Podcast Interview with AvaFlora Wedding Florists

We are chatting with Mike and Lori Orlando from AvaFlora all about how wedding photographers and wedding florist can work together on a wedding day. Communication and setting expectations ahead of time is key to having a successful wedding. AvaFlora is a New York based floral design studio that specialize in creating refined, garden inspired floral designs for gift orders, weddings, and events.

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Ava Flora - Lori and Mike Orlando

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Podcast Interview with Paige Griffith of The Legal Paige

We are chatting with Paige Griffith from The Legal Paige all about how to make sure your wedding photography or online business is Legal and Legit in the eyes of the law. Do you know the difference between a S-Corp. Sole Prop, or LLC? Well, Paige breaks it down for you easily and clearly. The Legal Paige a virtual law firm working with online businesses and wedding industry professionals.

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Paige Griffith - The Legal Page

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Should You Work For Free?

I have to admit that this topic has been on my mind for a long time. I wanted to share my experience and advice that I’ve learned over the last 10 years as a wedding photographer in New York City. I thought that if you were just starting out, you were probably being asked this question just as much as I was (and still AM!) and I hope I can help you make an educated decision as to what you should do for yourself and your company. So, should you work for free?! Let’s dive in!

Should You Work For Free as Wedding Photographer?

Should You Work For Free? Yes AND No

My initial and honest answer is Yes and No. Complicated right? Let me explain.

When you are first starting out and you want to get your name out there, make connections, and new relationships, YES you should absolutely work for free. Offer your services for free to colleges, designers, wedding planners, and so forth to get your foot in the door. I mean, they don’t know you exist yet so you have to introduce yourself to them. You can collaborate on a styled shoot, branding sessions, family photos, etc… the ideas are endless but your free services should not be.

Once you’ve started to make those connections and those people are hiring you for real paying jobs, you need to end your working for free mentality. It’s all well and good but at some point, you have to start charging so you can actually be a business that makes money. You have to remember that you ARE a business, and you need to put an end date/time frame on the amount of stuff you do for free.

Working for exposure. Is it worth it?

How many times have you been asked to work for free because you’ll be paid with “EXPOSURE” from an event? Oh goodness, let me count the ways. At the beginning of your career, for the right client, and it feels right for your brand sure you can work for a 3-hour event for free and get “exposure” but just remember that exposure does NOT pay the bills. You cannot give your “likes” “mentions” and press clippings to the bank for actual money. Sorry, doesn’t work that way!

Partnering with the right brand/sponsor/event can certainly increase your exposure to new eyes but doing these types of events over an over again, will not pay the bills unless you are seeing a direct return from working an event. Such as booking a paying client and making hard-earned money because they met you/liked your work from the free event. If that is happening, then your ROI is high, but if it’s not, it’s time to move on and start charging.

Ask for the details

I learned a hard lesson by working for someone for free who promised me that their event would get published. They said it would be picked up and my name would be shared all over the place which sounds great, right? Well, what I walked into was not only NOT going to be published, it was also a clear sign that my eagerness to please was being taken advantage of. Friends, do be like me (10 years ago) ask for all the details in advance. I wish someone would have told me to ask for a mood board, Pinterest inspiration, or just some photos of how it was going to be styled and where it was going to be held. It was a hard lesson to learn but I hope in sharing this story you learn from my mistakes and don’t end up crying on a bench with your husband afterward knowing that you were just taken advantage of for your photography services.

If you are going to work for free, have a contract!

Take it from me, have a contract for every single one of the jobs even when starting your career. When I first starting out, I did an engagement session for a family member for free. It was over 3 hours long, I didn’t tell them when I was going to deliver the final gallery, how many files were included, or any important information and it created a bit of an uncomfortable situation between the two of us. Now, it’s not their fault, it’s mine. I didn’t know any better but looking back, I should have had a clear contract outlining all of the information so everyone was on the same page. It would have been a better ending for both of us but now, I know better and always have a contract :)

When Should You STOP working for free?

The easiest answer I can give you is this when you can start charging for your work, you should stop doing it for free. You are out of the “get all the experience” phase and have officially crossed over to the “I know what I’m doing” phase and people are asking you to take their photos for them. I think a good indicator for when you should start charging is when people are asking to hire you. It’s a good sign people like what you are putting out there in the world.

Should I Still do Events for free after I am charging?

Well, that’s up to you my friend. I cannot answer everything for you but I know from my own experience that if I feel passionate about an event, charity, or person, I will still offer my services for free or at a discounted rate. If they have no budget but are a blogger, have a service, or their own website, I will negotiate a deal that is a win/win for both of us. Maybe that’s a listing on their vendor page, or use of the venue for a styled shoot later down the road, or an Instagram post to their 100K followers with proper VISABLE credit, something that for me makes sense to barter a deal for services.

So what about you? I’d love to hear your stories and experiences with working for free. Why did you do and was it worth it for you in the end? Did you feel that you gained a lot of great exposure? Did you connect with new people? Please leave a comment below and let me know!! xo


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Podcast Interview with Heidi Thompson

We are chatting with Heidi Thompson of Evolve Your Wedding Business all about how to create a profitable marketing plan for your business. Heidi is a businesses strategist and coach who helps wedding professional access their potential profits with a solid marketing plan.

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.

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Heidi Thompson Evolve Your Wedding Business

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Podcast Interview with Jose Rolon Events

We are chatting with New York City luxury wedding planner José Rolon of José Rolon Events. Jose gives his insider advice how to work with luxury wedding planners in your market, how to break into the next industry level, and a full recap of ENGAGE! conference. Jose Rolon is known for his chill vibe and his unique design aesthetic is quickly making him one of the top rising wedding planners in NYC.  

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.

Thank you so much for all of your kind support!! xo

Jose Rolon Events - NYC Luxury Wedding Planner

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Podcast Interview with Sage Wedding Pros

We are chatting with Michelle Loretta of Sage Wedding Pros all about how to create and easy business plan for your wedding photography business. Michelle is a business consultant and financial strategist for wedding and event professionals. She gives us a clear guide how to create our own business plan and how to use it in our own business.

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.

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Michelle Loretta - Sage Wedding Pros

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How to Pump On-The-Go and Photograph a Wedding AFTER Baby

At the end of my IGTV Instagram video about “How to Photograph a Wedding While Expecting”, I asked if anyone wanted me to record the follow up email sharing my tips about what to do AFTER your baby arrives. I received so many comments and requests for the follow up information and I’m so happy to share my tips with you. You can always watch my latest IGTV video where I go more in-depth on this topic as well. Enjoy!

How to Pump on the Go While Photographing A Wedding After Baby

No - 1 - Figure Out Your Pumping Schedule - I think the biggest tip and most important is to figure out when you need to pump and how long you can go (comfortably) without pumping during the day. You will then need to figure out when you can take your pump breaks during the wedding. Be open and communicate with your couples that you need to take a break x’s per day to pump and let them know you have your second photographer or assistant taking over while you are pumping.

No. 2 - Create a Portable Pumping Station - The best advice I can give you is to create your own portable pumping station so when you are “On-the-Go” you are 100% self-sufficient and do not require any additional gear. Here’s what I did and purchased:

  • Medela Pump In Style - I purchased an extra small portable breast pump to fit neatly into my bag. I loved the Medela Pump In Style because it was a great pump and super small, lightweight, and you could purchase the battery pack for this pump.

  • Medela Pump In Style Battery Pack - I purchased the battery powered Pump In Style battery pack to be 100% self powered on the go. You never know where and when you can pump so if you end up in a bathroom or broom closet (yes!) you might not have access to an outlet which, if you are totally engorged, could be the worst thing possible. You want to be able to pump anywhere on the go, and avoid Mastitis whenever possible. Believe me, it’s so painful!

  • Swell Insulate Bottle - After you’ve pumped your breastmilk, you are going to need a place to store it so it doesn’t go bad over the next several hours. You probably will NOT have access to a refrigerator, so I got a little creative. I purchased a insulated water bottle or thermos and put my breastmilk in there once I was done. I found that the biggest bottle was able to hold all of my breastmilk for the day but if you are a big producer of milk, you might want to bring another bottle as back up.

  • Packit Freezable Wine Bag - After I pumped and put my milk in the swell bottle, I put the bottle in a freezable tote bag. This bag is great because the entire bag is insulated with the ice pack material and will keep cool for several hours. This is the single wine bag which is tall enough for the Swell bottle, and they also have a double wine bag for two bottles. In my own research, I found that breastmilk can be outside of the fridge for up to 8 hours so keeping it cool in the insulated bottle along with this cooler bag, I knew it would be still good by the time I got home and put it in the freezer.

  • Johnson & Johnson Hand and Face Portable Wipes - After you’ve been pumping for a while, you become very fast and proficient in the entire process (isn’t that with everything?) so I would just wipe off my flanges with these antibacterial wipes and get back to photographing the wedding. Once I got home, I’d do a full boiling of my gear to disinfect my breast pumping equipment for the next day.

No. 3 - Outsource and Time Block - I’ve said this before but outsourcing my editing to an professional editor is worth every single penny. After baby, you really have NO time and I couldn’t find the extra 8-10 hours it takes me to edit an entire wedding consecutively. We had a part-time nanny but in those hours she was watching my daughter, I had to get everything else done. So, I would highly recommending looking for outside help where ever you can to help you stay on track and meet your deadlines.

Also, Time Blocking is such a powerful tool that I’m really only NOW getting the hang of. I time block everything I do from editing, blogging, instagram planning, and so much more. Being hyper focused for 1-2 hours has really allowed me to get my photography work done on time as well as keep Tea with Jainé going at full speed.

I hope these tips were helpful and I’d love to hear your favorite tips and takeaways below. Please leave us a comment and share with the community!! xo


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Podcast Interview with Sandra Coan

We are chatting with Sandra Coan of Sandra Coan Photography all about how to confidently use flash for film and digital photography to look like natural light. Sandra teaches thousands of photographers around the world about film photography, lighting techniques, studio workflow and posing, and the fundamentals of building a successful brand and business.

Here is a cheat sheet to some of Sandra’s Favorite Camera Gear she recommends in the show:

Profoto B2 Light - One Light
Profoto B2 Light - On Location - 2 Light Kit
Photoflex 60” Umbrella
Westcott 7’ Parabolic Umbrella - Black / White
Westcott Parabolic White Diffuser
Profoto Air Remote
Pocket Wizard - Triggers

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Sandra Coan Photography

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Podcast Interview with Fallon Carter Weddings + Events

Destination weddings sound like they are so much fun but traveling across the pond, might not be all that’s its cracked up to be. We chat with destination wedding planner Fallon of Fallon Carter Weddings and Events about how wedding photographers can be prepared to photograph a destination wedding.

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. Thank you so much for all of your kind support!! xo

Fallon Carter Weddings and Events

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Easy Posing Tips for Wedding Photographers

Over in our Facebook Group, I asked what should the next topic of Tea with Jainé should be and everyone voted for posing tips and tricks for wedding photographers. I’m excited to share my top three tips all about how to pose your couples naturally and with confidence. Posing people does not come easily and I truly believe the more prepared you are, the better photos and photo session you and your couples will have.

Also, you can watch my video about the same topic on my IGTV Instagram Channel and get a bit more Tea time with me!

Here are my three favorite tips for posing…

No. 1 - Create a Posing Flow - When I was first starting to work with couples and clients, I realized pretty quickly that posing people did not come naturally to me. I need a way to lead the session and create some pretty amazing photos in the process. What I started to do was create a Pinterest board with all of my favorite posing inspiration to help me in my process and what I discovered was that the photos I like, were just different variations of the same pose. A little tweak here, and there, a new lens, a different expression and boom - we had a brand new photo that felt totally new. It was a big light bulb moment for me!

I started to create my own posing flow for my couples moving from a few standard poses and then having several derivative of that pose. For example, let’s say the couple is standing looking at me with both shoulders, well, I could start with them walking towards me, than away, and then have the bride (or groom) look back at me, then at their partner, then give a give a kiss, and then make them laugh. Each of these actions are just one set of “poses” in a single standard pose.

By creating your own Standard or Base Poses and talking out loud the flow to yourself as practice will help you do this when you are with your couples during their engagement session or wedding day.

No. 2 - Do Your Homework - Yes, folks, you have to do a little bit of homework here to understand why a pose, or poses, is successful or not. You need to understand how the brain interpret an expression, a hand gesture, how the feet are placed, etc… to truly understand how to create great poses for your couples. As I mentioned before, posing isn’t something that comes “naturally” to most people and we all need to be taught how to pose. How to look for things that might make our photo more successful than others and I truly believe you need to do some homework and read few books to get a better understanding on how to pose properly.

One of my all time favorite books is Picture Perfect Posing from Roberto Valenzuela. I’ve read two of his books and watched his Creative Live courses and they have helped me so much in my own posing evolution. I love that he can create beauty out of nothing all from knowing the “WHY” behind making beautiful photos. He teaches you about how the hands should be posed and positioned, facial expressions, body language, and so much more. I would highly recommend picking up a copy!

PicturePerfectPosingBook.png

No. 3 - ALWAYS Be Positive Behind the Camera - Want to know the key to making your client or couple confident and relaxed in front of the camera? You have to always talk to them giving them positiver affirmations and encourage from the moment you take your very first photo till the very last photo in the session. I am always talking, encouraging laughing, telling a silly joke, and letting my couples know that they are doing great - even if I need to tweak a few things here and there.

If a pose isn’t going well, never say “this isn’t good” or “let’s not do that” or “this isn’t working you guys”. They DO NOT want hear that and boy, watch their confidence go down the drain in two second flat. Instead, you need to use positive terms to correct any situation or pose that isn’t working they way you would like. I always say “hey, let’s try this” or “you know, can you move over here for second?” or “why don’t we move your hand this way instead?”… i’m correcting but in a softer tone that is still has positive inflections.

I hope these tips were helpful and give you a bit of insight into how I create my Posing Flow and use positive feedback to encourage my couples. Do you have any tips or tricks you’d like to share with our community? Please leave us a comment below - we’d LOVE to hear from you! xo


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