Podcast Interview with Lauren Fair Photography

Our latest podcast interview just went LIVE on our channel and I’m so excited to be chatting with Lauren Fair of Lauren Fair Photography about how to Break into the luxury wedding market for wedding photographers. Lauren & Tim Fair have been named on of the 100 most inspiring and influential people in the wedding industry and one of the 75 best wedding photographers in the WORLD by BRIDES in 2018. Lauren is the sweetest person and is sharing some really valuable and tangible advice for wedding photographers looking to break into the luxury wedding market.

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Lauren Fair Photography

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How to Handle a Client Who Wants Their Photos Off Social Media

I was recently asked by a member of our Tea with Jainé Facebook Group how to respond to a potential couples request to keep their wedding images offline and off social media. This is such a great question that I wanted to answer because this question comes up rather frequently.

So, how to do you handle a clients request to keeping their wedding photos offline and off social media prior to hiring you to photograph their wedding? Well, I have a few helpful tips to help you navigate their request.

No. 1 - Ask Why? I find it’s best to be direct and ask them exactly why they want to keep their photos offline. Do they not want their names mentioned? Do they work in a field that requires them to be completely off social media (therapists for example)? Are they a super celebrity couple that intends on selling the images to a magazine? Are they worried about their privacy? Are children involved? Asking them exactly WHY they want their photos offline will help you come up with a solution that makes you both happy.

No. 2 - Explain Why You Need to Show Your Work Online and on Social Media. So this might come off a bit dumb but they probably saw your work on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, maybe an advertisement, or vendor listing, and of course mostly from your website, riggghhtttt? Well, you need to be able to showcase your photography work across all your social media outlets to book THE NEXT CLIENT. It’s how it works! If you aren’t able to show your work online, how are you going to show that 1 - you are a working photographer 2 - have shot in a specific venue 3 - have the style that your clients are looking for? You have to explain to your potential couple that in order for you to maintain your business and continue to be in business year after year, you need to be able to share and publish your work appropriately.

No. 3 - Compromise - Once you’ve found out their why, and explained why you need to share your work, now you can come up with a compromise that makes you both side happy. Here are a few scenarios that I have worked out in the past with some of my own clients.

1 - I can share their wedding on my website, blog, and social media but I cannot use their names only initials (I NEVER use last names, only first names only - just FYI) so that they aren’t searchable on google.

2 - I can only share images that have been pre-approved by my couple. I will send my favorite images for review via PDF and the client has up to 5 business days to get back to me with any objections or omissions. I then, can submit a substitution for any image they want to remove. If I do NOT hear back from the client within the 5 business days, I will assume that there are no objections and I can share as I like.

3 - If any images were to be using in advertisements or sold for stock photography, I am to get written permission from the clients. (I do this out of courtesy even thought I own the copyrights to my images because I want my couples to trust me and know that respect their privacy.)

No. 4 - Charge For It - If the couple is adamant about NOT having any images what so ever online and does not want to compromise, and still wants to use your services and you want to work them, you have to charge them to keep the photos offline. Why? For the potential loss of income because you cannot use the images online to showcase your work, get new clients, share with vendors or the venue to get referrals, etc…. This is definitely a drastic measure but some couples are willing to pay a big price to keeping their photos offline.

If they are unwilling to negotiate, unwilling to pay your privacy fee (my friend calls it her Black Label Option) then it might be time to part ways and wish everyone the best. Hey, you can’t be everybody’s cup of tea so don’t try to be (a little Kacey Musgrave’s lyric in there for ya!!) Do what is right for you and your business!

No. 5 - The Final Step - Once you have explained how the images may or may not be used (I personally do not share images from every event I photograph) and worked out any image usage issues, or added a fee to their wedding collection, next you have to add this in writing into your contract and have everyone sign to move forward. Transparency is BEST and keeping your client top of mind is very important to gaining and keeping their trust and hopefully, a lot of referrals.

So what about you? What are your thoughts on this topic? I would LOVE for you to leave a comment below and let me know if you were ever in this type of situation and how did you handle it! xo


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New Favorite Tech Accessories for Wedding Photographers

It’s a New Year and I thought I would share some of my favorite tech accessories that might help you organize your life. I’m always on the look out for new tech accessories that are smaller, better, and faster (aren’t we all?) that fit discreetly into my gear bag or handbag. Here are my new (and some old) favorites!! But before we get into the gear, I should mention that if you aren’t already signed up for Ebates or Honey - you are seriously missing out on money every time you shop online. Let me explain why…

1 - The Honey is fully integrated with Amazon which is amazing. Once you sign up and install the plugin in your browser (I use Chrome) it will start a Honey list for you whenever you put things in your Amazon cart. After you add an item, it will then search all of Amazon and get you the lowest price on the site. You just have click the button, and it switches your cart automatically and boom! you’re done!! It’s so easy and FREE it’s crazy. Honey will email you if it finds items on your list are now on sale or listed for a lower price which is so helpful! They do have a small cash back option but it’s only 1% which isn’t a huge savings but I LOVE it for Amazon!! Sign Up by using this link.

2 - Ebates is THE BEST! They have saved me SO much money over the last two years, it’s crazy!! Again you sign up and create a FREE account and install the plug-in in your web browser. They are partners with 1,000’s of online relators and when you buy from a site that offers an Ebates deal, you’ll see it pop up in your browser and you just click the link, they redirect you using their links (this is how they make money and you get to SAVE money!) then you make your purchase as usual. I use this ALL-THE-TIME (especially for my Camera Gear and Technology purchases) and I will receive anywhere from 2-5% cash back. Also, you can use it on travel and hotel deals (hello, destination wedding photographers!!) and so much more. Sign up by using this link.

Ok, so now I told you how to save some money, let me tell you about my fave Tech Accessories :)

Tech Accessories For Wedding Photographers

Western Digital 4TB Passport Hard Drive - I’ve mentioned these portable hard drives before but I just upgraded my new drives to the 4TB which is a HUGE amount of space. I cannot believe that you can get a 4TB drive for under $100. I purchased two of them and now I’m all set for this season and most likely next wedding season as well!

SanDisk 64 GB Compact Flash Memory Card - I don’t know what took me so long to jump on the 64GB bandwagon but I’m so happy that I did because now I can photograph each wedding in under two 64GB Compact Flash cards. Also, I had this item in my Amazon cart and Honey emailed me that there was a price drop (see what I mean!!) so I saved $10 on this card because a seller was having a sale. I’m telling you, you HAVE to sign up!!

Apple Airpods - I don’t know about you but when I use my phone for phone calls, my skin breaks out. Our phones are so dirty that I was using my headphones all the time but the cord felt limiting to me. I couldn’t walk around without carrying my phone while on client discovery calls. So I invested in the Apple Airpods and I’m SO in love with them and the charging case. They sound great, easy to use, charge last a long time, and I love that they hide in my hair!

Tile Mate - Ok INSTAGRAM ad’s you got me here! I kept seeing this Ad and then I saw another photographer use them in a way that my own lightbulb moment went off and I said “I have to get them!”. I am using the Tile Mate tracking disks in all of my camera bags and backpacks just in case one goes missing. I can use the Tile app to track my bags and have a bit of peace of mind when I leave the reception room for a few minutes. These have replaceable batteries which should last up to 2 years before needing to be changed. I always get scared thinking that someone is going to walk off with my gear (which I do lock up thanks to the built in safety locks from ThinkTanks) but now I have a way to track them ASAP if they were to go missing.

Tech Candy Bad Guy Blocker - Honestly, Tech Candy is my new favorite gear company! They have some of the greatest inventions EVER! This Bad Guy Blocker is genius! We all know that someone can get onto your computer, ipad, or iphone, and start your camera up and RECORD you without you even knowing. Yes, they can turn off the recording light as well so when I saw this little but GENIUS device on GMA DEALS (again, need to follow them!!) I bought several for my studio and home. It’s one layer of security I love having on my computer.

Tech Candy Dynamic Duo Woven USB Cable for Apple and Samsung - This super cute (hello GOLD!) USB cable is awesome! Not only will it charge my iPhone but the dual head can even charge a Samsung phone as well which I think is handy to have on hand (especially on a wedding day) because if someone needs a charge and they have a different device, this USB cable can handle both phones!

Tech Candy Cord Keeper in White - A large rubber tie to keep your cord organized in your bag.

Anker Candy Bar Sized Ultra Compact Portable Charger - I used to have the larger version of this item but I didn’t like carrying it around with me because it took up too much space in my bag and was heavy. So, when I saw my friend using this Ultra Compact Portable Charger, I order it from Amazon immediately. Now I carry it my bag all the time and it’s perfect for my Shootsac on wedding days.

PopSockets - I get asked how do I hold my phone when I create my Instagram stories while I’m walking. Welp, the secret is that I use a PopSocket on the back of my phone. It’s a removable and reusable (yes, it can be removed and used all over your phone or a new case!) collapsible grip for your iPhone. I am a HUGE fan of these little guys. I cannot use my phone without a PopSocket! They come in so many fun colors, combos, and you can even upload your own photos or logo and create your own.


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Podcast Interview with Mikkel Paige Photography

The latest podcast episode of Tea with Jainé is now LIVE on our channel! We chat Destination Wedding Photographer and Travel Blogger Mikkel Paige of Mikkel Paige Photography. We dicuss what it’s REALLY like to be a destination wedding photographer and how to be prepared before you go on the road. To see Mikkel’s wedding photography, visit her website Mikkel Paige Photography and her travel blog, Sometimes Home.

To find out more about Mikkel’s recommended 50mm Lens Filters she brings with her when she travels for destination weddings visit the link here.

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!!

InstagramStories-MikkelPaige.jpg

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What to do if a Client Cancels Their Wedding

What do you do when your client cancels their wedding OR you have to cancel on them? Well, it’s not a fun topic to talk about but as a business owner, you should be familiar with your options just in case it happens to you. Over the course of my wedding photography career, both scenarios have happened to me so I thought I would tell you how I handled each of them. It’s never easy, or comfortable but being prepared is always half the battle.

My BEST advice is to have the RIGHT wording in your contract!

I am NOT a lawyer but I have been told that the type of wording you use in your contract can determine how you can protect yourself from these type of unfortunate events. Let me explain:

First and foremost, you collect a RETAINER for your services, not a deposit. The client is RETAINING your services for their wedding. A deposit is defined as “a sum payable as a first installment on the purchase of something or as a pledge for a contract, the balance being payable later” but a retainer is defined as “a fee paid in advance to someone, especially an attorney, in order to secure or keep their services when required”. Does that make sense? They are retaining your services vs. putting a deposit down.

You need to protect yourself so you do not have to return any money collected for retaining your services. If you do not have associate photographers, you are not accepting other jobs for their wedding date and if they were to cancel on you, you are losing the reaming balance due AND other sales in the future.

I’ve heard other wedding photographers say “but I feel bad, and I should return the money”. Well, to that, I would say “I feel bad for them as well but feeling bad, doesn’t pay your bills and when you can’t pay your bills, who’s going to feel bad for you?”. Unless you have a second source of income, spouse, or trust fund to support you, you need to think like a business and stick to your contract. #toughlove

Again, be sure to check with your attorney and modify your contract to use the correct verbiage that will hold up in a court of law, if necessary.


What To Do When Your Client Cancels On You

Unfortunately, if a couple decides that they aren’t ready to get married and cancels (or postpones) their wedding, it stinks for everyone involved including us, the wedding vendors. Once the couple notifies you about the cancellation, they might ask you for a refund or partial refund from their retainer. This is where your contract comes into play and you need to stand firm to protect your business.

As difficult as it is to get the news that your couple is breaking up, it’s just a difficult to realize that you have lost the potential earnings from their wedding and all future sales. In most cases, you have turned down several other inquires for the same date and depending if the couple notifies you early enough, you might not be able to rebook date at all thus creating a loss in your business for the year. Keeping the retainer, although it stinks for the couple, it’s in your contract to ensure your time and services thus far are accounted for.

One of my couples did have to cancel their wedding due to travel issues in and out of the united states and even though they knew about my retainer policy, they did ask for their money back. I kept my retainer and said that if they could reschedule their wedding within one calendar year, I would be happy to move their retainer to the new date and honor my current pricing.

For my business, I require a 50% retainer fee at the time of booking. I am a small business and photograph a limited number of weddings per year, so if I have a couple cancel, it’s a big deal for me and my bottom line.

What To Do When You Have To Cancel On Your Couple

Ugh! This was NOT fun for me. I do not like to be the bearer of bad news and I definitely want my couples to depend on me but sometimes things happen and you have to let a few people down.

The only time I had to cancel on a couple was because I was expecting a baby. As a women entrepreneur, this is just one of those times when your family (and body) comes first. Their wedding date was too close to my due date and I just physically couldn’t risk the possibly of going into labor 2+ hours from my hospital. It was my first baby and I was very nervous as to what to expect.

I called the couple and told them the good and bad news. They didn’t take it very well but I assured them I would help them find the best replacement photographer I could, as we were several months away from their wedding. They met my replacement recommendation but in the end, they found someone else and we parted ways. I returned their full retainer and “gifted” them their engagement session for the inconvenience. It was the best I could do and I don’t regret that decision at all as my daughter came a week early!!

Again, having a good contract is going to save you in this type or similar scenarios. My contract clearly states that if I were to cancel, all monies would be refunded, I would help find a suitable replacement photographer, and that is exactly what I did. Personally, I do not see this happening again for all my potential couples, but like most things, you can’t really plan when you are going to start your family so you just have to roll with the changes when they occur ;)

If you are cancelling a wedding for other reasons, such as you no longer want to photograph their wedding because the client has become difficult or no longer a good fit, a family member is getting married on the same day, or really anything else that involves disappointing a couple, you’ll have to decide what is important to you and how are you going to handle the situation positively.

Have you ever had to deal with this type of situation in your business? What did you do and why? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Be sure to say hello and I hope this was helpful information!


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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!

Finding Your Light - Film Photography for Beginners - WRKSHP Class

Well, it’s true what they say, what you put out into the world comes back to you and never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be sharing such an exciting announcement. I’m beyond thrilled to share that I’m teaching my very first class (ever) at WRKSHP workshop this November in Brooklyn!!

My film lab, Indie Film Lab, is a sponsor of WRKSHP and asked me to teach an intro to film photography “mini” course during the three day workshop on November 2nd - 5th, 2018 at 501 Union in Brooklyn, NY. I nearly fell off my chair when I read the message from Josh!! I have been using Indie Film Lab to process and scan my film for the last 6+ years and so honored they asked me to speak on their behalf.

Can you guys believe this? I’m SO SO excited and thrilled to be included in the impressive line up of speakers they have scheduled to educate and help photographers. It’s going to be so so amazing!!

For those of you who are interested in learning how to add film to your wedding photography, what questions do you have? I’d love to hear directly from you so I can create my course based on your questions. Please leave them in the comments below or you can send me an email. I'd love to hear from you!

You can still sign up and attend WRKSHP by purchasing your tickets here. You get to pick and choose which teachers you’d like to learn from and I hope to see you there. Oh, and please be sure to say hello! xo - Jainé

Film Photography for Beginners

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

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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!

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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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!