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 Color Pop Events

Our latest podcast episode of Tea with Jainé just now available! We are interviewing our good friend and amazing wedding planner, Leah Weinberg, of Color Pop Events. Located in New York City, Leah has been a wedding planner for the last six years. She shares her smart, thoughtful, and incredible advice how wedding photographers and wedding planners can work together seamlessly from the very beginning. If you haven’t had a chance to work with a wedding planner, this is a MUST listen to gain some invaluable insight of how a wedding planner works. Enjoy!

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!!

Leah Weinberg of Color Pop Events

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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!

Podcast Interview with Stephanie Booth of The Successful Creative

Our latest podcast episode of Tea with Jainé is now available! We chat with business coach and wedding photographer Stephanie Booth of The Successful Creative. She talks about facing your fears as an entrepreneur and changing your mindset to grow your business. Over the last year, Stephanie has helped me streamline my business and workflow processes and by doing so, I have seen a tremendous growth in my own wedding photography business. I cannot wait for you to listen to our chat and hear all the amazing business advice she has to share - Enjoy!!

You can listen to Tea with Jainé on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and all other major podcasting platforms. Also, we'd love for you to help support Tea with Jainé and contribute to our listener support page. With your small monthly donation, it's like buying me a new cup of tea each month. Simply click the Support this Podcast button in our profile - thank you!

Stephanie Booth The Successful Creative

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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!

Podcast Interview with Jessa Schifilliti of Love & Light Photographs

The latest episode of Tea with Jainé is now LIVE on our podcast channel. I interview my good friend and fellow wedding photographer Jessa Schifilliti of Love and Light Photographs. We chat about how Jessa started out as a second (sometimes third!) photographer, built her wedding photography business, and successfully implemented an associates photographer program. Jessa talks about defining her brand and finding her signature style. She shares her thoughts about how to network and create authentic relationships inside the wedding industry. To find out more about Jessa and see her wedding photography, visit her online at Love & Light Photographs and @jessalovelight on Instagram! 

You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and many more. Check our our Anchor profile for a full list of available platforms.

Jessa Schifilliti of Love & Light Photographs

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

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!

3 Tips How to Avoid Client Negotiations About Pricing

Over in the Tea with Jainé Facebook group, I received a question about what to do when a potential client starts to negotiate about your prices while you are already in a meeting. Ummmm, can we say awkward? This person had two potential couples start to haggle with her at the very end of their meetings and she was beginning to feel discouraged. She wanted to know if I had any tips to help avoid this from happening again. Boy, do I! This is such a great topic that I recently posted my thoughts over on my Instagram IGTV channel and wanted to follow up with a more in-depth blog post. Here are my top three tips how to avoid awkward client negotiations about your photography prices.

No. 1 - Make Your Wedding Packages SIMPLE - I think the biggest "A-HA" moment for myself was when I started to reflect on what my couples were booking vs. what I was offering. When I first started out, I had several collections with all sorts of options that frankly, were VERY confusing. Every couple wanted something different and I was tired of making "custom collections" so I decided to update my wedding packages to what my couples really wanted and go from there. I created three collections and I made my base collection the minimum I needed to do my job of capturing a wedding from start to finish. This way, there would be no more negotiations about what to "take out" because there was literally nothing to take out. For myself, my base collection will always include 8 hours of photography, a second photographer and the digital files. Once I decided that this was the right formula for me, I built my next two collections on top of this base collection so when someone asks to take out the engagement session or remove the albums, I refer them back to the base collection. I will not remove anything items or services from the base collection because it's the minimum I need to do my job. I wouldn't take a job that wanted me to do less (unless it was a small wedding or elopement which would have separate pricing all together - see my note below). 

So, how do you do this for yourself? I would figure out what is the minimum you need to cover your weddings or events and start from there. It won't be the same as mine but knowing what your base collection is will stop clients haggling over your services because if they can only add-on, they won't be able to take anything away. 

Also, I would recommend having a different collections for the different types of weddings and events you photograph. If you specialize in small weddings and elopements, having different pricing for those types of events will alleviate the frustration of creating smaller collections from your full wedding day services every time someone inquires. If you are a destination wedding photographer, having separate collections for your destination and local weddings is a great way to minimize any type of price negations as well. Only send your potential client the pricing information for their type of event. 

No. 2 - Share Your Prices In Advance - I cannot stress this enough but no one, I mean, NO ONE wants to be surprised especially when it comes to talking about money. They want to know in advance how much your services cost (if not start at) and you should tell them well in advance to ever meeting them in person. As I mentioned in my blog post about Ghosting, one of the biggest reason people ghost you is because they have complete sticker shock. I strongly suggest listing your starting price on your website contact and investment pages. When I first reply to new inquries, I always reiterate my "starting rate" and I ALWAYS send my pricing guide before each phone call.

What should you do? I would create your own process where you will send clients your full collection guide prior to any phone call or meeting so they have time to read and review it. They'll be able to see your wedding packages, prices and be able to ask any questions specifically related to your prices during your meeting or phone call. No more awkward conversations about "asking for a discount" or "what can we do to lower the cost" when you are already in a meeting. Phew!

No. 3 - Get Comfortable With The Word "No" - I know, no one likes to be the bad guy and say "No" to a potential client but to be a successful business person, you have to learn to say the word "No" and for the right reasons. However, with that said, I do have a twist on the way you say "No" without really having to say it. When someone asks for something that I'm not comfortable doing or I don't want to "swap out" to lower the price, I always suggest something else that could possibly be a better solution and benefit both of us. How you ask? Let me explain...

Let's say someone is asking for a discount on an album and I already know that don't offer discounts on albums. How would I answer them? I would say is "Unfortunately, I don't offer discounts on my albums but if you choose to add and album to your collection, I would love to gift you additional spreads as my way of saying Thank You". I'm saying "No" but in a positive way and offering something of value to my client vs. taking money away from my profits. Offering your client something of value such as additional hours of coverage, more pages in their album, an engagement session, etc... is inherently more valuable to them then lowering your prices for your services.

Being able to confidently explain and defend your pricing will lead to less haggling and negotiations during your client phone calls and meetings. I truly believe streamlining your pricing structure for your photography services, being up front with your prices and able to politely (but firmly) say "No" is the best way to avoid awkward negotiations and book the perfect couples just for you.  

What are your thoughts? Have you ever had an awkward conversation about your prices with a potential client? What did you do? I hope these tips were helpful and I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. 


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

Podcast Interview with Cassi Claire Weddings is LIVE!

We are so excited to have our very first Tea with Jainé Podcast interview LIVE on our channel- HOORAY!! We interviewed our good friend and fellow wedding photographer Cassi Claire of Cassi Claire Weddings. We had so much fun chatting (and laughing!!) about all things wedding photography. Cassi talks about working with your spouse, defining your own version of success and shares her favorite workflow apps and tips. There are SO many good tips that I just know you are going to LOVE it!

Also, the Tea with Jainé Podcast is now on even more podcast networks including Overcast. There are so many great ways to hear Cassi's interview. So grab a cup of tea and happy listening! xo - Jainé

Cassi Claire Weddings Podcast Interview

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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!