Category Archives: For Brides

trevor and katherine-0135Happy Monday! I hope you all had a really nice weekend! The weather was beautiful yesterday! I wish it could be like that for most of the year! Anyway, last night, I came across a couple of articles of questions to ask your potential wedding photographer. While most of them were very good questions, I felt like there were a couple of questions that could really mislead you from making a good decision. Here is my take on the questions that I would like to elaborate on.

1. How many weddings have you shot?

There are some photographers that have only shot 10 weddings and are amazing. There are other photographers who have shot 100 and are not as good as people who may have shot less. This is a situation where quantity doesn’t necessarily mean quality. Clearly, you want to pick a photographer that suits your budget and style, but quantity doesn’t guarantee quality. Be sure to check out their portfolio and online galleries

2. How big is the biggest wedding you shot?

This one is very similar to the first one. Unless you’re having a wedding of 250+ people with a giant bridal party, this question shouldn’t be a determining factor on whether or not a photographer is right for you. In cases where a wedding is very large, typically, having an assistant there would be good to have, but not necessary to do the job and do it very well.

3. What do you think distinguishes your work from that of other photographers?

Chances are, if you’re meeting with a photographer, it’s because you love their work. What does it really matter when choosing to hire a photographer why they feel their work distinguishes them from others? In this day and age, with so many people buying the same Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets, a lot of times, the work can be very similar and hard to distinguish, but the experience that you get with the photographer can really make the difference. Also, I think a more appropriate approach would be for you to look at the photographer work and see if it speaks to you. In a sea where so many people are photographers with beautiful work, what is it that attracts you to one over another? For me, I strive for, and have been told so many times, that people love my work because something about my work captures the true emotion of what’s going on at the time without being overly posey. Do you prefer more posed looks? These are some great questions to ask yourself when researching a photographer, rather than asking a photographer this question.

4. What type of equipment do you use?

Again, does it really matter? If I start spouting off all sorts of photographer lingo, will it really make a difference to you if you’re not familiar with camera gear? Instead, I think the more appropriate question would be “Do you have backup gear should something go wrong with your primary gear?” “Are you equipped to handle different lighting situations?”

5. Have you ever shot at my venue? Do you visit my venue before the wedding day?

I do think this is an appropriate question because you may like to see how they’ve shot at your venue before by viewing an online gallery from a wedding they’ve shot there, however, I don’t think whether or not a photographer has shot at certain venues determines whether or not you should hire them. I also do not think that it is necessary for a photographer to visit a venue prior to the wedding. Most times, I arrive much earlier than my start time so I can scope out the area and get a feel for where I’d like to shoot, however, there have been times I’ve gone to very large venues, such as resorts, prior to the wedding with the bride so we can view the grounds together and come up with a plan.

I hope this article helps to provide some insight from a photographer’s standpoint as to why some lists of questions may not be relevant. Having a list of questions pre made from a wedding planning book are helpful, but can also give you a preconceived notion that if a photographer gives you an answer that the planning book doesn’t see as a positive, that they may be a bad fit for you. I would encourage you to really get to know your potential photographer and get a sense as to whether or not you mesh well with them.

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The White Room in St. Augustine is a beautifully popular place to have your wedding and/or reception. This venue has a rooftop loft, an indoor loft, a smaller banquet room and the actual White Room itself; all of which can be rented or if you’re having a smaller wedding, you can rent the loft or a banquet room. The outdoor loft overlooks the intracoastal waterway and at sunset, wow! Gorgeous! The actual White Room has an outdoor balcony as well, which also overlooks the intracoastal waterway.

Aside from the beautiful location, did I mention the food is amazing? I had the pleasure of eating from one of their seafood tables during a wedding where my meal was what the guests were eating and wow! I could not stop eating the fresh shrimp with their amazingly delicious cocktail sauce. They also served, what I believe was a prime rib and many other delicious options. You will not be disappointed with the food! That’s for sure!

Here are some of my favorite photos from The White Room which will help give you a better feel for what it looks like in and around this beautiful venue! Also, be sure to check out the other locations in my Getting Married in St. Augustine Series.

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ask me anything friday, amelia island wedding photos, amelia island wedding photography, ritz carlton wedding photos, amelia island wedding photographer, amelia island wedding photographers, jen shannon, jen shannon photographyHappy Friday! It’s time for another installment of Ask Me Anything Friday. This week’s question is a great question, and unfortunately, is something that could really ruin your experience with your wedding photographer.

How can you ensure your cards won’t become corrupt and lose my wedding photos?

Like most of my articles, I can’t speak for other photographers, but this is how I handle this question. First, unfortunately, there is nothing a photographer can do to 100% guarantee that a card won’t become corrupt. I shoot on CF, or compact flash, cards. These have a higher rate of failure than a typical SD card, however most professionals use professional gear cameras that either only take CF cards or have dual card slots for one CF card and one SD card. The camera records to the CF card and backs up what it has recorded to the SD card. My gear does NOT have dual card slots. Why? I’m not sure. I’m guessing Nikon wasn’t thinking when they made the D700.

Because I take the utmost care of my gear and I cannot 100% guarantee that a card will not fail and become corrupt, I choose to shoot on 4GB and 8GB CF cards, mostly 4GB. These allow a much smaller number of images to be recorded on the card. Many photographers find this annoying because  you can really only take about 250 photographs per 4GB card and yes, it is annoying to have to change out cards frequently BUT that means that the worst case scenario is that only a small portion of your wedding photos will be lost, not your entire wedding.

There are companies out there that allow you to send your cards to them to do a recovery attempt, but again, worst case scenario is that they won’t be able to recovery anything from the cards. This would be catastrophic if your photographer shot on a 32GB card and your entire wedding was on this one card. The likelihood of more than one card becoming corrupt in a single wedding is very small. So let me explain my process.

On a typical wedding day, I start out using my 4GB cards. I’ll photograph the bride getting ready on one card and if there is any room left on it when it’s time to take pictures of the guys, then I’ll fill up that card with those portraits. I’ll switch to another 4GB card and get photos of the guys/bridal party photos. Then I’ll take pictures of the guests arriving on the same card. I switch, no matter how much room is left on that card, to a new 4GB card for the ceremony. If the ceremony is long, I may have to use another 4GB card, but typically, I don’t “lay on the shutter” and take thousands of pictures of a person’s wedding. That’s not what they did in the film days ;) After the ceremony, I’ll do the family formals on the same card and then switch to another 4GB card to do the full bridal party photos and bride and groom portraits. Then I’ll switch to another 4GB card to take detail photos of the reception, the entrance, first dances, toasts, etc, and for the remainder of the reception, I’ll use an 8GB card. My process helps to ensure that, Heaven forbid something happens to the cards and worst comes to worse, only part of your day is gone, not the whole thing.

All of that said, I’ve never had a corrupt card. I really feel for the photographers that have this happen. The only person more upset than the couple is the photographer who has to deliver the bad news. Unfortunately, like I said, there’s nothing a photographer can do to ensure with 100% certainty that a card will not become corrupt. It’s just the nature of the technology, for whatever reason. The best thing to do is to ask your photographer their process so *just in case* something happens, you’re not completely without your professional wedding photos.

I hope that helps answer the question. Have a great weekend!

cathedral basilica of st augustine, cathedral basilica, st augustine weddings, st augustine wedding photographer, st augustine wedding photographers, st augustine wedding photography, st augustine wedding venues, st augustine venues, st augustine wedding photosHappy Wednesday! Today I’m continuing my Getting Married in St. Augustine Series with Cathedral Basilica. This beautiful church also sits in the heart of St. Augustine on Cathedral Street, one block over from King Street. Across from the church is a beautiful park and sits close to the White Room, Casa Monica, and down the street from River House. This beautiful church is a great place and location for a catholic ceremony. It’s ornate artwork and vibrant reds and golds make it beautifully attractive in photographs.

The ceiling is by far my favorite part of this cathedral. It’s very different than many cathedrals I’ve seen and almost gives it a more modern feel. The church seats a large number of guests.

The church sits right up against the street which makes for beautiful church exists, especially if you’re planning a church exit in a horse drawn carriage, which is very popular in St. Augustine.

Be sure to check out the pictures below for more on the church. Also be sure to check out my other articles in this series by clicking below.

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copyright, print release, photographer copyright, photograph copyright, photography copyright, print release, photographer print release, photography print release, jen shannon, jen shannon photography, jacksonville wedding photographer, jacksonville wedding photographers, jacksonville wedding photographyHappy Friday everyone! We’ve made it through our second week of January! Who is already not keeping their new years resolutions? In this installment of ask me anything Friday, I wanted to address a common question about copyright vs print release. Many brides ask if they get their pictures on a disc or thumb drive with copyright. The terminology tends to become interchanged when people don’t fully understand the difference. I hope these tips help you understand a little bit more about them.

Copyright are the rights to the person who created the work of art, in this case, photographs. Copyright can be given by the person who created the work, which basically releases them from any claim to the work.

Print releases are a limited use permission that allows the recipient to reproduce the work of art, again, in this case photographs, in any way they’d like or specified within the print release, but the rights to the work and ownership of the work is still help by the creator.

Most photographers will not give up their copyright. That would be like a painter creating a beautiful painting and giving up their rights to call it their own and authorize how it is used, reproduced, displayed, etc. Giving up copyright allows anyone to use it in any capacity and in some cases, even stake claim to it as under their ownership.

I can’t speak for any other photography companies, but for mine, I do not give up the copyright to my work. I’ve created the work with my artistic abilities and want the ability to continue to call it my work and use it or allow it to be used in the capacities I choose. With that said, I do give my clients print releases, allowing them to print the images wherever they’d like. This includes printing in personal photo books, canvases, mugs, anything that is for personal use. This does not allow someone to sell my images, give my images to magazines or news outlets, etc. My images can only be used for personal reproduction purposes. They are not to be distributed without my consent.

I hope this helps to clarify copyright vs print release. The creator owns the work and has the right to determine how it is to be use. The print release gives you permission to use it in ways outlined in the release. Happy Friday!