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Springfield Manor Wedding | Marlayna + Adam

I am always so excited to work with another photographer whether that’s on a portrait session or their wedding! It’s such a big honor, but can also be pretty scary at the same time because photos are especially important to them. This can make it such a treat though because if you ask them to do something that might sound odd (like, “hey, do you mind getting into a field of wildflowers in your nice wedding attire?”) they are willing and excited to do it for the photos!

I have really enjoyed working with Marlayna and Adam from even our initial emails back and forth where Marlayna described how much she loves cats and clean bright photography. They have been together since their junior year of high school, so their wedding day was a long time in the making! It was such a joy to be a part of their fun wedding!

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You knocked this one out of the park, Katie!! Beautiful!!!!

Love this one! You did a great job! So many beautiful portraits! I love their details too! That blue is gorgeous! :)

FAQ – Reception Detail Shots

If you’re like a lot of couples, you’ve spent a lot of time, effort, and money into putting together your vision for your wedding day. You’ve been dreaming of what the decor will look like for months and you’ve hired a photographer whose detail shots are always on point. A big key to getting beautiful images of all of your hard work (that you probably won’t get to enjoy much on your actual wedding day, since you’ll be busy mingling with all of your friends and family) actually lies within your timeline and how it’s organized!

One thing lots of couples don’t realize until they’re planning their own wedding timeline with us is that we actually photograph all of the reception details before guests are allowed into the space. Nine times out of ten this happens even before the ceremony itself, but in some cases, if you’ve done a first look, we can photograph the reception during cocktail hour IF cocktail hour is held in a separate location.

Depending on the amount of details you have, we’ll need about 20 minutes or so to capture everything. A bit more time may be necessary if there’s no natural light in your space and setting up our own lighting is necessary. You can always chat with us about this before the wedding day, but definitely be sure to start thinking about allotting time for details before guests are scheduled to enter the room. Work with your caterer and florist to be sure that everything is set up early enough for photos!

Here are a few favorite detail photographs!

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Using Airdrop for Instagram Sneaks

Share professional DSLR Photos on your Instagram account easily with this simple hack!

It always shocks me (and scares me a little bit, too!) how quickly technology and industry trends change. When I started my business Facebook was the main form of social media to use. These days Facebook is not really all that great for spreading the word about your business organically (though, there are still lots of reasons to keep your FB page going) and Instagram seems to be gaining popularity, especially for photographers and other wedding vendors!

Instagram hack for pro wedding photographers

Instagram has become more and more important to my business. Just this year alone I’ve received several inquiries from people who found me on Instagram and booked two of them! That means Instagram, a free platform, has been worth at least $7k to me! That is amazing!

I think it’s really important to share a good balance of my work and personal life on Instagram. My personal photos are typically iPhone photos edited in the VSCO app, but my work photos are all photos taken with my 5D Mark III or with one of my film cameras. There are probably a dozen or more ways to get your photos from your computer to your phone for the purpose of Instagramming them, BUT I have found the easiest one is Airdrop!

If you have don’t have a Mac computer and an iPhone, that’s totally fine, but stop reading right now as none of this will apply to you. Sorry guys! Come back tomorrow…or better yet, head to the Apple store, stat! (I kid, I kid!)

To use airdrop to send photos from your computer to phone (or phone to computer) you don’t need wifi or even a strong phone signal…you just need a bluetooth connection! Just click on the image (or images) you want to send, go to “share” and then select “Airdrop”. If your phone is connected to Bluetooth you’ll see it pop up as an option. All you do is click on yourself, and boom, the images go over super quickly and are saved right to your camera roll. BAM.

Step one: Go to click on your image and choose “share” and then AirDropUsing Airdrop to share photos for Instagram_2

Step two: Choose yourself. If you don’t see yourself, make sure Bluetooth is on on both your computer and your phone!

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This is what it will look like on your phone when you’ve succeeded.

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I particularly love this feature when I am photographing a wedding at a venue that does not have wifi. I send one of the images from the same day slideshow to my phone with airdrop and share it to instagram using the couple’s hashtag. Anyone else who hashtags their wedding or checks the hashtag will see my photo AND easily find my account and my work! Be sure to use your business hashtag so they can see a mini portfolio of your work if they click it!! You could also share your peeks to Facebook from your phone but I’m very picky about how I format my Facebook images due to the way they compress images, so I wait til I have internet and can do it from my computer.

Hope this little tip helps someone be more efficient with their ‘gramming!

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Maryland Wedding Photographer | Sneak peeks!

After a couple weeks “off” (which really just means spending every day in my office 9-5 like everyone else and not shooting on the weekend), this past weekend and the next few days are going to be quite a bit busier! We photographed not one, but TWO weddings in Maryland on Friday and Saturday and then headed home on Sunday. I got back just in time to pack up my things to head to Chicago today! I’m going on a quick mini trip with my friend Libby thanks to an amazing $29 ticket deal she found. Who can say no to $29 plane tickets?? Answer: not me!

The weddings we photographed this weekend couldn’t have been more different! We started in Northwestern Maryland with lush, green mountains as our backdrop for Marlayna and Adam’s wedding at Springfield Manor. I’ve been looking forward to their wedding day for a while because Marlayna is a fellow photographer and she loves succulents (and cats) as much as I do! I loved the details throughout their wedding day, especially their rose gold wedding bands. And their portraits weren’t too shabby either!

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On Saturday, Alissa and Kevin said “I do” in front of their friends and family at the Belvedere in Baltimore with an elegant ceremony and reception full of orchids and gold. We uber’d around town for portraits and had such a great time with these guys even ending the night with custard and Italian ice!

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Even though I will be out of town this week I have a full week of posts lined up, so please stay tuned and check back tomorrow for an Instagram hack I’ll be sharing! See you all then!

(Ps, if you want to follow my travels, be sure to follow my instagram account (@katienesbittphoto) and my travel hashtag #kneezytravels)

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Both weddings are so pretty! :)

For Photographers: Pricing Series Part 1

Awesome Pricing Secrets for Wedding Industry Pros

Coming up with pricing is probably one of the trickiest parts of being a small business owner. It’s also one of those things that doesn’t really seem to ever completely be solved and settled. You’re always going to be looking at your pricing and deciding whether or not you need to adjust things, or whether or not it’s time to increase (or decrease) where your prices are at.

How to price yourself

Before we dig in, I just thought I’d let you all know, in case you didn’t already know, I’m no expert on financial matters. I’m a wedding photographer, not a CFO or an accountant. I can’t tell you for sure one way or another what will or what won’t work for you, but I can tell you what’s worked from my experience, and that’s what I’ll share here today!

First things first, I have to admit that one of my biggest pricing strategies is probably going to be somewhat controversial to some people. It goes against so many things that “the industry” says you should be doing. I don’t answer to the “industry” though. I answer to my landlord. And to Geico and Capital One. All those guys care about is that my bank account has dolla dolla bills enough to share with them!

I think this first pricing post will be so much more helpful to people like me who HAVE to make a living off of their photography and really want to be doing it full time as quickly as possible. If you have a full time day job and you are content doing that, this might not work for you. This also might not work out as well for you if you’re a film photog. But hopefully you’ll read on and decide for yourself:)The best pricing advice I have ever been given is to price yourself in a way that works for YOU.

The biggest secret to my pricing strategy has always been to price myself conservatively. In the beginning, I set my pricing slightly below where I really thought I was worth. I think this is one of the biggest reasons that I have consistently grown my business every year and why I was able to go full time in the middle of my first full wedding season. I still continue to do this on some level, but with slightly different goals in mind that we can talk about in another post. There are a few reasons I picked up this strategy:

1. I believe that there is power in momentum when you’re growing your business. When you’re first starting out, or you are in those first couple of years, I think it is really powerful to be shooting 15-20 weddings a season (if that’s what you want, at least…I wanted 20+ weddings and to go full time ASAP…that’s not for everyone though, so keep that in mind) because you’re going to have that many more opportunities to get your name out there. Having more weddings means having more work to show, more vendors to build relationships with, more clients to wow, etc. Shooting more is so helpful when you’re building your business because that means you have more opportunities to get your name out there and to get in front of people who are going to be booking for the next wedding season. I wanted to grow my business quickly and make my dream happen sooner than later, so I decided I would rather work 17 weddings my first year at 2700 than charge $3200 that year because I thought I was worth it and that’s what my peers were charging and then only book 10.

2. I believed in being the BEST photographer in my price range. This is pretty simple to understand and explain. By keeping my prices slightly lower I was able to be the best photographer in that price range. Instead of being one of hundreds in a certain price bracket with very similar work, websites, etc, I chose to be a standout in a slightly lower price range. I still kind of live by that mantra, however, when you get to a certain pricing bracket, different types of psychology come into play because you’re working with different types of clients. At this point in my business, I think about my pricing strategy a little differently, but we’ll save that for another blog post!

3. There’s also power in having choices. While growing the business with my pricing like this, I still looked for clients that fit who my ideal clients were. Getting more inquiries and booking more weddings allowed me to be slightly pickier than if I was only getting one inquiry a month and felt obligated to book anything that came my way because I just didn’t have much on my schedule.

Now, one thing I feel like I have to say is that by no means am I trying to tell you to charge less than you’re worth or that you should take on 50 weddings a year at no money. (If you’re booking 50 weddings a year, you can definitely raise your prices!). I’m saying that if there’s a pricing range where I felt comfortable at based on my experience, equipment, skills, and booking rate, I would usually steer towards the lower end of the range because I valued momentum in my wedding photography business. My pricing strategy is definitely a little bit alternative compared to others that are out there, but it really worked for me and helped me get my business to where it is now. I have mentoring clients and photographers who email me asking about pricing and why they aren’t booking. I can’t answer that for everyone, but for some people, I really do think getting a momentum going is more important than raising prices or setting their prices at x number just because they think they should. The best indicator that your pricing strategy (whatever it is) is working is that you’re booking clients at it. If months and months go by without bookings, it may be time to re-examine your pricing!

Next time in this series we’ll talk about when to raise prices and on the flip side, when to LOWER prices if you have to.

Got a pricing question?? Shoot me an email or use the contact form to send me a message!

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Darby Sinclair

Love your honesty and FAIR pricing:) xo