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 Photography

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What's in My Camera Bag for Every Wedding

As I was preparing for my first wedding of the season, I thought it would be a good idea to show you exactly what I carry and wear to every one of my weddings. These are things that over the years as a wedding photographer, I know I need to function and work efficiently throughout the course of the day. These are simply my must have tools and I hope you find these tips helpful!

What's In My Camera Bag for Every Wedding

1 - Shootsac Lens Bag and Shoulder Pad - I absolutely could not function without my crossbody camera bag. It carries my lenses, batteries, memory cards, lip balm and much more... I've had a Shootsac from the very beginning of my wedding career and highly recommend it. It's made from scuba material so it's very soft and comfortable on your body. There are six pockets (3 on each side) that allow me to carry all of my gear. I usually will have 3 lenses on me - two in the Shootsac and the one on my camera - at all times. I also created a system by dedicating specific items to certain pockets because it can also become a "black hole" where everything and anything will get lost :) I would strongly suggest buying the additional Shoulder Pad to keep the bag comfortable on your shoulders throughout the day. The crossbody strap is adjustable and I wear it at hip height to easily switch out my lenses and grab my memory cards. If anything, this is my MUST HAVE item for every single wedding photographer out there.

2 - Memory Card Holder - I always have my memory cards on my person the entire course of the wedding. I never want them to get out of my site and chance being lost or stolen. I bought one a Think Tank Pocket Rocket to clip securely on to my Shootsac and I can easily pull out the pouch and switch cards in a hurry. 

Quick Tip: Every time I change my memory card in my card pouch, I turn it backwards before tucking it away in the pocket. This way, I can visually see that it's been shot on and will reach for another card when I'm in a hurry which is all of the time on a wedding day!

3 - Lens Cloth Clip - I like to keep a lens cloth on me at all times and love this clip on lens cloth from Nikon. I also use the Zeiss disposable lens wipes (not pictured) throughout the day. I usually by a box each of 100 each wedding season.

4 - Extra Batteries for my Camera & Flash (not pictured) - I use the Storacell Battery Caddy to organize and store my AAA batteries. These great plastic caddy's hold my loose batteries all in one spot. I put one in my bag at the start of each reception just incase my flash dies in the middle of the dance floor. I also keep an extra set of batteries for my digital and film camera's in my Shootsac as well. You never want to be in the middle of session or important moment and have your camera turn off because you are out of power. I always like to be prepared!

5 - Portable Phone Charger (not pictured) - It's no secret that I like to story on my Instagram (hey, this is how all of this happened, right?) so I carry a small portable iPhone charger. I like this Anker Portable Phone Charger in white. Also, I feel as if you can never find a power outlet inside the reception venue so it's a good idea to have your own.

5 - Ear Plugs - I started wearing earplugs during receptions because I damaged my right ear at a wedding several years ago. I walked past a huge speaker during the ceremony and caught a loud sharp sound in my ear resulting in a damaged ear drum. I had to go to the Dr.'s and after a few tests, he said my ear drum was damaged and would heal on its own. I had a bit of vertigo for almost a year but it eventually went away. Now I always wear earplugs and have several pairs on me at all times.

6 - Protein Bars - I always say photographing a wedding is like running the marathon. You need to keep your energy up! I recently discovered RxBars and I'm in love with them. They have very few natural ingredients and are super yummy. The sea salt chocolate are my favorite (not pictured because I ate the last one!!)

7 - Wedding Photography Timeline & Pen - I always have a printed copy and working pen on me throughout the day. This also helps get through family photos very quickly because I can start right away since I already have the list on me. Smart!!

8 - Everyday Necessities (the must have's) - Bobby Pins, Band-aids, Breath Mints, Advil, Contact Lens Solution and container, Tide-to-Go Pen, Hair Ties, and LIP BALM. I seriously could not photograph a wedding without lip balm :) 


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!

Top 3 Tips to Culling Wedding Photos Faster

It's true what they say about being a wedding photographer, it's 10% photographing weddings and 90% everything else. You spend a lot of time in front of the computer vs. behind the camera which can be frustrating. Over the course of my wedding photography career, I've picked up a few helpful tips and tricks on how to cull and edit my photos faster which I'm so excited to share with you! Here are my top 3 tips on how to cull your wedding photography faster.

CullingWeddingPhotosFaster.jpg

No. 1 - PHOTO MECHANIC by CAMERA BITS - This is hands down my NUMBER ONE recommendation for ANY photographer who photographs events, weddings or simply takes a large amount of photos at one time. The magic of Photo Mechanic is that it processes your RAW files instantly and loads the previews on your screen faster than you can blink. This makes the process of selecting your best photos incredibly fast and efficient. If you were to import your photos using Adobe's Lightroom, you'd be sitting there waiting for the files to render before you could even start your cull. You'll be waiting a painfully long amount of time before you can even start to select your photos - it's incredibly slow. Photo Mechanic is 100% worth the financial investment because it will speed up your workflow by hours and you need that time to get back out there and photograph your clients!

No. 2 - SHUTTLExPRESS by CONTOUR DESIGN - I know, this looks a bit intimidating but trust me you will learn to love it. The ShuttleXpress is a keyboard extender with programable buttons to help speed up your workflow and edit as fast as possible. I used the ShuttleXpress with Photo Mechanic and Lightroom. Since it's a programmable device, you can set it up with multiple software profiles which is amazing! For culling in Photo Mechanic, I use the ShuttleXpress to pick (T key) my selects which saves me time and my hand from cramping up by using my keyboard. In Lightroom, I use the ShuttleXpress mostly in the Develop module to copy & paste my settings, crop and rotate images, pick and flag my photos and so much more. Using the ShuttleXpress allows me to use keep one hand on the mouse and the other on the ShuttleXpress without ever having to touch the keyboard. I never have to look down to find a key to use a keyboard shortcut, which slowly eats away at my editing time by taking my eyes off of my screen. I've been using this device for several years and by now, it's second nature to me. I simply cannot work without it. 

No. 3 - START BACKWARDS - This is a tip I picked up from another wedding photographer and think it's absolutely genius! For wedding photographers, the end of the wedding usually means reception photos. LOTS and LOTS of reception photos which may or may not be your favorite part of the day :) To quickly get through this section, I suggest starting at the end of the wedding and moving your way backwards through each part of the day. This will speed up your culling time and you'll also move into the ceremony, portraits, getting ready sections more quickly. Also, specifically for digital photographers, you might take a few shots until you are happy with the final photo, which means you might have 2-3 images before you get to the final shot. If you start backwards, you will see the best image FIRST and skip over the rejects so much faster. This is such a simple tip but has efficient impact on saving you time in your culling process.

I hope you found these tips helpful but I want to hear from you! What are some time saving tips you've discovered while culling your images? Please share in the comments below!


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!

Top 3 Tips on How to Find a Photography Mentor

When I announced on my Instagram stories that I was going to be starting my weekly "Tea with Jainé" series, I asked my viewers to direct message me questions that they were struggling with. One of the very first questions I received was "How Do I Find A Photography Mentor?" which is such a great topic to discuss!! It can be very overwhelming starting your own photography business. There are a lot of choices and financial decisions to be made such as "what hosting company should you use?, "what equipment should I buy?", and "where should I advertise?" and I found that having someone to help guide you is invaluable. For myself, my photography teacher became my mentor and I'm so grateful for the time and advice he has given to me over the years. But what if you didn't go to photography school? Or you don't know anyone who is successful wedding photographer? Well, I thought I'd share my top three tips on how to find a photography mentor that is right for you!

No. 1 - ASK - I would simply ask other wedding photographers you know if they are interested in being your mentor. Don't know anyone? Research the local photography groups in your area and join a few photography groups on Facebook specific to the type of photography you want to pursue. Maybe someone in the group is looking to give back to their community or maybe they want to start their own mentoring program and would love your feedback? You'll never know until you ask for help.

No. 2 - INQUIRE - I'm sure there is a photographer out there whom you admire and would LOVE to learn from. Well, why not email them as see if they are open to being your mentor? Maybe they don't have an official mentor program (just yet!) but you could always offer your time as an intern for their help and guidance in return. What's the worst they could say, no? No big deal - ask the next person on your list! Don't let the fear of rejection stop you from contacting those whom you admire. I'm sure they will be flattered to get your email in their inbox!

tip: please be sure to make it personal! whenever you are emailing someone, please be sure to use their first name "Hello Jainé" vs. "Hi," in the heading. To me, this immediately makes me think you aren't serious about asking for my help OR you are emailing every photographer in the area and cannot be bothered to fill out my name. Want to stand out? Fill out their name and make your note personal to them!

No. 3 - INVEST - Plenty of wedding photographers offer paid mentorships or mentor programs which can be a great investment for you and your business. I found a range of  mentorships are focused on learning how to use your camera and find your style. There are business focused mentorships all about streamlining your business and marketing plans. You name it, it's out there! The options are endless but I would do your homework and make sure you know exactly what you are getting before you invest your hard earned money in any type of mentorship. For me, I created my own mentoring program Tea-a-Tet in an 'Ask Me Anything' type of setting because I wanted it to be casual, relaxed and open environment. I believe having direct access to a professional wedding photography is invaluable to any type of photographer venturing out on their own.

I hope this was helpful and would love to hear your thoughts! Have you invested in a Mentor program? Are you still searching for your perfect match? Leave a comment below!


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!