do?
When it comes to budgeting, ask yourself an important question:
After the wedding is over, what am I going to have left?
Answer: Your pictures and your memories.
Everything else is going to be forgotten, eventually remembered only through your photographs. According to a survey run buy the largest online wedding website, the number one regret couples had is that they wished they would have spent more money on their wedding photography.
Shopping for a wedding photographer is like buying a house: you get what you pay for. In both cases, the purchase is based on emotion. Buying a little more than you can afford is always a wise investment that you won’t regret as long as you have put in the time to find the perfect one for you.
With that said, it doesn’t mean there are not ways to get the most for your dollar. One way is to buy all albums and portraits, anything you might want up front as part of a package instead of buying a la cart afterward. Another way is make sure you understand what it will cost before and after the wedding. Sometimes a photographer’s packages appear to be less expensive at first glance, then after the wedding you get hit with add-ons you did not expect. Then you end up spending more money than you would have with a photographer who appeared to have been more expensive.
Don’t make the mistake of weeding out photographers because you called or e-mailed them for prices and then crossed them off your list because they exceed a certain dollar amount that you determined photography should cost. Finding a great photographer is much like discovering a great restaurant. Let’s say you were to call around to ten different eateries and ask, “How much are your meals?” If you never take the opportunity to meet the owner, taste the food or experience the ambiance and charm of the restaurant you cannot make an educated decision. All of these things make dining a great experience, and simply calling on the telephone won’t give you the same education. So, go taste the food. Wouldn’t you feel better spending more afterward because you loved your photographer and your images were so great you want to buy them all, than to get less than you imagined and end up spending more than you dreamed?
In summary, there is no secret formula or one photographer who fits every couple. What separates the good from the bad is in the eye of the beholder; after all, art is subjective. Just make sure you feel great about the person you hire and see a distinction in the work. Give careful consideration to your photography budget and invest as much as you can into that part of your wedding. In the end, you can’t afford to be disappointed when the curtains close on your wedding day.