Wedding Photographer Detail Styling Kit Accessories - Updated!!

Over the course of the past wedding season, I streamlined my gear (finally!!), bought some new shoes, and cleaned up my styling kit! In doing so, I fell in love with a few new items that I couldn’t wait to share with you! I’ve listed my new faves below and even a few less expensive alternatives to help you update your styling kit too. I hope you find it helpful - enjoy!!

Wedding Photographer Detail Styling Kit Accessories

Styling Surfaces

Locust Collection’s rollable, double sided linen and/or velvet styling surfaces have quickly replaced my Heirloom Bindery styling boards. I absolutely LOVE how portable they are and how I can carry them easily from the Brides getting location, to the ceremony, and finally to the wedding venue without having to worry about it taking up too much space, getting ruined, and bumping into people. It comes in a clear, round, pvc tube canister that fits snugly in my existing camera bag.

However, my only issue was that since they are double sided (yay, two color choices!!) I was constantly worried about the floor side getting dirty. I didn’t have a protective sheet to carry with me and honestly, I didn’t want too! Well, they thought of a solution and released a vinyl protector cover to keep your surfaces clean while styling - GENIUS!! Seriously, it’s so worth the investment and I hope Kate comes out with new colors each season.

Clear Travel Organizer

This is definitely one of my biggest pet-peeves for several years now because I could never SEE all of my styling items in one place. My ring boxes, ribbons, vintage stamps, and all my extras were stored in a few different bags so if I didn’t have that bag with me, I wouldn’t end up using the items. UGH! So one day I woke up and headed over to the Container Store and browsed all of the aisles till I found my perfect box!! Their Clear Large Infinite Divider box is my savior - literally! I can fit ALL of my ring boxes, silk and velvet ribbons, tiny plates, floral frogs, dental wax, small clear acrylic blocks, cute scissors and vintage stamps. Once it was all organized, I could FINALLY see all my styling props in ONE place - YAY!! Oh, and it’s 100% portable so I can just carry it with me from room to room and it keeps me from over buying and purchasing duplicates which I discovered after I took everything out (Oops!!) - a bonus I didn’t even think about till afterwards. Here is another option here with three sections.

Ring Boxes

I purchased two new velvet ring boxes from Voeu Du Cour and they are so so lovely! I like the octagon shape and pretty velvet colors (I have a pink and blue). They run sales every few months so I would sign up for their mailing and follow them on Instagram to stay in the know!

Large Acrylic Styling Blocks

So, I was really hoping I wasn’t going to like this styling block set from Heirloom Bindery, but I do :( I really really do but gosh, they are expensive AF but you can totally score a less expensive set right here and here - I researched it for you! The reason I like them is because the styling blocks are bigger and the invitations can lay flat on them without needed a second block for balance. I bought them when I had some money in my paypal account and they were on sale, SOOOOO it wasn’t too bad on my wallet but pick up the replicas, it’s the exact same thing - promise!!

Vintage Inspired Gold Scissors

These vintage inspired Florentine gold scissors from Studio Carta are so so pretty! They are the perfect bit of gold in your wedding detail flat lay AND they come in handy when you actually need to cut ribbon or stray strings off of your brides dress (#truestory) so I’m happy to have them in my new travel organizer at the ready. I also have these stork scissors which are just as adorable and great for styling!

Small Gold Styling Dishes

Ok, I’ll admit it. Late at night I will search Anthropologie website to see what is new and (more likely!) what is on sale. I love browsing their home section because they have a great team of buyers and you can find some gems in there. When I found these gold trinket dishes from Anthro, I put them in my cart and immediately checked out - BOOM!! I think they are so cute and perfect for styling!! I will be using this dish often and I can always just photoshop out the New York latitude information in post production.

A Behind The Scenes Look at me Styling on a Wedding day!

Ok, so here’s a photo of me in all my styling glory on an actual wedding day from this past season - messy hair and ALL!! Once you get past that, you’ll see that I have my new travel organizer by my side, my iphone layed out with my pre-styled wedding invitation layout that I’ve done a few days prior to the wedding to save me time on the actual wedding day (awesome tip!!), and my Contax 645 film camera ready to take the photo. It’s always exciting when it comes together!!

So what’s in your kit? I would love to hear your comments and finds in the comments below!! xo - Jainé

Behind the Scenes Photo of Styling a Wedding Invitation

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Podcast Interview with Kristen Poissant - Brand Stylist & Web Designer

The latest podcast episode of Tea with Jainé is now LIVE on our channel! We chat with Brand Stylist and Web Designer, and our good friend, Kristen Poissant. Kristen talks about how you can to stand out in a saturated market, define your visual voice, and your brand clarity. Kristen’s advice and insight is invaluable to wedding photographers looking to differentiate themselves, their service, and their products in a sea of competition.

You can listen to Tea with Jainé on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and all other major podcasting platforms. We’d love for you to leave us a review to help other listeners find out about us. Want to support Tea with Jainé? You can make a monthly contribution by using the Support this Podcast button in our profile. It’s like you’re buying me a new cup of tea each month - Thank You!!

Kristen Poissant Brand Stylist and Web Designer

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Want more tea? Contact Jainé about her one-on-one mentoring sessions for wedding photographers!

Interested in collaborating? Please fill out our contact page and say hello!

How to Submit Your Wedding Photography to a Blog or Magazine

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is about how to submit your work to a magazine or blog. How do you do? Which one do you submit to? What if no one ever replies to you? I've been very fortunate and grateful that my wedding photography has been published in several print magazines, online magazines and numerous blogs. My work has also been featured on magazine covers, published in books, and I photographed an entire wedding book (Weddings In Color) as well. With my years of submission experience, I thought I'd take some of the guess work out of submissions and share some of my best practices to help you create the best submission so you can to potentially get featured.

Why should you submit your wedding to a Blog or Magazine? One of the best benefits of having your work featured in print or online is to showcase your work, your vendors work and your clients vision. Most of my couples love when their wedding is featured and all of the vendors appreciate the recognition. It's sort of a "job well done" moment for everyone involved once the feature is live online or printed. Second, the SEO is an incredible marketing tool for you, your vendors, and venues. The more links back to your site means the more opportunities for new people will find you. The venue and vendors also get a great return for their work and when they show their services to new potential clients, they will be using your images to do so. Last, Social Proof that you are good photographer and editors/publishers think so as well. Your couples will see your work in more places other than your own website, blog and instagram account. What's the old saying? You have to see something 7 times before you remember it, so the more times you are featured online or in print, they will remember your name when looking for a wedding photographer.

How to Submit your Wedding Photography to a Blog or Magazine

No. 1 - Curate Your Images - Most magazines or blogs want up to 100 images per submission ONLY. This means that you have to be super selective about which images you include in your submission. You can tailor each submission to the specific publication by focusing on which images they might like to see included. Speaking for myself, I only include up to 100 of my BEST images from each wedding, engagement or styled shoot. I look at each image individually and ask myself if I were to be judged on this one image alone, would I be ok with this photo to represent my entire portfolio. If I don't, then it doesn't make the submission. You have to be harsh with your choices because a smaller and stronger submission will have a better chance of being selected vs. 100 "just ok" images that don't represent your artist ability. 

No. 2 - Get Your Specs Right! - In most cases, the online publication or magazine will have a FAQ or Submissions page where you can find out exactly what specifications they are looking for regarding image count, size and how to submit. Once you know what they will (or won't accept) you should start to curate your images. Be sure to include every single vendor you worked with inside your submission. You don't want to accidentally forget to mention someone who worked really hard on the event.

*PRO TIP* - I created Lightroom Export Presets for each publication I regularly submit to thus saving me time and energy per submission. I put in all their image specifications, save my preset and export my images. Super easy and very fast!

No. 3 - Make Sure Your Style Matches the Publication - I cannot stress this enough but if your photography style isn't a match for the magazine you are submitting too, chances are you will not be accepted. I highly recommend that you do your research and figure out which publications you would like to be featured in and see if your style would fit their esthetic. Like minds think a like and like images will most likely get accepted on a blog that features similar style imagery. Once you've figured out your ideal publication and curated your submission, in time you will have more accepted features than rejections.

No. 4 - How to Submit Your Images - Again, this information is most likely clearly stated in the FAQ or Submissions section on their website or masthead of the magazine however you do have a few options:

  1. Submit directly to the publication via their website or blog. 
     
  2. Contact the editors directly and send your images via online gallery or Dropbox (or similar service).

    *PRO TIP* If you do this method, please make sure your galleries and Dropbox folders do NOT have a password on them. You want the editors to easily gain access to your images and quickly review the photos at a glance. You do not want to hinder their ability to view your work.
     
  3. Use a third-party software application such as Two Bright Lights or Matchology. This is a subscription bases services that allows you to upload your images and submit to multiple blogs and magazines from one central location. It can save you time in the long run because you will not have to fill out the vendor information or re-upload the images because all of that information is already in online. The Knot owns Two Bright Lights so they want all their submissions to go through that system and Matchology is a great tool for more localized niche blogs which is perfect for targeting your audience.

No. 5 - Following Up and Being NICE! - After you have successfully submitted your wedding, engagement session or styled shoot for consideration, it's a waiting game. Usually on the FAQ page, the publication will tell you how long it will be until you hear from them. Most places are between 4-6 weeks but some outlets never reply. They receive so many submissions that it would be impossible to get back to everyone. I know, it's a bummer but it does happen. What I like to do is follow up in two week intervals to the editors via email. I will send a polite email simply following up on my submission and asking if any decisions have been made. It's short and sweet and ALWAYS nice. I cannot stress this enough! DO NOT BE MEAN PEOPLE!! The editors are the gate keepers to their online / print world and you do not want to piss them off. You will never get a reply if you are rude or following up to the point where they have moved your email into their SPAM folder the very moment it comes pops up. (just kidding!!) When you are nice, you can follow up and not be annoying and they will remember that. Even if you were rejected, maybe that editor will remember your work for another feature and reach out to use one of your images some where else. It happens ALL the time so if you start burning bridges now, it's not going to get any better along the road. 

No. 6 - Don't Take It Personally - Nobody likes rejection and it can truly sting when it's about your photography. Believe me, I would know! It happens all the time but that's ok because it might sting for a few hours (a day at the most!) but I do not take it personally. I just move on to the next publication and try again. It could be that the blog just featured a wedding very similar to yours, or you style didn't match, or it just wasn't a fit and hey, that's ok! If you want, you can ask the editor why they rejected your work and if they had any advice to share. This information and feedback is INVALUABLE, if they reply to you. Not all will, but some do! Gaining access into an editors insight is going to help you with your next submission, your next shoot and your next wedding to make it even better than before.

BONUS: I received a couple of questions about how I style my flat lay detail photos for weddings and submissions. While I'm no expert, I do love taking the time to style these photos to tell a cohesive narrative of my couples wedding day. The bonus? Publications LOVE these type of photos that clearly and beautiful showcase the couples details of the day.

One of the best resources I can recommend on learning how to style your own flat lay photos is the online course by wedding photographer Rebecca Yale. I purchased her course earlier this year and it's over 5 hours of incredible information and demonstration videos. You can find out more about the course here and use the code KERSHNER10 at check out so she knows you found her course through my site :) It's worth the investment and I cannot recommend it enough!

I hope this was helpful and encourages you to submit your work to be considered for publication. With a little effort and time, you'll be getting more Yes's than No's in no time! Have any questions you'd like me to answer? Please leave it in the comments below. I can't wait to hear from you! 


Stay in the know! Subscribe to our newsletter, podcast, join our facebook group and be sure to follow brklynivew on Instagram for the latest Tea with Jainé IG TV episode.

Want more tea? Contact Jainé about her one-on-one mentoring sessions for wedding photographers!

Interested in collaborating? Please fill out our contact page and say hello!

Best Instagram Apps for Editing Photos and Stories

After I shared my favorite tips how to use Instagram for your wedding photography business, I received a few direct messages asking me to recommend my favorite editing apps for Instagram. There are a gazillion apps out there so I thought it might be helpful to share my top apps that I frequently use to plan, edit, and share my photos on my Instagram grid and stories. 
 

Best Apps for Planning Your Instagram Feed

Planning and Auto Posting Your Images:
I've mentioned this a few times but I use Planoly to plan my Instagram grid in advance. I like that I can visually see how my photos are going to look prior to posting them. I created a photo grid for myself that I like to follow which helps me speedup my planning workflow. Instagram has also given third-party applications, such as Planoly, access to auto-post your images, which is a true game changer. Other applications you can use to do the same thing is Iconosquare and Later.

Best Apps for Editing Photos in Instagram

Editing Your Photos:
When I want to add a photo I've taken using my iPhone, I will use a photo editor to brighten, straighten, crop, my images before I share it on my account. My favorite app is Filmborn by Mastin Labs. This can give your photos a "film-like" look but I really just use it to brighten my images and remove some of the dark shadows and contrast. Afterlight is also a great app for Instagram to brighten your images and adjust the highlights, shadows and contrast. Both apps have in-app purchases for more options.

Best Instagram Apps for Adding Text and Borders

Adding Text and Borders to Your Photos and Instagram Stories:
By far, my favorite app to do this is Word Swag. It's so user friendly and they have a lot of great font options, backgrounds and sizes to choose from. Additional options are Over and A Design Kit for more fun font options and additional stickers and cool colored backgrounds. You can never have too many options, right? If you want to make a cohesive story showcasing your wedding or photography, you should try the Unfold app. You can add white borders, text, multiple images to one slide and much more. It makes your story really stand out among the crowd!

Best Instagram Apps to Edit Videos and Create Slideshows


How to make Slideshows for Instagram Stories:
It took me a while to find an app that I could easily make a 15 sec slideshow for my Instagram story that was  fairly easy to use. I finally found InShot and paid to remove the logo inside of the app which is well worth the $1.99 fee.

How to cut your videos for Instagram Stories:
If you don't want to keep creating 15 second videos for your Instagram Stories, you have the option to record one video and then have Cut Story or Storeo clip your full length video into 15 second intervals automatically. Once the app is done, you can just upload each clip to your Instagram feed.

Best Instagram Apps for Hashtags and Adding Sparkle

Add Some Sparkle to Your Story:
If you know me, you know I love my glitter and I really love using the Kira Kira app to add a little bit of sparkle to my stories. It's great for adding a bit of bling to the ring or beaded wedding dress. It's super fun and I might be addicted to using it!

Automatic Hashtag Generator for Photographers:
My last recommendation comes with a warning, do not solely use this app to create hashtags for your photos. Focal Mark is an application that will automatically generate instagram hashtags that are the most popular to the content you are posting. This is specifically designed for photographers. You can tell it what your subject is, what location the photo in and what camera type you used. Next, Focal Mark will search Instagram and give you the best hashtags to use for your photo. However, you do have to pay to access all 30 hashtags which is the max you are allowed to post inside the app. My advice would be to use this app for part of your hashtags (let's say 15) but then use different hashtags that you found on your own for the remaining 15. This way, it's more authentic and you have less of a chance of being shadow banded by Instagram. (oh, it's a thing - look it up!)

I hope these Instagram app recommendations where helpful and help you create some great content for your own Instagram account. Do you have any apps that you love and would highly recommend? Please leave them in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you!


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Want more tea? Contact Jainé about her one-on-one mentoring sessions for wedding photographers!

Blogging Workflow and SEO Tips from Cinnamon Wolfe

The latest episode of our Tea with Jainé Podcast has been released and it is jam packed with amazing blogging advice and SEO tips from Cinnamon Wolfe. Cinnamon is photo editor and business coach who specializes in helping creatives maximize their business potential. This podcast is so incredible and packed full of helpful advice that you will definitely have to listen to it twice. Seriously, it's so good!

You can listen to the latest podcast episode of Tea with Jainé on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and much more. Visit our Anchor Profile for a full breakdown of supported platforms.

Cinnamon Wolfe Photo Editor and Business Coach

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How to Setup Lightroom Catalog and Useful Keyboard Shortcuts

I wanted to share my best practices when it comes to setting up your Adobe Lightroom Catalog because I think it's very important to start off on the right foot when editing, backup and archiving your photos. Lightroom is an incredible photo editing program that has a ton of features which can become very overwhelming when you are first starting out. I have studied and mastered how I use Lightroom to edit my photos and I wanted to share with you how I prefer to setup my Lightroom Catalogs along with some of my favorite Lightroom Keyboard Shortcuts.

I will preface this post but saying that I wouldn't know anything about Lightroom if it wasn't for Jared Platt's Creative Live course Lightroom 101. I bought that course and watched it 3-4x's in a row to truly understand how to setup my catalog and edit my photos as efficiently as possible. I would highly recommend checking out his catalog of courses on Creative Live. I met him once at WPPI and thanked him for helping me and changing my editing workflow process from top to bottom.

How to Setup Your Lightroom Catalog


No. 1 - Create a NEW catalog for each and every job you photograph. Think of a Lightroom catalog as filing cabinet and your photos are the "files" inside. You want to keep all of the folders and files inside one filing cabinet at a time. If you were to keep all of your photos inside the same catalog, archiving and and keeping track of your "files" (aka. your photos) is going to become a hassle and you could get the dreaded question mark (Folder Missing Icon) inside of your catalog. To keep everything organized, I create a new folder for each client and create the same file set inside their folder which includes a Catalog, Images and Print folder. When I am done organizing, editing and exporting the images and have delivered them to my clients, I will archive them to my backup drives and within time, deleted them from my computer. If I were do this while only using one main catalog, I'm going to have a hard time keep track of all the photos that belong to each job. For me, it's peace of mind knowing that everything is in ONE place and can be easily opened, archived, and worked on anywhere without ever missing important photos. 

No. 2 - Turn on Automatic Backups and Write the XMP data for Each Catalog. After you've created your new catalog you should immediate turn on two important functions of Lightroom every single time.

It seems like a no-brainer but turning on Automatic Backup's every time you quit Lightroom is just a extra level of protection for your files. Sometimes catalog's get corrupted but if you've turned on this feature, you can simply go into your Catalog > Backups Folder and simply unzip the last saved backup and start working as if nothing happened. It's 100% worth turning on and takes only a few seconds to complete once you quit the program.

Open Lightroom > Go to the Lightroom Menu > Catalog Settings > In General Tab > Backup > Choose Every Time Lightroom Exits from the drop down menu.

Lightroom Catalog Setup Tips - Automatic Backups

When you are editing photos inside Lightroom (and hopefully your are shooting in RAW) all of the changes you make to the image don't actually touch the image. What's happening is the data is being written to the "sidecar" file which is the XMP file. The XMP data writes on top of your photo like a piece of vellum. It's only a layer that can be easily removed however, Lightroom doesn't automatically process these changes while you are working. Why? I have no idea so you have to tell the program to do this for you thus saving you time and energy if the program were to crash and you lost all your work. Nobody wants that!

Open Lightroom > Go to the Lightroom Menu > Catalog Settings > In General Tab > Metadata > Check the box next to "Automatically Write Changes to XMP". 

Lightroom Catalog Setup Tips - XMP Data.jpg

No. 3 - Build Your 1:1 Previews for every catalog - I'm sure you've heard of Smart Previews when importing your photos into Lightroom. It renders a faster preview of your image so you can edit faster BUT it's still not the fastest. It can still take time to render each image inside of Lightroom thus slowing down your editing time. Your images can look pixelated until Lightroom catches up and processes the file. I find that when I make the Smart Previews upon import, I still need to build my 1:1 Previews to have my images load instantaneously with absolutely no lag time. 

After your images have been imported successfully into Lightroom, select all the images in the Library Module. Next, go to Library Menu > Previews > Build 1:1 Previews. It will take a while for the previews to load so I will go make myself a cup of tea or respond to emails until the process has completed. Once it's done you are ready to edit your images without any rendering or lag time in editing. FINALLY!!

No. 4 - Keyboard Shortcuts - Oh my goodness, Lightroom has a million shortcuts that will become second nature to you the longer you use the program and sometimes they change them on you without warning, which is the worst! 

Keyboard Shortcut: SHIFT + R - REFERENCE VIEW
My favorite keyboard shortcut is the Reference View. You must be in the Develop Module (D key) for this to work. The Reference View creates a split screen inside the Develop Module for you to do a SIDE-by-SIDE edit without having to use the pop up window option anymore. Once it's selected, you can drag your Reference photo on the LEFT and on the right, you can edit and toggle between photos to match your REFERENCE image. It never moves until you drag and drop a new REFERENCE image to use. Seriously, it's the BEST shortcut ever for hybrid photographers like myself or anyone looking to match images. 

Lightroom Catalog Setup Tips - REFERENCE View

Keyboard Shortcut: SHIFT + F - FULL SCREEN MODE
I prefer to use my Lightroom screen to it's fullest capacity which means I do not want to see my menu bar (For Mac Users), my dock, the clock or any other apps while I am editing. So I love the SHIFT + F keyboard shortcuts. They allow me to toggle my screen from being able to see my menu bar, to completely hiding it. It's a great shortcut to help you max the screen space that you have.

There you have it! My favorite Lightroom Catalog tips and setup options I use just about everyday. I hope they were helpful and will save you time and peace of mind in the future. What are some of your favorite Lightroom Tips and Tricks? Any keyboard shortcuts you want to share? Please leave them in the comments below!


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Want more tea? Contact Jainé about her one-on-one mentoring sessions for wedding photographers!

Tea with Jainé Podcast is LIVE - Subscribe NOW!!

I'm so excited (and a bit nervous) to let you know that the "Tea with Jainé" Podcast is now LIVE!! That's right, we've started a podcast! I wanted a place where I could chat and interview my friends, industry peers and amazing wedding vendors and share their advice directly with you. Everyone has so much to share and this podcast will be another place where you can grow, expand and develop your knowledge. I'm so EXCITED!!!

So, how can you hear the latest episode? You can listen on just about any podcast platform including Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Castbox, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, Spotify, and Stitcher. I am using Anchor to create and distribute my podcast and it's so easy and free. 

I'd love for you to stop by, listen and hit that subscribe button and if you like what you hear, please leave us a review. It's the best and fastest way for new people to hear our show and discover us online. We'd really appreciate your amazing support and kind feedback!!
 

Tea with Jaine Podcast Cover Art

Stay in the know! Subscribe to our newsletter, podcast, join our facebook group and be sure to follow brklynivew on Instagram for the latest Tea with Jainé IG TV episode!

Want more tea? Contact Jainé about her one-on-one mentoring sessions for wedding photographers!