Category Archives: photography

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Wedding Photographer

Planning your wedding day is one of the most exciting, and taxing times of your life. Making sure that every detail has been researched and planned for, you attempt to create the special day that has been the subject of your dreams. As you prepare for this momentous occasion take extra time in selecting the photographer just right for your style and personality, as your wedding photos will be the one item you can look back at years from now. When you gaze at portraits of that special day you should be taken right back to that moment in time and remember fondly the events of that day.

When selecting the right photographer for your event keep the following 5 Tips in mind.

Style & Quality

A thorough review of the photographer’s portfolio will tell you if you like their photographs. You should understand the style and approach of your photographer by reviewing their collection. Do you like how he/she is telling the “story”? You can ask yourself a few questions to help better understand what you are looking for: Do I like the overall feel of these images? Does the lighting seem appropriate and appealing? Do the people in the images look happy, natural and relaxed? Can I pick out the special elements of the day or event, as seen through the photographer’s eyes?

Once you have narrowed your choice to a couple of professionals, ask to review a sampling of their work representative of their various specialties and skill-sets. Often websites are not up to date with gallery posts, or may not truly be representative of the actual images offered. This allows you to gauge the consistency of their work, so you know exactly what to expect.


Once you have chosen a few photographers whose work you like, and their style seems to fit your wants and needs, it’s important to conduct an in-person interview. Not only should you enjoy their art, but also their company. A professional trust and genuine likeability factor should be present, allowing you to feel comfortable working with them and relaxed in their presence. A good working rapport with the person behind the camera makes it easier to capture the best pictures, especially the unanticipated moments. Beautiful and inspired wedding photography is mainly a result of having a great relationship with your photographer.

One last thought here, consider your guests as well. The photographer will better capture your family and friends in photos if they are personable and friendly. Assuring they are approachable and down-to-earth allows for candid shots captured throughout the day as it naturally unfolds, rather than forced poses and fake smiles.

Value (Cost vs. Product)

Think of your wedding photographs as an investment. They are expensive, but you get what you pay for – right? These images are meant to last a lifetime, and as such, you want to plan (financially) for something you absolutely love. Though budget may dictate your selection to a degree, be sure that you do not sacrifice cost for quality.

Likely your photographer has a variety of packages and is flexible on what can and cannot be included. Be sure to review options to get what you really want in the end. Do NOT neglect to ask about “hidden extras.” It’s better to know the cost associated with add-ons and upgrades well before the day of the event.


If you are planning any part of your wedding in a dark or dimly lit venue, or you’re having an evening wedding reception outdoors, you need a photographer that’s skilled with those lighting environments. Review their portfolio for weddings shot in similar lighting environments and ask them specifically how they would handle your particular situation.

When possible, interview photographers who have a lot of experience working at the venue at which you will be married. This eliminates a lot of the guess-work for both of you. Length of experience does not always mean that you will get the photos you were hoping for. If you are selecting a very seasoned photographer, keep a watchful eye while reviewing their collection of works to understand how their style has evolved and modernized over time. Most couples do not want their photos to look like they came from a bygone era.


It’s safe to say that merely asking for a list of references or testimonials is not going to give you an accurate summary of the photographer’s strengths and weaknesses. As you’re interviewing various photographers keep in mind the “must-haves,” the “wish list,” and the “deal-breakers”. Just like all of us, your photographer won’t be perfect, but they can be right for you. Ask up-front what their weaknesses are, as well as what their expectations are for you.

Then ask for a short list of past clients who would be willing to speak with you candidly about their experiences: the flow of their wedding day, the images captured and delivery of the final product. Don’t be afraid to ask them about challenges or disappointments when working with a particular photographer. Whatever their answer, remember that personality is probably partly at play here, yet the information gives you plenty of opportunity to review the total experience.

Closing Thoughts

When you have selected the right photographer for you, be sure to book them as soon as possible. Most in-demand photographers book out well in advance. For a small deposit you can secure them before anyone else does. If you really want to experience what it is like to work with your photographer before the big day, secure them to shoot an engagement session for you. Some photographers may include this in the package, while others may offer it as an add-on or upgrade. Regardless, this precursor to your wedding day will provide a “sneak peek” at the working relationship you can expect, allowing insight into the working style, creativity and personality of the photographer, while you still have time to make a different selection.

Most importantly, remember that quality photographs are one thing you will not likely regret purchasing. They should be the kind of images that will transport you back in time to your wedding day, each and every time you look at them.


Featured on Leise Jones Photography’s Blog

Happy Friday!

Today it’s going to….nope, not snow…but be in the 50’s! The joys of New England! It’s starting out to be a great day here, that’s for sure!

It’s always a pleasure for me when I can chat with my vendor friends, who I don’t see often enough. That happened a few weeks ago, when I had a nice, out of the blue conversation with my friend, Leise {pronounced Lisa} of Leise Jones Photography. She wanted to touch base on how things were going and how we can help each other in the upcoming wedding season. She’s an amazing photographer & super sweet! So, be sure you check her out!
Anyone who knows me, knows I don’t take compliments very well or likes to be the center of attention, so it always amazes me & makes me giddy like a kid, when someone wants to help me in my journey.  Makes me blush, really…

I must leave a very lasting impression with them and that just makes me smile. When you meet me, I’m just me. What you see, is what you get. You’ll always see my authentic self, always true to who I am & what I represent. I want to help couples on they’re wedding day, so they can enjoy it. Guess that comes through to the people I meet. 🙂

OK enough of that….Check out the kind words she had to say about me & what I do here.

Thank you my friend for the spreading the love about what I do and looking forward working with you and some your fabulous clients. It’s going to be awesome working with you!
Want to know more about what I do, check out my Services here


Vendor Love — Leise Jones Photography

Happy Wednesday!

I had the pleasure of recently meeting Leise Jones of Leise Jones Photography at an ABC Meeting on a snowy January night in Jamaica Plain. Because of the weather, the meeting was small & intimate, so it really gave us a chance to meet some fellow industry colleagues. I got chatting with Leise since she was literally sitting right next to me, and who am I, not to strike up a conversation with someone that close in proximity!

Anyway, I remember when she handed me her business card & my first thought was, YEAH, she’s a photographer (I do love my photographers!) and two, how do I pronounce her name? But, she’s probably so used to that question, she quickly explained that the unique spelling of her name is actually pronounced as “Lisa” and trust me, that is just the beginning of her unique personality. Since the weather was bad that night, I had to quickly leave the meeting after the presentation since I had a long drive north ahead of me to get home, but I was looking forward to reconnecting with Leise for coffee or a drink.

We did meet a few weeks later for lunch and immediately hit it off. Two hours later and we hadn’t even begun to scratch the service of how we could help each other grow & work together. I’m pretty excited that we’re working on an upcoming photo shoot together!! She was kind enough to take a little more time out of her busy schedule (it is the beginning of wedding season after all!) to have another little chat with me, so you can get to know her better too!

But first, here’s a little teaser of her capturing a quiet moment….

1. How did you get into photography?

Before I became a photographer, I had a career as a lobbyist and community organizer for non-profit environmental groups. After 6 years, I got really burned out on politics and campaigning, and I decided that I wanted to do something more creative as a career. After a lot of soul-searching, I landed on photography – a hobby I always loved and was passionate about – and decided to pursue it full-time. I love the storytelling aspect of photography and the ability to capture moments before they are gone forever. In 2007 I enrolled in a full-time photography program and haven’t looked back. I am so happy to say that I found a career I love.
2. Where do you get your inspirations for some of the shots you take?

Other photographers of all kinds constantly inspire me. I love when I see a photo and think, “I wish I had thought of that!” I am always looking at blogs and websites, checking out photo books and magazines, searching for new ideas and insights. I am firm believer that there aren’t a lot of new ideas, but that you can take an old idea and turn it into something unique and all your own. 
When I am out shooting, the light is my greatest inspiration. Photography translates to “drawing with light,” so looking at the light, watching it move, and using it to make great photos is a constant inspiration.
3. You shoot more than just weddings; do you have favorite type of photography? If so, what is it & why?

I don’t have a favorite type of photography – which is why I have so many diverse clients! I love capturing the joy and excitement of events like weddings and I love working with people. I love food and restaurant photography because it’s challenging (and delicious.) And, I love working with non-profit groups because it allows me to support their work and feed my own passion for social justice. I have thought many times about narrowing the scope of my business and focusing on just one kind of client, but I love all of the work so much, I can’t imagine choosing just one sector!
4. Tell me about any unique sessions that you’ve had.

I like to do engagement sessions with couples whose wedding I am shooting because it gives us a chance to get to know one another and for them to become familiar with my style. Most people choose to do their sessions in the park or at the beach or in some other picturesque place, but one couple from Louisiana decided to do their engagement session at their favorite BBQ restaurant! So, we went to the restaurant one afternoon, they ordered spare ribs, barbecue chicken, cole slaw and cornbread. I took pictures of them laughing, sharing food, eating, and enjoying one of their favorite places. The photos are so unique to them and perfectly reflect something that they both enjoy. That is the kind of storytelling that I love. It was a memorable session!
5. What advice can you give to couples looking for a photographer?

There are three factors to consider when choosing a wedding photographer: price, portfolio, and personality. A lot of couples let the price be the determining factor, but more important is finding a photographer, who you enjoy personally. Of all wedding vendors, you spend the most time with your photographer on the day of your wedding, so you really need to hire someone who you like, trust, and feel comfortable with. As a starting point, I suggest asking your friends and family members for referrals. The personality of your photographer is such an important component, so referrals from people you trust is a big help. Then, take the time to meet with and get to know each photographer you’re considering before you make a decision. 
6. Do you recommend couples do a first look session?

Yes!  I am a big fan of the first look.
7. What are the advantages to it? Disadvantages?

In my experience, the couples who choose to do a first look before the ceremony are glad that they had some private time together before the rush of the wedding day. A short first look session helps ease some of the tension and nervousness before a wedding. Also, if the weather is hot or rainy or muggy, you’re both going to look better and fresher earlier in the day, so why not do photos first?
If the tradition of not seeing each other before the ceremony is very important to you and your fiancée, then doing the first look may not work for you. A lot of couples I know still want to see each other for the first time when one of them starts walking down the aisle. Your wedding should reflect you, your values, your relationship, and your ideas. Everyone has to make their own decisions.
8. How much time should the couple allow for photographs?

For most couples, I recommend setting aside an hour for formal family photos and photos of the couple.  My clients make detailed lists of their family photos, so we know exactly who we need to be there and exactly which photo we’re going to do next. I can get most family photos done in about 35 minutes, which then leaves me 25 minutes to do photos of just the couple. During that time, is when we will escape from the hustle and bustle and get sweet, romantic photos of the two of them basking in the excitement of their wedding day.
Some photographers spend up to 2 hours on family and couple photos, but my philosophy is that you have gathered all of your friends and family in one place to celebrate your wedding, so go celebrate!  An hour is more than enough time to get a great assortment of wonderful formal and candid photos.
9. What are your price points?

Most of my clients are planning small to medium sized weddings, so I offer a basic package that is 5 hours of coverage for $2000. This package includes a disc of images and an online gallery, where couples can purchase prints and make albums. I also offer other packages with more products and more hours of coverage ranging up to $3600.
10. Any advice for aspiring photographers?

Keep taking pictures. Take the time to look carefully through your photos after a shot to see what you like and don’t like, so that you can continue to improve each time.  Lastly, remember, photography is all about the light, so let the light be your guide.
Thank you Leise for allowing us to get to know you a little better. 
Now onto more of her pretty pictures….
I see a pattern that there are a lot of laughs involved during Leise’s weddings! 🙂
And, now one final one from the BBQ Session Leise told us about….

Hope you enjoyed my chat with Leise, check her out on her website here. Than, after you contact her, call ME, so we can all have a ball together on your wedding day!


Vendor Love — Black Thumb Studio

Wednesday is all about spreading the love to our fellow vendor friends!  Today, it’s about Jeff Turner at Black Thumb Studio. Jeff is what I call, my “other BFF”.  I met Jeff last year at an Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC) meeting and I remember it like it was yesterday. Yes, he made such a great impression on me in an extremely short period of time.  I met him in the last 15 minutes of the meeting, when he approached a friend/colleague of mine to answer a question she had asked during the presentation.

I chatted with him for a few minutes before we had to leave, but I definitely wanted to set up a meeting to further our conversation. We connected and set it up for one of the days around my birthday! We met a Starbucks and let me tell you, it was the quickest & exciting 2 hours of my life!  I certainly didn’t feel that I just “met” him, more like hanging with an old friend.  We talked business, family, weddings & everything else that came up.  I told him about a photo shoot that my dear friend & colleague, JD Designs, was planning for me.  It was my “Take Two” since I wasn’t happy with my pictures from my wedding photographer. Jeff, without hesitation, offered to take them for me.
Couple of my favs….

With that being said, Jeff was kind enough to take the time out of his busy schedule to chat.  Here’s what he had to say….

1. How did you get into photography?

I went on a trip to Venezuela with my college. I completely fell in love with photographing people while I was there. I haven’t put a camera down since. I started shooting for my college paper and yearbook as soon as I returned. After college, I kept shooting as a hobby. I shot my first wedding in 2005. I went full-time in 2008.
2. Where do you get your inspirations for some of the shots you take?

Newest inspiration addiction: Pinterest. There, I said it. I also subscribe to Vogue and W magazine. And sometimes, I’m just struck with an idea.
3. Would you be considered the ‘photojournalistic’ type of photographer?

I think that term is over-used in this industry. I would more describe myself as a photographer, who captures what’s real with a twist of humor. I love capturing things as they happen. I also don’t mind doing outrageous things with my clients to get the shots no one else does.
4. Any advice you can give to couples looking for a photographer?

First, ask a friend. A referral from a trusted source is your best option. Second, read online reviews to check for consistency in performance. Third, meet the photographer face-to-face. It’s one thing to appreciate someone’s portfolio, it’s another to have the person with you your entire wedding day. Make sure your photographer is a good fit.
5. Do you recommend couples to do a first look session?

6. What is a first look session?

It’s when a bride and groom see each other for the first time before the ceremony. When done prior to the ceremony, the photographer has the ability to select the best location based on lighting and scenic considerations. This gives a couple the best possible images of one of the best moments of their wedding day. It also creates a more intimate environment for the bride and groom. It’s my favorite part of a wedding day.
7. What are the advantages to it? Disadvantages?
  • Feeling more relaxed by the time the ceremony starts 
  • More time with each other on you’re wedding day
  • More time with your family and friends
  • More opportunities for creativity and locations
Things to consider:
  • Timeline may need to be moved up for hair/makeup
  • May need to do a quick touch-up prior to ceremony
  • May need to convince your mom it isn’t bad luck
8. How much time should the couple allow for photographs?

I’m going to keep this answer simple – the more time a couple allows, the more photos they have. Our allotted time has ranged from 20 minutes to three hours.
9. What are your price points?

Our basic package (which always includes two photographers) starts at $3,600.00. Full-day coverage with images on DVD and printing rights starts at $5,300.00. Perspective clients can even build their own package right on our website on our “Pricing & Availability” page.
10. Any advice for aspiring photographers?
  • Be honest about where you stand as far as experience and set your prices accordingly
  • Ask friends and family if you can photograph them to gain experience and feedback. Plan to not get paid initially.
  • Don’t ever stop learning
  • Get the best glass (lenses) you can afford
  • Network, network, network!
  • Expect a lot of hard work
  • Always have backup gear
  • Understand your costs, this will help you properly set your prices
  • Offer to assist photographers whose work you love!
  • Know when to say no to a job – balance is important!
Now, here are some of his favs….and of course, mine too!
Thanks Jeff for yet another great chat! You’re work speaks for itself, but I’ll say it anyway…IT’S AMAZING!!!
Call me, so we can schedule a meeting to sit down with Jeff and discuss what amazing photos he can create for your wedding!


All guys & girls, who are thinking about getting down on one knee to ask your beloved, the most cherished question of all….WILL YOU MARRY ME??

This blog is exactly what you’re looking for! Why, you might ask?? Because, we’re running a CONTEST!!!

Complimentary Proposal Planning
We’ll help you plan the perfect proposal, from picking out the location & setting the scene to working along side with one of our favorite photographers to capture the moment for you both!
The “Catch”…. 
  • You have to submit your Love Story to by April 1, 2013
  • The Proposal needs to happen within 6 months of this blog post
  • Date availability to coordinate with all parties
  • Location distance restricted to within the Southern NH/Northern MA & the Boston area
What You’re “Getting”….
  • Help selecting the location
  • Setting up the location
  • Coordination with everyone (except for the”proposed”), so that it goes off flawlessly
  • Photographer “paparazzi style” to make sure THE moment is captured
  • Images posted in an Online Gallery for viewing* 
  • One 5 x 7 Print 
* all images can be purchased at your expense
Winner will be announced on April 12, 2013.
Send us your Love Story now! We’re looking forward to reading them.

Vendor Love – Allebach Photography

I’ve been admiring the work from Mike Allebach of Allebach Photography for quite some time now.  His work is so unique, utterly gorgeous and of course, right up my alley with his couples showing off their INK on their wedding day! He’s also known as the “Original Tattooed Bride Photographer”.

I haven’t had the pleasure of physically meeting Mike yet, but I’m sure our paths will cross at some point!  So, I went for the next best thing and had a little chat with him via cyberspace.  Here’s how our chat went:

1. How did you get into photography?

Photography is something I’ve always loved.  After high school I worked as a graphic artist. Shortly there after, the photographer I worked with was let go and I was forced to take product photos. Using forums and training websites, I taught myself enough to get by taking photos of products for ads. Meanwhile, at night, I was in a band and took photos at local punk rock shows.

2. Where do you get your inspirations for some of the shots you take?

Mostly, I try to match my photography with the feel of the wedding and the couple. If they are high energy I capture that. If they are romantic or quiet, I’ll capture that also. Rarely, do I ever scout locations other than checking out the website of the venue. I’ve looked at a few other photographer’s work, but I want my style to come from within. When people look at my photos, I want them to have a signature feel.  Much of my photos are inspired from the time I spent learning how to properly light photos and taking photos of punk rock bands.

3. How did you become known as the photographer for “tattooed brides”? 

I was in a punk rock band and many of my friends were heavily tattooed. At the time, it was unrepresented in wedding photography –  no one showed off tattooed brides. So, I contacted an old friend of mine and asked if she would model in a wedding dress. Even though I thought it would turn people off, I put the photo on the front of my website. After I did that, I started booking a lot of tattooed brides and grooms.

Kat from  Rock n Roll bride was the first to call me the “The Original Tattooed Bride Photographer”

4. Where are you located and do you travel outside of your area? 

I’m located near Philadelphia, PA. This year, I have weddings in 7 different states and I’m available for bookings anywhere in the US.

5. What advice would you give couples looking to hire a photographer? 

When looking for a photographer, you have to find someone that has a personality you get along with,  photos you like and products you would want to buy in a budget you can deal with. Many people think that booking a photographer is all about the images.  Of course, you need to like the images a photographer takes, but that’s not enough. When you meet with a photographer make sure that nothing they do rubs you the wrong way. Remember, they will be with you the whole day.  If they are pushy and you don’t like pushy people, then stay away. If they are quiet and quiet people don’t mesh well with you, then choose another photographer. The vibe you get is just as important as their photos. Also, make sure they sell products that you like. Getting photos on a dvd is nice, but displaying them in your home is even better though. You don’t want to hide the awesome photos you took on your computer. It’s nice when you are having a bad day to look at beautiful “art” from your wedding day hanging on your wall. It’s a great reminder of the love you share.

6. Tell me about any unique sessions that stand out in your mind that you’ve had with any of your couples?

I’ve photographed a married couple who wanted different photos. The groom was a fire breather and the bride lit her dress on fire with a fire whip. Another engaged couple threw water balloons at each other.

7. Do you photograph “non-tattooed” brides as well? 

Yes, I would say 90% of my brides have tattoos, but all the couples I photograph want to feel comfortable on their wedding day. My couples expect that I will work with them on creative ideas.

8. How would you describe your style of photography? 

So, it sounds cheesy, but there are these people that we run into that somehow draw out the best of us.  The best photographers do this instinctively. I want to bring a rock n roll energy that draws people out.  To make their creative ideas come to life. Maybe you call this rock n roll or maybe client personality driven. My style is represented more by the people who photograph me. If I can egg people on, bring out there personality, make them feel like I’m a friend rather than a photographer – I think I’ve done my job. The worst thing someone could tell me is that my photography is stiff & posed.  When the couple receives their album and photos, I want them to laugh at silly moments, cry at tender ones and feel like their wedding was an epic party.

9. Do you photograph more than just weddings? 

Yes, I also photograph parties, families & kids.

Any advice for aspiring photographers?

Photograph for the love of photography. Wedding photography as a full time business is hard work.  Breaking into the business isn’t easy. There are no short cuts. Also, never ever, ever use someone else’s work to pad your own portfolio. You will get found out! The best way to get into the industry is to shadow, assist or 2nd shoot for a successful photographer. The power of networking should never be underestimated. Learning from a seasoned photographer is the way to go.

Thanks Mike for taking the time out of your busy day to chat with me! Now, I have an even more admiration for you and will look forward to having that cocktail with you in the future. Be sure to check out his website at and follow him on Facebook at

Now, I’ll leave you with some of my favorites….