September 2010 Archive

Kelly & Steve’s St. Pete Wedding : St. Petersburg Wedding Photographer

Last weekend Kelly and Steve tied the knot at the Tradewinds Island Grand in St. Petersburg, FL.  Although I had met up with Kelly a few times before the wedding day, I was not able to meet Steve until just before he took to the front of the aisle to meet his bride.  I could tell why she loved him; he seemed laid back and kind spirited and the moment that they joined each other at the front of the alter neither of them couple wipe the grin off their faces!  All of the friends and family in the bridal party seemed to share the excitement that these two were just meant to be together.  The wedding ceremony took place overlooking the water just before sunset and the aqua and orange details mimicked perfectly the setting sun against the blue water.  It really was a beautiful day to celebrate a beautiful couple.  Kelly and Steve, thank you for letting me be a part of it and I wish you so much love and happiness in your life together!  Here is a sneak peak at the images from the wedding day!

FAQ: How to be a kick butt second shooter!

Working as a second shooter is an incredible way to gain experience as well as learn from some of the best in the wedding photography industry.  I get lots of requests from photographers trying to break into the industry and looking for an opportunity to assist or second shoot.  To be honest, I am a little picky when it comes to who I will bring along as an assistant and I think I can speak for other professional wedding photogs when I say that when we find a good second shooter or assistant, we tend to stick with them.  There is too much at risk when you bring along another individual who in essence becomes a representative of your brand on the wedding day.  I came across a VERY helpful post by Jasmine Star, one of the leading photographers in the wedding industry that I wanted to share on this topic.  Actually, the post was written by her husband J.D who is her second shooter so these rules come directly from one second shooter to another.  Read it, love it, do it, and if you do…you will find your name being passed along a must-use second shooter!

The following is re-posted from the Jasmine Star blog for your reading pleasure:)  Some parts have been removed to condense the article.  View her original post here:

10. Dress Appropriately
Don’t be afraid to ask the main photographer what to wear on the wedding day. Some weddings are casual, others more formal. The most important thing is to always be a reflection of the main photographer’s attire and blend in with guests as much as possible.

9. Same Day Slideshow
If the main photographer creates a same-day slideshow to display at the reception, make sure and find a nearby work station (i.e. chair and outlet). I usually find a place just outside of the reception so we can hear what’s going on and be easily accessible.
8. Gather the Family
It’s so important to help the main photographer during family formal photos. There’s a really short amount of time to execute the photos, so be sure to find grandma and Uncle Kevin (who’s usually at the bar) so the entire group isn’t waiting for one person.
7. Taking Care of Vendors
During a wedding day, I usually don’t have time to cultivate friendships, but I always make sure to include every vendor throughout the day. If they need anything, I offer assistance. If the vendor dinner is served, I try to make sure everyone knows. It’s small things that ensure everyone feels like we’re on the same team…and there’s a high probability we’ll work together again in the future, so make sure to have everyone’s back.
6. Offer to Carry Bags
I’m kinda particular about this because it reminds me of my role as a second shooter…to make life easier for the main shooter. I’m not saying every second photographer MUST carry the bags, but it’s nice to offer. I always carry and maintain the main photo bag on wedding days and I know Jasmine appreciates it.
5. Get Water
Here in Southern California, peak wedding season is during the hottest time of the year, so keeping ourselves hydrated is very important. I always make sure Jasmine has a cold glass of water waiting for her: 1. Before the ceremony; 2. After the ceremony; and 3. After cocktail hour. Usually these are the hottest (and most stressful) times outdoors because there’s so much juggling going on for her. Every time she finishes her glass, she’s recharged (and in a better mood!).
4. Smile
Jasmine usually has to remind me of this one…and when she does, I usually give her a sarcastic smile. In all honesty, I know she’s right. Jasmine reminds me that guests are looking at us even when we don’t realize it and we’re a reflection of the bride’s desire to have us document her dream day. If we look hot, unhappy, tired, or annoyed, it’ll be a poor reflection on our brand.
3. Find New Angles
Don’t shoot over the main photographer’s shoulder! When I first started shooting with Jasmine, I shot behind her and captured–basically–the same photo as she did. Okay, just not as cool. She finally explained that she didn’t need another version of her photo…she needs an entirely photo of the same moment. I’ll admit this is harder than it seems, but I know she appreciates creativity and a different photo from the exact same moment.
2. NEVER PASS OUT YOUR BUSINESS CARD
One of the first weddings we photographed together, we had another photographer tag along with us. The night was flowing nicely until I overheard the third shooter pass his/her business card to a wedding guest…and passed his/her studio name along. I can’t explain how rude this is. On a wedding day, a second and third photographer is just that…an accompanying photographer to the main photographer’s studio. If a guest asks for a business card from a second shooter (which happens often!), the second shooter should always pass along the main photographer’s business card. Period. The end.
1. Leave Ego at the Door
This one doesn’t need much of an explanation as it’s more a rule for life in general. Just remember, as a second shooter, your number one goal is to shoot the best you can and make the main photographer’s life easier…even if it means missing the best photo opportunities at the wedding. Yes, everyone prefers to shoot the bride getting ready, the bride and groom portraits, and getting the First Kiss standing in the center of the aisle. But chances are, it ain’t gonna be like that. So own what you got and make it work.

And I (Shay) have to give a little shout out to my fabulous assistant, Marissa Moss, from the past weekend’s wedding who literally worked her butt off for me!  (She may kill me for posting this picture! )  but you should go check out her work! One of the perks of being an assistant or second shooter is that you gets lots of fun/scary pictures taken of you in the name of testing camera settings:) Thanks a million Marissa!

Christmas in September

When it rains it pours!  For some reason the past few weeks have gone from having not much planned to having work up to my eyeballs!  I love it:)  Part of the onslaught of work has to do with Christmas (and therefore Christmas card time) being just a few months away (crazy!)  The images below are a few from my fun shoot with the Kravetz family.  I don’t do a lot of family and kids but of course I can’t say no to friends…especially when they are as handsome a family as these guys! Here are just a few cute pics from their shoot.

I mean, is this a good looking family or what? :)

His laugh is precious!

I just love the cute little look on his face in this one:)

And my favorite…

New Albums!!

I was so excited to get Abby and Josh’s wedding albums in the mail this week!  You may remember their beautiful Clearwater wedding this past May.  I recently switched album companies and could not be happier with the results!!  GORGEOUS!!!! In the box was the 10×10 album for the couple and the duplicate 8×8 album ordered by the bride’s parents.  Both are a beautiful black leather and my favorite part has to be the metal cameo on the cover!  From the moment their wedding images were off the camera I already had this image in mind for the cover! With a metal cameo the image is printed directly onto a brushed aluminum plate adhered to the front of the book.  So cool!  It adds such a fun mod flair to a classic album style.  Album layout and design was done by the talented Ashlee Proffitt. You can view a slideshow of their complete album layout in the “Album Samples” section of the website!

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Laurie’s session sneak peaks! (Tampa portrait photographer)

By the time I saw her walking across the parking deck where we had arranged to meet, I felt like I was reconnecting with an old friend.  The months leading up to the shoot were filled with sweet e-mails, thoughtful gifts for our whole family, swapped book recommendations, we even picked out her outfits for the shoot together via e-mailed pictures.  In reality, we are connected only by the thinnest thread of a random situation…or maybe we were just meant to be friends all along:)  Laurie works for a little company called Crocs…but from the looks of these images I think she might have missed her calling as a model!  She followed every bit of my advice and invested in herself for the shoot by getting up super early to get her hair and make up done (with gorgeous results I might add!). Laurie is as genuinely beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside and I am grateful for the chance to connect with her. We were both excited to make this shoot finally happen and I could not be happier with the images.  Here are a few sneak peaks of Laurie’s portrait session.

**P.S…you know the new chair had to make an appearance – despite the fight my husband put up (he should have known it was coming!) :)  Well worth it!

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