Apr 042016
 

Many have asked me “What exactly happens after we book with you….” It’s a great question so I thought I’d help define it here. Before you hire your wedding day photographer, here’s a glimpse of what goes into all, in order to guarantee that the memories created, on your most important of days, will live happily ever after…

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The Engagement Session:

When an engagement session is booked with your package, we schedule it as soon as possible. It’s a great way for you to get comfortable with the camera and with me, your lead photographer. It’s also a great way to gather photos for those “save the dates” that need to go out. Once the engagement photos are taken, they are then delivered to you within one to two weeks.

Review the Timeline: 

A Q&A is created by my team and sent over for thoughtful affirmation. These questions (with your answers) aid us in the telling of your story and help to ensure that your day flows the way you always intended. The more we know about you as a couple and your day, the more personal we can make your photography. Based off of your answers, I create a shot list, for myself as well as for the additional photographers. A family shot list is also created at this time so that we have a complete list of names for every individual needed for the family portraits.

Hire a 2nd:

All of our Packages include a second shooter. Once we reserve your day, we call out to our team in order to assign them. Our second shooters all come with years of experience, share a similar shooting style and have worked with me in the past. They all have a fantastic attitude and know exactly what to bring to the table. Our photographers spend anywhere from six to ten hours at each wedding, depending on the package booked, and our packages have included up to four shooters.

Phone Consultations:

There are definitely a few phone consultations in-between, not only with the bride and groom but with their family, coordinator, venue and sometimes a few of the guests as well. We work with everyone in an effort to aid in the day, the photography, and the gifts. We often work with friends and family to help create a registry towards gift certificates, albums, and/or prints. If there are certain items you’d like to add to your registry, let us know ahead of time. We’d be more than happy to custom design a page for all of your photography needs.

Scout the Venue:

Once booked, we immediately scout your chosen venue, researching each location- where you’ll be getting ready, where the ceremony will take place, and where the reception will be. We review it all & make sure we have it mapped out. We also take a look at ideal locations for the formal portraits and family portraits. A wedding moves uber fast so we do our prep beforehand.

 

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The Big Day:

Usually, the big day involves six to ten hours of coverage with eight hours being the average package booked. We make sure to get the traditional moments as well as the candid moments. Because there are two shooters, we cover a lot of ground and we capture a lot of moments. After each wedding, the photography is downloaded to three different storage devices so that every image is safe and sound, immediately.

Editing and Processing:

I call it our coat of varnish. Think of it like this, if you went to get a piece of furniture refurbished, you’d be upset if they didn’t seal it right? Well, same here. Most of the work is done within the camera however, some of the magic is done within the computer as well. Color correction, contrast, black and white copies are usually done after the wedding has been shot. If we handed you the images straight out of our camera (RAW) you’d probably need three hard drives just to transfer them! Once we complete our processing, we flatten them to jpgs and upload them to your online gallery. The photography is delivered to you online within three weeks and the USB drive is delivered directly, a week after that.

Photography Website Created:

Our custom designed websites are included with most of our packages. The website is designed by our team and is used to showcase your day. It’s user-friendly and allows your friends and family to peruse the images at their leisure. They can even order prints through the website, without ever needing to call you. We make it as easy as possible for them to view and order the photography. If you’d like an example, simply click on Gwen and Kurt’s website: http://www.gwenandkurt.jencastlephotography.com/

Images Uploaded to a Private Gallery:

The gallery is included in every package and serves as a compliment to the website. It is a full and complete gallery. Every. Single. Photo. The complete collection can be anywhere from eight hundred images to fifteen hundred, depending on the package booked. They are organized, numbered and arranged so that ordering prints and/or choosing favorites is super easy.

Slideshow Created:

Our custom designed slideshows are also included with most of our packages. We use these to commemorate and celebrate the “best of” moments from your day. Each slideshow is set to music and is usually comprised of twenty to thirty photographs, sometimes with a few video clips as well. We then post it within your personalized website, for all of your guests to view.

Album Design:

When an album design is included within your package, we set to work as quickly as possible. The first order of business is to obtain your list of top forty images. From there, we fill in with a few of our own favorites. Each album design goes through one client edit before the retouching of the images begins. From there, the albums can take anywhere from two to four weeks to build. The retouching for each image includes- the correcting of any blemishes, fine lines, stray hairs and the implementing of creative filters. We design the layout, retouch the photos and then send it out to get printed and bound. Once the book is finished, it comes back to us for the final approval and is then delivered to you.

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We Always:

We always make sure to keep tabs on all of our equipment- we have it professionally cleaned, consistently test it, immediately make any repairs needed, and always have backup gear. What’s in the bag exactly?… The bags of all of our photographers are pretty similar but my bag specifically contains- Three Canon Cameras from the Canon 5D Family, a GoPro, Three Canon Strobes, Three Pocket Wizards, a large variety of Light Diffusers, one Camera Trigger/Remote, a tripod, a 24-70mm Lens,  a 100mm Macro Lens, a 70-200mm Lens, a 10-17mm Lens, a 50mm 1.2 Lens, One portable Video Light and a whole lot of Batteries!

It’s important to understand what your wedding day photography packages consist of. With jcp, our time goes well beyond the wedding day itself. In fact, the wedding day capture is just a small fraction of the overall time spent. We work with you for at least a year, putting it all together and we take great pride in getting to know our clients along the way. In the end, it allows us to tell your story through an array of evocative and creative captures that will continue to convey your story for years to come.

 

Questions about the photography you see here? Or perhaps you’d like to make an inquiry regarding our wedding/ family photography packages. We can easily be reached by email:  info@jencastlephotography.com, social media, or by simply leaving us a comment on the blog. We always look forward to hearing more!

Mar 172016
 

Emily and Ryan’s wedding day was set between the soft rolling green of West Hills, at a little-known gem of a wedding venue called Orcutt Ranch. Framed within acres of wildlife, gardens, and farmland, it becomes obvious that this venue stands out from many. Add in one big red barn and suddenly your mind is blown. The entire wedding, from the ceremony to reception, was held outdoors, where 130 guests were able to enjoy warm breezes under tall oaks, a colorful sunset and an overhead canopy of lights, all while sipping your favorite beverage, dancing the night away or simply catching up with old friends.

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For this wedding, the bride and groom chose to see each other before the ceremony, in a private moment with my photographers capturing every glance, every smile, every tear. Their day was finally here and this is when it usually soaks in the most, the private moment. Emily and Ryan had met and dated for three years when he took her for a long hike one day, behind the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena, (same location as their engagement shoot) and asked her to marry him. Their wedding day had finally arrived and as they took their first looks, recognition began to spread happily across their faces. Their wedding party was close at hand to witness it all, celebrate and then capture addition photography (of course). There were seven in the party including their dog Jack who stood in as the assistant to the ring bearer. In fact, many of their closest came together to help create the mood for this wedding and their work was exquisite. From the decor to the food, friends and family came together, covering as many bases as possible in an effort to create ease and comfort for the guests. Their Aunt officiated, the groom’s ring was handcrafted by the best man, a close friend coordinated, “Big Man Bakes” provided the delicious cupcakes and Emily herself created all of the floral arrangements (yep, she’s in the biz and she’s completely amazing). I mean, just look at these bouquets…!

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It was a beautiful montage of art and friends, collaborating all in the name of love.

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Their wedding took place at 3:30 with the cocktail hour soon to follow. Dancing began shortly after the meal. It was a dreamy layout, an intimate setting fit for any modern/rustic millennial couple. And her dress!… Definitely one of my favorites and can absolutely be worn again and again for a variety of different events thereafter. Their colors were charcoal and moss green, which readily blended with the rustic layout throughout this country-themed backdrop. Their final dance was to “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star, such a classic. Soon after the wedding, they flew off to Spain where they spent three glorious weeks together, as newlyweds.

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Congratulations again, Emily and Ryan! To view their engagement shoot, click HERE.

 

Questions about the photography you see here? Or perhaps you’d like to make an inquiry regarding our wedding/ family photography packages. We can easily be reached by email:  info@jencastlephotography.com, social media, or by simply leaving us a comment on the blog. We always look forward to hearing more!

Feb 232016
 

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Normally when I shoot a family portrait session, we go outside- to a favorite spot, usually one that’s close to the family home or one that holds an emotional note for them. Where we shoot often has a huge influence on the energy and mood. It often contributes to their comfort and confidence. However, all of that being said, I also have portrait sessions within the studio and have often been asked, how do you bring the energy and freedom that the family feels outdoors into the studio? The simple answer… We play. You just make sure that no matter where you are that the element of play is always close at hand.

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All of this came into play when I had Jade and Raylan in the studio recently. Their Aunt requested a studio session specifically and there are definite benefits to that. For example, you have much more control over the lighting, framing, and backdrops. Another plus to the studio, they can’t run as far… lol. So keeping up with their pace is so much more manageable so I set up a few stations, props, games, and questions. By giving Jade and Raylan a few options, I allowed them to make their own choices (which kids love) but the only options that I provided were those related to the shots I wanted. Win/Win.

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My hour-long session with Jade and Raylan was oh so filled and the time flew by. You can tell immediately whether your direction is allowing the kids to feel uninhibited. Kids are pretty honest. If they’re not having fun, they’ll usually let you know so adjust until they do and have options ready ahead of time. What is their favorite song, super-hero or game? What do they want to be when they grow up? Have them act it out.

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Fortunately, Jade and Raylan were pretty quick to engage with me. Some of that has to do with the questionnaire I send to parents beforehand, to get to know their family a little bit better. For Jade, the key was the giant fluffy blue pillow that I brought into the studio. I knew that her favorite color was blue and so I figured she’d love it. For Raylan, it was his big sis and a never-ending game of peek-a-boo. So we ran with those keys, with minor adjustments along the way and they nailed it. In the end, we ended up with a set of JPGs that successfully expressed who they are at this awesome age.  Win. Win. Win.

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30-second recap!

1. Give the parents a questionnaire prior to the shoot so that you can get to know them better.

2. Based off of their answers, have a few options ready to get them quickly engaged.

3. Create a few shooting stations within the studio so that no matter where the kids go, there is shooting potential close at hand.

4. Listen to them and adjust the shoot as you go.

5. Play! Have fun. Be yourself, be yourself at 5, bring the silly and by all means, engage.

 

Questions about the photography you see here? Or perhaps you’d like to make an inquiry regarding our wedding/ family photography packages. We can easily be reached by email:  info@jencastlephotography.com, social media, or by simply leaving us a comment on the blog. We always look forward to hearing more!