Personal Safety Gear for Wedding Photographers

I wanted to share a few items that I recently purchased for my own personal and business safety. Being a female wedding photographer can feel a bit ominous at times, especially when I have to walk back to my car at night or when I’m taking the gear out of the trunk to head back to my apartment alone. I don’t like thinking about the “what if’s” but I always like to be prepared. Here are some of my new tools to help me feel a bit safer and track my gear while I’m working on a wedding day!

Again, I love GMA DEALS and highly recommend you guys follow them to score some great deals on items whenever they are posted! xo

Safety Gear for Women Wedding Photographers

The Glammer : Emergency Escape Hammer by Bling Sting - This super cute and very function personal emergency escape hammer is one of those items that the fire department always recommends you have in your car but you never actually purchase it until now. Why? Well, because it’s so darn cute (hello ROSE GOLD!) and it can save your life if you ever need it. You can cut your seat belt and break the windshield to get out of your car as well. I will carry this in the front seat with me just incase I ever need to use it when traveling.

Ahh!-larm! Personal Alarm by Bling Sting - This super cute confetti glitter keychain heart is not only cute to carry but it’s an ear piercing 115 decibel alarm - YIKES!!! It includes an LED safety light that will blink so people know where you are and you can replace the batteries too! This keychain also comes in a bow shape and gem stone so you have a few choices and colors to choose from. I like that it looks cute and can make a bit impact to scare off someone who might be following you. Hey, we all know that walking back to your car late at night (alone!) can be scary so be prepared!

Tile Mate - I mentioned this previously but I forgot to put it in my IGTV video which you can watch here. I love these little Tile Mates because they are small, discreet, and I can put one in each of my gear cases and track their whereabouts while I’m busy photographing a wedding. Also, the new Tile Mates allow you to replace the battery once a year which is great and very environmentally friendly! You can use the Tile App to track your devices and play the tune to find your cases (or keys!) quickly.

Is personal safety something you think about on a wedding day? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments below! xo


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Sharing Photos with Wedding Vendors

Should or shouldn’t you share the wedding photos with the other wedding vendors? This is definitely a hot button topic that pops up every few months or so in the wedding photography groups. There are both sides to every story but honestly find this question really interesting because the answer, at least for me, has always been YES!

Of course I will share the photos with the vendors who were involved with the wedding I photographed because why wouldn’t I? It’s there work too, right? Let me explain why I share the images and how I deal with image usage. You can also watch my latest IGTV video to hear me talk about this topic too!

How to Share Your Images

Once my wedding has be delivered to my clients, I will do a few things afterwards. I will either submit their wedding for publication (online or print) and reach out to the vendors to let them know they can now view the images and pick out their favorites. I give them limited access to the gallery so they can only view the images and choose their favorites to use on their website and social media. Once they are done with their selections, I’ll download the files, rename, resize, and send them to the vendor via Dropbox.

Allowing each vendor to pick their favorites has proven for me to the best and easiest way to handle requests for photos. This way, they can see the full gallery, pick out all the photos that they like and I still have full control of what images are shared online. Sometimes I will omit images that I know the couple doesn’t want released on social media, especially ones with children photographed. I’m always keeping my couples privacy in the back of mind.

I usually wait till have I have a few requests in my inbox and set aside some time to process each request. It can take anywhere from 10 -30 minutes per request so I need to do it when I have some available time in my calendar. If it’s my busy season, or I’m slammed with editing work, I will let the vendors know that their request will take some time as my priority is always my couples. No one has ever complained!

Photo and Usage for Vendors

In my initial email to the vendor, I let them know that if they want to use the images, they need to credit them properly. If they can agree to that, I’m more than willing to give them to them for usage. Just about everyone agrees, which is great, and I also send a very detailed Usage Agreement with the final photos.

I clearly state how the photos can and cannot be used. How they cannot be altered or edited in any manner. How they cannot submit the photos without my permission and if they want to use them for Advertisements, they need to get my written permission to do so. I also state that since the images are given to the vendors complimentary, if they do not follow these rules, they could receive an invoice for improper photo usage.

I do this so they know what the rules are and how to ensure that we have a good standing relationship. I want to give them the photos and I want them to use them everywhere BUT I want to make sure I am given proper photo credit where credit is due.

Also, I should mention that I would never CHARGE a vendor for images. I own the photographs but they wouldn’t have happened without the other vendors decor, design, flowers, vision, and artistry. They want to showcase their work too so why not make that happen as easy as possible for everyone?

Create Great Vendor Relationships and Networks

Do you know that the number ONE thing I hear all the time from every single new planner or vendor I work with is? It’s that that NEVER get any of the photos of their work - EVER!! How is that even possible? <scratches head>

By simply sharing images with the wedding planner, florists, caterers, venues, officiants, and every other vendor at the wedding, you are creating a great vendor relationships. They are going to be SO HAPPY you contacted them and shared your photos of their work, they are going to love working with you. And you know what happens from there? They show of your work on Instagram, or their website, or their blog and more couples see your photography. More potential clients SEE YOUR WORK!! Isn’t that worth everything to you? Well, it is to me! The vendor becomes your walking talking billboard for anyone who needs a photographer. You are the one they love working with because you share the images and you take great photos too!

I always say this but being nice in this industry is going to get you a lot further than being over protective about your photos and NOT sharing. Yeah, I said that! They will remember you if you don’t share, were rude, and terrible to work with. Do you think they are going to recommend you every again?

By sharing your photos, you are creating a network of vendors who want to work with you, who will support you, and hopefully recommend you in the future.

What Is Your Return On Investment?

I get it. It takes TIME to email the vendors, get their favorites, and send them the final images. I understand that maybe you didn’t get a referral from each and every vendor but hey, that’s how it goes, right? If you have a system in place and guidelines for vendors to adhere by when using your images, I (personally) think you are really going to be putting yourself at a HUGE advantage as a wedding photographer.

For me, the ROI (return on investment) takes time. It’s the long game that you have to play. Creating and cultivating lasting vendor relationships is so important. At least, they are in my opinion if you want to be doing this for a long time!

What If the Vendor Doesn’t Credit Me?

If you’ve given vendors your specific guidelines and they didn’t tag you on Instagram, Facebook, etc… feel free to nudge them with a quick DM. Just say “hey, can you tag me?” and most vendors will add the tag quickly and say they are sorry for leaving it out of the post. If they don’t respond, or continue to fail to give you the proper credit, feel free to email them about the issue. Last resort is to send an invoice for photo usage. I have YET to do this but hey, it’s in my usage clause so I could if I needed too.

If a vendor continues to leave off your photo credit, well, you know for next time that maybe you won’t be so eager to share with them before having a talk about your past experience with them. Speak up for yourself and make it known that it’s 100% NOT ok to do this! You deserve the credit because the photo are yours and they wouldn’t have them without you. It’s a two-way street!

And what if you didn’t like working with a particular vendor all together? Well, that’s at your digression if you want to share the images or not. You have to do what’s best for you!

Make it a WIN/WIN

Personally, I want my work to be shared everywhere with everyone, and I want to receive the proper credit when it is shared. I’ve had numerous people reach out to me over the years because they kept seeing my photography pop up for a few of their favorite wedding vendors so they wanted to work with me too. In my opinion, it’s a win/win!


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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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What I'm NOT doing in 2019 - New Tea with Jainé Podcast is LIVE!

Ok you guys, I recorded my very first SOLO podcast (big gulp!) in an effort to merge my IGTV stories with my podcast. I'm a little nervous going out on my own and would LOVE your honest (be gentle!) feedback. In this brand new episode, I’m talking about what I’m NOT doing in 2019. It’s a bit of an anti-goal list but later on I do list what I am doing for myself in this podcast episode. Personally, I think it’s important to reflect on the previous year to know where you want to go in the new one. Enjoy!! xo

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Jaine Kershner of Brklyn View Photography

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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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How to be an AWESOME Second Photographer

Do you want to know how to be an AWESOME second photographer at your next wedding? Want to know how to build your network of referrals and transition into being a GREAT wedding photographer? Well, this weeks new podcast of Tea with Jainé is especially for you! I chat with my good friend Asher Gardner of Asher Gardner Photography about ALL THE THINGS related to second shooting at a wedding and how to be awesome at it - SERIOUSLY!! Tons of tips, great advice, and mistakes to avoid on your own journey! Enjoy and happy listening!!

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!!

Asher Gardner Photography

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Wedding Photographer Detail Styling Kit Accessories - Updated!!

Over the course of the past wedding season, I streamlined my gear (finally!!), bought some new shoes, and cleaned up my styling kit! In doing so, I fell in love with a few new items that I couldn’t wait to share with you! I’ve listed my new faves below and even a few less expensive alternatives to help you update your styling kit too. I hope you find it helpful - enjoy!!

Wedding Photographer Detail Styling Kit Accessories

Styling Surfaces

Locust Collection’s rollable, double sided linen and/or velvet styling surfaces have quickly replaced my Heirloom Bindery styling boards. I absolutely LOVE how portable they are and how I can carry them easily from the Brides getting location, to the ceremony, and finally to the wedding venue without having to worry about it taking up too much space, getting ruined, and bumping into people. It comes in a clear, round, pvc tube canister that fits snugly in my existing camera bag.

However, my only issue was that since they are double sided (yay, two color choices!!) I was constantly worried about the floor side getting dirty. I didn’t have a protective sheet to carry with me and honestly, I didn’t want too! Well, they thought of a solution and released a vinyl protector cover to keep your surfaces clean while styling - GENIUS!! Seriously, it’s so worth the investment and I hope Kate comes out with new colors each season.

Clear Travel Organizer

This is definitely one of my biggest pet-peeves for several years now because I could never SEE all of my styling items in one place. My ring boxes, ribbons, vintage stamps, and all my extras were stored in a few different bags so if I didn’t have that bag with me, I wouldn’t end up using the items. UGH! So one day I woke up and headed over to the Container Store and browsed all of the aisles till I found my perfect box!! Their Clear Large Infinite Divider box is my savior - literally! I can fit ALL of my ring boxes, silk and velvet ribbons, tiny plates, floral frogs, dental wax, small clear acrylic blocks, cute scissors and vintage stamps. Once it was all organized, I could FINALLY see all my styling props in ONE place - YAY!! Oh, and it’s 100% portable so I can just carry it with me from room to room and it keeps me from over buying and purchasing duplicates which I discovered after I took everything out (Oops!!) - a bonus I didn’t even think about till afterwards. Here is another option here with three sections.

Ring Boxes

I purchased two new velvet ring boxes from Voeu Du Cour and they are so so lovely! I like the octagon shape and pretty velvet colors (I have a pink and blue). They run sales every few months so I would sign up for their mailing and follow them on Instagram to stay in the know!

Large Acrylic Styling Blocks

So, I was really hoping I wasn’t going to like this styling block set from Heirloom Bindery, but I do :( I really really do but gosh, they are expensive AF but you can totally score a less expensive set right here and here - I researched it for you! The reason I like them is because the styling blocks are bigger and the invitations can lay flat on them without needed a second block for balance. I bought them when I had some money in my paypal account and they were on sale, SOOOOO it wasn’t too bad on my wallet but pick up the replicas, it’s the exact same thing - promise!!

Vintage Inspired Gold Scissors

These vintage inspired Florentine gold scissors from Studio Carta are so so pretty! They are the perfect bit of gold in your wedding detail flat lay AND they come in handy when you actually need to cut ribbon or stray strings off of your brides dress (#truestory) so I’m happy to have them in my new travel organizer at the ready. I also have these stork scissors which are just as adorable and great for styling!

Small Gold Styling Dishes

Ok, I’ll admit it. Late at night I will search Anthropologie website to see what is new and (more likely!) what is on sale. I love browsing their home section because they have a great team of buyers and you can find some gems in there. When I found these gold trinket dishes from Anthro, I put them in my cart and immediately checked out - BOOM!! I think they are so cute and perfect for styling!! I will be using this dish often and I can always just photoshop out the New York latitude information in post production.

A Behind The Scenes Look at me Styling on a Wedding day!

Ok, so here’s a photo of me in all my styling glory on an actual wedding day from this past season - messy hair and ALL!! Once you get past that, you’ll see that I have my new travel organizer by my side, my iphone layed out with my pre-styled wedding invitation layout that I’ve done a few days prior to the wedding to save me time on the actual wedding day (awesome tip!!), and my Contax 645 film camera ready to take the photo. It’s always exciting when it comes together!!

So what’s in your kit? I would love to hear your comments and finds in the comments below!! xo - Jainé

Behind the Scenes Photo of Styling a Wedding Invitation

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Podcast Interview with 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

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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! 


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Best Instagram Apps for Editing Photos and Stories

After I shared my favorite tips how to use Instagram for your wedding photography business, I received a few direct messages asking me to recommend my favorite editing apps for Instagram. There are a gazillion apps out there so I thought it might be helpful to share my top apps that I frequently use to plan, edit, and share my photos on my Instagram grid and stories. 
 

Best Apps for Planning Your Instagram Feed

Planning and Auto Posting Your Images:
I've mentioned this a few times but I use Planoly to plan my Instagram grid in advance. I like that I can visually see how my photos are going to look prior to posting them. I created a photo grid for myself that I like to follow which helps me speedup my planning workflow. Instagram has also given third-party applications, such as Planoly, access to auto-post your images, which is a true game changer. Other applications you can use to do the same thing is Iconosquare and Later.

Best Apps for Editing Photos in Instagram

Editing Your Photos:
When I want to add a photo I've taken using my iPhone, I will use a photo editor to brighten, straighten, crop, my images before I share it on my account. My favorite app is Filmborn by Mastin Labs. This can give your photos a "film-like" look but I really just use it to brighten my images and remove some of the dark shadows and contrast. Afterlight is also a great app for Instagram to brighten your images and adjust the highlights, shadows and contrast. Both apps have in-app purchases for more options.

Best Instagram Apps for Adding Text and Borders

Adding Text and Borders to Your Photos and Instagram Stories:
By far, my favorite app to do this is Word Swag. It's so user friendly and they have a lot of great font options, backgrounds and sizes to choose from. Additional options are Over and A Design Kit for more fun font options and additional stickers and cool colored backgrounds. You can never have too many options, right? If you want to make a cohesive story showcasing your wedding or photography, you should try the Unfold app. You can add white borders, text, multiple images to one slide and much more. It makes your story really stand out among the crowd!

Best Instagram Apps to Edit Videos and Create Slideshows


How to make Slideshows for Instagram Stories:
It took me a while to find an app that I could easily make a 15 sec slideshow for my Instagram story that was  fairly easy to use. I finally found InShot and paid to remove the logo inside of the app which is well worth the $1.99 fee.

How to cut your videos for Instagram Stories:
If you don't want to keep creating 15 second videos for your Instagram Stories, you have the option to record one video and then have Cut Story or Storeo clip your full length video into 15 second intervals automatically. Once the app is done, you can just upload each clip to your Instagram feed.

Best Instagram Apps for Hashtags and Adding Sparkle

Add Some Sparkle to Your Story:
If you know me, you know I love my glitter and I really love using the Kira Kira app to add a little bit of sparkle to my stories. It's great for adding a bit of bling to the ring or beaded wedding dress. It's super fun and I might be addicted to using it!

Automatic Hashtag Generator for Photographers:
My last recommendation comes with a warning, do not solely use this app to create hashtags for your photos. Focal Mark is an application that will automatically generate instagram hashtags that are the most popular to the content you are posting. This is specifically designed for photographers. You can tell it what your subject is, what location the photo in and what camera type you used. Next, Focal Mark will search Instagram and give you the best hashtags to use for your photo. However, you do have to pay to access all 30 hashtags which is the max you are allowed to post inside the app. My advice would be to use this app for part of your hashtags (let's say 15) but then use different hashtags that you found on your own for the remaining 15. This way, it's more authentic and you have less of a chance of being shadow banded by Instagram. (oh, it's a thing - look it up!)

I hope these Instagram app recommendations where helpful and help you create some great content for your own Instagram account. Do you have any apps that you love and would highly recommend? Please leave them in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you!


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