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!!

TWJInstagramStories-Kristen.jpg

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!

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

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!

How I Backup and Archive My Wedding Photography

I was recently asked by one of my viewers what is my process after the wedding has been photographed. She wanted to know what I do after each wedding and how do I backup and archive my photos, which I thought would be a great topic to discuss. However, I'd like to preface this post with a friendly disclaimer that this is just my way of doing things. There is absolutely no right or wrong way to do something but I would strongly suggest that you have one additional back up somewhere other than your on camera and computer. I'm happy to share my some-what lengthly data backup and archiving process so grab a fresh cup of tea, and get ready to read along!

How-I-Backup-Archive-My-Wedding-Photography.jpg

My Gear:

The most important part about backing up and archiving system starts with what gear you invest your money in. Without reliable gear, it really won't matter how you back it up. This is what I use:

Digital Camera - I have two Nikon D810 cameras in my gear kit at all times. They are identical copies of each other and setup the same way so that if one goes down, I can just pick up the second one and continue photographing my couple without any down time. One of the reasons I purchased the D810 was because it offered Dual Memory Card slots - Compact & SD Flash Memory Cards. I prefer to use the secondary slot as my in-camera backup as it automatically writes a duplicate JPG version of the RAW file that is being written to the primary card. You can set this up to be your "run off" card, duplicate RAW copy and sort forth. There are a few setup options and this just happens to be the best for me because if anything happens to my Compact Flash card (RAW) I will have already have a duplicate copy (JPG) on my SD Flash card. 

Compact Flash Cards - The ONLY brand I use is SanDisk for my memory cards. They actually invented the technology so why not stick with the best, right? I purchase a few new Compact and SD Flash cards every year and retire cards at the beginning of every wedding season. I label each new card with their purchase year so I can easily see which ones need to be discarded.

Card Reader - I have two card readers - Lexar USB 3.0 and the EC Technologies Card Reader in Rose Gold (which I keep out on my desk and use the most). The Lexar is a bit faster than the EC Tech but that's ok with me because well, it's just prettier.

Hard Drives - Western Digital is my favorite brand for portable hard drives. I've been using them for as long as I can remember and (knock on wood) I've never ever had a problem. My preferred model is the Western Digital Passport 3.0 USB because it's so light, compact and well designed. I purchase 2-3 per year and rotate them throughout my entire backup process.

My Backup and Archiving Process:

Import, Sort and Copy:
After my wedding or session, I import my photos using Photo Mechanic. Once the import process is completed, I will sort by Capture Time and then Rename the photos to be in the correct order. I will do this for my own photos as well as my second photographers. Next, I copy the Photo Ingested folder (a Photo Mechanic term) and copy it to my RAW FILES hard drive. I like to keep a clean, untouched copy of the RAW files in case of any data corruption once my editing begins on my computer. I keep the RAW files for a certain amount of time and then replace the data on the drives.

Culling & Backing Up:
A few days after the wedding, I will sit down and cull the images to a smaller more manageable amount of files. I will create the couples folder layout and copy the selects to their images folder. Next, I will copy their folder to TWO hard drives (Backup A and Backup B) that are exact duplicates of each other. This way, I have two working backups of their images and complete working Lightroom Catalogue at any moment in time. Each week I will go through my working files and copy the new data to each of these two hard drives. How do I know what I'm working on? I label my "in progress" folders in Green and my "completed" folder in Red. You could use Carbon Copy Cloner to do the same exact thing. Finally, I will copy the FINAL folder one last time to the hard drives for safe keeping.

Uploading and Delivery:
Once the images are completed, I will upload them to my online hosting provider and deliver the final images to my clients. They receive the high resolution jpg images with all of their collections. Their images are hosted anywhere from 90 days to a year and each receive a 30 day reminder that their gallery is about to expire. As soon as I deliver their gallery, it becomes my couples responsibility to archive and back up their images. After their gallery expires, I move their folder into my online archives which gives me another yet another backup of the final images. If a past client contacts me because they lost their images, there is a fee to reinstate their gallery.

Backing Up My Computer:
I am a Macintosh user and use Apple's built-in backup software called TimeMachine. I run this once a week to have a complete backup of my computer on a separate Western Digital Passport hard drive. In the rare chance my computer were to fail, I could buy a new machine and install the latest version of my TimeMachine backup and could (potentially) have little to no downtime. I always like to be prepared for the worst!

Offsite Archiving:
The last and final step to my backup process is to physically take my hard drives off site to my safety deposit box at my bank. I like to have at least one hard copy some place other than my home just in-case of theft or fire. But, if the bank burns down, there isn't much I can do about that now, right? So I like having my online and off-site archives to work together.


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!

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!

My Wedding Detail Styling Kit

Within the first few years of my business, I realized that I wanted to create beautiful detail photos for my clients without having to rely solely on their getting ready location. Hotels can range from gorgeous to hideous, apartments can be messy or cluttered, and I wanted a way to guarantee pretty flat lay photos for each and every one of my couples independent of my location. My photography is light, bright and airy and dark details photos do not reflect my photographic style, which in turn, didn’t feel like me. So I decided to try something new, I brought a roll of pretty wrapping paper to use as a backdrop to photograph my brides details the morning of her wedding. I was so happy with the results that my styling kit was officially born! I started out with just sheets of pretty wrapping paper but soon upgraded to double sided styling boards. I invested in pretty ribbon, ring boxes, vintage stamps and small bowls to help tell my bride & grooms story without putting too much of my own items into the photos. I always try to use items that are important to my couple before reaching for my styling items. However, if you are in a pinch and want to make some magic out of nothing, it's nice to be prepared! Also, taking the time to photograph your couples details is not only is a wonderful service to them, but it also a great way to get your work published. Editors pay attention to the details and having beautifully styled flat lays can definitely help get you noticed and published. It's taken me several years of purchasing, collecting and refining my styling kit to where it is today and I'm excited to share my favorite styling items and tips with you!

Wedding-Photographers-Detail-Styling-Kit-Essentials.jpg

Styling Objects & Props

1 - Styling Boards - These were my first big investment for my styling kit. I purchased a few double sided linen surfaces from Heirloom Bindery. At the time, they were the only company offering these boards but now there are a few more options out there such as Lux BinderyThe Styling Mat, and Locust Collection. The styling boards can be a pain to carry around during the wedding until you get to the reception but they make the world of difference for my detail photos. I coordinate the colors with the brides details and theme so I know in advance which color board to bring. It comes with a travel bag so I can easily throw it in over my shoulder and know it will not get dirty. It's perfect for the bride's shoes, veil, rings, invitation suite, jewelry and so much more. Once I started incorporating these into my weddings, I saw immediate results and could create stunning details photos in ANY location. My brides are always excited when I setup my board and create a unique detail photo just for them!

2 - Ring Boxes - One of the more tricker items to photograph is usually your couple rings including your brides engagement ring, the wedding bands and any additional heirloom rings. I love to style them on the invites or on a crystal encrusted handbag or belt but I love the idea of having a pretty colored ring box also show of the rings. The Mrs. Box is my go to resource for beautiful colored ring boxes. They are made of vintage velvet and have a rainbow of colors and sizes to choose from. My second favorite ring boxes are from Amonie. They are round, made of velvet and the customer service is amazing! Another, newer company I want to try is Voeu Du Coeur boxes - they are hexagon's. You can also check Etsy for vintage boxes and less expensive velvet boxes. Oh, and I would recommend signing up for The Mrs. Box  & Amonie email lists as they have sales throughout the year and that is when I purchase my boxes!

3 - Ribbon - Oh how I love playing and styling ribbon! I try to use a color close to the brides bouquet ribbon or coordinate with her wedding invitation suite. A few of my favorite online shops are: Frou Frou Chic, Tono + Co, Poetry of Silk, and you can browse for hours at M+J Trimming in New York City.

4 - Small Dishes - This is a new styling item for me. I've wanted to find the prefect small vessel for rings, stamps, earrings and I absolutely love Marbella Dish. Their small dishes are just the right touch of feminine to any detail photo. I also just discovered Simple Things Ceramics and love their three dish choices. I purchased the white dish trio. They are hand made to order and take up to six weeks to arrive.

5 - Vintage Stamps - If you visit Esty and search for "vintage stamps" you will find a ton of great sellers and shops. However, if you live in New York City, you can visit Champion Stamp Company and browse thousands of vintage stamps in person. It's so fun!! I always ask my couples for a few extra stamps from their wedding invitations but if they don't have any extra's, and the stamps I own make sense with their suite, I will use them in the photo.

Even more.... You can add additional styling items to your kit such as scissors, floral sheers, silk table linens, wrapping paper (which is what I started with by Rifle Paper Co.) and much more but I would urge you not to spend too much money on styling items and focus more on the bride and groom actual details vs. creating an image that has no significance to the couple. 

Styling Tools

1 - Dental Wax - If you ever had braces you already know what I'm talking about. It's the wax that you stick on your braces to give your skin a break. This wax is also SUPER helpful styling wedding rings upright and securely for your photo. It also doesn't leave any residue or stains behind on the bands.

2 - Acrylic Blocks - I recently discovered this great tip from MaeMae & Co. - prop stylist extraordinaire. She recommended using these clear acrylic blocks as risers for your styling detail photos. They give you height and dimension and there is no color cast on to your boards. 

3 - Floral Frogs - These are also a new discovery and I'm so happy I found them. Flowers can leave stains on your styling boards or surfaces, especially if you do not scotch guard first and can ruin your boards (trust me!) but now that I have a few Floral Frogs in my kit, I'm no longer concerned. Florist have been using these for years to help create arrangements and now I can use them to prop up the flowers or bouquet for my photos keeping them dry and stain free.

4 - Rubber Hanger Grips - One of my biggest pet peeves is the wedding dress hanger itself. I would say 50% of my brides do not have a new hanger for their dress, so instead of using the ugly plastic white ones, I always bring a wooden hanger with notched ends to catch the dress straps. However, sometimes my Brides DO have a pretty hanger but there are no notches and this is where the Rubber Hanger Grips come in handy. They "grip" the smooth hanger creating a bit of friction for the dress straps to catch and you can hang the dress to photograph. They are self adhesive and come in a pack of 100. 

5 - Wrinkle Spray - this comes in handy if you have ribbon or piece of fabric that needs a bit of ironing and you don't have a steamer handy. Downy Wrinkle Spray is my favorite and small enough to carry with me in my kit at all times.


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 Wedding Photography Software Recommendations

Saving time means that your are saving money and I'm all about saving money, especially when it comes to your business!! Over the years, I have discovered some amazing software applications that have significantly sped up my wedding photography workflow and I wanted to share my top three resources with you. I hope they help you in your business or spark an idea on how to streamline your own workflow!

WeddingPhotographySoftwareMustHaves.jpg

No. 1 - 17 Hats (Client Management Software) I put off upgrading my "system" of how I managed my clients for a long, long time. How long? Embarrassing long! I was using several different apps from Apple (iCal, Mail, Notes, Pages and Numbers) to keep track of my inquires, weddings, booked sessions, invoices and expenses. It was becoming very overwhelming and I would wake up in a panic because I wasn't sure if I had crossed all my "T's" and dotted all my "I's". With a in-depth demo from one of my closest friends, I began to see the light and 17 Hats was about to become my main squeeze. I decided to tackle setting up my client management software in January (a relatively slow time for wedding photographers) so I wouldn't be rushed or in the middle of a deadline. I watched several "how-to" video's, made some emergency texts to my friend, and within two weeks, I was ready to go. I easily integrated 17 Hats Leads Form into my website and I can now track all of my new inquires. I created several workflows for each type of session I photograph and setup my calendar to sync with my iCal (sorry, Apple, I can't quit you ;) My questionnaire's are finally easy to use and I can eventually use 17 Hats for my invoicing and billing but I'm not there just yet. Baby steps... 17 Hats has made my life so much easier and way more efficient that I want to kick myself for taking so long to do it. So, take my advice, if you have more than 5 weddings a year, offer mini-sessions, photograph a ton of families, look into a CRM that is right for you! 17 Hats was the easiest for me to setup myself. I tried Tavé (too difficult) and I've heard wonderful things about Dubsabo. I should mention that 17 Hats is not perfect and missing some features from their competitors BUT they are implementing reporting soon, which is really my biggest complaint. However, you can easily export your data and make your own reports using a pivot table (PIVOT! Hello Ross Gellar Fans ;) so for myself, it wasn't a deal breaker. I signed up at the end of the year with a full two year subscription when they were running a promotion which saved me money! Oh, and if you use my referral link, you will save 10% OFF your year subscription.

No. 2 - Planoly - Oh, how I love Planoly, let me count the ways! Instagram is one of the biggest and best tools for my business. It's how I get my work out there the fastest, interact with clients, vendors, viewers and just about ALL of my couples. However, using Instagram can feel like a full time job and figuring out your grid layout can become challenging. It's a visual tool so it really does need to look visually pleasing. Enter Planoly! A cloud based visual planner for Instagram. It's amazing and so easy to use. It's a paid service ($84 per year) and you can schedule, plan, and post all of your images. Recently, Instagram allowed third-party applications, such as Planoly, access to Auto-Post images directly to your feed without your approval. For me, this was a game changer! I love being able to schedule & auto-post my images in advance. I do, however, have to go back in and tag images with locations, vendors, and clients because you cannot automate that process but since I'm on Instagram every single day (let's be honest!) it's not a big deal. There are other Instagram programs you could use - Later is free - but it's really what works best for you. Also, you can use several of Planoly's other features such as shopping links, reporting and analytics. So fancy!!

No. 3 - Calendly - This might be one of my all time favorite applications ever! Calendly is a cloud based online scheduler and it rocks my world! Why do you need an online scheduler? Because scheduling phone calls with potential couples can take forever trying to find a date and time that works for everyone. It can also be very frustrating for the couple and I want to make things as easy as possible right from the beginning. By using Calendly, I send out a link to my calendar that has my availability for the next two weeks. Next, the Bride can easily see when they are available to chat and choose a date and time that works for them. Last, they click the time, book the appointment and I get an email confirmation - BOOM - we are all set!! I have to admit that once I implemented this system into my New Inquiry process my meeting rate increased 10 fold. The best part, Calendly is FREE for the first calendar. They offer upgrade features that you can pay for (email & text confirmations) or you can simply leave it as is with one event type and keep it free. 


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!